A urostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an alternative pathway for urine to exit the body after removing the bladder or urinary tract. This procedure is often necessary for individuals who have suffered from bladder cancer, severe bladder injuries, or other conditions that affect the urinary system.
In this article, we will explore the main types of urostomy bags and the accessories that accompany their use.
3 Types of Urostomy Bags
- One-Piece Urostomy Bags
One-piece urostomy bags are designed as a single unit with the adhesive wafer or flange and the pouch combined. The adhesive wafer is responsible for attaching the bag securely to the skin around the stoma, the opening created during the urostomy procedure. This type of bag is generally easy to apply and remove, making it a popular choice for individuals who prefer simplicity and convenience.
Pros of one-piece bags include their low profile, which makes them discreet under clothing, and their ease of use. However, the main downside is that the entire bag must be replaced when changing, which can increase costs and create more waste.
- Two-Piece Urostomy Bags
Two-piece urostomy bags have a separate adhesive wafer and pouch that can be connected via a secure coupling system. This design allows patients to change the pouch without removing the adhesive wafer, decreasing skin irritation and increasing flexibility in pouch changes.
The primary advantage of two-piece bags is that they allow for more frequent pouch changes without causing skin irritation from adhesive removal. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with sensitive skin or needing to change their pouches frequently due to high urine output. However, two-piece bags can be slightly bulkier and more noticeable under clothing than one.
- Night Bags
Night bags are larger urostomy bags designed for use during sleep. These bags typically have a larger capacity and can be connected to a bedside drainage system, allowing uninterrupted sleep without frequent emptying.
Night bags can be used with one-piece or two-piece systems and are an essential addition for individuals who require a larger capacity during the night.
Accessories Used in Urostomy Bags
- Stoma Paste
This paste is used to fill in any gaps or creases around the stoma, ensuring a secure and leak-free seal when attaching the adhesive wafer. Stoma paste is particularly useful for individuals with uneven skin or irregularly shaped stomas.
- Barrier Wipes or Sprays
These products help protect the skin around the stoma from irritation and damage caused by adhesive removal or urine leakage. They create a thin, protective film on the skin that guards against moisture and friction.
- Urostomy Belts
These elastic belts can provide additional support and security for the urostomy bag, particularly during physical activities or for individuals with larger stomas. They can be used with both one-piece and two-piece bags.
These products can help neutralise the smell of urine, making the experience of using and emptying a urostomy bag more pleasant. Deodorisers can be added to the pouch or used as drops, sprays, or tablets.
Living with a urostomy can be a significant adjustment. Still, with the right urostomy bag and accessories, individuals can maintain their quality of life and continue participating in the activities they enjoy.
It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best type of urostomy bag and accessories for your unique needs and lifestyle. With the proper support and guidance, living with a urostomy can be manageable and comfortable.
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