According to a survey, millions of Americans have undergone stoma surgeries. Even though this procedure is more common than you think, it is a life-changing experience, which can get scary at times. It involves the creation of an opening in the belly that allows a part of the bowel to pass through to evacuate bodily wastes. The purpose is to bypass the diseased section of the bowel. This opening is known as a stoma.
There are different types of ostomies, from colostomy to continent ileostomy. There is much information about these ostomies available on various mediums, but this information may also include a fair share of myths.
In this article, we are going to debunk some of the most common ostomy myths.
Everyone will know that you have a stoma
Ostomy surgery results in a significant change in the body, which can make a patient more conscious about the body image. This sensation can lead anyone into thinking that an ostomy is meant to be a visible body feature. Most people with ostomies fear the possibility of others telling them about their ostomy bag. But the fact of the matter is that modern-day appliances are discreet enough to achieve a hidden profile under the clothes.
Ostomies smell bad
Any non-healing wound can emit an unpleasant smell. It is, however, not the case with a stoma. The smell of an open wound comes from the infection. The smell that people fear in case of an ostomy comes from the stomal output. Again, it comes down to the type of ostomy bag you use. Older ostomy bags didn’t have many capabilities to restrict smell, but modern-day ostomy appliances use advanced skin barriers that ensure a tighter seal. Most of these bags also utilize a filter that allows the gas to escape without the odor-producing bacteria.
Swimming with an ostomy is impossible
You will not be able to engage in strenuous physical activities, such as swimming, during the first few weeks after ostomy surgery. But, it doesn’t mean that you are going to have to stay like this forever. As soon as you recover from surgery, you can engage in most types of workouts. You may want to discuss with your doctor about this matter before resuming your physical training regimen, though.
Only the elderly get stomas
Most people associate ostomies with the elderly because the types of conditions that lead a person to require an ostomy generally occur in the later years of life. But assuming that only aged people will get an ostomy is wrong. There is a whole community of young adults who live with an ostomy, and they get to enjoy their lives to the fullest.
It is hard to clean a stoma
Keeping your stoma clean is an integral part of the ostomy care regimen. The soiled stoma lining can result in a heightened risk of the peristomal skin getting in contact with the stomal output. It ultimately results in skin irritation, redness, and other complications that are not only painful but also lead to a more compromised seal between the ostomy pouch and the peristomal skin. Contrary to what many people think, cleaning your stoma is not hard at all. It indeed adds much to the daily routine, but it is not a complicated process. You only need warm water to clean your stoma. If you want to use soap, make sure that it doesn’t contain any perfumes or oils.