Ostomy Supplies | Ostomy BagsAn ostomy pouching system consists of two distinct pieces. The first is the skin barrier. This is the piece of the system that sticks to your body. It is also known as “wafer” or “base plate.” The skin barrier is what holds your ostomy pouching system in place. The second piece of the pouching system is the pouch itself, which contains the stool or urine.
Skin Barriers can come as:
Flat: Flat barriers are best for stomas that protrude off the surface of the skin and for abdominal contours that may have deep creases.
Convex: Convex barriers have a firm dip in the barrier that applies pressure around the stoma. These are best for stomas that are flush against your skin or if you have a soft abdomen, creases, or dips.
Cut to fit: Cut-to fit-barriers are designed to be cut to the size of the stoma. This is a good option immediately after surgery, as your stoma size may be changed, or if you have an oval or oblong-sized stoma.
Pre-Cut: Once your stoma size stays the same and is round, you can get a skin barrier that is already cut to the size of your stoma.
Moldable: Moldable skin barriers are molded to the shape and size of the stoma using your fingers. They are designed so that you can provide a close, custom shape around your stoma. Moldable barriers are a good option for irregularly shaped stomas.
The second piece of the pouching system is the pouch itself. The pouch contains the stool or urine.
Ostomy Pouches come as:
Opaque: Tan in color so it conceals the contents of the pouch and stoma.
Clear: You can see the contents of the pouch as well as the stoma.
Drainable: Drainable pouches allow you to drain the contents of the pouch throughout the day. This is an option for people with liquid, loose, or semi-formed stools that require emptying more than 2 times a day.
Close ended: These pouches do not have a drainable end and are designed to be taken off and thrown away when one-third of the way full. These are best for people who have formed, predictable stools and/or require disposal 1-2 times a day.
Urostomy: These pouches are designed specifically to contain urine and have a spout/tap on the end for easy emptying and attachment to a nighttime drainage bag.
An additional feature of pouching systems is the absence or presence of a gas filter, which allows odor- free release of gas and minimizes ballooning of the pouch.
Ostomy One-Piece System
A one-piece ostomy system has the skin barrier permanently attached to the pouch. A one-piece system requires only a peel and stick to apply. It also lies flat against the body and can offer more discretion. It is very flexible, which is ideal if you have a bulge or hernia or participate in frequent exercise or physical activity.
Ostomy Two-Piece System
A two-piece ostomy system has the skin barrier separate from the pouch. It offers the most versatility in that you can empty or change your pouch without removing the skin barrier. You can change the pouch type and size based on your physical activity and/or for intimacy.
The pouch attaches to the skin barrier by:
Mechanical Coupling: The pouch snaps onto a flange, which is a plastic ridge on the barrier.
Adhesive Coupling: The pouch adheres to the skin barrier by a tacky adhesive.