Tag Archives: what is an ostomy?

What Is An Ostomy?

Posted by on July 30, 2014 under Ostomy Care | Be the First to Comment

Ostomy pouch.

On June 21st, 2014 the charity organization Crohn’s and Colitis UK posted a picture of one Bethany Townsend. As of this writing, the post has received nearly 250,000 likes, easily catapulting it to the status of viral. What was Townsend wearing in this popular photo? A bikini, an ostomy bag and a stoma cap.

Other sites, including Huffington Post picked up on the photo and the short article about Townsend, but failed to go into an explanation of what these items she’s wearing are and what they’re for. This led to a huge uptick in searches online for the word “ostomy” as people strove to understand why it was that Townsend needed bags to survive.

So here’s the short and sweet explanation: Ostomy bags are the term for any bag placed over a surgical opening on a body, generally in the abdomen region (you can see some examples of new bags here). The uses for these bags are to help with the work of organs that aren’t functioning properly or have been removed, such as all or part of the large intestine or the bladder. In cases such as Crohn’s disease, colitis, cancer or other issues, a surgeon will create a direct connection from the working parts to the outside of the body – creating a stoma (aka opening). Waste from the small intestine (or part of the large intestine or bladder) is dispelled through that opening, generally into a bag.

Ms. Townsend appears to be wearing an ostomy bag, and a stoma cap. The ostomy bag is there to capture the contents being emptied from her small intestine. The stoma cap, the smaller of the two items, is likely there to capture any small output from that particular stoma. As that stoma likely doesn’t produce waste on a consistent basis, it doesn’t need a full-sized bag. This is an assumption, of course, and everyone’s experience with stomas differs, but that’s a basic explanation of bags and caps.

It’s great to see such a positive response to Townsend’s photo, and to see so many people reply with proud pictures of themselves sporting ostomy bags.

Ostomy Vocabulary Lesson

Posted by on July 20, 2012 under Ostomy Care | Be the First to Comment

An ostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an alternate route and artificial opening for the excretion of bodily wastes. The destination can either be into another proper digestive organ or into an outside system. For this article we will discuss the latter situation which typically targets those with colostomies, ileostomies, and urostomies.  This outside collection system is typically an ostomy pouch that attaches to the stoma (the end of the artificial path). The pouching system is held in place by a barrier, also referred to as a wafer , which is a an adhesive or air tight seal to prevent leakage.

One option when searching for an ostomy pouch is the one piece system in which the barrier is connected to the pouch, making it one unit. The one piece system is known to be more simple because everything is cohesive and connected. How ever, the entire system should be changed every twenty four hours.

New Image Lock N Roll Drainable 2 Piece Pouch at TotalHomeCareSupplies.com

The two piece system is different because the barrier/wafer is separate from the pouch. On the barrier is the flange which is the connecting piece to the pouch and the barrier. Typically, the flange-pouch connection is similar to that of an air tight tupperware. This permits the barrier to be changed weekly, but the pouch still should be changed every day. Aside from making the decision between an one piece or two piece system, there is also the option of an open ended pouch or close ended pouch. An open ended pouch, or drainable pouch, has a feature that allows you to drain the contents of the pouch, whereas the close ended pouch is to be thrown away and replaced when full.

Which Product Is Best For You? As you can see, when choosing your pouch there are a few things to consider. Each of these options have their pros and cons, but  the decision is typically dependent on how often an individual needs to empty the contents or fills up the pouch.

When using a barrier/wafer, it must fit correctly and comfortably in order to be effective, and since everyone is built differently, there are a few choices to make when shopping.  Barriers come in a variety of sizes, so find the one that works best for you. There are some products that come pre cut, and others are cut to fit, which are customizable for each individual.

Sur-Fit Natura Stomahesive Barrier Cut to Fit -Tan at TotalHomeCareSupplies.com

Along with choosing your pouch system, there are a variety of accessories available to keep you comfortable, confident and healthy. There are a number of deodorizers, pastes, and wipes to protect against odors,  enhance sanitation, and support a more assured barrier fit. Also available are belts, tapes and adhesives for extra security, and numerous other products to suit your needs.

TotalHomeCareSupplies is here to provide you with high quality, low price ostomy products that will leave you more than satisfied.