By definition, an ostomy is an operation to create an opening from an area inside the body to the outside. Colostomy, ileostomy and urostomy are types of ostomies that either eliminate stool from the intestines or urine from the urinal tract.
Ostomies become necessary due to cancer of the digestive tract, disease such as Crohn’s or disorders such as ulcerative colitis. Sometimes the ostomy is permanent, sometimes it can be temporary and reversed.
Once an ostomy is created, the patient will use ostomy supplies suited to their needs, and typically a Wound and Ostomy Care Nurse (WOCN) will educate and care for the patient in the hospital during recovery.
As you can imagine, or have personal experience yourself, a new ostomy can be overwhelming! We specialize in ostomy supplies and have dealt with many customers that simply get overwhelmed once they leave the hospital and are on their own. Or, we see ostomates dealing with new issues after several years of successfully handling their ostomy.
Here are five things every ostomate needs to know.
Every ostomate should have the name and phone number of a Wound & Ostomy Care Nurse (WOCN) or Enterostomal Therapist (ET). If you don’t have one, contact your local hospital, medical center or health agency and ask for one.
Research and learn about ostomy products. Most hospitals carry a single brand of supplies and that is what is sent home with the patient. The three major manufacturers are Hollister (Hollister.com), ConvaTec (Convatec.com) and Coloplast (Coloplast.com). Visit their websites, research all product lines and request free samples to try. Be sure to consult with your medical team before switching products.
Spend some time finding the right supplier. Compare pricing and be wary of large discounts or exorbitant prices. Do they ship to your home, or have a local presence in case you are in a pinch for supplies? Can you reach a live person for product support if you have a problem?
Verify what your insurance will cover when it comes to supplies. Most private insurers will pay 70-80% after deductible. Medicaid is state specific, and Medicare only allows a predetermined maximum each month, so call and verify your specific coverage.
Most importantly – You are NOT alone! The United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. is a wonderful resource for information and links. Go to www.uoaa.org for information, guidebooks, local support groups, discussion boards and much more!
For more information or to request a FREE “Information & Resources for New Ostomates” Booklet, contact Mountain View Medical Supply by calling 303-455-1300, or 800-873-7121, or email
Source: Mountain View Medical Supply Information & Resources for New Ostomates
To order your FREE copy of this wonderful publication (if I do say so myself), call 800-873-7121, or order for FREE online HERE!