After you have bladder surgery, you may be given a urostomy pouch or bag. This pouch is attached to your skin around a stoma, which is the hole urine will drain from. Your urostomy bag may also be called an appliance. In order to be sanitary and remain healthy, you will need to change your bag frequently.
Knowing When to Change Your Pouch
You will be instructed by your doctor to change your pouch once or twice weekly. Don't wait until you notice a problem or issue with your bag, like urine leaking out. Follow the schedule your doctor gives you. You may need to change your urostomy bag more frequently than twice weekly in certain situations:
In the summer or when it is particularly humid
If the skin around your stoma is scarred or oily
If you are active in fitness or sports
Regardless of the schedule that the doctor gave you, you will want to change your bag if it shows any signs of leaking. These include:
Itching around the site
Changes in appearance of the skin around the stoma, or with the stoma itself
Changing Your Urostomy Bag
Changing your bag may seem a bit daunting at first, but it is not difficult. Make sure that you have a clean pouch with you and it’s ready to replace the old one. A clean pouch will help to ensure you aren't spreading any type of infection to your urinary system.
Experiment with different positions. Some people find it easier to sit, while others have an easier time changing their bag if they are lying down or standing. You will want to be in a position that allows you to see your stoma more easily.
When you are ready to change your bag, push down on the skin surrounding the stoma. This will loosen the bag from your skin and allow you to remove it. Before you replace the bag, look for changes in your stoma or skin, put the old bag in a plastic bag and throw it in the trash, and clean the stoma and your skin.
To attach the new bag, place the opening over your stoma. Center it correctly and attach it. If your bag is comprised of two parts, you may be instructed to change them at different intervals. Speak with your doctor for specific instructions.
Changing your urostomy bag is not difficult. If you are nervous about changing the bag, ask your doctor or their nurse to assist you with the first change. Once you change your bag the first time you will understand what you are doing and have more confidence.
At Med on the Go, we offer one-piece urostomy bags for your convenience. Contact us today or place your order online to get the tools you need to stay healthy.