If you have a colostomy then you know that there are several different types of pouches that you can use. These pouches are essential to colostomies because it is what allows the stool to be discarded through the opening in the abdomen. Deciding on which type of colostomy pouch you have or should use can be a difficult choice because there are a few different types. Here is the basic information about the types of colostomy pouches you could use, which can help you decide which is right for your personal needs and situation based on research and studies.
Open Ended- Open-ended pouches are one of the most common types of pouches and are one of the easiest to empty. The open-ended pouch has an opening at the end which the stool can drain out from. A clamp is usually used to close the open end of the pouch so that it is secure and protects you from waste seeping out. The open-ended pouch is used mostly by people who have had ascending or transverse colostomies. The ease of emptying the waste in an open-ended pouch is beneficial to people with those types of colostomies because of the unpredictability of fecal matter amounts and consistency. Someone who has a transverse or ascending colostomy might have loose stool one day and harder stool the next, so the ease of being able to drain the content as needed is crucial.
Close Ended- Close-ended pouches are removed and then thrown away in the trashcan once the pouch is full. These types of pouches are mostly used by people who have a descending or sigmoid colostomy, mostly because they have harder stool output. The close-ended pouches are basically disposable which allows for someone to use it one time and throw it away instead of reusing it by emptying it. The drawback to this type of pouch is that you will need a new pouch each time you change it, which can be more costly.
Cut-To-Fit- Pre-cut or cut-to-fit pouches for colostomies are really nice for people who are unable to find the right size pouch for their needs. These pouches already have holes cut into them, which is centered on top of the stoma. Some of the other pouches are cut-to-fit which means you can cut them according to the size of your stoma. The cut-to-fit are usually given after surgery because the size of the stoma will decrease as it heals, which can help you save money during this time instead of buying a new size each week. These are also great for people who are susceptible to infections and irritation because you can cut the pouch bigger if there is an infection or inflammation near the stoma.
Two Piece- Two-piece pouches contain two important components to a colostomy which are the adhesive flange and the pouch. The adhesive will stay in place as you remove the pouch and put a new one back on. These are great because it can stop skin irritation since it is not attached to the skin directly, but instead is held on by the adhesive. These types of pouches are really good for those who have sensitive skin or those who have to change their pouches often. Since you have to only change the pouch and not the adhesive every time, you can cut down on the irritation to your skin which can decrease infection. The two-piece is also good for people on the go or who travel often since it will take less time to change your pouch.
One Piece- One-piece pouches for colostomies are sold as the adhesive barrier and pouch all in one. The skin barrier is the piece of adhesive that attaches to the skin and surrounds the stoma. The one-piece allows you to not have to worry about two different pieces for your colostomy but it comes with a drawback. Each time you change your pouch, you will have to discard the adhesive as well and put a new one on the stoma. So essentially, you have to discard the adhesive even if it is still in good condition because it comes as one unit. This type of pouch might also lead to skin irritation because you will have to change both parts of the pouch each time.
You should always talk to your doctor about which type of pouch would work best for you depending upon the colostomy you have had. It is also a good idea to talk to your doctor before you change what type of pouch you are using to prevent infection or skin irritations. Hopefully this guide will help you figure out which type of pouch would be more beneficial to your personal and professional needs.