STOMA BASE PLATE DESIGN.
Hello Mommabear NS.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with bags, and reminding us that some of you have to pay exorbitant amounts for these supplies.
As Patrickrichardson says, it is a real eye-opener for those of us who benefit from a national health service.
I don’t have a recognisable ‘need’ to make my own bags. However, I do enjoy putting my mind and my DIY skills to use in designing and making useful/functional items to suit my own needs.
What I have found is that most of the problems with mass-manufactured items seems to be in the design and method of fixing the base plates.
With this in mind, I have tinkered with all sorts of different alternative ways to attach bags/ sleeves etc to my own base plates.
It should, perhaps, also be said that (I believe) these things should be tailor-made to suit each individual, rather than retain the belief that manufacturing them on-mass will suffice.
My stoma has changed shape, size and performance many times over the years and each time this has happened I have redesigned my base plates to suit the new circumstances.
When experimenting with new designs, I sometimes used a mould from plaster of Paris or artificial skin, so that I am not placing undue stresses on the actual stoma. However, of late I have reverted back to taking measurements and tweaking the base plates by hand until they are as good as they can be.
This process of making bespoke devices is often long, detailed, and complex which makes it not very viable as a commercial enterprise. However, just as hearing aids, tooth fillings etc, have moved from ‘one-size-fits all’ to a personalised fitting service, I truly believe that, at some time in the future someone will come up with a way of making these devices to fit each one of us perfectly. Maybe the new technology of laser-printing will be the answer/
Anyway, back to my own efforts.:
My very latest designs (just two days off the bench) involves base plates made from 9cm thick plastic facia board, cut to 125cmx75cm finished with rounded corners and bevelled edged so that the finished product does not cut into the skin.
The hole at the centre is designed to fit a 35cm waste water pipe approximately 20cmlong (this fits my stoma perfectly) The waste pipe is there to accommodate a 90degree knuckle bend, which guides the output away from the stoma, clear of the base plate and down into the ‘bag/sleeve’.
I have two different base plates: one is for the Dansac irrigation sleeves that stick straight onto it and the other is for the two-piece system which can accommodate either a sleeve or a bag to suit my needs at the time.
Now we come to the tricky/sticky bit that attaches to the skin. I have found that the fancier and more comfortable the base plates are, the more likely they are to leak . So, I have abandoned the concept of comfort for functionality and reliability.
For the past few years I have been successfully using ‘Hollister Adapt Medical Adhesive 7730’ to stick my base plates to my skin. Unfortunately, Hollister have decided that they no longer wish to manufacture and market this product. So I am now experimenting with alternatives.
Double-sided carpet tape seems to work okay and there is a medical version which works just as well. However, as I still have a supply of 7730, there doesn’t seem to be any urgency to resolve the pending problem yet.
Because of the shape of my body and the placement of my stoma, it is necessary to have two elastic belts to hold the base plate firm. Te top one needs to be at least 5 cms. longer that the bottom one to hold the plate in the perfect position. They also need to be adjustable because the elastic lengthens with wear.
Attaching the belts to the base plates has taken a long time to perfect because most fasteners simply do not stay fastened when in daily use. The best ones I have made from screw-‘eyes’, which screw into the base plates, with the hole flattened at the end so that it can accommodate a brass picture-hook (attached to the belt) which is much longer than the usual hook & eye fasteners.
Personally, I prefer to use irrigation sleeves folded up and secured with paperclips, rather than stoma bags which are far too small for my needs. The much longer sleeves are so much easier to rinse and flush into a toilet than bags that barely stretch past the height of the stoma.
It must be said that once I have designed and made a device to suit my needs, the ‘bags/sleeves usually last for months rather than days, and the base plates last indefinitely. Usually until I decide to replace them with an updated version.
I do believe that my own designs would easily accommodate making my own bags, if that ever became necessary.
Sorry if this post is a bit long-winded, but I have not yet developed the computer skills to attach a picture of my base plates. Maybe one day I will get around to learning these skills.