A Facebook post by aspiring model Bethany Townsend, 23, went viral in June, when Ms. Townsend posted a picture of herself in a bikini that revealed her toned body — and her colostomy bags. She has worn them since 2010 to help manage her Crohn’s disease.
Townsend’s shame-free attitude about needing to wear colostomy bags is exactly what colorectal surgeon Feza Remzi, MD, encourages in his patients. Dr. Remzi is Chairman of the Department of Colorectal Surgery at Cleveland Clinic.
He says some patients only need stoma (ileostomy or colostomy) bags temporarily, usually for three to nine months while recovering from intestinal surgery. However, others have conditions like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, or the sometimes imperfect surgical aftermath of colorectal cancer, that make stoma bags a permanent part of their lives.
“Good for her,” Dr. Remzi says about Ms. Townsend. “People need …
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