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Advice that helps you do more Advice that helps you do more Whether you are expecting to go through ostomy surgery in the future or have years of experience, the advice you get through Coloplast Care can help you do more of the things you like to do. Learn more about what you get in Coloplast Care
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Adapted to your needs

Are you expecting surgery soon? Then we will send you information that helps you prepare―physically and mentally. From the basic medical principles of ostomy, to the practical things you can expect from the surgery.

Have you just been through an ostomy procedure? Then our advisors will guide you through the difficult first months of figuring out the ostomy routine that works for you, helping you understand the world of ostomy accessories and many other topics.

Or perhaps you have already had an ostomy for years? Still, we will do our best to help and inspire you to feel more confident in your solution and the things you can do with ostomy. This includes sharing real-life stories of what others with ostomy have accomplished―and how.

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Advice on leakage and skin issues Advice on leakage and skin issues Get advice on how to care for your skin, choose the best pouch for your body type and read about how to avoid leakage issues. Read more about leakage and skin issues
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No such thing as a “normal” skin irritation!

This is an example of an email you would receive prior to your surgery:

It is important to never accept any skin problems as a “normal side effect” of having a stoma. The skin around your stoma should look exactly like the skin on the rest of your body! Of course, it is natural if your skin is slightly more pink right after you peel off the baseplate―but if the pink colour is permanent, or you feel any sense of discomfort or itchiness, you should act as quickly as possible.

Why is this so important? If your skin becomes irritated, the baseplate will not attach as well. This could lead to leakage, which leads to more severe irritation, and so on. You can avoid these recurring issues by taking these six steps to help bring your skin back to good health.

 

Six steps to keep the skin healthy:

1. Keep your skin clean and dry. Make sure your skin is clean and completely dry before you apply the baseplate to your skin. If your stoma produces a little moisture, you can take a soft tissue to absorb the extra moisture before applying the baseplate.
2. Cut carefully. The hole in the barrier should fit your ostomy exactly.
3. Measure and check often―it's quite normal to have changes in both the shape of your body and your stoma, so it is really important to regularly check if your cutting template is the right size and shape for your stoma, especially if you have a hernia.
4. Make it stick! Use your hand to apply a little pressure to the barrier and smooth it out until you're certain there's full contact between the adhesive and your skin.
5. Change when in doubt. Change your pouching system as soon as you feel a sense of discomfort or itching.
6. Check the back when you remove your pouch from your skin, check not only your skin, but also the back side of the baseplate: Do you see signs of ostomy output? This tells you there was leakage―and means you should try to get a better fit. If it's not possible to cut more precisely, maybe you need a mouldable ring to seal the opening better―or maybe you need a different type of baseplate. Ask your nurse for recommendations. Is the baseplate broken or damaged? This could also be a sign of leakage, but it probably also means that you need to change your pouching system more often. Some ostomy output can attack the baseplate aggressively, and the best way to combat this is to simply change early to keep the skin healthy.

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Tips and tricks for your daily life Tips and tricks for your daily life What do I do when I want to go for a swim? What do I eat? Can I bring my scissors on the plane when I travel? Get information, good advice and helpful tips and tricks for everyday life with Coloplast Care. More tips and tricks for daily life with a stoma

What to do before you fly

This is an example of an email about travelling:

Make sure to bring more supplies than you think you need―at least 50% more, maybe even double the amount of pouches, etc., you would use for the same time period at home, just in case you have stoma problems or if you are stuck somewhere without access to supplies. Divide your supplies into different bags, in case your luggage is lost or the flight is delayed. Bring as much as you can in your hand luggage, but cut all your baseplates to the right size before you fly (at least those you will be carrying in your hand luggage), since you will not always be allowed to take scissors in your hand luggage.

 

At the airport: Know your rights!

 Will you have trouble at the security check? The security scanner might detect your pouch, even if it's empty. But you do not have to show your pouch, and security should not ask you to remove clothing to expose it or let them touch it. You may be asked (or you can volunteer) to rub your hand against the pouch on the outside of your clothes (to rule out explosives), but that should be the extent of the examination. Download and print a “flash card” from UOA to communicate your condition discreetly to the Transportation Security officer. Try and arrive early at the gate, so you can change your pouch just before boarding.

 

In the air

Some people are concerned that the pouch could expand during the flight due to the change in cabin pressure. There is a slight risk that the pressure will cause the pouch to balloon. If this should happen all you need to do is go to the bathroom and empty your pouch. And remember that just as often, ballooning is caused by something you ate or drank―so when you're flying, be extra careful with carbonated drinks. Booking a seat in the back row near the bathrooms might help take away some of your concerns and make you feel more confident as well. If you are a little self-conscious about noise from the pouch, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how noisy an airplane cabin is. Maybe you didn't notice it before, but it is very unlikely that your pouch can make noises loud enough to be heard in the cabin. There's no need to tell the cabin personnel about your ostomy in advance, and most likely they'll never notice.

I hope you will find that flying with your ostomy was much easier than you expected.

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Pre surgery advice Pre surgery advice An ostomy surgery can be an overwhelming experience. Coloplast Care helps you prepare for surgery with both practical advice and more emotional issues. Read more pre surgery advice

This is an example of an email you could receive with basic information about an ostomy before your surgery (in this case, colostomy surgery):

The ostomy itself does not change who you are and what you can do

While it can be difficult to accept that you will have to wear an ostomy pouch, eventually I believe you will discover that you can actually live like you did before. Your ostomy will not stop you from playing sports or going out with friends. Ostomy pouches are both secure and discreet―and other people most likely won't know that you are wearing a pouch unless you decide to tell them.


An ostomy is a surgically created opening in the body

The most common kind of colostomy is an end colostomy, where the end of the large intestine (colon) is brought out through a small cut in the abdominal wall, and then stitched to the skin of the stomach creating an opening (ostomy). In a loop colostomy a loop of the bowel is brought out above skin level, a cut is made on the exposed bowel loop, and the two ends are then rolled down and sewn onto the skin. A colostomy can be either temporary or permanent depending on the reason for surgery or the severity of the illness.


Why do I need to wear an ostomy pouch?

After a colostomy operation, stool will come out through the ostomy instead of the anus. Unlike the anus, the ostomy has no muscle to control the release of stool or gas. That is why it is necessary to wear a pouch. How often does the pouch need changing or emptying? Output from a colostomy is not too different from normal bowel movement; the output is generally solid, and the pouch needs to be emptied between one and three times a day.

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