Ostomy Startup

When you undergo Ostomy surgery, you will wake up with a stoma.  The stoma empties the bodily waste (feces or urine) in relation to your type of diversion into a pouch.  There are a wide variety of pouching systems, made by a wide variety of manufacturers.  It’s kind of like finding the right pair of shoes.  And just as with shoes, you don’t purchase directly from the manufacturer – you purchase through a distributor.  This is a general overview of the process in obtaining your supplies and accessories.

In the hospital, before going home:

  • Hopefully, you have been given the opportunity to meet with an Ostomy nurse before going home.
    • He/she should have helped you to find a pouching system tailored to your needs, and the least likely for leaks.
      • Make a list of the product numbers, descriptions, and amounts of what you will be using each month. Keep this with you (and up to date) just as you should keep a list of your prescriptions. (See #1, below)
      • Document the DATE of your ostomy surgery  ________________________________________
      • Document the SIZE of your stoma.    ________________________________________mm or inches
        • Note: It is extremely likely that your stoma will change in size and shape over the first 6-8 weeks. It is common for your stoma to be smaller as this time progresses.
          • Sometimes when you aren’t feeling well, your stoma may enlarge…
        • Document the position (right, left, etc) of your stoma.    ________________________________________
        • Document the description of the shape of your stoma and the area surrounding it. For example, if it is flush or sticks out, if your tummy is flat or has creases, etc.    ________________________________________
      • He/she should have given you (at least) a basic bit of ostomy patient education, including (but not limited to):
        • How to care for your stoma and the skin surrounding it
        • How to empty your appliance
        • How to change your appliance
        • Suggested diet
        • Things to watch for
          • severe abdominal cramping.
          • little or no waste output into your pouch.
          • You have a stoma that:
            • Develops a pale color.
            • Becomes dusky or blue.
            • Bleeds (light bleeding is normal and not to be alarmed over)
            • You are upset about your stoma or think you might have depression.
      • He/she probably gave you a little bit of supplies to go home with.
      • He/she may have contacted some of the major manufacturers to set you up with sample supplies and start-up support.
      • If there is an outpatient ostomy clinic program, you may have been given the contact information to receive nursing assistance once you go home.
    • The doctor needs to sign an order (like a prescription), listing the supplies and amounts for you to receive via a distributor. Advocate for yourself in order to have the Order allow for sufficient monthly supplies.

When you go home:

  • IF YOU HAVE HOME HEALTH, they will be responsible for obtaining your supplies while you are under their care.
    • Home health agencies receive a set amount for each ostomy patient under their care. They are NOT legally permitted to choose which brand or how many you receive.
      • Note: whatever amount they do not use for your supplies goes into their pocket – MAKE SURE you receive what you are legally allowed to receive.
    • If you do NOT have Home Health – or when you are released from Home Health, you will be responsible for choosing your supplier/distributor, according to your insurance coverage (or lack thereof). It is possible that the hospital has submitted the Order to a distributor, but you have the right to be a part of that process, and use whom you wish to use.

Support groups are an invaluable source of information, support, resources, educations, etc.  Locate your closest support group.

# 1

Product Number Brand Description

# 2  GENERAL monthly quantity limits are as follows.

Note:  There are considerations made in accordance to doctors orders.

 Ostomy Product                     Typical Qty (per stoma) AllowedPouches (Closed)                                60 per month
Pouches (Drainable)                           20 per month
Pouches (Urinary)                              20 per month
Wafers (4 x 4)                                    20 per month
Wafers (6 x 6)                                    20 per month
Wafers (8 x 8)                                    20 per month
Stoma Cap                                          31 per month
Deodorizer/Lubricant                         4 oz. per monthBarrier Rings                                      20 per month
Irrigation cone/bag                             1 every 3 months
Irrigation Sleeve                                 4 per month
Stomahesive Paste                              4 oz. per month
Medical Adhesive                              4 oz. per month
Adhesive Remover (liquid)                8 oz. every 3 months
Adhesive Remover (wipes)                50 per month
Convex Inserts                                    20 per month
Ostomy Belt                                       1 per monthSure Seal Rings                                  20 per month
Appliance Cleaner                              16 oz per month
Tape (depending on width)                1-2 rolls per month
Skin Barrier Wipes                             2 Boxes per month
Ostomy Deodorant liquid or tablet no set allowable amount
Drainage Bottle                                  1 every 3 months
Drainage bag                                      2 per month
Ostomy absorbent packets                 90 per month
Non sterile gauze 16 sq in or less      60 per month