Both two-piece and one-piece pouches can be either drainable or
closed. These systems also contain a special valve or spout that adapts either
to a leg bag or to a night drain tube connected to a special drainable bag or
Drainable pouch. Place toilet paper in the
bowl to prevent splashing. Sit down with the pouch between your legs. The pouch
is usually held shut with a clip system. Simply unclip it and allow its
contents to fall into the toilet. Clean the end of the pouch with toilet paper
and reclip it.
Closed pouch. Unsnap the pouch from the barrier and
dispose of it. Do not flush it down the toilet. Putting the pouch in a Ziploc
bag reduces odor. You then need to attach a new pouch.
Replacing your ostomy pouch
If you have a drainable pouch, you usually need to replace it
every 4 to 7 days or whenever there is a leak in the pouch or itching or
burning under the barrier. If you have a closed pouch, replace it when it is
one-third to one-half full.
Prepare the new pouch and barrier. Cut an
opening in the new barrier slightly larger than the stoma. You may also have a
precut barrier. If you have a two-piece system, snap the pouch to the barrier.
Remove the paper backing from the barrier so that the adhesive is exposed. You
may need to put some skin barrier paste on the barrier if it does not stick
well to your skin.
Remove the old pouch and barrier. Remove your
old pouch by peeling away the barrier and gently lifting the pouch while
pressing down on the skin below the pouch. Be sure not to irritate the skin as
you remove the barrier and pouch. If the pouch is sticking and difficult to
remove, use an adhesive remover underneath the barrier. Dispose of the old
pouch and barrier.
Clean your skin. Clean your skin and stoma with
a wet washcloth or wipe. You may use soap; if you do, rinse well. Allow your
skin to dry and check your skin and stoma for signs of irritation. See the Treating
skin irritation section below.
Measure your stoma, if needed. After your
surgery, the size of your stoma may change. Your doctor may want
you to measure it and will give you a measurement guide to help you do
Put on the new pouch. Position the opening in
the barrier around the stoma and apply the sticky side to the skin. Press down
until all edges are sealed. If your pouch is open-ended, attach the
Treating skin irritation
The stoma is normally pink to red. Call your doctor if your stoma: