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Drainable or Closed?: Choosing the Right Ostomy Pouch for Your Needs

by Jessica April 27 2016 09:58
drainable or closed ostomy pouch

When you first begin to use ostomy supplies, you may find that there are a lot of different types of products and accessories out there on the market today that can service your needs and even make your daily routine a little easier. Depending on the type of ostomy you have (ileostomy, urostomy, or colostomy), you may find yourself wondering which type of pouch is best for your individual preferences and needs. This post is intended to help shed some light on the differences between these two types of pouches, as well as their potential uses and benefits.

Drainable Pouchdrainable colostomy pouch

  • Drainable pouches are open-ended with some type of secure closure, such as a clamp, press and seal, velcro, etc., so that you can empty your pouch and reuse. For instance, Convatec Pouches, like the popular SUR-FIT® Natura drainable pouches, feature a wide tail-like opening for easy, safe emptying along with an Invisiclose® Lock-It-Pocket™ that rolls up to hide the tail-end opening. This closure type provides the security and comfort of a closed pouch, so you can feel confident about your drainable pouch staying secure and comfortable throughout the day. 
  • This type of pouch is most suitable for collecting liquid, such as urine, or bowel movements that are more liquid in consistency (i.e. not fully formed or thick). 
  • Does not require changing out as often as a closed pouch, so fewer pouches are used.
  • May be difficult to empty if your output is formed or of a thicker consistency.
  • Easy to empty and clean, prior to eventual disposal. 
  • Ideally should be emptied when the pouch is about half-full.
  • The outlet/closure should be cleaned of any output that may remain on the pouch after each time it is emptied.
Who Does This Type of Pouch Work Best For?
The drainable pouch is typically best for those with an ileostomy or for those with more frequent discharge/output from their stoma throughout the day. Specialized pouches with closeable drainage taps/valves are available for those with urostomies as well. Drainable pouches may be a more comfortable, reliable option than continually changing out pouches and disposing of them. 

Closed Pouch

  • Closed-end pouches are designed for one-time use only, so they must be removed and disposed of once they are full. closed end ostomy pouch
  • Cannot be emptied or reused, so you may use more product than if you were to use a drainable pouch. Typically, these are changed out once to three times a day, but the frequency is based entirely upon your individual needs and your healthcare professional's recommendations. 
  • Closed pouches are often preferred for activities such as swimming or intimate moments, just for the extra security of knowing there is no opening for any discharge to leave the pouch.
  • Most suitable for collecting fully formed bowel movements or output of a thicker consistency.
  • This style of pouch will need to be changed and disposed of even when away from home, so that is something to keep in mind when it comes time to dispose of your pouch. 
Who Does This Type of Pouch Work Best For?
If your discharge is less frequent, or if your discharge is small enough that you would only have to change out your pouch once or twice a day.

Both are effective and good quality pouching systems that are sure to meet your needs, but the choice made is typically one of personal preference as well as the type/consistency of your output. Your prescribing healthcare professional is there to discuss these more in depth with you and let you know which one may work best for your individual needs.

At 180 Medical, we have closed and disposable pouches, along with a wide array of wafers and barriers, adhesive removers, belts, and plenty of other high-quality products and accessories to choose from. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our friendly, trained Ostomy Specialists, who will be glad to work with you to find the right supplies for you. 

About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for nearly 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, playing music, creating art, and spending quality time with her dogs, friends & family.

Understanding Colostomy: 5 Frequently Asked Questions

by Jessica September 12 2014 15:22
Having a digestive disease can certainly be frightening but fortunately, there are options available to help treat such conditions. One such option is a colostomy, which is a common surgical procedure for different disorders of the large intestine. While this surgery can seem intimidating, it can dramatically improve the quality of life for individuals.

To help you better understand a colostomy, how to care for yourself post-procedure, and the products available to help manage your condition, here are five frequently asked questions (and answers) on the subject.

1. What is a colostomy?

A colostomy is a surgery performed to removed all or a part of the colon. 180 medical colostomy diagramAn opening is made from the large intestine to the outside of the abdomen and a portion of the organ is brought to the surface of the skin. The new opening, called a stoma, allows waste to leave the body. As a colostomy has no controlling muscles, the body releases the stool as needed.

2. What are the reasons for needing a colostomy?

A colostomy is performed to cure or treat an area of the colon. Some of the most common reasons for a colostomy include bowel cancer, Crohn's disease, injuries or trauma, and birth defects.

3. What risks are associated with the surgery?

In some instances, a skin irritation or infection may occur due to a stool leak from under the bag, or a hernia can sometimes develop around a stoma. This can be easily avoided by taking good care of your stoma, eating a healthy diet, and using the right products for your needs.

4. How will this affect my life?

As with any medical condition, it's crucial that you know how to properly manage it. Living with a colostomy will require that you make some small changes to your life and current routine. You should monitor your medication, since certain medicines can cause constipation or diarrhea. Also, ensure that you eat a well-balanced diet and check to see which foods give upset stomach or gas, as you may choose to avoid these in public. You may want to speak with your doctor or a registered dietician to decide on a nutrition plan. In addition, since your body will not be able to fully regulate the flow of your body waste as it leaves the stoma, you will need a proper ostomy system to collect it. 180 Medical has a number of high-quality product options that will offer discretion, easy application, and emptying.

