A stoma bag, or clinically known as a colostomy bag is a pouching system that collects body waste. There are several reasons why a patient would need a colostomy bag, but it’s primarily required when there are damages to the colon or large intestine. After the placement of the stoma bag, there will be a few restrictions, but one thing is for sure, you can still stay active and exercise. If you want to know how to do it, check it out here.
Understanding Stoma Bag Surgery
So how do doctors place a colostomy bag in your system? The procedure involves forming an ostomy between the colon and the abdominal wall. This opening will give way to body waste to go through the abdominals instead of the colon. The waste will be drained into the stoma bag which can be cleaned out regularly, hence the pouching system tag.
In short, a colostomy bag is a simple medical device used by doctors to collect the waste of the patient. Its main objective is to give the colon a little bit of rest while the procedure is ongoing or to provide support for the bowel if it is meant to be a permanent pouching system.
Once it’s placed in its designation, the patient will be given a few guidelines on how to properly clean and care for their stoma bag.
Why Would You Need A Colostomy Bag
The ostomy can be executed on people of all ages most especially those who are suffering from colon problems. It can be a temporary solution, but in some cases, it’s a permanent answer to dysfunctional waste disposal systems.
The waste management treatment by a stoma bag would be needed for the following reasons:
- Diverticulitis. This is an infection that’s forming in the small pouches of the colon that causes inflammation, stomach pain, and fever. Initially, it will be treated with diet and antibiotics. However, if the condition gets severe and the infection becomes unmanageable, a colostomy surgery might be needed. This is to give the colon enough time to heal after it’s surgically treated.
- Inflammatory bowel disease accompanied by Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This disease is often caused by severe bleeding or obstruction of the colon. It gives out symptoms like extreme abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, and bleeding. If antibiotics and recommended diet do not mend the symptoms, a colostomy bag surgery will be concluded.
- Colorectal Cancer. From the word itself “colorectal”, this is a type of cancer that takes place in the colon or rectum. When polyps start to grow in the colon or rectum, rectal bleeding and abdominal pain will occur. The treatment will include the removal of the infected parts and reattachment of the remaining healthy parts. However, if the restoration is not possible, a colostomy bag will be the next option.
- Bowel obstruction. This is clinically known as intestinal obstruction where the normal movement of the bowel is being clogged. The small and large intestine can be affected separately or together at the same time. The symptoms include abdominal pain, fever, and swelling which can become critical if not given medical attention right away.
- Injury. Sometimes, injury or trauma caused by accidents greatly affects the colon, rectum, and anus. In cases like this, doctors will try to reinstate the health and function of the damaged parts by surgery. But if the initial treatment did not work, a colostomy bag will be recommended.
- Birth defects and inherited disorders. You probably heard of babies born without anal opening, this is a common birth defect that is usually solved by placing a pouching system in their body. Other genetic disorders, such as Hirschsprung’s disease are also managed by a stoma bag to prevent blockage in the colon.
Adapting A New Lifestyle With Stoma Bag
After the placement of the colostomy bag, the doctor will thoroughly explain certain guidelines on how to properly care for the pouching system. But do not worry because the changes will be very minimal and you will not have to change most of your lifestyle choices. Keep in touch with your doctor so that your daily routine is as easy as possible
You can still eat anything you want after having a stoma bag.
You do not have to say goodbye to your favorite foods and dishes. As long as your doctor gave you a go signal then your appetite will not be affected. Although it’s safe to note that certain foods can affect your digestive system and the movements might be a little different than how it used to be.
Your love for physical activities and exercising will not be affected.
It’s normal that your doctor will ask you to rest for a while after the colostomy surgery. But once you get the hang of it and your wounds heal properly, you are good to go. However, physical activities like extreme sports that are at high risk of injuries are not always recommended. You may ask your doctor on how you can avoid injuries that might cause damage to your stoma bag. For exercising, check if your wound has fully healed before lifting heavy objects. You will most likely be advised to wear gears that can support your abdomen.
You can definitely go back to work.
Having a stoma bag does not mean that you will become an impaired individual with no purpose. After the recovery period, visit your doctor one more time for the final checking of your colostomy bag. You will most likely be able to return to work and function just as you used to.