Understanding Ostomy Surgery
For me, having a clear understanding of my surgery was helpful, comforting and empowering. But I must admit, I can't watch videos of the real thing.
This video explains the digestive system and the difference between a colostomy, ileostomy and a urostomy using an anatomical apron.
The Manufacturer vs Supplier Confusion
Think of it like this; the Ford motor company manufactures cars in factories all over the world, but you don't typically buy your car at the factory. You go to a dealer or supplier to make your car purchase.
Similarly, there are Manufacturers of ostomy products all over the world. Often you can call Manufacturers directly for a sample, but you can't purchase ongoing ostomy supplies from them (See Manufacturers below). Ongoing ostomy supplies are purchased from a Supplier also commonly called a Provider (see Suppliers below).
To get set up with a Supplier, you can call the supplier directly and ask if they take your insurance or call your insurance company to find out who they contract with. If you don't have insurance coverage or prefer to pay out of pocket, there are suppliers who offer this option.
You Have Choices.....but no one told you!
Hospitals typically contract with only one reputable ostomy manufacturer. It keeps costs manageable for the hospital and us. It also means many patients are unaware of the endless innovative products at their disposal.
After my surgery, I was fitted in the hospital with a quality pouching system that worked just fine. I just didn't like. It didn't fit my frame or my active lifestyle. I was surprised to discover the thousands of pouching systems, styles and accessories available. After some trial and error, I found a pouching system that fit my unique needs.
We have choices!
Most manufacturers will send you a free sample. Watch the Ostomy 101 video on How to Order Free Samples and a Comprehensive Product Overview (coming soon)