Adjusting to life after an ostomy surgery can be a challenging time for many individuals. However, it is important to remember that ostomies are lifesaving procedures, and you can still enjoy the best parts of your everyday life without compromise. In this article, we will break down the many types and applications of seven different ostomy bags to help you determine what’s best for your unique needs.
There are three types of surgeries that require ostomy bags. Each type of ostomy bag is created with these surgeries in mind. A colostomy is done when part of your large intestine is redirected out of your abdomen. An ileostomy is performed to redirect your small intestine through the abdomen, which yields more frequent waste disposal. Finally, and similarly, a urostomy is done when the bladder must be removed or bypassed for healing, so fluid waste is redirected to your abdomen through the small intestine.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to choosing the right ostomy bag. Different ostomy bags include different features and options to help you stay comfortable and maintain your lifestyle. Before choosing an ostomy bag for your circumstances, it is important to weigh factors including the type of ostomy, daily activities, and even your budget. Below, we go into greater detail about each type of ostomy bag.
One-Piece Ostomy Bags
As the name suggests, one-piece ostomy bags are a singular unit consisting of a conjoined bag and skin barrier. For that reason, whenever the bag is changed, then the entire system must be replaced. Other ostomy accessories are recommended to reduce skin irritation and discomfort during bag replacement, like skin barrier pastes and adhesive removers. One-piece ostomy bags provide a discreet profile for individuals, making them compatible with active lifestyles.
Two-Piece Ostomy Bags
Unlike the previous type, two-piece ostomy bags consist of two separate components: the skin barrier and the bag. The bag can be changed without replacing the skin barrier, so individuals don’t have to keep up with as much maintenance. The skin barrier can remain in place for 3-5 days before requiring replacement. Two-piece ostomy bags offer convenience to individuals who seek the ability to easily switch between bags to suit their activities or time of day.
Drainable and Closed-End Pouches
Both these pouches are available in one-piece and two-piece formats. Drainable ostomy bags allow users to empty the contents of their pouch and reuse it. This can make drainable bags preferrable for individuals who have undergone ileostomies. Typically, their waste is semi-formed or liquid, making it much easier to drain.
Closed-end pouches are not reusable. They are ideal for solid waste output and, therefore, cannot be flushed or cleaned. Instead, once the pouch is full, then it is disposed of and replaced. Individuals can use flushable pouch liners for quick and easy disposal, which makes closed-end pouches a suitable choice for individuals with active lifestyles, or those who spend a lot of time in public.
Pre-Cut and Cut-to-Fit Ostomy Bags
Stomas come in all shapes and sizes. As we said before, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to choosing ostomy bags, and stomas are a reason for that. Some individuals may have a stoma with an evenly round shape, which makes pre-cut ostomy bags an ideal choice. Pre-cut bags get their name from the pre-sized barrier that they come with, making it easy to fit them around and seal the stoma.
Cut-to-fit ostomy bags are adaptable to stomas that don’t have an evenly round shape. In some cases, the stoma may still be changing sizes or shapes after an ostomy, or it may simply settle on a shape that isn’t round. If that’s the case, then cut-to-fit ostomy bags are designed with your needs in mind. Typically, cut-to-fit bags come with a small starter hole in the center, where scissors can be used to cut out the appropriate shape.
Mini Ostomy Bags
Unlike larger alternatives, mini ostomy bags have a smaller volume. However, less volume is a trade-off for several benefits that ostomy patients may prefer. For example, since mini ostomy bags are a smaller size, they are more discreet and less intrusive. Furthermore, less capacity means they will weigh less than other ostomy bags. Mini ostomy bags are often used by individuals with active lifestyles.
In addition to these, there are other types of ostomy bags that are all designed with comfort and convenience in mind. After an ostomy, it is important to choose ostomy bags with respect to your normal routine so that you don’t have to sacrifice any of your personal liberties. When you are ready, feel free to experiment with different types of products to determine what suits your lifestyle.
For more information on ostomy supplies, please speak to your doctor, and for additional information visit https://www.ostomy.org/ - an ostomy group promoting quality of life for people with ostomies and continent diversions through information, support, advocacy, and collaboration.
ABC Medical is a supplier of durable medical equipment and does not provide medical advice or treatment. This article is for informational purposes only. You should seek medical treatment from a licensed medical provider.