How to Efficiently Change Your Ostomy Pouch

Changing an ostomy bag can be an essential routine for many individuals living with an ostomy. This process involves not only proper technique but also an understanding of the equipment and a methodical approach to ensure both comfort and hygiene.

Preparation Is Key

Before you begin changing your ostomy bag, ensure that all necessary supplies are within reach. This includes:

  • A new ostomy pouch
  • Skin barrier wafer
  • Adhesive remover (if necessary)
  • Scissors or an X-acto knife
  • Cleaning supplies like non-lotion tissues and a washcloth
  • Paste

Emptying and Removing the Old Pouch

To remove your current pouch, start by emptying it while seated on the toilet—place some toilet paper in the bowl first to avoid splashing. Remember, rinsing out urostomy pouches is not recommended, as it can weaken the adhesion. Gently peel back the tape, pushing your skin toward your body instead of pulling away the pouch, which helps reduce skin irritation.

Cleaning and Preparing the Skin

Once the old pouch is removed, clean the skin around your stoma with warm water using a washcloth. If preferred, you can also clean this area in the shower. After cleaning, pat the skin dry thoroughly. If you have a hair dryer, use it on a low setting to ensure the area is completely dry, which will help the new skin barrier adhere better.

Applying the New Pouch

Measure your stoma using the guide provided with your skin barrier wafers. If your stoma is oval-shaped, take measurements for both the larger and smaller diameters. Mark the correct size on the back of your new wafer and cut out the opening with scissors or an X-acto knife. For those using moldable wafers, adjust the opening according to your stoma’s shape.

Next, if you’re using paste, apply it around the edge of the cut hole on the wafer. Wait for the alcohol to evaporate before applying the wafer to your skin. Position the wafer precisely over your stoma, using a mirror to help. Smooth out any wrinkles, as these can cause discomfort later on.

Securing the Pouch

For those using a two-piece system, attach the new pouch to the wafer, ensuring it’s securely in place. You can verify this by feeling around the edge where the pouch and wafer meet. If you use a tail clip, apply it now. Hold the pouch against your skin for a few minutes to enhance the adhesive’s effectiveness.

We're Here to Help

If you’re looking for high-quality ostomy supplies in Alpharetta, Roswell and Surrounding area, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Northside Medical Supply. We offer a wide range of medical and surgical equipment to meet your needs.

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