Tips To Select A Urostomy Pouch

You will need to use a disposable pouch to manage your urine evacuations after urostomy surgery. This pouch sticks to the peristomal skin, which is the skin around the stoma. The pouch remains in place, thanks to the skin barrier, which is a part of the urostomy pouch. The side of this barrier that has to go against the peristomal skin is laden with an adhesive, which adheres to the abdominal skin.

Types of ostomy pouches

There are many different types of ostomy pouches, with each one suitable for different ostomy types. Your ostomy care nurse will help you select the right type of pouch that will keep your peristomal skin safe from the contact of the stomal output and resultant infections. The most crucial prerequisite in this regard is the ability of the skin barrier to form a proper seal with the peristomal skin.

One-piece ostomy pouch with a drain

  • A one-piece ostomy pouch combines the skin barrier and the pouch to form a single ostomy pouching unit. Using this pouch means that you are going to have to remove the skin barrier of you have to detach the pouch for any reason.
  • The bottom of this pouch has a valve, which allows you to empty the bag of its waste content. The drain closure is an easy-to-use mechanism, which closes tightly after emptying the pouch. The style of the drain may differ, depending on the type of pouch you have selected.

Two-piece ostomy pouch with a drain

  • This urostomy pouch comes with a skin barrier and bag as two different elements. The skin barrier adheres to the skin separately, allowing you to attach the bag element whenever you want. A significant advantage of using this pouch is that you can apply the skin barrier without having to handle a large bag.
  • This pouching system also has a drain at the bottom of the bag. You can open and close the bag whenever needed. The style of closure may vary across different types of ostomy bags.

Sizing the stoma

If you have a regular-sized stoma, you will want to use a precut ostomy bag, which comes with an already-created opening that fits over your stoma. You will indeed have to measure your stoma before choosing a precut ostomy pouch to make sure that you are making the right choice. If your stoma is not a regular-sized one, you may want to use a cut-to-fit ostomy bag, which allows you to create an opening in the flange according to your requirements. These ostomy pouches have markings on the flange to allow you to create an opening of the accurate size and shape of your stoma.

A general rule of thumb that you will have to keep in mind is that the opening of the ostomy pouch’s flange must be 1/8-inch larger than that of your stoma. It will prevent the stoma from developing an injury.

If you have any questions related to the ostomy pouch that you need to use to manage your urostomy, you may contact your ostomy care nurse or doctor.

Sore Skin Around The Stoma

Peristomal skin care is a crucial aspect of ostomy care. Unfortunately, the skin around the stoma is quite vulnerable to soreness and resultant infections. In this article, we are going to discuss some reasons why skin soreness might occur around the stoma.

Reasons for soreness in the skin around the stoma

There are several reasons why soreness might occur in the skin around the stoma. Here, we will discuss a few of those reasons.

Ill-fitting stoma bag

The shape of your abdomen might start changing after ostomy surgery, especially when you lose or gain weight. These changes could mean the inability of the skin around the stoma to provide proper ground to the ostomy appliance to sit well. The resultant poor adhesion of the ostomy appliance can lead to an increased risk of leakage, which can cause irritation and soreness in the peristomal skin. The best way to prevent this entire phenomenon is to check the size of your stoma more often using the stoma template.

Trauma

The stoma is delicate, and it can bleed easily. So, you will want to prevent any injury to your stoma and the skin around it. An incorrectly sized template can rub the stoma and cause it to bleed, which can result in small ulcers. Sometimes, the size and shape of the stoma may change more frequently. Using the same size of flange opening for a long time in this scenario can result in it coming in contact with the sides of the stoma, raising the risk of ulcers. You may want to check the shape and size of your stoma more frequently.

Product sensitivity

There is a rare risk of your skin becoming sensitive to the adhesive of an ostomy appliance’s skin barrier, but it can still happen. The problem generally starts with a slight irritation, which can progress to become soreness or infection if you leave it untreated.

Folliculitis

Folliculitis refers to inflammation in the hair follicles. This problem appears in the form of small pimples that are generally filled with pus. This problem becomes more noticeable when you shave the area around the stoma. Not only this problem is painful, but it can result in a decrease in the skin’s ability to form a seal when you place the skin barrier upon it. You may want to contact your ostomy care nurse immediately when you notice this issue.

