Welcome to the Mayo Clinic Ostomy Surgery Page. An ostomy is a surgically created opening in your abdomen that allows waste or urine to leave your body. It takes time to become comfortable with an ostomy. Our goal is to connect you with others and provide you with information and support.

Follow the Ostomy page to learn about ostomy care, read experiences of others and find resources for all your ostomy needs. Post a comment and share your thoughts.

Dec 13, 2018

Finding Your Support

By Candy-CWOCN RN, @candywocrn

MCC Support

Many patients undergoing ostomy surgery find that surrounding themselves with support can aid in their recovery. This support can be found through caregivers, family, friends, medical professionals and others facing the same surgery.  There are many caring people that can help you to manage life with an ostomy.

Family members and caregivers play a vital role in the life of a person with an ostomy. They can offer support and encouragement.  Encourage family members and caregivers to educate themselves in order to understand and accept this new life.  Adequate information and a positive outlook is the basis for recovery and acceptance.

You may also seek support through your medical professionals. Your ostomy nurse, physicians and other healthcare professionals can help with education and skills needed for everyday life with an ostomy.  They can also connect you with others who have had ostomy surgery to build friendships with those experiencing the same feelings you may be having.

Your new life with an ostomy takes time to adjust. Talking with someone who has faced this same experience helps you to share your feelings.  Many find it helpful to talk with others about these new struggles and share success stories.  There are many ways to find support from others sharing your experience.  Online and in-person support groups are offered throughout the United States.  Talk with your ostomy nurse for more information.

Many people with ostomies feel alone in the world. According to the United Ostomy Association of America, there are between 725,000 to 1 million Americans living with an ostomy in the United States.  You are not alone.  Together, we can live a happy and fulfilled life with nothing holding us back.

Meet other people talking about living with an ostomy on Mayo Clinic Connect. Join the conversation, share experiences, ask questions, and discover your support network...

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