You can change your colostomy pouch as often as you want, usually after a bowel motion. For a one-piece closed pouch, you will need to replace the entire pouch. With a two-piece pouch, you can replace the colostomy pouch as often as required and usually replace the baseplate (flange) once or twice a week.
Some colostomates whose output is more liquid choose to use a drainable pouch. Drainable pouches can be emptied whenever necessary. One piece drainable pouches are usually replaced every 2-3 days according to personal preference. With two piece drainable systems, you can replace the pouch itself as often as required, and usually replace the baseplate once or twice a week.
Changing your colostomy bag
- Make sure you have everything you will need immediately to hand.
- 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.
- Empty the used pouch by cutting off the bottom of the pouch. Rinse the pouch under the flush of the lavatory and place it with any wipes etc into a plastic disposal bag (A home delivery service like SecuriCare will send these bags free with your supplies). Alternatively wrap it in a newspaper and put it in an ordinary plastic bag.
- If you don't want to empty the used pouch, you can put it straight into the disposal bag. Whatever you choose to do, when you are ready, put your disposal bag into the domestic refuse.
Only colostomy pouches that are specifically designed with flushable parts can be flushed down the toilet. Our FreeStyle Vie Flushable is a life changing innovation that allows you to use any toilet, anywhere, any time - you don't have to worry whether there will be facilities for disposal. Simply remove the biodegradable inner liner and flange and flush away. The clean outer cover can be popped in a pocket or handbag for disposal at your convenience.
Cleaning the stoma area
- Use plain warm water and dry wipe to gently clean around the stoma. Make sure you don't rub.
- Dry the skin 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 colostomy bag
- You might like to use a skin barrier to protect your skin and provide an ideal base for adhesion of the next colostomy bag. Simply wipe around the stoma area and leave to dry for a few seconds.
- You may need to cut the hole in your stoma pouch flange to the correct size. Alternatively, Securicare can cut your pouches to fit your individual stoma, so you don't have to worry about this.
- 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.
If you are worried about odour, you might want to use an ostomy deodorant spray to neutralise the smell. You can also strike a match to get rid of any lingering smells.