After ostomy surgery, the quality of your life is highly dependent on choosing the right ostomy accessories for your unique needs. With the right ostomy accessories for your lifestyle and stoma type, you can avoid skin irritations, leakage, and unexpected odors in public areas. Know that you have choices and are not stuck with what was given to you at the hospital upon release home. You can continue doing all of the things you enjoyed before your surgery when choosing the right ostomy accessories.
There are More Ostomy Accessories Available to You
Hospitals do not carry all of the manufacturers of ostomy accessories and pouching systems available in the market. They are limited to suppliers they have contracts with, which may only be one or two manufacturers. It is essential to know that you have choices beyond what ostomy accessories you are sent home with.
Some of the major manufacturers of ostomy accessories are:
ConvaTec Ostomy Accessories
As a global manufacturer of ostomy supplies, ConvaTec is a company whose goal is to ultimately improve the quality of people’s lives. ConvaTec uses creative innovation as they continue to develop products to better fit the needs and preferences of actual product users.
ConvaTec ostomy supplies are a great example of their commitment to user-friendly products that combine advanced technology and features that are tried and true. For example, many users prefer the ostomy systems and skin barriers that feature ConvaTec’s Moldable Technology due to the easy customization and convenient use without the need for scissors to trimming to fit.
Coloplast Ostomy Accessories
For over 60 years, Coloplast has been developing ostomy supplies to help make people’s lives easier. Coloplast designed their ostomy accessories to help give you a custom fit since no two bodies are exactly alike. Coloplast convex skin barriers are perfect stomas that need help with protrusion. These ostomy accessories are excellent for those with skin creases, folds, and leakage. The wide range of Coloplast Brava ostomy accessories can also help reduce leakage and protect the skin.
Hollister Ostomy Accessories
Hollister Incorporated has been manufacturing and developing healthcare products globally for over 95 years. The company strives to make products that allow those who use them to live a more confident and fulfilling life. They know that peristomal skin is essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle after ostomy surgery. That is why one of their popular products, the CeraPlus skin barrier, is designed to protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier and maintain healthy peristomal skin.
Choosing Your Ostomy Accessories Supplier
The major manufacturers listed above do not sell direct to the public, and most, if not all, are unavailable for purchase from your local pharmacy. You will need to get in touch with a reputable ostomy accessories supplier to get the ostomy supplies you need.
Personally Delivered carries all of the major manufacturer brands of ostomy products and ostomy accessories. Our ostomy supplies are competitively priced and shipped with reliable, on-time delivery. If you need assistance choosing your ostomy supplies, we also have Ostomy Product Experts to help guide you through your purchasing journey and are here every step of the way to make the entire process easy for you.
If you have insurance and wish to purchase your ostomy accessories and other ostomy supplies, our sister company, 180 Medical, is the choice for you. They are the reimbursement side of our company and work with physicians and insurance providers every day. They take care of shipping your ostomy accessories and supplies discreetly to your door and file your insurance claims for you at no charge.
Sometimes, your insurance or Medicare will only cover a certain amount of ostomy supplies, and that is when Personally Delivered can help. You can purchase as many ostomy supplies as you need beyond what is covered by insurance and feel confident that you are in good hands and cared for by a professional, knowledgeable, and compassionate team. Our customer testimonials speak for themselves, and we are proud to know that we are changing people’s lives.
It is Normal for Your Stoma to Change
It is entirely normal for your stoma to change during the post-operative period. Your stoma may be slightly larger or swollen right after surgery and then gradually subside over time. The swelling may take several weeks to go down; therefore, you will need to use different types of ostomy accessories to accommodate your stoma changes. Correct sizing of your ostomy accessories will help prevent skin irritation around the stoma.
Here are some of the other common causes of stoma change in shape or size:
Your stoma may change shape or size from weight gain. Gaining enough weight can pull the stoma inward and cause it to be flush with the surrounding skin or retract farther inward. In this case, a convex skin barrier may help increase the protrusion of the stoma. The convex shape applies gentle pressure around the skin surrounding the stoma to help ‘push’ the stoma outward.
When the stoma suddenly becomes more prominent than usual and protrudes outward, it is called a prolapsed stoma. Strenuous activity such as straining to lift heavy objects can cause a prolapsed stoma. A prolapsed stoma can sometimes and fill an ostomy bag more quickly or require the use of ostomy accessories such as a support belt. You may find using a two-piece ostomy system works better by keeping the flange in place as the bag is routinely changed. This ostomy system might help protect the prolapsed stoma.
