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You have been told you need a colostomy. Or you have recently been given one. Below are answers to some questions you are likely to have. Learning as much as you can about your colostomy can help you adjust.
In most cases, yes. However, some medications are absorbed in the colon. A colostomy could affect the way they act in the body. Talk to your healthcare provider about any medications you take.
Supplies can be bought through medical supply companies, some drugstores, and special catalogs. Be sure you know the maker and product number of the supplies you use. And order new supplies well before you run out.
If you have had a skin reaction before, you may want to “patch test” a product. Apply a small amount (or a small piece of product) on your belly, away from the stoma. Remove it after 48 hours. If the skin isn’t red or sore, the product is okay to use. Know that you can develop an allergy to a product over time. If you start having a reaction to a product, stop using it. Then, call your WOC nurse for advice.
This is called “phantom rectum.” The feeling is common. It may occur because nerves that were cut during surgery still send messages to the brain. The feeling may go away when you’ve healed from the surgery.
Your wound, ostomy, and continence (WOC) nurse is there to answer your questions. So are your surgeon and other healthcare providers. Contacting the sources listed below is a good way to learn more.
United Ostomy Associations of America800-826-0826 www.uoaa.org
American Cancer Society800-227-2345 www.cancer.org
Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Societywww.wocn.org/Patients