Letter to the Editor: The importance of Ostomy Support

Ostomies are lifesavers.

I know this because my patients would not be here today without their ostomy. They had ostomy surgery because of various medical conditions such as Crohn’s Disease, diverticulitis, or cancer. Unfortunately, some people still delay the decision or choose death over life with an “ostomy bag” due to stigmas and misinformation.

People who have connected with United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA); however, know there is indeed a full life after surgery. With basic education, a proper pouching system fit, emotional support, and a good ostomy nurse, a person living with an ostomy is capable of anything.

Join me in celebrating life this Ostomy Awareness Day — Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019.

UOAA estimates that 100,000 new ostomy surgeries are performed each year in the United States alone. People of all ages have this type of surgery that creates an opening (stoma) in the abdomen that allows for the removal of bodily waste into a pouch outside the body. This life-saving surgery may occur due to birth defects, cancer, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, trauma, and many other medical conditions.

This year’s theme is “Ostomies are Life-Savers.” You can make a difference by sharing the facts about this life-saving surgery, supporting a Run for Resilience Ostomy 5k, and many other simple ways. Visit www.ostomy.org for more information.

Bayhealth Ostomy Support Group is available to help people living with an ostomy and their caregivers. If you or a loved one have an ostomy, know you are not alone. Our group meets the third Monday of the month from 6–8 p.m. September, December, March and June in the private dining room at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus. If you have needs or questions please call 302-744-6691 to speak to an ostomy nurse.

Carole Dye

Wound Ostomy
Continence Services

Bayhealth Medical Center

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