Tonight I thought I would share my stoma bag changing routine with you! I change my bag every evening after my shower. Some people choose to leave their bag on longer and change once every 3 to 4 days. It’s personal preference and what you skin can cope with as this varies from person to person. Also, the products I use will be different to others but again, it’s all about what works for you!
1 – First I have to remove the old bag. I use the Salts Wipe Away Adhesive Spray Remover to do this, which makes it less harsh than just ripping the bag from the skin. It will also help remove any sticky residue left from the flange (the name for the part of the bag which sticks to you) if there is any. There are also adhesive remover wipes that some people use although I personally don’t find these as effective.
2 – Next I use my sterilised wet wipes to clean my stoma and the area around it completely. I get these wet wipes as a complimentary item from my stoma products delivery company but you can also use dry wipes that you have wet with warm water or baby wipes.
3 – I then dry my stoma and the area around it with a dry wipe. The area around your stoma that the flange sticks to needs to be completely dry otherwise you risk the bag peeling off and causing a leak as it won’t stick properly!
4 – Next I use a Trio Elisse Sting Free Skin Barrier wipe around my stoma and on any sore patches of skin. Again, there are lots of different brands offer skin barriers and there are wipe, spray and cream varieties. This one has always worked well for me so I am sticking with it! It dries itself pretty quickly if left for a few seconds.
5 – If my skin is so sore it is weeping I will use the Brava powder next. I put it directly onto the sore areas then use a dry wipe to pat it in and dust off any excess. This helps the new bag stick as it dries the area that is weeping out and also aids the healing process.
6 – These strips are the Brava Elastic Tape flange extenders. They can be used around the bag but I cut them up and pop them around my stoma to protect my skin. There are products called barrier rings but I find them bulky and they make my bag stick out whereas these are much thinner and they do the job for me perfectly! They are great for if the bag hole is cut slightly too big as they stop any output getting onto the skin underneath the gap and making it sore.
7 – I use the Salts bags and couldn’t be happier with them! I have had 2 leaks since I started using them and in about 5 months that is pretty good going! Compared to the Sensura Mio which I was using before in which I regularly had 2 or 3 leaks daily you can see the difference! Again, bag choice is completely personal and what works for some doesn’t for others. I have friends who love the Mio and get on great with it! I have to cut a hole in the flange to the size of my stoma (mine is roughly 20 x 23mm). The scissors pictured are new ones from my stoma nurse and they are perfect for this! Small, bent so it’s easy to cut a circle and blunt so I don’t poke a hole in the bag! I then pull off the backing and place it over my stoma carefully before ensuring the whole flange is stuck down well with a good rub. And always remember to close up and fold in the bottom of the bag….You only make the mistake of forgetting once!!!
8 – If I feel I need some extra support I will pop a couple of the Brava Elastic Tape flange extenders around the outside of the flange. This is a good idea if I am going to be doing something that is more likely to cause a leak, such as driving long distances as the bag is scrunched up in the sitting position for a long time. It just gives you a bit more confidence that it will stay in place without leaking and you will get some extra warning time if it does!
Hope this gives a little insight into what we ostomates have to do to change our bags for those of you who don’t know! I’m happy to answer questions so feel free to comment on the post or message the page if you have any!
I’m glad you mentioned that there are a variety of barriers to choose from. My sister is going to have a colostomy, and I want to get some supplies together. I might get the Brava Elastic barrier strip to see if that works for her stoma.
You are welcome! Lots of good luck wishes to her and I hope these help. Everyone is different and different things work for them, please feel free to message me if you need any help with more recommendations etc xx