Hernias around the stoma happen when the intestines push outward near the stoma. These types of hernias are called peristomal hernias and cause the skin to bulge around the stoma. Hernias around the stoma can cause pain and leakage, so choosing the right ostomy accessories will help
As we age, our muscles and skin change. We lose strength and tone with age, and therefore the stoma changes along with it. The contours of the skin around the stoma may not be as smooth as before and require new ostomy accessories such as adhesive strips designed to hold the skin barrier down to eliminate any leakage.
Types of Ostomy Accessories
Adhesive Barrier Strips
As an alternative to stoma paste to fill uneven gaps around the stoma due to skin folds or creases, adhesive barrier strips are an excellent ostomy accessory. These barrier strips protect the skin around the stoma from further irritation and create a waterproof seal. Adhesive barrier strips can prolong ostomy appliance wear time and significantly reduce leakage.
ConvaTec ease Strips are an excellent choice for barrier strips. These thin and flexible barrier strips keep your ostomy skin barrier in place and are made of a skin-friendly hydrocolloid material for comfort. And, since they are water-resistant, you can confidently bathe and swim knowing that your skin barrier will stay secure.
Ostomy belts help prevent leaks by pulling the ostomy pouching system upward toward the abdomen. These types of ostomy accessories are typically very discreet and do not interfere with the ostomy bag. An ostomy belt can help keep the ostomy pouch in place and prevent it from detaching from the stoma or snagged.
Moldable Rings and Seals
Just as adhesive barrier strips help protect the skin around the stoma that has creases or folds and prevent leakage, moldable rings and seals are effective ostomy accessories to improve the fit of the skin barrier. Moldable rings and seals can be stretched, cut, or stacked to make the seal between the skin and the barrier leak-free and comfortable.
A stoma cap is a unique little ostomy bag used for occasions when discretion is a top priority. Most of the time, a stoma cap is a choice when you will be active in some way, knowing that you won’t have much output. These activities might include swimming, working out at the gym, or times of intimacy. Stoma caps are not drainable, so they are most suitable for infrequent and predictable bowel movements.
Odor neutralizes are one of the best ostomy accessories to help with ostomy odors. These ostomy products cancel the unpleasant air in and around ostomy pouches rather than covering it. Odor neutralizers come in sprays that instantly neutralize odors in a room or drops that are convenient for use in your pouch before application.
Stoma powder works to absorb any moisture from the skin around the stoma. When this moisture is absorbed, ostomy accessories adhere to the skin better and result in a sufficient seal. Often, people do not realize that they are tearing the top line of their skin when they remove their ostomy barrier. This damage to the skin leads to irritation that stoma powder can help alleviate. A doctor should examine skin that remains moist and irritated as this may require medical attention. Medical professionals can also provide further insight into the healing qualities of stoma powder. When the skin is no longer moist and irritated, users can stop applying stoma powder as it is designed to alleviate irritation and is not meant to be used for preventable purposes.
Pouch liners can be an economical and less messy choice for those managing their ostomy output. The ostomy pouch is protected by these ostomy accessories, therefore saving money on frequently replacing expensive two-piece pouching systems. Ostomy pouch liners like the Colo-Majic Ostomy Pouch Liners are made of biodegradable material, so they are safe to flush away and make change-out simple. Pouch liners also help prevent ballooning with their ability to release gas and prevent clogging.
Tips for Taking Control of Your Ostomy Care
You can do several things to ensure that you are making the best choices for yourself when it comes to your ostomy accessories so you can remain in control of your ostomy care. It would be best to advocate for yourself when it comes to the ostomy accessories that work best for you.
- Know your ostomy appliance and accessories that make you feel most comfortable. Keep the manufacturer numbers handy in a notebook or on a spreadsheet.
- Keep the reliable supplier contact information in a safe place and make sure you have a backup in the case of an emergency.
- Remember that as your stoma changes, you have product selection options accessible to you. You have the right to choose your ostomy accessories and take control of your ostomy care.
- Make sure to take advantage of all the available resources through your ostomy manufacturer, supplier, and physician of choice. They will help provide you with the best experience with your ostomy accessories and supplies.
If you have any questions or would like assistance choosing the ostomy accessories you need, our Ostomy Product Experts are here to help. Our goal is to get you the ostomy accessories and supplies you need so that you can continue to enjoy all the activities you did before your ostomy surgery.