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Urostomy Care - Topic Overview

Caring for your ostomy

When you have an ostomy, urine leaves your body through the stoma instead of the urethra. Since there is no muscle around the stoma, you are not able to control when urine passes out of your body. An odor-proof plastic pouch (ostomy pouch) surrounds the stoma to collect the urine and is held to your skin with an adhesive. Pouching systems may be one-piece or two-piece.

Understanding how to care for your ostomy will help you live comfortably with it. An ostomy nurse is a great support. He or she will help you learn to manage your ostomy so you can get back to a normal life. This will include learning how a pouch system works and how to replace your ostomy pouch slideshow.gif. Your nurse will also give you tips on how to treat and prevent common problems, such as irritated skin.

Pouching systems

  • In a two-piece system, the pouch and barrier (sometimes called a flange or wafer) are separate. The pouch contains a closing ring that attaches it to the barrier. This is generally a snap ring, similar to those found on food storage containers. The barrier fits around the stoma and sticks to your skin.
  • In a one-piece system, the pouch and barrier are a single unit.

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 bottle.

  • Drainable pouch. Place toilet paper in the bowl to prevent splashing. Sit down with the pouch between your legs. The pouch is 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.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 30, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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