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Managing your Colostomy with Drainable Pouches

Updated on July 20, 2017
AloBeDa profile image

Adjusting to a colostomy is tough—for me it was like a horrible dream. But with a positive mindset, I adjusted wonderfully.

Now that you have come to terms with the fact that you have a stoma (you've just had a colostomy) that requires routine care and proper management, it's time to think about the bags (pouches) and know which will work best for you.

When it comes to making the right choice; you'd find that hard to do in the first few weeks.

Understandably so.

You are still coming to terms with your colostomy, still wondering how you'll cope!

Assuming you've passed that phase, what you really want to know now is which type of colostomy bag will work best for you.

First, it’s good to mention that gone are the days when having to deal with ostomy issues was a horrendous thought and an untidy process. Today, it has become a seamless easy-to-do task that shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

Years back, crude and cumbersome-to-use traditional pouches were the ONLY types available for ostomates, however, technology has made life so much better for the modern colostomy patient.

Now, ostomy supplies come in modern, neat, functional, and compact sizes. Many colostomy bags have attractive features crafted into pleasant easy-to-use forms.

Why You'll Like Bags You Can Empty

  1. Drainable or empty-able bags are great when it comes to efficiency and savings. Many ostomates prefer these and don't have any problem with having to occasionally empty their own waste.
  2. While some patients will rather change the whole bag when it's halfway or three-quarters full, many feel it is way too expensive to do that and rather, will opt for drainable bags.
  3. Drain-able colostomy bags are modern and so convenient to use because there is no mess, no hassle, no stress, and no time-wasting.
  4. Emptying drainable colostomy bags is so easy. Much easier than changing the whole bag. The emptying spout at the base of the bag is so neat! When it is unfolded to open, you'll find it has a long tapered shape.All you need do is squeeze waste out gently through this spout into the toilet bowl.
  5. It is so convenient as long as a toilet is within reach. It'll just be like another visit to the rest room where you are expelling waste sitting down. The only difference is you sit facing the toilet’s back tank . . . the opposite way. I found it much easier to empty my bags that way.
  6. And you'll be saving a lot of money on toilet paper.

The Drain and Hideaway Outlet

The one-piece drainable with hide-away outlets is a popular choice among many ostomates because of its modern construction - an integrated outlet /closing system.

My favourite, Coloplast 'Assura', made by Coloplast is great because it’s an all-in-one that doesn't require clamps or foam ties. If you are an open bag user, you'll find that this will work great for you.

This modern ostomy bag which has an "integrated filter specially developed for ileostomies with less blocking and pancaking" is great for colostomy patients too, and is the bag type I used 90% of the time.

Advantages of the integrated filter include:

  • Reducing incidents of pancaking
  • Coming with little white filter covers that prevent gas from escaping
  • Reducing the risk of leakage
  • Velcro 'ears' that clasp securely over a velour plate
  • Upper and lower foam plates for added protection
  • A system which demands you fold it 3 times over before closure
  • 3 different sizes available - mini, midi, and maxi (the minis are quite cute)
  • Anatomical design features with the maxi and midi having an asymmetrical shape which enhances the user's comfort.
  • 3 versions available - soft cover, transparent, and patterned.
  • Cosmetic closure - the closed outlet can be discreetly tucked away under a soft fronting on the colostomy bag.

Additionally, the pack of pouches always come supplied with dry wipes and disposable bags

Handy Tips for Newbies

Never wait for your bag to fill up completely before emptying. It will not only make it feel heavy and put a strain on the stoma, it will also hang heavily and look bulky through your clothes. No, feces will not back up into your stoma opening. You, however, risk a 'bag blowout'

No! feces will not back up into your stoma opening. You, however, risk a 'bag blowout'

Though some believe feces may back up into your stoma opening. It doesn't. But you risk a 'bag blowout'

One more thing, if you use these drainable bags, it is recommended that you empty the contents before you remove the whole appliance from your stoma and abdomen.

© 2015 AloBeDa

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