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What do you use to trim a barrier hole?


I have been using cuticle scissors and a nail file at home to file it down...

because using the angled one I was taught to use was too hard for my hands every time....

I even tried a box cutter once...

What do you find that works to get a perfect stoma hole?

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  Hi sherrBear,

I use curved scissors. They don't make a clean circular cut though. I'd be interested to find something different too. Great question. 



Great topic as I am sooooo tired of cutting the wafers by hand so I recently bought a 1 Ton Arbor Press at Harbor Freight Company.  During the first go around I used plastic material for the male/female die. I used an exact stoma cut out template to make the male/female die.  Unfortuately, it didnt cut very well so now I will be remaking it from steel (better know as a steel rule die). I want to duplicate the exact size everytime and I can't achieve this with scissors.  Plus as Mountain Man states the scissors cut uneven edges. This tool should make exact straight edge cuts every time. I will keep you posted as my journey continues. Stay well.  Penguins7


I use a small pair of manicure great 



On Amazon coloplast sells a curve blade scissors that is made to cut the custom size hole you need. That is cheaper then from using the ostomy supply company where I get supplies.

6295050 - Ostomy Scissors, Curved


  Hi long road, I will take a gander at em, thanks..mtnman. 


hi i use something moldable so i don't have to cut anything


Wish theyd started me on them, but i have stick with what insurance will pay for :(


Good suggestions, thanks....

wish someone would come up with a 1 1/4" holepuncher for them, lol


I use curved scissors that Coloplast gave me as a free sample. You can call them and ask for samples, as you can with any of the product companies. Whatever you use to cut the hole, use a wet cloth over your finger to rub the edges after you cut. That will help smooth out any rough edges.



The stoma nurse gave me these when I first left hospital, I have even found some similar at local markets.

No brand or number on them but must be a common article. They're perfect.


back when i wore a wafer i used a 1 inch gasket punch, a mallet and a good quality cutting board


Hi Sherr,

  I just use scissors, but as mentioned above there are lots of tools available to cut or punch holes that big. I'd start at an arts and crafts store (Hobby Lobby or Michael's) and tell them what you want to do. Scrapbookers use all kinds of punches......there's one called a Crop-A-Dile, but I'm not sure if it goes that big......but the folks there should point you in the right direction. If you'd rather get a real tool, they make all kinds of gasket punches for a variety of materials. If you need more help finding one just let me know.




Hi all i use a small cuticle scissors i bought at a drugstore 35yrs. ago.


When I used to cut them myself 30 years ago! I used curved scissors still have them as a souviner lol. I'm in the UK sounds like not everyone is as lucky as we are our suplliers where we get bags from cut them to size for us we just give them a template cut to the the size of our stoma and they cut them on machines 


I am lucky they have a barrier in my size.  I was cutting for quite a while before I found them. 


Hey Sherr, your doctor could approve of your use of moldables so your insurance would cover them.  If you call someone like Convatec at 1-800-422-8811 they'll provide you with samples and some advice.  Keep us posted.



My insurance pays about 3/4's for my supplies by adapt/health & hollister...what i was started on day one...


OK, maybe this is a silly question, but why does your insurance company decide what your needs are? Shouldn't that decision be made by you and your doctor? My private insurance (which is optional, since my healthcare is free) has no say at all regarding my ostomy needs. They pay whatever receipts I submit, no questions asked. The only proof (a form signed by my doctor) I have ever had to submit is what I have to provide to my provincial government, which sends me $1000 every year to offset ostomy costs. My private insurance pays the rest, no matter how much I spend, or what products I buy. Why is your insurance company dictating what your needs are? Isn't that the tail wagging the dog?



The supplies were what the hospital started me on, so i went with it...emergency surgery does not lend to choices sometimes...

my late ex had hollister with the VA, so i just followed suit...


I understand using products that the hospital started you on; we all start with what the hospital uses. What I don't understand is how your insurance company has any say in what choices you make regarding ostomy supplies. Rather than them telling you what they will pay for, it should be you telling them what you need them to pay for. 



my doc's nurse made the first sample order and monthly order,

she finds out what insurance permits...

