When part of the colon needs to be removed or healed after a health problem you will need a colostomy bag.
A colostomy is a type of ostomy in which the surgeon creates an opening in the abdominal wall that leads to the tip of the colon. This bypass from now on will replace the anus for all bowel movements. Although colostomy is often temporary, there are cases where it is a permanent change.
Temporarily or permanently, it will take you some time to get used to since you cannot control bowel movements as before and instead of the usual procedure the stools are automatically led to a colostomy pouch.
Strange as it may sound, nothing should scare you as it is a completely painless process where most people adapt quickly and soon return to normal life without necessarily making huge changes.
What is a colostomy bag?
The colostomy bag is a small, waterproof pouch, which is attached to the stoma and used to collect the stool, which can then be emptied at regular intervals.
Although the term colostomy bag is commonly used, the description is partly correct as it essentially consists of two parts:
The most fundumental separation of ostomy bags is the one or two piece systems, ie with a disposable bag or with a device that can be emptied and reused.
All involve the use of a flange applied around the stoma with a special glue to ensure that the feces are carried to the bag and not to the skin or clothes. Colostomy bags are available in one-piece systems, where the flange and the bag are already connected to each other, so they are adjusted, discarded and replaced at the same time. One-piece systems are also called self-adhesive colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy bags.
Hygiene is extremely important and the collection system must remain plugged firmly into position. Inadequate care can lead to skin irritation and the situation is complicated by the use of the glue that is necessary for all devices. Once the colostomy bag is properly secured in place, it holds what comes in, holding the contents until it gets emptied or removed.
For emptying, most users prefer to be close enough to a toilet or trash can for comfortable and clean transfer of contents. After emptying, we must rinse and thoroughly clean the inside of the device opening to ensure a good fit when the device is closed. Normally most devices are odor resistant but this is not the case if the pouch and flange fit is not good.
But let’s start from the beginning. Immediately after the operation, nursing staff of the hospital will inform you about:
Of course, your doctor will give you the necessary prescription / opinion with the ostomy materials you will need since the quantities of products that are justified are specific but as usual the EOPPY covers the cost and gives you the opportunity to try free samples.
If you are not satisfied with the colostomy bag you are using, you can always try something else for free. We are always by your side to answer any question and help you make the best and most economical choice in order to ensure you the best quality of life.
Just fill in your details and we will contact you immediately or call us for more information.
The initial choice of colostomy bag will depend on the type of colostomy you have and the proposed method of the nursing staff but beyond that once you learn how to handle your materials properly and then you will be more than able to choose the colostomy system that makes you feel more comfortable. So let’s see what your options will be.
1. Colostomy bags of one or two pieces
The first and perhaps most important decision you will have to make is to choose between a one- and two-piece ostomy system.
1-piece system: Self-adhesive Bag
In colostomy bags in one piece, the flange is embedded in the pouch, which means you cannot separate them. In other words, the flange is the part of the pouch that attaches to the skin around your stoma.
In the two-piece colostomy system, the flange and the pouch are separate, and are connected to each other by a coupling system. Using such a system, the flange is kept on the skin for a few days, while the pouch is changed when needed.
2. Colostomy pouches
Usually, after your surgery you will be given a transparent bag to help you learn how to place it properly. In time, you will be able to use and change the bag yourself and you will be completely independent. Then you have to choose between beige or a transparent bag.
Transparent or beige pouches
A transparent bag allows you to see your stoma more easily, while beige is more discreet as it is opaque.
Most people prefer to use transparent bags immediately after hospitalization to further familiarize themselves with the placement and later continue with beige.
Drainable or closed ostomy bags
Closed bags are often preferred, which change as soon as they are full, but you can also use drainable bags that can be emptied if this suits you best. You can find drainable and closed colostomy bags in one and two piece systems.
Split Cover bags
If you want to have both, that is, the discretion that a beige bag offers as well as the ability to see your stoma offered by the transparent one, B Braun offers bags with an inspection window.
3. Colostomy baseplates
The stoma in the first days is bigger but gradually decreases and will continue to shrink, even weeks after you return home. This is perfectly normal as part of the healing process and you should make sure that the bag you are wearing still fits snugly around your stoma.
Regardless of the type of bag, you have to decide if you prefer ready-made baseplates, ie specific dimensions (pre-cut) or cut-to-fit, where you can cut the flange depending on the shape and size of your stoma.
Pre-Cut or Cut-To-Fit flanges
Depending on your stoma, you will also have the option of choosing between a flat or a convex (curved) base.
Convex or flat Base Plate
Initially, the flat ones are preferred, but in many cases the convex colostomy baseplates ensure an optimal pressure distribution and are usually recommended by doctors just in case:
You are ready to choose the colostomy system and materials that suits you
When taking care of your colostomy, there is much to consider and it will take time to find out which option works best for you.
Don’t be afraid to try new products and styles, Traumacare is always by your side providing advice on which system is better for you.
If you want to experiment with a new system, it is best to try it on a day when you are at home, in case it doesn’t suit you well. And do not forget that you can always get your free samples through EOPYY.
Once you have decided which colostomy bags you prefer, there are several product lines to choose the one that best suits your needs. Regardless of the range of materials, a patient with a colostomy will probably choose closed bags, while relatively rare drainable bags that can be emptied.