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How Often Should I Change My Ostomy Bag?

Posted by Fortis Medical Products  on June 30, 2023

New ostomy patients go through many adjustments while learning how to manage their condition. Most of it involves how to change pouches, eating carefully, and keeping the stoma clean.

Regarding that first item - How often should you change pouches?

You can expect to change your ostomy bag about every three to five days, but it varies by patient, dietary volume, and other considerations. Let’s check out a few tips on when to change your pouches.

Helpful Hints for When to Change Your Ostomy Bag

Label New Pouches with Dates - An easy way to stay organized would be to record the date of your most recent pouch change onto your next pouch system. That way you won’t forget when you made the last change. Most of what you do with ostomy pouches hinges upon when you last made adjustments. Also, remember the pace for human digestion, especially for ostomates, varies a lot. This means you won’t have an exact duration for bag changes, and, therefore, should change them a little early.

Put Your Smartphone to Work - You can utilize the calendar/alarm features on your smartphone to alert you when it’s time to change. Set your timer to go off a little early to accommodate for those times where pouches fill faster than usual. It’s wise to be overly cautious rather than get caught pushing the test.

Acknowledge Obvious Warning Signs - You’ve almost certainly heard it before: always listen to your body. If you notice the signs of trouble (pain, discomfort, itching, soreness, burning, etc.), then be sure to check your pouch.

Other Changing Advice

So, once you get a feel for the timing of your bag changes, you’ll also want to develop good practices to prevent leaks, skin irritation, and so forth.

  • Always maintain sanitary conditions by washing your hands, around the stoma area, and use an appliance cleaner for the supplies themselves.
  • Focus on sealing the pouch system as perfectly as possible. The goal is to avoid leaks by applying the skin barrier ring and/or stoma paste to obtain a strong seal.
  • Are you still in the pre-ostomy stage? Once you’ve had the procedure, ask the nurses and hospital staff to show you the best way to apply and secure pouches.
  • Finally, don’t forget to review our previous post regarding the basics of ostomy products, including how to use them.

For more information on ostomy care and supply information, continue to follow Fortis Medical Products for updates and advice. We’re the leading supplier of easy-to-use hypoallergenic pouches and ostomy accessories. You’re more than welcome to contact us to ask questions and learn more by calling 855-550-2600 anytime.

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