Extended Wear Barrier: How Long Between Changes?


Howdy gang,

Now that I've gotten my stoma revised it's like a whole new ballgame when it comes to time between barrier changes. With my previous stoma that was sort of skin level, I changed my barrier every other day religiously due to leakage if I went longer. Now that I have a proper 'rosebud' stoma, it's a whole new world. Sealing the stoma is super easy and my barrier is holding up really well, even with my high very liquid output. Today I changed my barrier at day 4 and only because I wanted to see how my skin was holding up from the barrier adhesive.....I could have kept going for who knows how long before changing it. And my skin looked great. So I can go 5 days, 6 days or longer..........but should I?

I checked the normal sources and they tend to agree a barrier should be changed every 4 or 5 days max. But I know others on here go longer. So I'm wondering what those people are basing their decision on to keep it on longer. The only 'rule of thumb' I've run across is leave on as long as it doesn't screw up your skin'........which isn't telling me much. So if your barrier change is every 4 or more days......let me know how long you go.....and why you change it when you do.





 Bob, I go three days, then change first thing in the morning on the fourth day.  My skin is fine.  I could perhaps go a day or two longer, but I prefer the conservative approach to it.  I had plenty of experience with reddened skin years ago and I don't wish to tempt fate.  Since Medicare and my insurance cover the costs, that's not a factor for me, luckily.  I don't envy anyone who has to inject economics into their decision.  Congrats on the new outie.  That's so much better in avoiding leakage.  

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I have a 2-piece system, and I change the base plate every 5-7 days, and the bag however often it needs to be. I change the bag when it starts staining, or the contents stop slipping to the bottom easily. I change the baseplate if it starts to feel uncomfortable in some way - itchy, "loose", the edges start peeling up, the area around the stoma starts to pull away, etc.

It's 20 years for me next week with my ostomy and I've just gotten a feel for when it's time to change.

PS - I have an ileostomy.


I have a urostomy. So I think things are quite a bit different.. poop vs pee...

I change every 3 days. I can go 4. I have once.

When I remove the wafer I can see how the barrier seems to have eroded. But, it didn't look any different go 3 or 4. And I have not had any skin irritations. But I'm a little over 3 months with a bag. Things could change


Hi Bob, I use a 2-piece system for my colostomy, and I change the wafer/base plate every Sunday. I usually change the pouch at the same time but it can be changed any time. And of course, I would change the wafer earlier if needed. I pay for all supplies out-of-pocket. Wafers are over $10.00 each now and pouches are over $5.00 each now. Plus, add in the paste and other supplies so this schedule suits my budget. Plus, I don't like doing it so the longer in between changes is a plus.

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister

Not sure on the extenders since I don't normally use them, just wanted to say glad you got a better deal with your new stoma.


Hey Bob, I've gone much longer than four days to test the waters. I'm in total agreement with Henry on every fourth day. Skin preservation is key. Not worth the trial and error. Congrats.


Hello Bob.
Thanks for the update and I'm really pleased that the new stoma is working out for you.
As for changing the barriers I had lots of problems with manufacturer's barriers failing for one reason or another.  
In order to overcome these problems, I designed my own baseplates, onto which I attach their devices. 
This means that their wafers would possibly have a usable life of years. I have opted for a Coloplast two piece system which allows me to use the same ‘barrier’ with both an irrigation sleeve and a bag. Using this method, the decision is not about when I change the ‘barrier’ so much as when I change the devices attached. 
I opt to change the sleeves/bags about once a month because by that time they are beginning to get stained. 
At the start, I was experimenting and washing them out with bleach, which did the job and they lasted for months. However, the bleaching process was a bit of a time-waster, so I have subsequently been changing the devices every month.
It should be said that the NHS provide all my equipment on a free prescription. If I had to personally pay upfront for these devices, I would undoubtedly go for the clean and re-use method.
Maybe (as a minor rant), I should also mention that financially, there is no reason for me to experiment with making stuff last longer. However, politicians are renowned for moving the goalposts for those who cannot afford ‘stuff’. So, we never really know when they will impose charges on top of the National Insurance, which we have paid all our working lives to enable us to have a National Health Service. 
Judging from your past posts, I feel sure that you will quickly figure out what time-span suits you best with regard to changing your wafers. 
Best wishes


Hiya Bob!

I usually change my pouch, wafer, and ring about every 4-5 days. Sometimes I can go longer, but I try not to push it, you know? I also use some adhesive strips around my wafer just for a little added support from leakage. Depending on what I eat, sometimes the bag changes are necessary at the 3-day mark-


I change mine every 3 or four days. Like others, I can probably go 5 days but I choose not to. Yesterday, on the fourth day I had a leak from a tiny hole on the side of the bag that freaked me out. I don't know what caused it but it is a reminder to change the bag every 3-4 days.


I get 5 barriers per month so I generally change once per week. This allows me to build up a few spares in case I need them. I've gone as long as 9 days a couple of times with no issues. So far, in almost 4 years I've had no leaks or skin problems. Knock on wood. I use skin prep wipes so I assume that helps a bit.


I routinely change on the 6th day. I have no problem going to 7 days but one time I had a little skin irritation and dialed it back. I use pre-cut 2-piece barriers which have to be placed with precision or I can get skin irritation. I started using thin rings so that I did not have to be so precise in barrier placement. My usual problem is the bag cracks and simply replacing the bag is tricky without making a mess. I say go for 6 and beyond. You will feel it if you get skin irritation. You will miss 100% of the shots that you don't take!


"You will miss 100% of the shots that you don't take!"

True... but I never had a missed 3-pointer shot in my lap!


Past Member

I normally change bags between 4-5 days provided normal situations. This is about the time my stoma starts to become very sensitive and begins to hurt. Once I clean everything thoroughly, my stoma feels better. It took me months to come up with a regular regimen as I was changing my bags every other day. Granted, the healing process hindered things, but with patience and understanding your body, it became easier. It's the patience part that is tough to endure, but it does get better.


Hi, I change my barrier appliance every 5 to 12 days with an average of 7. Today's the 8th and I just changed it. Last was May 1st. Part of my secret is to use a lot of big C and Y barrier straps so my stoma is surrounded by a full 4 inches of tape. When it eventually does leak, the effluent is caught under the tape, giving me an extra day or two. I have not had skin issues yet. Using Coloplast SeSura Mio barrier (18520) with an inoperable melon hernia with (18612) SenSura Mio Click high output ostomy pouch which, when at home, I rinse out with a pitcher of warm water and when in public, a water bottle. This pouch has a VERY narrow output hole such that about 3 times+ a month I change the pouch due to pancaking. Too much heavy stool. It would take me 45 minutes on the John to flush it out so I just grab a fresh pouch. Getting to this comfort zone with my appliance took several years and more than one provider.


I can get by with 2 days if I'm not working but the days I work, I am way more active. I'm coming into contact with lots of cleaning supplies and chemicals, and I sweat easily and need more showers.

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Hi there 👋 Did any of you have your rectum closed 


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