5. What colostomy supplies should I use?

At 180 Medical, we understand the challenges that can come with living with any ostomy, and that's why we're devoted to provided you with the best colostomy supplies. There are a variety of skin barriers, pouches, and accessories available to provide you with the care you need. Check out our selection online or contact us today.

180 medical ostomy supplies

Beat the Heat with our Summer Tips for Ostomies

by Jessica July 23 2014 11:58
Summer is almost officially here! For many people, that means vacation plans, fun outdoor activities, swimming, biking, hiking, and more.

However, for those new to living with an ostomy, it may feel like a time to dread summer heat and all the water activities that often go with the season. But there's no need to count yourself out of fun in the sun! With a few precautions and tweaks to your ostomy routine, you should still be able to join in on summer activities with your friends and family.

If you have recently had surgery, please check with your doctor before engaging in strenuous activity. For medical advice, please consult with a medical professional, such as an Ostomy Nurse or your treating physician.

ostomy tips summer

Splish Splash: Dipping Into the Water with Your Ostomy

If you want to participate in water sports like swimming or water-skiing, but you're worried that your ostomy pouch could loosen or fall off, remember that many people with ostomies are able to enjoy the same activities now as they were before their surgeries.

The majority of ostomy appliances have water-resistant adhesives that should seal well. This is helpful not only for showering, bathing, and normal sweating of the skin, but it should also keep water from affecting the seal during swimming.

Concerned about concealing your pouch OstomySecrets swim wrapso you can go swimming with your friends and family? has unisex swim wraps in various colors to go beneath your swimsuit for comfortable support for your ostomy pouch, swim bottoms for women, and swim trunks and board shorts for men. They also offer swim bottoms for women, although you can also wear a one-piece or even a tankini to help support the pouch. For men, simply wearing that inner support garment (such as the above mentioned unisex swim wraps) will help to keep the pouch supported and concealed, although you may also feel comfortable wearing a t-shirt with your swim trunks, depending on how high up on your abdomen your stoma is placed.

Don't Sweat It!

With increasing temperatures, you may find you perspire more than usual, but ostomy pouches are designed to stay sealed to the skin and stay intact for up to a few days at a time, even with the typical daily moisture such as normal showers, baths, and sweating. Finally after a few days, the seal will start to loosen.

On average, people tend to change their skin barriers every few days and reapply, but this will depend on your individual needs, rate of usage, and the type of ostomy appliances you use.

180 medical convatec ostomy pouch Most ostomy appliances come equipped with a water-resistant adhesive that should seal quite well. However, if you're having difficulties keeping your pouch sealed to your skin, there are special adhesives available that create a stronger seal than usual.

Convatec also has a full line of extended wear products such skin barriers and various one-piece and two-piece ostomy pouches specifically created for those with an active lifestyle.

If you've been changing your pouch more often and the skin surrounding your stoma has become more irritated (redness, chafing, bumps, etc.), you may want to look into a powder to absorb perspiration.

As always, please consult with your treating physician or an Ostomy Nurse for specific care if you find skin irritation, rash, or discoloration around your stoma.

Remember, on hot sunny days, it doesn't take long for the temperature inside your car to soar, so be sure not to leave your ostomy products and other medical supplies in the vehicle.

stay hydrated 180 medical

With the right products and information, summer fun could still be an option for you, even with a colostomy, urostomy, or ileostomy.

Stay tuned to our blog for future product news, informative articles, and fun rundowns of recent company events at 180 Medical!

*Swim Wrap picture credit:

180 medical jessAbout the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing and Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

180 Medical Now Supplies Ostomy Products

by Jessica April 29 2014 16:02
Having a hard time finding a provider of medical supplies for your ostomy needs? If you're looking for a dependable, compassionate company that understands where you're coming from and what supplies you need, look no further than 180 Medical!

If you've heard of 180 Medical, you may already know that we are one of the top suppliers of intermittent catheters in the nation, and there's a reason for that. We consistently provide reliable service, and we aim to treat you and your needs as we would for a member of our own families.

We are now a proud supplier of ConvaTec's high-quality line of ostomy products, and we have a highly-trained group of Ostomy Specialists that help you find the right ostomy supplies for your needs, whether you have a colostomy, ileostomy, or a urostomy.

Our educated and compassionate staff will gladly:

  • discuss and help stabilize your current process for using ostomy products
  • explain your insurance coverage so you fully understand how your insurance will cover the products, and what, if any, out-of-pocket costs you may have
  • set you up on a regular shipping schedule so you don't have to worry about remembering to reorder
  • offer you a listening ear

180 medical ostomy testimonial

If you're ready to experience the 180 Medical difference, contact us today by filling out our online inquiry or give us a call at 1-877-688-2729 to speak to one of our highly trained, friendly specialists.

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 4 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.