How Useful Is An Ostomy Support Belt?
Patients who have undergone an operation such as colostomy, urostomy, or ileostomy are suggested to wear an ostomy belt to keep hold of the ostomy bag since urinating or defecating is uncontrollable. An ostomy refers to the artificial opening in the body organ that was created during the operation and this will allow urine or stool to pass from the urinary tract or the intestine. There are three types of ostomies:
A Colostomy is a surgery that involves bringing part large intestine, the colon towards the abdomen to form an ostomy at the left side of the abdomen. This procedure can be a temporary or permanent procedure. The stool can now pass through the stoma and will be stored in an ostomy pouch.
An Ileostomy is a procedure where the small intestine, called the ileum is brought to the right side of the abdomen surface to create an ostomy. This is usually done if the large intestine has been taken out or it needs some rest. Like, Colostomy, this can either be temporary or permanent. Like in colostomy, the stool will be stored in an ostomy pouch.
Urostomy is done if the bladder is unable to pass urine, so this is diverted to a section in the small intestine. This is a permanent ostomy. As a result, there will no longer be storage to handle urine, and this part of the intestine is unable to control urination so a urostomy pouch is placed to collect the urine as it freely passes through the ostomy. Having a permanent Urostomy will mean that the ostomy pouch will be with the patient all along, so urostomy belts are suggested to make it easier for the patient to move around without dragging the pouch.
Recuperation may be easy after Ostomy, but making the patient to be used to it may take time. Though returning to a normal life routine is possible, the patient needs to slowly transition to a new lifestyle. The very first thing to do is to make the patient comfortable even with the ostomy accessories that he will be using since they will be part of the daily routine. Usually, ostomy belts make it easier for them to go back to the following activities:
Participate in Sports
If the patient is an active person, he can freely join his favorite sports activity except for those contact sports or rough sports that can result in injury to the stoma. If the patient is planning to go back to his sport some necessary precautions may be given by the doctor, and a special accessory for the ostomy kit might be helpful so he can observe these measures. For example, an ostomy belt can be helpful for wight lighting activities to prevent the risks of complications to happen, or if the activity involves running, swimming, or brisk walking, the belt can hold the ostomy pouch in place.
Going Back to Work
Going back to work can happen after the patient has fully recovered from the surgery. At first, having the ostomy bag can stop the patient from going back because this can have an effect on his social life. The patient can request the employer to address this, he may request for reduced work hours while trying to build that confidence to be with other people again. And when he gains that self-esteem, he can go back to normal schedule. If the job requires physical activities, having an ostomy belt will protect the stoma and keep a good balance and support for the abdomen. The patient should not worry about going back to normal immediately, it should be a transition until he feels good about himself and become fully confident about going back to work.
Going to Different Places
Having an ostomy allows the patient to travel. If the travel will be on a plane, just have the patient bring along extra ostomy supplies in their hand-carry luggage. Having the belt will keep the ostomy pouch unnoticed. And will make the accessories in place despite the movements that can happen during the travel.
Being Active in Sex Activity
A patient may go back to sexual activities with his or her partner as long as the patient has fully recovered. However, some side-effects of ostomy may cause erectile dysfunction or vaginal dryness. This can be stimulated step-by-step by the partners involved. Once the momentum has started, then it is safe to do sex. To avoid discomfort, be sure to drain and clean up the ostomy pouch and wear an ostomy belt before the activity. Certain things may change in the sex lifestyle, especially with the position, so this is important to be discussed by both partners and consider that ostomy will affect their sexual activity preferences. Both partners just need to be open and honest with each other about these things.
Wearing any Type of Clothes
There are no restrictions on whether you should use loose clothes or not. Having a stoma will not affect the type of clothing that you should wear. Of course, you should just wear something to cover the abdominal area because of the presence of your ostomy pouch. To make this discreet, a belt can act as a cover for it, and anybody will not notice about your ostomy pouch. So you can freely wear those tight-fitting clothes that you have or even bathing soon is possible to be worn.
Having all these activities possible to be experienced by an ostomy patient, it is advisable to make proper decisions as to what type of ostomy appliances and accessories should the patient use. In general, a stoma is not a hindrance to working, socializing, playing sports, traveling, or any other hobbies. Proper care of the stoma, the skin, the ostomy pouch, and having an ostomy belt will make you feel comfortable and will make your life move forward. The ostomy belt can be a great support, it can reduce risks like skin rashes or irritations as it helps prevent leakage, and most importantly, it is discreet and it makes the patient comfortable and confident and secure.