From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook May 2002:

Cultural Differences

via The New Outlook and Green Bay (WI) News Review

Just a note about the differences with products made for the U.S. market and those made elsewhere. In the United States, ostomy supplies are paid for by private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or personally. Most products are made with more aggressive adhesives for longer wearing times. In fact, ConvaTec and Hollister have developed extended wear products for ileostomates and urostomates so they don't have to change as often. Changing these products too often may tear skin because of the aggressiveness of the adhesive.

In Australia, supplies are provided at no charge to those who belong to the Ostomy Association; therefore, people change more often. Most products have weaker adhesives so as not to pull on the skin when removing. In Germany and France, where there is socialized medicine, people use disposable one piece closed pouches for colostomies and ileostomies, and do a complete change as often as they need emptying. The adhesives are designed for this type of use. Companies do not put recommendations on the product literature. They understand that there are so many different applications for ostomy products that detailed instructions do not always lend themselves to the actual utilization. You may personally contact a manufacturer or your ET to discuss if a certain product would benefit you for the application you have in mind.

Most importantly, we all have different body types. Our body is constantly transforming. You may require a different technique, product or service to obtain optimal results for ostomy management. Also, change your appliance as often as needed. Don't be a hero. Don't try to get that one extra day wear time. When your body tells you to change, listen to it. After wearing an ostomy system, we all find out what that means, pretty much. Some people are comfortable changing every two weeks, and some have reasons where they change every four hours. You should ask your ET to show you how to physically inspect a used barrier to measure the degree of wear you received from it. Your exact body chemistry, your activities, the season etc. determine reliable, safe and comfortable wear times. Do what is best for you.

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Content last revised 2002-05-26