Stoma bags how to choose

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What is an ostomy bag? 

A stoma or ostomy bag is a removable plastic bag that is used by persons having a stoma, a surgical opening in the abdominal wall. The bag is sticked on the skin around the stoma to cover it and so collect or your fecal matter from the digestive tract or the urine if you have undergone a urostomy surgery. One important thing to know is that there are different types of stoma bags available depending on your stoma and your preferences: closed colostomy bags, drainable ileostomy bags and drainable urostomy bags. You will be adviced by your nurse or doctor which type of bag better fits to your stoma, and once you know how to handle your appliance properly, you will be given the opportunity to choose the type of bag you will use daily.

One of the first decisions you need to make is choosing between a 1-piece system and 2-piece system.

One-piece or two-piece ostomy systems?

One-piece and two-piece ostomy system: 

One-piece system

In the case of a one-piece system, the skin protector and the stoma bag are bounded together. It has a lower profile than a 2-piece system which means the appliance is less visible under clothes in general and especially under swimwear. But at the same time changing the skin protector with every bag change can cause irritations on sensitive skin. Probably it could take more time to position a new 1-piece bag system around your stoma than only replacing a new bag on a wafer of a 2-piece system. 

Two-piece system

For a two-piece system, the wafer and the bag are separated, before being attached together through a coupling system. With such a system the wafer is kept on the skin for several days, whilst only the bag is changed when needed, which is gentler on the skin. As the wafer and stoma bags are ordered separately the two-piece bag system is more versatile: You have generally more wafer options within the same system as well as different sizes and types of ostomy bags that can be interesting for active people. Two-piece systems allow you to switch easily to a smaller stoma bag or alternatively to a stoma cover according to your activity, e. g. when doing sports or having some close-up time with your partner. 

It’s up to you to choose between an adhesive or a mechanical coupling system. The first is using an adhesive which is similar to a tape, the second uses a connection similar to the way a lid is placed on a plastic container. 

Which stoma bag color to choose?

Transparent or beige stoma bags or bags with split cover

You will have to choose between using a beige or a transparent stoma bag. A transparent bag allows you to see your stoma more easily, the beige one is more discreet.

Most people prefer using a transparent ostomy bag at the hospital before switching to a beige one once at home. 

If you wish to have both, discretion and the possibility of seeing your stoma when needed, you can choose also our split cover bags, which are beige bags with an inspection window.

This inspection window allows the visual control of both stoma and output. The availability may vary depending on the product range.

 

Which skin protector or wafer should I choose?

Pre-cut or cut-to-fit skin protector and wafer

You will have to see if you prefer using a pre-cut bag or a cut-to-fit one, where you can cut the skin protector/ wafer fitting it to the shape and size of your stoma.

  • Cut-to-fit skin protector or wafer: Cut the skin protector or wafer to adapt it to your stoma.
  • Pre-Cut skin protector or wafer: Ready to apply! 

Convex or flat skin protector & wafer

Depending on your stoma, your choice will be a flat skin protector/ wafer or a convex one. Convex skin protectors are recommended for patients with flush or retracted stomas to avoid leakages. The convex skin protectors/ wafer ensure an optimum pressure distribution.

Once you have decided which system you prefer, you will have different product ranges to choose from that best fits your need regarding your type of stoma.