I trust her after 12 years...i deal with the insurance and medicare,

so some things are 1/4 out of pocket



  You're mostly right............but most insurance companies do have a limit as to how many ostomy supplies they'll pay for in a 30 day or 90 day supply.  Of course you're always free to buy your own "out of pocket".  When I was changing my barrier every day (due to skin issues) my insurance (and I have great Federal Government health insurance) would only pay for 30 barriers per month.  I was asking for something like 45 in case I had to change more than once a day or screwed one up when installing.  Other insurance companies have different limits.  It's spelled out in the fine print of your policy somewhere.  But I've never had an issue with me picking the brand of products, or different specific products (barriers, bags, belts, rings, paste, etc) you said, that's between you and your Doc.  And every Doc I've ever seen to write such a prescription never even questioned why I wanted a specific brand........they always seemed to want to just write the darn script and get it over with ASAP.  Now when I do call to re-order my supplies.........I can change a quantity down without them needing the Doc's permission, but if I want to change it up........they'll need my Doc to approve.  Which has never been a problem either.  It's always a bit funny when I see my Primary Care Doc to get a new script for ostomy supplies.  I hand her my list of products and quantities, and without even looking at it she hands it to her assistant and says "Get Cowboy Bob a script for these immediately".  I could stick "Oxycodone 80mg tabs, qty 200" in my list between barriers and bags and no one would be the wiser!  I think the last thing a Doc wants to do is challenge an ostomy patient on what supplies they need.  Just sayin'.




Bob, thanks for the explanation. But I am still shaking my head. The very fact that insurance companies have limits on the amount of products you can buy, and that you need to get your doctor to approve an increase is just wrong. As you said, you could put anything on the form your doctor has to sign, so isn't that a waste of her time? She is signing based on what you tell her you need, therefore YOU are determining your needs, as it should be. Your insurance company makes you jump through an extra hoop just because they can. It's one thing to get a doctors signature on a form requesting medications - OK, fine, I get that. But ostomy supplies? Seriously? Can you OD on those? 

I have no limits on what products or how much I buy - my private insurance will pay for it, no questions or doctor approval required.  By the way, my private insurance, which is optional, costs just under $260 per month for family coverage. It even covers my 30 year old son, because he is still a full time student. It covers all prescription drugs, glasses, ostomy supplies, physiotherapist, massage therapy, hearing aids, assistive devices (walkers, canes, etc) psychologist or social worker counselling, orthotics, access to Cancer CarePath (a cancer navigation agency that saved my sanity), and out of country travel insurance. We could choose dental coverage as an option, but since we all have good teeth, decided to pay out of pocket for dental, although we can opt in anytime. And, as I said, my healthcare (doctor visits or hospitalization) is entirely free.

While I think our system is good, it is not as good as the British National Health Service. I think it's helpful, especially in an election year, to look around the world and see what exists outside one's own borders. Knowing what the standards are in the rest of the world can help define what your standards at home could be.



Hi Laurie,

  Understand your points, it's obviously a multi-faceted problem.  I think what the Insurance companies are doing (and I don't know for sure) is just making sure someone doesn't order 100 barriers for a 30 day supply and then sell 80 of them on Ebay and keep the money.  You can look at it from a number of perspectives I guess.  I think they also want to have someone they can smack around if there's a problem.  With the doctor as the middleman they have someone to blame, rather than pissing off their customer directly.  And to be fair.........if people could get more than they needed some WOULD abuse the system and sell them online.  It's all a huge clusterf&^k, pardon my French.......but you know what I mean.  Your healthcare sounds excellent!!!  So order a few thousand barriers next time and send them to us all...........I'm using Hollister 11404.  LMAO

  Later Gator,



Definitely!! 😂



I have changed my products many times. Changed companies and products within several company. Insurance should never dictate which products you use, maybe how many per month, but never what you use. Ask for free samples from all major companies of the different pouches types you would like to try and once you find what works well, order them. They may need to get your doctor to renew your script. He or she does not dictate your preference of products either. Don't let them bully you Into using products that don't work well for you. As a last resort, you can do an appeal through your insurance, if by chance they deny a change, which should not happen. Go for it and find what works for YOU, not them. 


I do it diffrent than most of you I guess. I use an exacto knife. I set the wafer on a cutting table stick my exacot point through and turn the waffer around. I tried to move the knife but found I did not have as much controll.

It's a cleaner cut for me than sissors.   Mark


I was using the sissors provided by the company and then decided to switch to pre-cut bags.  I am very happy with the bags already as they have two velco strips to close.  


Sorry this is so late to the party but i was looking at old posts to see what issues people are discussing.  

For hole cutting- obviously if at all possible to get precut wafers or some companies offer a moldable wafer option if that works for your stoma.

If not- Nu-Hope makes a cutter that comes in various sizes. You probably can get it from your DME comapny or it is sold on amazon. I have also had creative patients who said they went to the hardware store and got a pipe fitting the same size as their stoma and made their own homemade cutter. Obviously this works far better with a 2 piece but can be used wth one piece with a thick cardboard to prevent puncturing the pouch. 

Depending on your DME company- some will cut wafers for you. Byram offers this service (but not for a one piece) I have placed people in a wafer that just didnt come in their size and they were able to get the DME to cut it our prior to sendning it

Hope this helps- CWOCN 

Certified Wound/ostomy/continence nurse BSN RN
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