If you have a colostomy, then you need to make sure you have the products that are best for your individual situation and preferences. There are many options to choose from in the world of ostomy products, including many styles of pouching systems — but it doesn’t have to be confusing. Here’s a breakdown of all the major colostomy product options:
- Two-piece design: A two-piece colostomy pouch is the classic design, widely trusted by many patients and practitioners. In this design, the wafer that attaches to the skin around the stoma is a separate piece from the actual collection pouch, most often called a skin barrier. This allows you to easily position and secure the wafer without the pouch getting in the way. With this style of colostomy pouch, you want to make sure that you get a tight seal between the skin barrier and the pouch itself. Many brands have developed simple methods, such as a two-click attachment, so you know for sure whether the pouch is firmly attached and resistant to leakage.
- One-piece design: The one-piece colostomy pouch is designed to be simpler and involve fewer steps than the two-piece design. The entire pouch is one piece with the skin barrier already attached, ready to be fitted directly over the stoma. This means that once it’s on, there’s nothing else to attach and no worry about leakage between the two pieces. However, you must take care to make sure you get a complete seal when you place it over the stoma for attachment to your skin.
- Closed-end: Closed-end pouches do not have a drain or opening that will allow you to empty the bag and reuse. These pouches are designed to be used once and then thrown away once they are full or nearly full.
- Drainable: Drainable pouches have a drain on the bottom that can be opened or closed to allow the contents to drain out into a toilet. This means that you can continue using each pouch for a longer period of time rather than replacing it every time it’s full, as you do with the closed-end pouches. However, this is entirely a personal preference according to which fits you and your routine more.
- Pediatric: Separate sizes are available for children and will usually be less cumbersome and more appropriate than adult sizes, depending on the child.