5 Myths About Ostomy Bags That Need Correcting


I remember discussing with my gastrointestinal surgeon at one of my appointments as to why many patients are “anti” ileostomy, even if it means saving their lives due to Crohn’s disease or colon cancer. He replied that they hear a lot of misinformation from loved ones who mean well, or are afraid of the unknown. Also, if there isn’t anybody they can talk to who has had the appliance for quite some time, they tend feel very much alone and depressed.

This led me to making an information booklet for him and another surgeon’s patients so they would be correctly informed about the surgical procedure. It also helps them become aware that support is available to them at any time while they are in the hospital or at home recovering.

Here are the top five myths of having an ileostomy:

1. Myth: Others will know that I’m wearing a bag.

Fact: Nobody knows you have one unless you choose to tell them.

2. Myth: I’m going to smell all the time if I choose to have an ileostomy.

Fact: There is no odor while wearing an appliance. To prevent it when emptying in the bathroom, spray w with Lysol first in the bathroom, use m9 drops, or Adapt from Hollister. Experiment with what works for you by trying a variety of options.

3. Myth: I won’t be able to wear my favorite clothes.

Fact: Once you are completely healed, you can wear whatever makes you comfortable. Even tight jeans!

4. Myth: I won’t have a life anymore if I have an ostomy.

Fact: There is life after ostomy surgery. You can  work, play, travel, exercise, have kids. Whatever you did before, you can still do.

5. Myth: I don’t have someone to talk to regarding my pouching system, or I feel like the only person who has this.

Fact: Support is available. Click on this link to find an available support group near you.

Knowledge is power!

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