Change in the stoma output

A change in the type of stool is a frequent instance, but people with fully intact GI tracts do not notice anything. This change, however, may be more noticeable for people with ostomies. Any change in the stomal output can result in skin soreness. If the consistency of your stool has become more liquid, you may want to switch to using drainable ostomy pouches to avoid having to change the pouch more frequently.

Treating sore skin around the stoma

First of all, you will need to prevent the occurrence of any soreness in the skin around the stoma. If the soreness still occurs, contact your doctor promptly. Ask your doctor about the products and other techniques that might help you find relief from the painful condition.

Choosing The Right Type Of Ostomy Wafer

A lot is going on in the ostomy supplies industry in terms of innovation and the use of new technology. It has helped companies to introduce a wide range of types of ostomy supplies to meet the needs of all individuals with ostomies. However, the availability of this wide range of products makes it no less than a challenge for ostomates to choose the right products.

In this article, we will talk about the types of ostomy wafers.

Ostomy wafer

A wafer is the element or module of an ostomy pouching system that adheres to the skin around to the stoma. In a one-piece ostomy pouch, the wafer is the part of the pouch, meaning that you are going to have to fit the entire system over the stoma. When you need to change the bag, you are going to have to take it off and attach a new one.

A two-piece ostomy pouch comprises of the wafer and the pouch as two separable elements. This system is perfect for you if you change your pouch more frequently. All you have to do is to detach the pouch from the skin barrier and snap the new one on the wafer. You don’t need to take the wafer off.

Types of wafers

Not every stoma is the same in terms of shape and size, so you will have to make sure that the wafer you choose will fit your stoma perfectly. You might need to select from different types of wafers. These types are the following.

  • Pre-cut wafers: These wafers are ideal for stomas with most typical shapes. Typical stomas are round with varying sizes. Pre-cut wafers have round openings of different sizes to meet the needs of most of the typically-shaped stomas.
  • Cut-to-fit wafers: These wafers have markings instead of openings on their baseplate. These markings allow you to create an opening of any shape or size to meet the needs of your oddly-shaped stoma. You may need fine motor skills to create an opening of the desired shape and size.
  • Moldable wafers: If you do not want to use a cut-to-fit wafer due to any reason, but a pre-cut wafer doesn’t meet your requirements, you can consider using moldable wafers that use the newest technology. You can mold the material used in this wafer by folding the inner edges of the opening outward. This folding enlarges the opening enough to allow you to pass your stoma through it. After the surface of the baseplate adheres to the skin around the stoma, you can roll the folded edge back until the opening makes a cuff around the stoma. This wafer forms a leak-proof seal around the stoma.

All wafers can also be divided into flat and convex wafers. Flat wafers, also known as standard wafers, are suitable for normal peristomal skin, which is without fissures and contours. Convex wafers, on the other hand, protruding from the side that has to go against the peristomal skin. These wafers are ideal for the peristomal skin that has fissures or other issues that can compromise the seal between the ostomy pouching system and the skin around the stoma.

The best approach is to discuss with your ostomy care nurse regarding which type of wafer is appropriate for you.

Different Type Of Ostomy Bag

Ostomy bags, or ostomy appliances, come in many different types with various options. The three basic types of bags include colostomy bags, ileostomy bags, and urostomy bags. These bags are suitable for their respective ostomy types.

It is not always quick and easy to choose the right ostomy pouching system. The use of innovations and new technologies in ostomy pouch manufacturing has allowed companies to introduce a wide range of options. It is undoubtedly a good thing, but it has also made choosing the right type a no lesser challenge for many users.

In this article, we will compare different types of ostomy bags to help you select the right type for your needs.

One-piece vs. two-piece ostomy pouches

If you want your ostomy bag to remain more discreet beneath your clothing, you can consider using a one-piece ostomy bag. These bags are more suitable for people who prefer wearing form-fitting clothes. These bags combine the skin barrier and the pouch to form a single unit, meaning that if you want to take the skin barrier off, you are going to have to take the whole thing off.

The second type in this regard is the two-piece ostomy pouching system. These bags consist of the skin barrier and the pouch as two separate elements. First, you will need to attach the skin barrier to the peristomal skin, and then you will need to snap the pouch onto the skin barrier module or flange to make the entire system functionality. The best thing about this pouching system is that you can replace the pouch while letting the flange module remained attached to the peristomal skin. You will, however, need to replace the skin barrier every 3-5 days.

