CHANGING OSTOMY BAG

How To Change Ostomy Bag

FOR COLOSTOMY

If you have a colostomy bag, it can take a while to master the skill of changing it. The nurse will have given you instructions specific to your colostomy bag prior to discharging you from the hospital. With time and practice, you will soon become proficient at changing your colostomy bag.

Start by emptying your colostomy bag

 If there is urine or feces in your colostomy bag, it is important to empty these prior to changing the bag. The best place to do this is in the bathroom. Open the bottom of the bag over the toilet. For feces, you can gently squeeze it out of the bag; urine will automatically flow from the bag when it is opened.

Wash your hands thoroughly using soap and water

 If this is not possible, use antibacterial hand sanitizer instead.Place a clean bath towel on your lap and stuff the top of it into your pants to protect your clothing. Proper hygiene is important when changing your colostomy bag.

Gently take the pouch off

 Holding your skin with one hand, slowly ease the pouch off using the built in tab for easier removal. If necessary, carefully use an adhesive remover to remove the flange.

Check your skin

 The skin may be a little pink or red. However, if it is black, purple, or blue, or looks concerning to you, see a medical professional for advice. Also check your stoma in general — stoma should always be beefy red in color, never dusky. If it is changing in size, going further into or out of your skin, leaking pus or blood, or looks pale or bluish, contact your doctor immediately.

Clean your stoma

Using warm water and a dry wipe with mild soap on it, gently wipe around the stoma. Do not rub. Only use soaps that do not contain any oils or fragrances. Use a dry wipe to pat the skin dry.

If necessary, use a measuring card device (given to your by your doctor or nurse) to measure the size of your stoma. You will need to know its size, if you don't already, before attaching a new colostomy bag.

Also be sure to wash your hands one more time before putting on the new pouch. This will ensure optimum sanitization of the new pouch, as you will not want any contamination with old fecal matter.

Try using a skin barrier, such as stoma powder

This is optional; however, many people use it as a means to not only protect the skin but also to provide the perfect base for the new colostomy bag to adhere to. Sprinkle stoma powder around the stoma. Be careful not to put the powder on the stoma itself. Carefully dust it around using a dry wipe, and let the area dry for about 60 seconds.

Prepare the new pouch

The stoma pouch flange may need to be modified to fit your stoma properly. If this is the case, use special scissors to cut out the circle on the flange.

Cut the flange to fit your stoma.This is a process that takes time to be master. 

Begin pressing on the part of the flange located underneath the stoma, gently moving to the sides and then to the top. Once adhered, begin smoothing the flange to remove the creases. Doing this helps to form a tighter seal around the stoma.

Start in the center (near the stoma) and then move toward the outer edges. All creases must be smoothed; otherwise, the colostomy bag could leak.

Hold the flange for about 45 seconds. The warmth of your hands helps the adhesive stick to the skin.

 

FOR ILEOSTOMY

You can drain your ileostomy pouch as often as is necessary during the day. To drain your pouch either sit on, kneel or stand beside the lavatory. Unfasten the bottom of the pouch and empty the contents into the lavatory. Remember to clean the outlet of the pouch with tissues before refastening.

For one-piece ileostomy pouches, you will usually replace the entire pouch every 2-3 days. With a two-piece pouch, you usually replace the baseplate (flange) once or twice a week, and the pouch itself as often as required. Make sure you have everything you will need immediately to hand.

Changing your ileostomy bag

Make sure you have everything you need immediately to hand and empty the pouch.

Wash your hands. If you are not near running water, you can use an antibacterial hamd cleaser. 

Supporting the skin with one hand, gently and slowly ease the pouch off.  You can use an adhesive remover to help remove the flange easily and gently.

Rinse the pouch under the flush of the lavatory and place it with any wipes etc into a plastic disposal bag. Alternatively wrap it in a newspaper and put it in an ordinary plastic bag into the domestic refuse.

Cleaning the stoma area

Use plain warm water to gently clean around the stoma.  Make sure you don’t rub.

Dry thoroughly with a dry wipe.  Pat gently taking care not to rub.

Place used wipes in the disposal bag with the used pouch.

Wash your hands.

Applying the new ileostomy bag

You might like to use a skin barrier to protect your skin, and provide an ideal base for the adhesion of the next ileostomy bag. Simply wipe around the stoma area and leave to dry for a few seconds.

You may need to cut a hole in your stoma pouch flange to the correct size. Remove the protective cover from the adhesive flange. Fit the pouch over the stoma and smooth from the centre to the edges, making sure there are no creases which might cause leakage.

Cover the adhesive with your hands for 30-50 seconds, as the warmth will increase the adhesion to your skin.

 

FOR UROSTOMY

Your pouch will need to be drained several times a day. To drain your pouch either sit, kneel or stand beside the lavatory.  Unfasten the bottom of the pouch and empty the contents into the lavatory.

For a one-piece pouch, you will usually replace the entire pouch every other day. With a two-piece urostomy pouch, you usually replace the baseplate (flange) once or twice a week.

A urostomy functions continuously, which means it’s extremely important to make sure you have everything immediately to hand when you want to change your pouch and to act as quickly as you can.

Changing your urostomy bag

Make sure you have everything you need immediately to hand and Empty the pouch.

Wash your hands. If you are not near running water, you can use an antibacterial hand cleanser.

Supporting the skin with one hand, gently and slowly ease the pouch off.  You can use an adhesive remover to help remove the flange easily and gently.

Place the used pouch with any wipes etc into a plastic disposal bag . Alternatively wrap it in a newspaper and put it in an ordinary plastic bag into the domestic refuse.

When you are ready, put your disposal bag into the domestic refuse.

Cleaning the stoma area

Use plain warm water and a dry wipe to gently clean around the stoma.  Make sure you don’t rub.

Dry thoroughly with a dry wipe.  Pat gently taking care not to rub.

Place used wipes in the disposal bag with the used pouch.

Wash your hands.

Applying the next urostomy bag

You might like to use a skin barrier to protect your skin, and provide an ideal base for the adhesion of the next urostomy bag. Simply wipe around the stoma area and leave to dry for a few seconds.

You may need to cut a hole in your stoma pouch flange to the correct size.

Remove the protective cover from the adhesive flange. Fit the pouch over the stoma and smooth from the centre to the edges, making sure there are no creases which might cause leakage.

Cover the adhesive with your hands for 30-50 seconds, as the warmth will increase the adhesion to your skin.