you get/stay married? Have
with bowel and urinary diver-
date, get engaged, get married,
have babies (even twins), all the
and everywhere. Your ostomy
probably seem bigger and more
to you than to anyone else,
your boyfriend, girlfriend,
partner, spouse, children or
you easily bathe, go swim-
Bend over, participate in
exercise and sports you enjoy?
yes, yes and yes! With a se-
attached pouching system you
shower, take a bath (even a hot
swim, surf, camp out, climb
bike, jog or play golf and
People with bowel and urinary
are office workers, teach-
salesmen, police and firemen,
marathon runners, box-
and airline pilots. You name it,
with an ostomy can do it.
to live a full life? Go out and do
forgetting that little addition to your
that brings order out of a
that could have ruined your
... or ended it. No one need know
your ostomy surgery unless
tell them. But perhaps if you DID
people about yourself, then
there would be fewer people
of this life-saving surgery!
is the United Ostomy Associations
America or UOAA?
UOAA is an association of affiliated ostomy
groups throughout the United States. It
dedicated to the complete rehabilitation of all
with an ostomy and those with continent
It actively advocates on behalf of all
an ostomy, helps in the formation of new
and provides for the exchange and dis-
of information through its website,
media, its quarterly
its four surgery-
you wish to
the activities of UOAA, donations can be
provided by the local ostomy
groups affiliated with UOAA are
beneficial in helping ostomy patients
and manage their new urinary or
David E. Beck, M.D. FACS, FASCRS,
President, American Society of
and Rectal Surgeons
T. Goldberg, MSN, RN, CWOCN
President, WOCN Society
SUPPORT GROUP INFORMATION
Philadelphia Ostomy Association
feel like this
you’ve heard that people get
just fine with only one of their
or one of their lungs, or one of
kidneys. But you also know
you have only one intestine and
one bladder, and that leaves
feeling awfully empty, both
you think no other people go
minus part of their intestinal
or minus their bladders, with
ends of their intestines sticking
through their abdominal walls.
you are wrong! There are nearly
quarters of a million people in the
who have an ostomy; people who
had surgery to remove all or part
their colons or bladders. There is
a national association, the United
Associations of America with
350 local affiliated support groups
are organized by volunteers who
peer support and counseling.
has a toll free telephone num-
800-826-0826 and an educational,
haven’t you met any of these
who have an ostomy?
maybe you have! You just did not
them because an ostomy
show. It can be kept secret if
wish. Why, maybe some of your
friends, office associates or
have an ostomy ... you never
facing ostomy surgery have
quality-of-life questions like:
you bulge? Smell? Make noises? Will
feel waste leaving your body? Will you
a captive of the toilet? Will you starve?
a social outcast? Get/stay married?
babies? Easily bathe, go swimming,
let’s look at what you can expect:
without part of the intestine or
and its contents, you should have
flatter tummy than before. You can
to wear, with little exception, what
wore before surgery ... and this in-
tight clothing and bathing suits.
thanks to modern odor proof
systems, you can walk into an
support group meeting and not
anything that is foul or offensive.
for those with an ileostomy or
who are concerned about odor
emptying their pouch, there are in-
deodorants that can be used to
any waste odors that may exist.
you make noises?
produces gas, especially if they
an air-swallower. But intestinal sounds
occur from time to time are no differ-
than a gurgling tummy, and quite often
clothing will muffle any sounds.
you feel the waste discharges?
those with a colostomy or ileostomy
might be a slight pressure when
leaves your body, but understand
the intestines have no nerve endings,
there will be no unpleasant sensations.
with a urostomy will probably be
of any kidney drainage.
you be a captive of the toilet?
post-op you will spend more
in the bathroom than you will after
body recovers from surgery. Every
is different, but on average those
an ileostomy or urostomy may empty
pouches 4 to 6 times a day; a little
if you have a colostomy. The average
time between pouch system
is 3 to 5 days and the changing
should take less than 30 minutes.
if you follow doctor’s orders at each
of your post-op adjustment. There is
such thing as an “ostomy diet”. Some
with an ostomy will be able to eat
tolerate anything; others may find diffi-
with some foods. Each person is an
and must determine, by trial,
is best for them. A good practice for
is to drink plenty of water.
you be a social outcast?
you met anyone who has an ostomy
is a social outcast? Why should you be
first? Only your attitude and self image
effect how you are treated. No confi-
person is an outcast.