Drainable vs. closed-end pouches

Drainable pouches, available in both one-piece and two-piece options, allow you to empty the contents for multiple reuses. These bags are perfect for people with ileostomies and the ones who have to deal with liquid or semi-formed stool.

Closed-end bags, as the name suggests, have a sealed bottom, which means that once the bag is full, you are going to have to replace it with the new one. This bag is ideal for the people who have to deal with more firm and predictable stomal output.

Pre-cut vs. cut-to-fit ostomy pouches

The primary purpose of any skin barrier is to fit snugly around the stoma to make a leak-proof seal with the peristomal skin. It prevents the seepage of the stomal output. The most crucial prerequisite in this regard is to make sure that the shape and size of the skin barrier’s opening are right according to those of the stoma.

If your stoma is more evenly shaped, you may need a pre-cut ostomy pouching system. This system comes with premade openings that fit around the stomas of most typical shapes and sizes. Of course, there are different size options that you can choose.

If your stoma is oddly shaped, you may not benefit from a pre-cut pouching system. That’s where you can consider using a cut-to-fit ostomy bag. The flange of this pouching system will have markings to allow you to create an opening of the shape and size of your stoma.

What do you need to Know About Urostomy Care?

Urostomy Care

When an ostomate has gone through urostomy surgery, he/she needs to look after the stoma and the surroundings to ensure his/her good health and normal life. The care methods and prevention steps make the skin clean and the person healthy. After the urostomy, the patient wears a bag on the opening and have some new appliances in life and a few changes in the body. Therefore, everything demands care and a comfortable lifestyle. The stoma appears as the result of urostomy operation, needs extra protection as compared to the colostomy and ileostomy. The urine discharge has no fixed time and quantity. It depends on the functioning of kidneys and the liquid you intake in a day; thus, you may excrete the urine two times in an hour or more or less than this. So, urostomy patients need to empty the pouch again and again. Make sure that the discharge is not touching the peristomal skin and damaging it. However, you need to look after all the aspects and elements. It also includes your diet and drinks routine.

Necessary Products for Urostomy Persons

A person cannot leave the stoma open to the environment after getting it. You need some appliances and tools to cover the opening and collect the waste. Thus, the primary product is ostomy pouches or bags. These are the items that will collect the urine, cover, and protect the hole in the abdomen.

Apart from the stoma bags, you need a few more things to support the pouching system. This includes catheters, skin barriers, skin flanges, adhesives, wipes, skin protection products, adhesive removers, stoma belt, cap, skin gel, and paste. Moreover, to drain the ostomy bag, a person may need a tube or an entire drainage system to empty the pouch.

Care you Need While Emptying the Pouch

A patient makes sure that the waste or urine should never touch the peristomal skin. The contact of the discharge with the stoma’s skin and boundaries can damage the area and cause several health issues and infections. Therefore, first, a urostomy person needs a protective and fully sealed bag that covers the opening and control of the leakage. Moreover, while draining the urine, a patient should not remove the entire sack and empty it. Use a tube or a drainage system that will release the urine gradually and directly into the commode. Due to the appliances, you can empty the ostomy bag quickly and easily. It does not touch your skin and does not harm you.

Moreover, another vigilant point is the right timings of the emptying of the pouch. As urine discharge does not have a specific time or routine; thus, a urostomy person should drain the bag two times in an hour or once in an hour. However, it depends on the food and drinks you take but whatever you are eating or drinking, make sure it is not damaging the adhesive or sealing of the pouching system and causing leakage. Therefore, if you feel that the bag is 1/3 or half full now, then you need to empty it right away.

Use of Skin Care Products

Apart from the right timing of emptying the pouch or using the high-quality sealing tools or adhesive, you need to look after the stoma and surrounding’s skin. This is one of the most sensitive areas after having ostomy surgery on the body. Thus, it becomes fragile and asks for some vigilant hygiene care tactics.  So, use a medicated gel to make sure that the peristomal skin is not dehydrating. Moreover, clean the portion with the wipe to wipe out the leakage. Use a sanitizer or antibacterial soap to wash the stoma and peristomal skin. Use gentle cloth or tissue to clean/wipe the peristomal area.

