Ostomy Myths vs. Reality
The Truth About Living with an Ostomy
After ostomy surgery, you may find helpful tips and tricks from other people living with an ostomy in online communities, support groups, forums and more. Weeding through the fact and fiction can be difficult. Our me+ team of certified ostomy nurses and product specialists have outlined some of the most common myths they hear to provide you with the truth about living with an ostomy.
Myth: Only use the ostomy pouching system that you were fitted with in the hospital or doctor’s office. You should not explore new products on your own.
Fact: In the weeks and months following ostomy surgery, you may find your stoma and body changing. In the first few weeks and months post-surgery, your ostomy pouching system may need to be changed also. Contact our me+ team today to be fitted with ostomy samples designed to fit your lifestyle and body.
Myth: All ostomy products are the same. It doesn’t matter what type of pouching system you wear.
Fact: There are a large variety of ostomy products available to fit the needs of each person living with an ostomy.
Myth: Your stoma should not change size after a few months after surgery
Fact: In the weeks and months following ostomy surgery, your stoma may change in size and appearance.
Myth: Having skin irritation is a normal way of life with an ostomy.
Fact: If the skin around your stoma becomes damaged, it could be painful and lead to infection. It also becomes more difficult for the skin barrier of your pouching system to adhere to your skin. Prevention is the key to maintaining both healthy peristomal skin and your comfort.
Myth: If you have an ostomy, your significant other will not love you the same way.
Fact: It is common to have anxiety about relationships following ostomy surgery. Whether you’re looking for a partner, have been dating a few months, or married 25 years, ostomy surgery will have an impact on you and your relationships.
Myth: Odor is a part of life when you have an ostomy.
Fact: You will become more comfortable with your ostomy pouch over time, and will gain confidence in its ability to retain odors.
Myth: People living with an ostomy cannot fly, because the cabin pressure can cause the pouch to fail.
Fact: People living with an ostomy can fly, ride in a car, take a train and use all the same modes of transportation they utilized pre-surgery.
Myth: I can’t get my pouch or wafer wet, which means I can’t enjoy water activities or bathe with my pouching system in place.
Fact: You can shower, go swimming, or even get in the hot tub with your pouching system in place. If using a pouch with a filter, cover the filter with the covers provided. If you are unable to enjoy water activities with your current system, contact the me+ team to learn more about products that may help, 1-800-422-8811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: This educational article is from a UOAA digital sponsor, ConvaTec. Sponsor support helps to maintain our website www.ostomy.org and the free trusted resources of UOAA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Editor’s note: This educational article is from a UOAA digital sponsor, ConvaTec. Sponsor support helps to maintain our website www.ostomy.org and the free trusted resources of UOAA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.