Choosing the right ostomy products for you

Choosing the right ostomy products for you

When I had my stoma I was given a bag and didn’t realise I could try other products until I started having issues with my skin and went to see my stoma nurse. I just assumed what I was given was it, and that was that. I had a two piece system that I didn’t really like, I leaked constantly and still to this day don’t understand the need for a two piece. Yes you can change the bag and leave the wafer but you usually change the bag every three days anyway, same as base plate.

Leaking is the bane of an ostomates life, it feels embarrassing, degrading not to mention sore skin, so getting the products right for you is essential.

It didn’t take me long at all as luckily I have the support of a very good stoma nurse, who is not connected to any particular brand. You need to watch out for those, I remember when my nurse was away and there was a different nurse affiliated with a large supplier of stoma products and she changed my Eakin seal for one of hers telling me they were an upgrade to the Eakin seal. When I realised they weren’t actually Eakin I wasn’t too pleased and changed back immediately.

It is your stoma and you need to be firm with the products you like and that like your skin.

Getting the bags right is the biggest hurdle as they are like a part of you that you wear 24/7 so try different ones to get it right. You might have a leak occasionally but to constantly be having them is very challenging so don’t suffer in silence, ask around the stoma community, get samples and check your technique for cutting and applying them are correct. I have an unusual shaped stoma because of a fistula at the base so it took me some time to get the right shape cut for it, but am now happy with the sizing. If you cut the hole slightly bigger you just need to use a seal, because they are soft and mold around the stoma for a snug fit and output doesn’t leak onto your skin.

You can also use paste which does a similar thing although I haven’t tried that. If your skin is uneven try resting back on your bed so your tummy is flatter rather than standing, it just might help. I find changing my bag upright really difficult because of the stoma dip at the bottom, and the fact that I was in hospital for quite a while and only ever changed it lying down ( obviously slightly raised up too). How do you change yours? Have you found your perfect bag? A friend who I hadn’t seen for years had surgery and a stoma formed and when he found out I had a stoma he got in touch, he was in a very bad way with many leaks, a hernia on the way and no idea that there were other products out there. I told him there were other products out there and he tried a few until he found that the bag that I use was perfect for him too. ( Obviously he discussed the change with his stoma nurse). He also assumed that the one bag he was given was all there was, and he didn’t know about accessories that help.

Not everyone is the same so it really is a question of trying out different ways , trial and error of managing your stoma. Please please get help with any skin problems, it can make having a stoma a good thing or a bad thing. Good luck.

  • Hi there, really sorry to hear about your current/ongoing issues. I'm wondering if you might like to email me at [email protected] as I would really like to give you the opportunity to discuss in more detail and perhaps be able to come up with a solution? Kindest Marie

  • Problem is, that after 12 months getting it sorted, it was no longer "sorted" and worse than ever, but different. Every time a problem is fixed, another comes up.It's doing my head in trying to work it out. NOTHING fits - they all have issues, but different ones, of course.  Which "down" side is acceptable in which product and will different products "go" together etc. ???

    Yes, everybody is different - sounds more like an excuse to flood the market with so many options that none of them actually work for anyone. 

    They either don't stick and leak and spill and leave residue everywhere - or they stick so well they won't come off - sometimes not even a gallon of adhesive remover will do it.    

  • I had the same has been over 2 years now since I had my bladder removed and inherited a stoma. Up until a few months I adjusted very well and had no problems with bags etc that I was using in hospital. For some reason I started having skin problems around the stoma, a grey matter that I found out was crystalized urine. With the help from my stoma nurse and the nurses on the website it is starting to get better. I also expierenced leakage, something I had not had before. I started to try different products and found the Eakin worked best for me. My stoma has a dip in skin on the bottom so wasn’t getting a good seal. I just discovered a paste that I use now instead of the ring. So far so good,no more leaks and skin is starting to look better.

    What a wonderful website where we can share information, get professional help, and help others with our own solutions.