3 points and an ostomy bag

Sometimes the sound of squeaking shoes on a wooden floor can bring insane amounts of joy to me.  I know the sound of shoes gripping a freshly waxed wooden floor like the back of my hand.  That is because I am from the midwest and basketball has been apart of my life since I was born.  We are given balls to play with as kids and baby basketball hoops as soon as we can walk.  It is a part of life to learn the game of basketball and to try to make it professionally.  Now I am not a professional but I thought my entire chances at life ended when I found out about my scheduled ostomy.  The thought of losing my favorite sport and activity in the world kinda broke me when I heard the news.  The life-saving surgery didn’t matter to me, only the thoughts of what I would lose came to mind.  But I want to tell you there is hope and that your dreams won’t be crushed by having a stoma.  No, I am not a professional basketball player, because I am not that good, but I am still able to play basketball with my friends and family whenever I want and my stoma does not get in the way.

The irrational and yet sometimes relevant fears of surgery are not something to brush off.  I never take someone’s fears and laugh at them.  I understand them because I have been afraid of losing my favorite parts of life too.  The idea of having an ostomy bag to carry around for life made me so angry when I was younger that I hated life.  That is pretty normal because looks and perception are reality.  No amount of, “its OK” will make you feel better.  But being a bit older and experiencing a whole lot more of life and I can firmly say that my life didn’t change when I got my stoma.  I still am very active and play basketball just about every weekend with my friends.

I have found that having some good ostomy gear is really important.  I am a big fan of testing things out and testing them hard before putting them on the court.  So I started my searching journey by asking my ostomy nurse and doctors all I could.  I learned as much as they did on the topic and they suggest I talk to pharmacists too.

So I had my Mom drive me to a local pharmacist and I drilled that guy on sports and being active.  Instead of taking offense, he was elated and helped me out and gave me lots of ideas on what to do when and where.  I went back a few years later and thanked him for being so kind to me and patient.  It was really a cool moment and he gave me hope even though I didn’t know it at the time or appreciate it.  So that was a great starting point.  I then ended up talking with big companies and learning what options and cool gear were out there. What type of ostomy bags were the size and style I needed.  They gave me samples of elastic belts and bags with loops to keep everything nice and close to me.  I ended up finding the perfect match and it was all thanks to the awesome people in my life.  So take heart and go play some basketball!

November Deer Season with an Ostomy

I can feel it in the air.  The cool mornings are upon me and in the midwest, that means that hunting season is just around the corner.  Some seasons have already begun but the most important one is a month away and planning out your hunt is very important.  I used to think that having a stoma would be the end of my outdoor and hunting fun.  But it turned out to be just the opposite.  There was indeed a lot of planning and training that went into getting back into hunting shape, but this was a task that I was able to overcome after an ostomy surgery.  So I want to go over my preparations and some things I am doing to get ready to dominate this season and be safe.

The first time I found out I was going into surgery I was pretty happy.  It was because I was going to be safe and healthy after.  So I was rather optimistic going into the whole ordeal.  Later is when I started to get down on myself for probably feeling that I was never going to be able to go outside.  The thought of never hunting again scared me and saddened me because that is what I look forward to doing every year.  I love the adventure and the experiences I am able to share with family and friends.  Really I thought physically my stoma would stop me from being able to drag out deer.

In my state, you must drag your whole deer out of the woods. You cannot cut it up or quarter it like many other western states.  This means that if you get a 175 or 250 lb deer you may have to drag it a very long way.  That is physically hard on the body from your legs to arms.  It also means that I thought my stoma would stop me from physically doing this.  At first, I gave up, but after months I decided to start heading to the gym and working my way into a stronger self.  I started very slow and low on weight and cardio, but after months I felt much stronger and I knew that in that area I was going to be ok. 

The next area that scared me was the scent. I knew that my ostomy bag would smell and that deer have an incredible sense of smell. I was truly afraid that this would stop me from ever being successful in hunting.  Yet again I was afraid for no reason.  There are not only amazing pills you can take to limit scent but also bag deodorizers and scent blocking material as well. One of my greatest fears was stopped in its tracks by getting the right gear for the task.  I talked with a few ostomy manufacturers and got exactly what I needed. It was a complicated dance of training and research, but I am now ready to go out and be successful in the woods. I really believe that if you are determined to do something even if it is active that your stoma should not hold you back.  There are so many people who I learned from who taught me and showed me what I could do.  So be safe, don’t be afraid, and go out and have fun.