Choosing an ostomy pouch

What I look for in an ostomy pouch

There are so many pouches around it can be difficult to get the perfect one for you.

It has taken me a few goes before I found my near perfect pouch. I started out with a Coloplast two-piece flat system as it was thought that because I have a fistula at the base of my stoma, the separate base plate might help me to see what I was doing properly. I kept at it for a good few months but regularly leaked and had sore skin, I didn’t like having two parts to the pouch either because it could leak out the bottom or the bit where the two pieces met. I then went onto a Coloplast flat one piece but again, although I definitely liked having just one part, I still found I was leaking. That same bag also caused me skin irritation that just suddenly occurred out the blue and I just couldn’t clear it.

A trip to see my stoma nurse again and it was decided that I would try a flat Pelican platinum mini with an Eakin seal, now this did the trick and I kept with this for a good two years. After those two years the fistula had grown somewhat and the leaks came back. We then changed to a pelican platinum convex with an Eakin seal and hey presto, this is where I am today and very happy with it. I still prefer the mini size as it doesn’t catch the top of my leg and my output isn’t excessive. There is a tab to help open the end for emptying output and I find it easy now that I have found the knack, the Velcro to secure it is nice and strong and it tucks in nicely without leaving a hard edge.

I rarely leak ( just some trouble with ballooning at night and the pouch can sometimes lift, but I wear the belt ,that hooks to each side of the convex, at night now and it has done the trick.

My only dislike with my pouch is the colour, I have tried the Salts because of the colours but their pouch adhesive isn’t as secure around the stoma. I am hopeful that in time all pouches will have more choices of colour and possibly material so I can have my truly perfect pouch.

I consider myself lucky to be an ostomate in this day and age, as I have no idea how people survived and lived with the earlier systems that were in use , this included just a sponge and a belt, can you imagine how awful that must have been?

I like my system and I can see through the window part clearly which helps me know that I have placed it properly around the stoma and fistula. So for me, the most important things about a pouching system is comfort and leak free. The rest like colour and material will hopefully follow in time.