How To Buy Ostomy Supplies

It comes as no surprise that every ostomy patient is physically unique, since we all accept that each person on earth is physically unique.  So it should come as no surprise that ostomy supplies are prevalent and diverse.  You return from the hospital with a particular ostomy bag and particular ostomy supplies, but might come to the conclusion that you could benefit from experimenting with other ostomy supplies.  Ostomy bags and barriers, ostomy belts, covers, adhesives, odor removers - all of these ostomy supplies and more can be found in various forms and from various manufacturers.  Available models vary within the same manufacturer's catalogue, and there are numerous manufacturers of ostomy supplies, so your choices of ostomy supplies are abundant. 

To buy ostomy supplies, you can visit a pharmacy, make a call on the telephone or order online.  Where you purchase ostomy supplies can limit the kind of supplies you can buy in certain ways.

  1. The first step should always be to talk to your nurse with regard to ostomy supplies.  If you want to try something different, are experiencing discomfort or just want to reorder the same ostomy supplies as before, speak to the nurse before placing any orders.  It's always a good idea to keep your nurse abreast of all your ostomy concerns, discomfort and potential changes.  Not only that, but you'll find your nurse to be a great source of information about ostomy supplies and how to buy them.
  2. It might be appealing to visit a physical location for ostomy supplies, but the available selection will be smaller here than anywhere else.  Be prepared to pay more money if you go this route to buy ostomy supplies.  Your best bet is to visit a non-chain drug store, if possible, because chains will not carry much in-store and don't generally provide great customer service.
  3. For the greatest selection, visit a medical supply store.  There are even supply houses that specialize in ostomy supplies.  Once again, your nurse can help you locate a supply house.
  4. You can order online or over the phone from many companies as well.  If you search for "ostomy supplies" on Google, you'll find websites offering discounts on ostomy supplies.  These sites often appear as though they offer all the ostomy supplies you could ever find, but in reality they usually only carry a few manufacturers.  You may also find that the discounts disappear once shipping fees are taken into account.
  5. As with anything, you should shop around to gain the best picture of all the available ostomy supplies, as well as to ensure that you get the best price.
  6. Make sure that your insurance covers the ostomy supplies you want to buy.  It is very possible and unfortunate that some suppliers won't work with your insurance.
  7. If, after exploring your situation with a nurse, you feel that available products don't meet your specific needs, custom ostomy supplies can be ordered to suit your unique circumstances.
  8. Talk to any supplier or company about their return policies.  Should your ostomy supplies work improperly, or should the condition of your stoma evolve to where the ostomy supplies you bought are no longer applicable, then you will ideally be able to contact the supplier, who can offer exchange or refund for your ostomy supplies.  These things happen unexpectedly, so be sure to enter into any purchase of ostomy supplies with open eyes.

Given the variety of available ostomy supplies, and unless you are absolutely satisfied with your current ostomy supplies, it's likely that you can find ostomy supplies that better suit your needs.  Now is the time to explore the options, under the supervision of your medical care professional.  For those of you who are dissatisfied with your current ostomy supplies, unparalleled comfort and convenience await your discovery.  Talk to your nurse about new ostomy supplies.  Once you have chosen your ostomy supplies, consult our other ostomy-related articles for information on how to change and clean your ostomy bag.


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