Tips for Extending Bag Durations? Need advice for longer wear time!

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Homie With A Stomie NS

Although I am a fairly new ostomate, I am learning quickly and have an amazing ostomy nurse here in NS... Anyways, I was a 4-day bag girl not long ago, and some of us know the cost factor is insane, so I am happy to report I am now a 7-day girl. Woot woo...

To go from 4 days to 7, I simply added a barrier ring. It is great protection for the skin around the stoma and an extra seal... That's all I did differently... It's the simple things that get you through... All helpful tips and tricks welcomed...

AlexT

It varies for everyone. I use a barrier ring and get 4 days for sure. I could probably push it longer but I'm very hard on my bags/rings and I really don't need a fail at work.

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SallyK

I did the same, Mommabear NS... The cost for supplies is insane!

Homie With A Stomie NS
Reply to AlexT

True that... 7 days tops as the ring breaks down over the week.

Homie With A Stomie NS
Reply to SallyK

OMG yes....I just applied to the Pharmacare Cancer Program that apparently assists with ostomy/colostomy supplies cost....fingers crossed. A darn box of 10 rings, 2.7mm, costs 70 bucks. Bags over 125, not including wipes, powders, etc. It's crazy!!!!

 
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SallyK
Reply to Homie With A Stomie NS

There is zero help here in NB. I'm thinking of moving to NS. LOL I lived in Halifax a few years back... I could live there again.

lovely

Thanks for sharing the information.

patrickrichardson1946

I have never used a barrier ring, but I can hardly believe people use the same bag for up to 7 days. It is an eye-opener realizing the financial pressure on ostomates in countries without state-funded health services. I believe that some ostomates actually make their own bags, especially in third-world countries.

Bill

                          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.

Best wishes

Bill   

Homie With A Stomie NS

OMG Bill, keep designing... Loved your response and thank you.

TerryLT

Another important factor in wear time is whether you have a colostomy or an ileostomy. Colostomates are much more likely to get long wear time, simply because the output from an ileostomy is more caustic and breaks down adhesives and seals more quickly. I have an ileostomy, and feel really lucky that I get six-day wear time, and that is without a barrier ring.

The stupid thing about the system in Canada is that we do have universal healthcare, and yet ostomy supplies are not covered, as if they are not necessary or somehow are just a choice that people made to purchase. If you are lower income, once you reach a certain threshold, there is help for you, but otherwise you are on your own. Many have extended health benefits through their employers, which covers most of the cost of ostomy supplies. I only end up paying something like 20% of the cost of my supplies because my former employer covers mine. The system should be changed, but I guess there has to be an uprising amongst ostomates to get something started!

Terry

T

AlexT

It would suck to have to pay for everything. I'm thankful all mine is covered unless it's something extra.

Homie With A Stomie NS
Reply to AlexT

In NS, you pay for every order I put in over 225, only for bags, rings, flanges, not the extras.

Homie With A Stomie NS
Reply to TerryLT

Totally agree, it's ridiculous. The horror stories you hear are heartbreaking.... Myself, I'm ileostomy was every 4 days, now 7 with a barrier ring.

TerryLT
Reply to Homie With A Stomie NS

By the way, welcome to the site! It sounds like you are doing great for a newbie! I can go seven days between changes if I want to push it, but choose not to. Perhaps I could extend it by adding a barrier ring, but I like the simplicity and ease of changes, as well as less product to buy, so less cost. Everyone figures out what works out best for them. One thing my favorite ostomy nurse said that has stuck with me is "less is more" when it comes to ostomy products. Clean, dry skin is the best surface for a flange to stick to. She said, with the exception of barrier rings, lots of ostomates learn they have to add lots of extra products, sprays, powders, which they may or may not need. As long as your skin is healthy, not degraded or uneven, you shouldn't need anything else.

Terry

AlexT
Reply to TerryLT

Yep. I was kinda confused on the skin prep wipes, hearing both yes and no about using them. So, I emailed Hollister since that's the brand of bag I use and they said they do not recommend using skin prep wipes as long as your skin is healthy. They also said if you use stoma powder that you do not need to use a skin prep wipe over the powder. So, I haven't used a skin prep wipe since and have used stoma powder along the edge of my stoma without using a skin prep wipe over the powder. I've had no issues.

AlexT
Reply to Homie With A Stomie NS

Do you ask companies to send you samples?

SallyK
Reply to AlexT

Companies will only send so many samples.

AlexT
Reply to SallyK

Yep. But a few samples is at least a little savings to those that have to pay for their supplies.

SallyK
Reply to AlexT

Yes, I am one of those that pay for my supplies. I was able to get a few samples after my surgery 2 years ago.

Homie With A Stomie NS
Reply to TerryLT

Ty, I am certainly trying to adjust quickly to this new lifestyle... I don't use all the extras as well: 1 piece bag, barrier ring, adhesive wipe, and a hair dryer. Lol... 7 days now saves me some on cost as I'm not changing as often, and the ring is the barrier protecting my skin, so a win-win.

Homie With A Stomie NS
Reply to AlexT

I do, but they send you like 2 of whatever.

Justbreathe
Reply to AlexT

Is a skin prep wipe the same as a skin barrier wipe? I have both. An adhesive remover wipe (Coloplast) to remove glue residue from tape and the skin barrier wipe which is applied to the top of the stoma powder creating a sort of plastic coating over the powder.

AlexT
Reply to Justbreathe

Yes. When I first got my stoma, I used Convatec All Kare wipes. Once I placed my first order for my monthly prescription, I switched to Adapt (Hollister) brand wipes. If I were to order again, even though I don't use wipes anymore, I'd order the All Kare ones as I like their tackiness better on my skin. I don't know if any are better than any other, but I preferred the All Kare ones. ‍ I've also tried the Cavillon spray and found it to be basically the same as either wipe. I use Adapt remover spray to take my bag off and then usually 2 Adapt remover wipes to make sure all the adhesive stuff is off as I kinda use those wipes to scrub the skin where everything was stuck to me. Then, I shower with no bag and let everything dry thoroughly and let my skin get some fresh air. Then, being a hairy stomach dude, I shave the area where my bag is with an electric bikini shaver, wipe it off, and let it dry again. I apply my barrier ring to my bag, heat my skin up with a hairdryer, and then lightly warm the sticky part of my bag and then apply it to my skin. I hold it on for a good 5 minutes to make sure it adheres well with the body heat from my hand, and I'll also run the hairdryer over my hand to warm it up even more.

AlexT
Reply to Homie With A Stomie NS

What kind of bags do you use and what size is your stoma?

SallyK
Reply to AlexT

When do you use the powder? You had mentioned using it one time.

SallyK
Reply to Justbreathe

Do you put powder on your skin where the wafer/flange will go? Over the whole area?

AlexT
Reply to SallyK

I use the powder if I have irritated skin along the edge of my stoma.

AlexT

Here's part of the email I got from Hollister.....

AlexT

After receiving that information from Hollister, I asked my ostomy nurse about the skin/barrier prep wipes. She responded with.... The older bags' adhesive was so strong that using a skin/barrier wipe was recommended because of the damage the older adhesives would do to your skin. But nowadays, the adhesives are much easier on your skin and they do not recommend using a skin/barrier wipe unless your skin is irritated.

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