An ostomate can lead an active and productive life despite having an ostomy. This success depends, amongst other things, on how the stoma is managed and how the patient is prepared psychologically. Accessory products used together with the main system greatly contribute to a more productive, stress-free and healthier life. Most of the accessories used by ostomates are mainly used to address issues related to stoma discharge and the health of the surrounding skin. These include, but are not limited to odor, flatulence, leakage and intimacy issues.
Some of the common stoma accessory products are discussed below.
Skin care ostomy products
One of the most common complaints among ostomates is how the stoma affects surrounding tissue so the goal of ostomy skin care products is to protect the peristomal skin from possible leakage and discharge, helping to keep it healthy. There are many brands of creams and pastes for this very purpose. Since some patients can react differently to such products, many wound and ostomy care nurses’ advice is to keep the use of such creams and pastes to a minimum. Ostomates who have a tendency to sweat profusely can use the following to retain the ostomy adhesiveness intact:
- Powders that form a barrier against perspiration
- Skin sealants
- Adhesive sprays
- Skin cements
Other products used here include ostomy washers and barrier strips that offer further peristomal skin protection.
Used for securing the area around the flange. This offers more adhesion and prevent leakages. Different types are available, including hypo-allergic options for those with sensitive skin.
These ostomy accessories help when tape removal is difficult or painful at the time of changing the ostomy pouch or flange and can be very useful if an ostomy tape was used on an area of the skin with plenty of hair.
Ostomy belts offer added pressure to the flange therefore reducing chances of leakage and are particularly useful in convex ostomy systems. There are fixed and adjustable sizes to fit every patient’s needs, including children.
Ostomy closure equipment
Drainable ostomy pouches need some closing mechanism, as demonstrated by the pouch clamp. Clamps are available in various designs and are made of different materials which such as latex free materials for patients who are allergic.
Ostomy related wear gives the patient the confidence needed to lead an active life in many areas without fear of accidental leakage or from the ostomy pouch bulging from underneath clothes. The range of ostomy clothing is wide but a few examples are:
- Panties with a special inner pocket that holds the pouch in place
- Waterproof pouch pockets for use in the shower.
- Wraps that hold the pouch close to the torso.
- Swim wraps that enable a patient to swim confidently.
- For men, special briefs and boxers are available
- Cummerbund wear. These are useful during physical activities such as running and intimate moments. They prevent the pouch from moving from side to side and risking detachment.
- Hernia support belts reduce the incidence of stomal hernias.
Some accessories are made specifically to deal with the unique issues affecting individual ostomates. While the amount of products available to increase ostomates’ comfort and quality of life can be overwhelming at first, it is paramount to increase your knowledge of some of these products available. The nagging issues you may be experiencing just might be temporary if you find the right item.