What Is an Ostomy?

Often times medical conditions, diseases, surgical procedures, and other things surrounding the medical world are shrouded in mystery because not enough people have those things. And more often than not, there’s a mystery surrounding these things because people see medical things as taboo since health is related and no one likes to face the facts of something happening to them eventually. If everyone was more open to the idea that life is fleeting and abnormalities arise, I truly think we’d live in a more enlightened society that is open to knowledge and treatments.

Nonetheless, one of those things that not enough people know about are ostomies. So let’s dig right into the meat of this article: What is an ostomy?

Well, an ostomy is basically a surgical procedure that causes a change in the way urine or stool exits the body. Essentially, your bodily wastes are rerouted from the typical path and end up coming out of a stoma (an opening created by surgery) that is located somewhere on the abdomen and is dark pink in color. Typically ostomies are needed because of malfunctioning parts of the urinary or digestive systems, and they can be both temporary or permanent.

With most ostomies, a pouch is worn over the stoma to collect your body’s waste products. For some people, a pouch is not needed. However, what’s typical with ostomies is a pouching system that stays close to the abdomen and collects wastes.

Something to keep in mind is that ostomies are life-saving procedures, and they should be heralded as such instead of seen as different or “disgusting”. Since bodily waste is allowed to pass through a surgically created stoma into a pouch, problematic procedures and conditions within the body can be avoided thanks to this process. Whether it’s cancer, inflammatory diseases in the bowel, birth defects, or a slew of other medical conditions, an ostomy can be your answer to life. Other times, severe trauma to the abdomen or pelvis may warrant an ostomy, and so it’s not just for conditions but also for serious injury. Ostomy care is your answer to a clean and healthy system for waste diversion when any of these things befall you or your family.

If you’re unsure about your ostomy care and what you should be doing to keep your pouching system and stoma clean, talk to your doctor or nurse about proper care and cleaning, and make sure you’re getting the most quality products you can.