WARNING – You can see a bit of output (poo) in one of the photos featured in this post
So hopefully you have read all about the challenge that the girls from The IBD & Ostomy Show and I are doing this month. We have decided to try out each others brand of bags for a week and then write a review of how we got on with them. Hopefully this will help people see what kind of things they should be looking out for in a bag, as well as proving the point that there isn’t one bag to suit all! Rachel has a prolapsed ileostomy so is ordering samples and trying out different urostomy bags instead. She is reviewing the sample ordering process of different companies as well as the bags themselves.
So for our first week we have been road-testing Louise’s bags, the Pelican Platinum Convex bag. I don’t usually wear convex bags (the only thing we hadn’t really thought about prior to our ‘experiment’) but I decided to give it a go. Convex bags should only ever be ordered and used under your stoma nurses advice and supervision. When ordering samples any good company should always pass on this information and ask when you request them.
So onto my first impressions. Louise sent two sizes of the bag and the larger of the two was most similar to the size of my usual bag. I was a little unsure of the texture of the bag as it seemed it may be a little rough. I did like the look of the baseplate. It felt like foam which I thought would probably be really comfortable and was looking forward to seeing how I got on with that. It is also a petal shape which I am used to with my Salts bags and I like as it seems to move better with my body. The opening at the bottom was also the same as the Salts bags I use but it was see through. I don’t mind this too much but it was a shock to see it looking down on the first night!
I did my first bag change into the Pelican on Saturday night after my shower. I went for the bigger one as we had eaten later (takeaway treat) and I didn’t want to be up and down to empty all through the night. I decided not to use my Brava Protective Sheet as it was my first go with the Pelican bag but did put a couple of the Brava Elastic Tape flange extenders on just in case it decided to pop off in the middle of the night! It was easy to cut and put on.
The bag stayed on securely through the night but the following afternoon I suffered with a lot of itchiness. I thought I may have started leaking but when I took it off that night there wasn’t any leaks. My skin was a little red so I think maybe it was my skin reacting slightly to the different baseplate. Although I had been worried about the texture of the bag it was surprisingly comfortable and stayed feeling pretty cool, even in the warm weather. I wore it on the outside of my shorts and don’t know if this would be any different if I had it tucked into high waisted trousers. The foam style flange was very comfortable but the harder ring (I’m assuming this is because of the convex element of the bag) was quite uncomfortable and seemed to make the bag more visible under my clothing.
Sunday night was my first attempt with the smaller bag. I like the idea of this and I am sure it would help when wearing certain outfits etc. but I would have to empty much more regularly which wouldn’t be so much fun and would consume more of my time. Unfortunately it didn’t like me and within an hour the flange just peeled away from my skin! The bit around my stoma from the ring inwards remained intact and still seemed pretty secure but I didn’t want to risk sleeping in it so popped on a normal bag for the night. I hadn’t put on any flange extenders as wanted to try it without and see what happened. The flange extenders are great but I find wearing them frequently makes my skin very dry so only normally use them when really needed. The following night I went back to the larger bag but unfortunately I had the same problem, the petals of the baseplate starting lifting one by one until half of the bag was hanging off. My skin by this point was really struggling too. I had a 1 x 2cm sore patch underneath my stoma so I decided to call it a day on this week’s test and go back to my normal bags to help my skin heal.
Overall I thought the Pelican bag had some great features and wasn’t overly dissimilar to my usual Salts bags. The baseplate didn’t seem to agree with my skin, that may have settled with time but I don’t know. My main concern was the un-peeling of the baseplates petals within an hour of me putting it on. As I was just lay in bed after my shower I wasn’t doing any major physical activity which may have caused this either. Without the ring structure around the convex I would have had major blow out leaks from this. If the flat bag’s baseplate is the same all the way across it would have exposed my stoma completely.
I am really enjoying this challenge now we have started and it really is interesting to see how very different people are and how they react to and get on with different bags! It definitely proves a point that although we can all give our recommendations, people are very different and your choice of bag is personal to you. Next week Louise and Stephie are testing out my brand of bags, Salts Confidence Natural Advance.
To check out the products from Pelican or order samples you can visit their website
To check out the products from Salts or order samples you can check out their website
Stephie at Colitis to Ostomy also reviewed the Pelican Platinum Convex Stoma bag
Louise at Crohns Fighting‘s review of the Pelican Platinum Convex Stoma Bag
My week three review of the Coloplast Sensura Mio bag