Ileostomy, Colostomy

How to Change the Colostomy – Ileostomy Bag and How to Take Care of the Stoma Area

Changing a colostomy / ileostomy bag & stoma care

It may take some time to get used to the process of changing the colostomy and ileostomy bags as well as the proper cleaning of your stoma but as you will discover it is not complicated or difficult. We have collected the most frequently asked questions we receive from you so that you can be completely independent as soon as possible.

Table Of Contents

Where can I order ostomy materials?

Before you leave the hospital, you will be given products that will cover you for at least a week. You will also be given information and tips on sourcing materials. Your doctor will give you instructions on what is required, and of course, a prescription on the ostomy materials you need.

You should order new supplies for colostomy or ileostomy bags when you open your last box. That way you will never run out.

However, you shouldn’t allow supplies to accumulate, as they may be damaged by moisture or temperature changes.

You can get free ostomy samples to try them out.

Tell us what kind of ostomy you have and we will send you samples or even one of our specialized staff to help you make the right choice (as long as you live in Greece).

Get free samples of colostomy & ileostomy bags and products through EOPYY



    If you try different materials, write down which ones you like and which ones are not suited for you. If you choose to use any new material, you can place your order with a simple call.

    Can I make the ostomy bag changes myself?

    Yes! You will need some training in the beginning, but learning to make changes on your own will allow you to be independent. This will also help you if you are facing a small leak problem. You will know what to do in such a case (cleaning with soap and water), without having to ask for extra help.

    Do I need special equipment?

    It only takes 5 minutes to prepare the necessary equipment to make an ostomy bag change.

    Get in the habit of always taking with you the few things needed to wash, a spare bag and some clothes for any accidents or discomfort. Your stoma is not a wound but a mucous membrane, therefore, daily care is nothing more than a simple cleansing with bare hands, using soap and water. To be as independent as possible at home, we recommend that you make the changes yourself so that you can get used to it as soon as possible.

    Recommended equipment for changing ileostomy - colostomy bag

    • a good pair of scissors , preferably with rounded edges
    • a razor (not needed if there is no hair growth around your stoma)
    • a pen to mark the diameter of the stoma on the new bag or flange
    • a small mirror to see under the stoma and be sure of the correct placement
    • garbage bags
    • cleaning wipes
    • if you are using a one-piece system: a brand new bag
    • if you use a two-piece system: a new bag and / or a new flange
    • your pastes and creams (if used)
    • a peg to hold your clothes when you make the change

    How to remove the used bag & clean the stoma?

    To properly remove your used bag, refer to the instructions for use on their original packaging. The following, of course, are the basic steps:

    • Detach the bag starting from the top, gently pressing the surrounding skin to avoid excessive stretching of the bag
    • Fold the bag before throwing it away (reduces odors)
    • Wipe most of the stool with a dry or slightly damp cloth or paper towel (which you then throw in the bin)
    • Thoroughly clean the area around the stoma with plenty of warm water, especially if you use soap. Avoid using disinfectants (alcohol, antiseptics or dyes), as they may damage the skin and prevent the bag from sticking properly. Avoid using ointments as they make it difficult for the bag to adhere. In case of glue residues, you can use the product B.Braun Adhesive Remover
    • Dry the skin thoroughly with swabs (the new wafer / bag should be placed on dry skin) and place the new bag. If there are still traces of adhesive, do not worry, they will stick to the new bag and be removed at the next change

    Where can I dispose used ostomy materials?

    Ostomy products are not biodegradable and so can not be thrown in the toilet or out. Used ostomy pouches can be placed in a bag that will close tightly and then thrown away with the rest of the household waste. If you have bags that can be emptied, it is a good idea to empty them of their contents before throwing them away.

    How to place the new ostomy bag?

    To place the new ostomy bag and / or the new flange correctly, refer to the instructions for use on the box of purchase. The basic steps, of course, are the following:

    • If you use a flange or bag that needs to be cut to the right size, cut so that it fits the size of your stoma, with the help of the cutting guide (do not cut beyond the limit). Make sure you leave 1 to 2 millimeters around the stoma
    • To place a bag from a one-piece system, start by removing the sticker and gently apply the new bag starting from the bottom up (with the filter on top). Gently press the base of the bag around the stoma in a circular motion, starting from the stoma to the outside of the base, to make sure it is properly glued and there are no folds. Make sure you leave 1 to 2 mm around the spout
    • To install a 2-piece system, start by removing the sticker from the flange and apply by placing it from the bottom up. Gently press the flange of the bag around the stoma in a circular motion, starting from the stoma to the outside of the flange, to make sure it is properly glued and there are no folds. Then apply the bag on the flange

    How often should I change my bag or flange?

    You decide. Everyone finds their own routine and be able to do it on their own. The procedure is normalized about a month after the operation. Usually in a two-piece system the base is changed every 3 days and the bag (for a system of one and two pieces) daily or when it is full.

    How can I prevent skin irritation and redness from occurring around the stoma?

    If you follow the following steps you can prevent redness and irritation of the skin around your mouth:

    • Clean your stoma with soap and water (neutral pH, odorless). Do not use disinfectants or alcohol
    • Check for allergic reactions (e.g. from base adhesive)
    • You can use protective products for the skin, such as Β.Braun Askina Barrier Film

    Can I modify my ostomy bag?

    Of course! You can customize your bag in any way you want, using different materials (adhesive tape, fabric, etc.). You can even find videos, photos and instructions on the internet searching for “ostomy modification” or “fashionable ostomy”. Just be careful with the filter if you use airtight materials.

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