Ostomy Awareness Day

Helping patients through support groups, advocacy, awareness campaigns, and other educational programs.

The United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) marked the second annual Ostomy Awareness day on Sunday, July 31. Aimed to raise awareness and provide support, the UOAA is encouraging patients to speak out and help others understand ostomies.

An estimated ¾ million Americans live with an ostomy, which involves an external collection device for liquid or solid waste. The need for ostomy surgery is often caused by a medical complication in the urinary or digestive tract. In many cases it is a life-saving procedure. Colostomy and ileostomy are two common forms experienced by Crohn’s and colitis patients.

While there are sometimes stigmas associated with ostomy surgery, it is important for people to understand the quality of life improvement that can be achieved for those who need it. Ostomates live much like anyone else, although in many cases they have successfully battled an illness or disease and finally found strength and relief through surgery.

Since ostomy surgery involves embarrassing topics, many patients prefer not to talk about it. As a result it can be one of the more secretive medical procedures. The UOAA hopes to ease the fears of potential patients and help them through the process.

According to the UOAA press release, “On Ostomy Awareness Day, we are spreading awareness and increasing national visibility of those living with ostomies. We will break the silence and shine a positive light on what has saved so many lives.”

The UOAA organizes both pre- and post-operative help to patients through support groups, advocacy, awareness campaigns, and other educational programs.

Visit the UOAA website for more information.

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Tags: Advocacy (Making a Difference)

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About the Author

Andrew Tubesing is an acclaimed advocate and humorist on the subject of inflammatory bowel disease.