Loretta Vance has lived and worked successfully following ostomy surgery almost 40 years ago.
Outpatient Ostomy Clinic Now Open
For more information about the
Outpatient Ostomy Clinic, call 314-ANTHONY (268-4669).
South St. Louis County resident Loretta Vance has raised six children, worked in a bank and a local Hallmark store and regularly travels. The 74-year-old defies the odds, having kept up her active lifestyle even after undergoing ostomy surgery for an ulcer in her colon.
"That was 39 years ago," she says. "And only recently did I have trouble."
More than 750,000 people in the United States have had ostomy surgery, also called bowel or urine diversion surgery. The procedure, which is needed in cases of injury or disease to the bladder or intestines, creates an opening in the abdominal wall to pass urine or digested food into an external bag. The care and management of an ostomy is critical to prevent infections.
"My bags started to leak and fall off," says Vance. "At first, I tried to take care of it myself, but the skin around the opening became sore and kept bleeding."
Vance was referred to the new Outpatient Ostomy Clinic at St. Anthony's. The clinic, the first of its kind in the community, offers treatment and information on ostomy care and management. The clinic is under the direction of a physician, a certified ostomy nurse and other nurses specially trained in ostomy care, all highly skilled at treating skin irritations and other ostomy complications.
"It took them no time at all to tell me what was wrong and help me get rid of the infection," says Vance. "People shouldn't be embarrassed to seek help if they have a problem with an ostomy. I've lived with mine for most of my life and it hasn't slowed me down one bit."
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
Working as trusted partners, the physicians and employees of St. Anthony's Health System will deliver care distinguished by its demonstrated quality and personalized service. We will be visibly engaged in improving the health and well being of the communities we serve in South County and beyond. We will stand together, proud to set the standard for independent community health systems.