Growing Your DME Business: What is an Ostomy?

Published in Member Communities on December 28, 2022

Heather Trumm

By Heather Trumm, Director, VGM Wound Care

Many times, we as DME businesses work with patients that have an ostomy and may not know exactly what it entails or the reason for the ostomy.   

An ostomy is a surgically-created opening (stoma) that causes a change in the way urine or stool exits the body. The stoma is located on the abdomen and, generally, a pouching system is worn over top of the stoma to collect the urine or stool.1 

There may be multiple reasons why a person has an ostomy, some of which include cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, birth defect, diverticulitis, or other medical conditions.  

The following are the most common types of ostomies we see, but not limited to:   

  • Ileostomy – a surgically-created opening from the small intestine (ileum) brought out through the abdominal wall to form a stoma. This bypasses the colon, rectum, and anus, and it could be temporary or permanent.   
  • Colostomy – a surgically-created opening from the large intestine that is brought out through the abdominal wall to form a stoma. This bypasses the rectum and the anus. 
  • Urostomy – A surgical procedure that diverts urine away from the bladder. Generally, a portion of the small bowel is used as a conduit for urine to pass from the kidneys to the outside of the body through a stoma.   

Today, there are many tools and resources that patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals have access to in aiding in the management of ostomies. For example, the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Society has an “Ostomy DME Provider Checklist,” along with a guidance document regarding the various uses of the checklist. There are multiple reasons the checklist was created. Take a look at the attached and please tell your patients about this very useful tool.   

For DME businesses looking to expand their offerings, these ostomy “basics” can help you get started on this particular area of wound care. Stay tuned for upcoming ostomy blogs, where we will dive into the various types of appliances and their function in relation to ostomies. For any questions, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] 

1. United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. What is an Ostomy? United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. website. Accessed December 2, 2022. ostomy.org/what-is-an-ostomy/ 


TAGS

  1. vgm
  2. wound care

From Our Experts

The Latest in Billing & Reimbursement from Ronda Buhrmester: February 2023 thumbnail The Latest in Billing & Reimbursement from Ronda Buhrmester: February 2023 Read for several billing & reimbursement-specific updates regarding the oxygen policy updates, a reminder on the enrollment contractor, additional HCPCS codes added to F2F/WOPD required list, and continuous glucose monitor HCPCS codes. Timothy VanAntwerp Named Director of Retail Services for VGM & Associates thumbnail Timothy VanAntwerp Named Director of Retail Services for VGM & Associates Timothy (Tim) VanAntwerp has joined VGM & Associates as the Director of Retail Services. In his new role, Tim will focus on assisting members to meet their revenue goals through the implementation of retail sales. The PHE Will End May 11 thumbnail The PHE Will End May 11 President Biden has announced that the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) will officially end on May 11, 2023. The PHE Will End May 11 thumbnail The PHE Will End May 11 President Biden has announced that the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) will officially end on May 11, 2023. The PHE Will End May 11 thumbnail The PHE Will End May 11 President Biden has announced that the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) will officially end on May 11, 2023. The Importance of CRT: From the Perspective of Ali Ingersoll, Ms. Wheelchair America 2023 thumbnail The Importance of CRT: From the Perspective of Ali Ingersoll, Ms. Wheelchair America 2023 In a guest article written by Ali Ingersoll, Ms. Wheelchair America 2023, longtime U.S. Rehab member Stalls Medical is highlighted as for their trustwortihness in Ali's journey to finding the wheelchair that best suits her. A Letter From the President, Adam Miller: January 2023 thumbnail A Letter From the President, Adam Miller: January 2023 As we look ahead to the new year, I wanted to share a few of my top priorities for OPGA this year. VGM & Associates Releases Latest Playbook on Forecasting 2023 thumbnail VGM & Associates Releases Latest Playbook on Forecasting 2023 VGM & Associates has released the first playbook of the year, “VGM Playbook: Forecasting 2023.”