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Colorectal Cancer Health Center

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Colostomy Questions and Answers

How Should I Travel With a Colostomy Pouch?

  • Always carry your medical supplies with you. Do not check them with your luggage in case they becomes lost, delayed, or damaged.
  • Take twice the normal amount of equipment than you usually need so that you are prepared for an emergency.
  • Carry a list of retailers and United Ostomy Association (UOA) chapters in your travel case. They are a good resource if help is needed while traveling.
  • Ask the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN) for a list of local ET nurses if you think you might need one when traveling.

What Do I Need to Know About Ordering Ostomy Equipment?

  • Allow enough time for delivery when ordering ostomy supplies.
  • Re-measure your stoma before ordering pre-cut pouches during the first 6 months.
  • Always keep an extra two-week supply of pouch equipment. There is no good substitution for the products if you should run out.
  • Keep a list of your equipment along with the order numbers, manufacturers, and sources of supply. Give a duplicate of this list to a family member and/or friend in case their help is needed in an emergency.
  • Check several retailers for the best equipment prices. Some suppliers will assist you with Medicare and insurance forms.
  • Consider how long you wear your pouch when calculating the cost of your equipment.

What are Some Other Helpful Ostomy Tips?

  • When returning to your clinic or hospital, always bring two changes of ostomy supplies with you.
  • Carry identification (in the form of a bracelet, necklace, or wallet card) specifying your particular ostomy.
  • Do not use products that are not specifically made for ostomy use.

When Should I Call the ET Nurse?

  • If you have persistent leakage problems.
  • If you have skin irritation in the area of your pouch.
  • If you have difficulty locating retail sources for your supplies.
  • If you need help locating the nearest United Ostomy Association (UOA) support group.
  • If you are a woman thinking about becoming pregnant; don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • If you are having difficulty resuming an interpersonal relationship.
  • If you have any other questions or concerns about your colostomy.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 22, 2014
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