News & Information
How does a colostomy bag work?
If you have had surgery for colon cancer, you may need a colostomy bag in order to dispose of waste while your intestines heal. Essentially, the colostomy bag provides a place for stool to drain from your colon without going through the rectum. It’s a small, tough disposable bag attached to a stoma (hole in your abdomen.)
Living with a colostomy bag can be time-consuming, difficult and expensive. If you believe you may be at risk for colon cancer, you should consider a supplemental insurance policy from CancerPlans.com. Cancer insurance provides a lump sum benefit upon first diagnosis of colon cancer, giving you extra money to deal with any expenses you may have.
Usually, your colostomy bag is changed every few hours and thrown away when it is full; however, if you choose an open-ended colostomy bag, it can be drained, cleaned and re-used. Some colostomy bags stick directly to the stoma with adhesive; others come in two pieces, the actual bag and an adhesive flange.
Depending on the severity of your colon cancer, the colostomy may be only a temporary healing measure, or (if your entire rectum or lower colon has been removed) it may be permanent. After a colostomy, most patients can return to normal (but not too strenuous) activity. (Contact sports are a bad idea for a colostomy patient.) You can purchase deodorizers to minimize colostomy odor.