An Ostomy bag is a pouch attached to the body through a hole made around the lower abdomen for the passage of urine bypassing the colon, rectum, and anus.
(You may consider this Slip-on vertical style belt)
It is inserted by a nurse or doctor and it is made of rubber and adhesive which prevents odor which is skin friendly. The bottom of the pouch has a tube that is used to drain out the waste from the bag.
The bag is supposed to be emptied into a water closet once it is almost half full and the pouch should be replaced every 3 to 4 days for proper hygiene.
A stoma is the part of the bag attached to the body where the hole is made.
The opening of the Ostomy bag is shaped inline with the shape of the stoma. If the stoma is oval shaped, the opening of the bag is also oval shaped for better fitting. The same thing applies if the stoma is round-shaped too. The opening of the Ostomy pouch is round-shaped too.
Waste from the body goes through the stoma into the bag, and the patient is expected to drain it from the bag from time to time.
The Ostomy bag has two different types – one piece and two pieces. One piece Ostomy bag is just the stoma attached to the pouch.
The two pieces are a separate stoma that has a flange. The flange is removed and inserted to the stoma as required.
The choice of the type of Ostomy bag used depends on a lot of factors, ranging from the patient’s stomach and body shape, to how he/she wishes to keep the pouch concealed, to daily activities and movement required.
An ostomy bag should be durable and have no form of leakage from the time waste gets into the pouch, to the time it is drained from the pouch.
It should be durable and convenient as doctors recommend that users of the bag can engage in sexual activities. Pregnancy also doesn’t stop women from using it.
If a pouch cannot be durable enough to accommodate body waste within 3 to 4 days, then it should be changed entirely to another brand because its lack of durability could lead to odor and spillage of waste on the patient’s body or in the case of an accidental bump in.
Ostomy bags should always be in the possession of the patient, hence the patient should always place an order ahead of usage to avoid running out of ostomy bags.
An ostomy bag user also uses other things asides from the pouch itself, and they are
STOMA PASTE – which helps the pouch stick to the body around the lower abdomen area and it should be a skin friendly ointment.
STOMA POWDER – keeps the pouch around the body dry all the time so that the bag doesn’t shift out of position due to the bag getting moisted due to the temperature under the patient’s clothing.
STOMA WIPES – to always be applied to keep the area of the pouch insertion clean and hygienic.
STOMA BELT – that keeps the pouch perfectly fitted to the body so that nothing is noticed under the patient’s clothing.
All these accessories can be purchased at a pharmacy or given together with the ostomy bag to the patient.
Changing a bag, the patient does the following:
- Washes his hands with soap and water.
- Peels open the stoma for usage.
- Cut the bottom of the pouch and drain the waste into the toilet.
- Cleans the stoma very well.
- Take another new bag and attach it to the stoma.