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Support programs can help people with ostomies find solutions to their challenges – including finding the right products, solving skin issues, identifying suppliers, navigating insurance, and more.

Learn how to make the most of ostomy support services.

Ostomy surgery can be overwhelming. From pre-surgical preparations, to your hospital stay, to the transition home, and throughout the journey of re-establishing your routine – you have so much information to digest and so many decisions to make.

Ostomy support services are designed to help you

Your ostomy care or home health nurse has likely introduced you to one or more support programs that are available from different product manufacturers. These programs are usually free of charge, and they're designed to help you with the various needs you have as you live life with an ostomy. This includes access to educational information, product sampling and usage guidance, and answering any questions you may have.

When to use an ostomy support program – and what you can expect

There are many reasons to join an ostomy support program – and the potential benefits may surprise you. Below are some things to keep in mind, and suggestions for making the most out of ostomy support services.

  • Bodies change; make sure you have a personalized ostomy pouching system. Your body is unique. The ostomy care products that work great for you after surgery may need to be adjusted as you recover. A support program such as Hollister Secure StartSM services can help you learn about your product options and find the added sense of security and confidence you deserve. Based on your needs, free product samples can be delivered to your doorstep.
  • There's no such thing as a silly question. Whatever you're experiencing may be new to you, but it's not new to the dedicated ostomy support program coordinators who are ready to assist. Not sure you're using your ostomy product correctly? Ready to go swimming…go back to work…attend a social event…get on a plane…or do anything for the first time with your stoma and you’re feeling a little unsure? Is the skin around your stoma feeling a little itchy, even though it looks totally normal, and you’re wondering if something is wrong? No matter what comes up, you can pick up the phone and ask your product, lifestyle, and skin care questions. Secure Start℠ services even has ostomy care nurses available to answer questions related to product usage.
  • Insurance coverage can be confusing for everyone. A program such as Secure Start℠ services can connect you to an ostomy product supplier that accepts your insurance(s), and a coordinator can explain your options and even help you place your first order. That can be a huge relief!
  • It's never too late to join. Did you know that some support programs such as Secure Start℠ services are available to you at no cost for the lifetime of your ostomy? It's a common misconception that ostomy support programs are just for new ostomates. And with Secure Start℠ services, it doesn't matter what brand of ostomy products you're using. All people living with an ostomy are invited to enroll in the program, at any time.
  • Don't wait for skin issues to become a problem. Keeping the skin around your stoma healthy is the goal. And with no-cost, convenient access to programs such as Secure Start℠ services, you can stay ahead of potential skin issues before they become difficult to resolve, or even painful. If something doesn't feel or look right, don't wait to seek support!

Ostomy support programs are not a replacement for the care that you receive from your chosen healthcare provider. They can, however, be valuable extension of that team – providing education, product guidance, and a listening ear when you need it. Not all ostomy support programs are the same, so be sure to review your program(s) for details on the services offered.

The more you use an ostomy support program, the greater the benefit

Frequency matters. People considered to be active users of Secure Start℠ services report that they are: 

Click here to learn more about Secure Start℠ services, and to enroll at no cost.


*McNichol, Laurie; Markiewicz, Anna; Goldstine, Jimena; Nichols, Thom R. A Cross-Sectional Survey Reporting on the Value of Patient-Centered Ostomy Programs: A Smooth Transition After Ostomy Surgery. Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing: September/October 2022 - Volume 49 - Issue 5 - p 449-454, 6 months post-surgery, Compared to Secure Start users with only one interaction, P=.014 - P≤.032