How can the physical and psychological impact of a stoma be addressed?
By Heidi Vang Hagelskjær, Nurse/Medical Product Manager
Ostomy surgeries on the rise
Despite efforts to maintain the intestinal tissue and treat gastrointestinal diseases, a large number of patients undergo ostomy surgery each year. Approximately 700,000 people in the EU, from young children to senior citizens, have an ostomy. Around 40% have a temporary, while 60% have a permant stoma. Living with a stoma has a huge impact on a person’s everyday life – both physically and psychologically.
A severe concern expressed by many ostomates is the change of body image. The worries and fears include odour, noise, leakage, visibility of an appliance and perceived attractiveness to others as well as the feeling of being different. Some patients may also react with disgust and shock when waking up with a stoma, especially in case of an emergency surgery.
Most of these concerns and impacts can be eased and some of them completely eliminated by the use of an ostomy belt.
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