2-Piece Pouch

Two Piece Pouch Ostomy
Two Piece Ostomy Pouch System

When choosing ostomy supplies, one of the first decisions you’ll make is whether to opt for a one-piece (pouch and base plate/flange as a single item) or a two-piece system in which the base plate and pouch are separate. There are pros and cons for both, but two-piece ostomy systems offer several advantages over their single-piece counterparts, particularly for people who need to change their pouch often or have sensitive skin.

What is a Two-Piece Pouch System

With two-piece systems, the base plate doesn’t need to be removed and replaced with every pouch change, so there is less likelihood of skin irritation. It also reduces the time and effort involved, allowing for quick and easy colostomy bag changes.

While a two-piece system does mean you’ll need to buy ostomy pouches and flanges separately, it gives you the flexibility to change the size of the pouch you’re using according to your needs. That is a great advantage for activities such as swimming or when you plan to engage in intimacy. Two-piece systems are suitable for colostomy, urostomy, and ileostomy care.

Options in Two-Piece Ostomy Systems

There are a wide variety of possibilities when choosing the components of a two-piece system. Pouches may be closed or drainable, transparent or opaque, pre-cut or cut to fit. You choose based on your unique needs and preferences.

Here are some of the most common options to consider:

  • Closed vs. drainable pouches - As the name implies, drainable pouches allow you to empty the pouch contents without changing them, which can allow for more infrequent pouch changes. On the other hand, closed bags must be changed and disposed of every time— but are less likely to leak or allow odor to escape.
  • Stick-on or clip-on systems - In stick-on systems, the pouch is held in place by adhesive. This can be convenient and may be particularly helpful for arthritis patients or those who otherwise have lost dexterity in their hands. Clip-on systems are mechanically connected with clips, which may offer more security.
  • Transparent or opaque pouches - If you or someone else needs the ability to see what’s in your ostomy bag, transparent pouches are ideal. They allow easy visual inspection of the pouch contents. If, on the other hand, you’d rather not look at the contents, an opaque pouch is a more discreet option.
  • Pre-cut or cut-to-fit pouches -If your stoma is a standard size and shape, pouches with a pre-cut barrier may be an easy and convenient option, making pouch changes a little less work. Cut-to-fit pouches take a bit more effort but are customizable to fit virtually all stomas, even those with irregular shapes or sizes.
  • Belt tabs - If you plan to use an ostomy belt for extra support, a pouch with built-in belt tabs can be invaluable.
  • Filters - If odors or if the gas build-up is an issue, you may want a pouch with an integrated filter. Filters allow gas to escape, reducing the likelihood of leakage due to gas buildup while keeping the odor contained so you can feel secure.