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You can drain your ileostomy pouch as often as is necessary during the day. To drain your pouch, either sit on, kneel or stand next to the toilet. Unfasten the bottom of your pouch and empty the contents into the toilet. 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 before you start changing!
Changing your ileostomy bag
- Make sure you have everything you need immediately to hand.
- Empty the pouch as described above.
- 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.
- Rinse the pouch under the flush of the toilet and place it, plus any wipes etc. into a plastic disposal bag (A home delivery service like SecuriCare will send these disposal bags free with your supplies). Alternatively, wrap the used pouch in a newspaper and put it in an ordinary plastic bag into the domestic waste bin.
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 next 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. 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 (although be careful not to do this after using a flammable product like a medical adhesive remover or a skin barrier spray).