Find an ostomy nurse before surgery

If you are going to have an ostomy, make sure the surgeon puts you in touch with an ostomy nurse before your surgery. To find a WOCN (Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurse) near you, go to the WOCN website.

Ostomy support group

Margaret Heale runs a free ostomy support group in southeast Vermont. The Connecticut Valley Ostomy and IBD Support Group (COG) aims to bring people together who are managing inflammatory bowel disease or who have had an ostomy of any type. The purpose is to keep in touch with others who share our situation in order to answer questions and share concerns and tribulations.

Our support group is affiliated with the United Ostomy Association of America (UOAA) but has little formal structure or cost. It is run by Margaret Heale, a certified Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurse Specialist. Contact Margaret for more information.



The Connecticut Valley Ostomy and IBD Support Group (COG) newsletter is for people with an ostomy of any type and/or inflammatory bowel disease. You can read past newsletters below under Download resources.

Hints and tips for peri-stomal problems

This short 2-page overview looks at common leakage issues and gives practical advice on how to resolve them.

Travelling with an ostomy

The United Ostomy Association of America (UOAA) has some great travel tips on their site for people with an ostomy, so please check them out. There is also a travel card that you can use to give to airport security to save you having to explain about your ostomy. The most simple tips are to take sufficient supplies, from several different boxes. Only put spares in your luggage, and pre-cut those in your carry-on (so you don't have to wrangle about scissors). If going to a hot place, put them in an insulated bag. If you ever need a bulking agent like Metamucil, take it with you. If you have an ileostomy, be sure to take your "how to manage/treat a blockage" card. Take the usual water precautions, taking care with water used to wash fresh fruit, veggies, and clean your teeth.

Download resources