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March 2, 2017

How to Choose an Ostomy Bag – What You Need to Know

As someone who has recently received a stoma, you are faced with numerous questions about the products, supplies, accessories and supplements that you need. Of course, the primary necessity is an ostomy bag. But one online search for ostomy bags delivers a pretty big selection, varying in shapes, sizes, price and functionality. In the end, it comes down to the procedure that you received. Did you have a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy? This will be the guide as to which ostomy pouch system you should choose, along with a few other considerations.

Which Stoma Pouch System You Need When You’ve Had a Colostomy, Ileostomy, or Urostomy

1. Best Bags for Colostomy

The colon typically absorbs water from waste as it travels to the rectum. The consistency of colostomy output often depends on where your stoma is located. The further along the colon it is positioned, the denser the waste leaving the stoma will be.


Because your output will be more firm, a closed (non-drainable) ostomy bag is used. This bag will be replaced a couple of times per day, depending on the frequency of your output. High quality closed ostomy pouch systems are available for your reference, right here.

That being said, everyone is different and there are not-so-uncommon exceptions to the rule. If you find that your output is more liquid, more often than not, then you may choose to wear drainable ostomy bags. These are capped at the base, and then opened, drained, and fastened again throughout the day. You may find this option more convenient. View drainable ostomy bag systems here.

Keep in mind that if you have recently had your procedure, your bodily functions will not have returned to their normal routine. Don’t go buying large quantities of one option or the other until your bowel movements have settled into their routine. Once it does, you can opt for bulk purchases (and greater savings).

2. Best Bags for Ileostomy

In a “traditional” ileostomy, the colon and rectum are removed. Thus, normal colon and rectal functioning is no longer viable. In this scenario, digestive contents will be expelled from the body through the stoma.

Ileostomates typically have more of a liquid, porridge-like and pasty output. Of course, this depends on your diet, supplementation regime, medications and other factors. If you find that your waste is not typical for an ileostomate, consult with your physician. But for the most part, your output will be quite constant. Therefore, your ostomy bag system will need to be emptied frequently throughout the day. Because of the more fluid consistency and frequency, a drainable pouch makes the most sense. As an ileostomate you get a bit of a break on the monthly expenditure since you’re not disposing of your drainable ostomy bag as frequently as you would closed bags. Click here to view the best options for ileostomates.

3. Best Bags for Urostomy

Given that the output for a urostomate will be liquid, you already know that a drainable pouch system is the option. But there is more to consider.

For instance, if you’ve just had a procedure, your urine will contain some blood. This is normal, so don’t be alarmed. Your doctor will advise accordingly. That being said, it’s a good idea to monitor this output in the early stages, in case you need to inform your doctor or caregiver of blood in excess of what would be normal. This is where (and when) a transparent drainable ostomy bag makes sense. It allows you to inspect your output in the post-procedure early stages with ease.

There is another consideration. It is not uncommon for urostomy output to irritate the skin surrounding around the stoma. However, you want the health of your skin in this zone to be the same as anywhere else on your abdomen. It is imperative that you find the correct size and type of ostomy pouch so that the opening (and skin barrier) situates comfortably around your stoma. You physician and/or post-procedure caregiver will help guide you in this capacity, but there will be some trial and error when trying out new ostomy bags. Again, don’t go buying too large of a quantity until you find the perfect system (and fit) for you. Once you do, go for it!

If you have any additional questions about this topic, or anything else related to your ostomy supply needs, feel free to contact Inner Good, anytime.

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