There is a range of conditions that might make an ostomy surgery necessary. It’s a surgery that sees an opening being made in the abdomen so that waste can be allowed to leave the body. However, you might be wondering what life will look like after a colostomy or an ileostomy. Here, we’re going to address some of the common concerns you might have.
Will people be able to tell?
Discretion is important to a lot of people who have an ostomy. After all, it can affect one’s mental health to be so self-conscious about something that might be rather awkward or embarrassing.
However, not only are there bags designed to be discreet, but also accessories and clothing options that can help you cover them more completely, allowing you to feel secure and confident whether you’re at home or out and about. For the people in your life, it’s entirely your choice as to whether you tell them about your surgery and how you have adapted your life or not.
What common issues can you face?
Living with an ostomy bag does require that you’re more aware of some of the issues that can come with them. Leakage is a major concern, as is the skin irritation that can be caused by it. There are some problems like ballooning and pancaking that happens with the bags themselves. It’s important to invest in high-quality ostomy products to make sure that these issues aren’t too likely. However, if you are experiencing any of these problems, you should find that the manufacturer’s site can offer tips on how to manage them.
Making adjustments to your lifestyle
There are a lot of things you will still be able to do after you have had any type of ostomy surgery, but there are some things that you might want to avoid. For instance, you can still exercise and ride a bike in many cases but, in almost all cases, contact sports are not a good idea. What activities and hobbies you can enjoy will be on a case by case basis when we’re talking about living with an ostomy bag. You can find tips to make it easier to exercise with a bag but always consult your doctor.
Talking about your ostomy
As mentioned, it is entirely your choice as to who you mention your ostomy to, when, and in what context. However, talking about the realities of living with one can help you broach the topic more easily and without as many nerves. To that end, you should consider looking at online support groups where people will share their experiences as well as tips and advice. Talking in a safe and non-judgmental environment can help prepare you for talking about it more broadly if you are intending to do so.
Living with an ostomy bag is undoubtedly a change, but it doesn’t have to be a major disruption to your life. I know a young man who has been living with an ostomy bag for over 15 years now, and if he had not told us about it, we would have never known. With the right care and choice of products, you can enjoy a quality of life not much different from before.