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Challenges with Ostomy Care FAQs

  • An ostomy bag is used to allow waste to leave the body without irritating the lower parts of the digestive system. A surgical procedure is performed to create a new pathway (known as a stoma) for waste to exit the body, and this waste is collected in an ostomy bag.
  • There are a few reasons you might need a stoma, the opening created during ostomy surgery, and your medical team will talk about them with you if it becomes necessary. Often it is because your colon needs time to heal after cancer treatment, or if a large part of your colon has had to be removed and is no longer able to function normally.
  • If you have a colostomy because you are being treated for cancer, colostomy bags will be provided for you by the NHS and you will not be expected to pay for them. For a range of reasonably priced products for reducing the impact a colostomy bag has on your daily life, browse our Ostomy Products section.
  • A stoma cap is essentially the smallest type of ostomy bag available. Whilst they have a very limited capacity, they are great for when discretion is a priority, such as going for a swim or during intimacy. If you routinely irrigate your colostomy and have predictable bowel moments, a stoma cap could be a great alternative for daily wear or short-term activities.