Ostomy And Leaks

Posted by MeetAnOstoMate

One of the most common problems associated with ostomies is the risk of leaks. Leaks occur when the stoma output (urine or feces) escapes from the ostomy pouching system, which is used to collect and contain the waste. A leak can cause embarrassment, discomfort, and skin irritation, and it can also lead to infection and other health problems if not managed properly.

Several factors can contribute to ostomy leaks, including incorrect pouch size or fit, poor pouching technique, changes in stoma size or shape, skin irritation or damage, or problems with the ostomy equipment or accessories. In some cases, leaks can also be caused by underlying medical conditions, such as diarrhea or high output from the stoma.

To prevent leaks, it is important to choose the right ostomy pouching system and accessories for your individual needs and to follow proper pouching techniques, such as ensuring a good seal, emptying the pouch regularly, and cleaning and protecting the skin around the stoma. It is also important to monitor changes in the stoma size or output and to seek medical advice if there are any concerns or problems.

If a leak does occur, it is important to take immediate action to minimize the impact and prevent further complications. This may involve changing the pouching system, cleaning and protecting the skin around the stoma, and seeking medical advice if necessary. With proper care and management, most ostomy leaks can be successfully managed, and individuals with ostomies can lead healthy, active, and fulfilling lives.

Based on discussions from the MeetAnOstoMate Discussion Forum, here is a summary of advice and insights on managing ostomy leaks:

1. Use convex flange and matching bag, barrier rings, and extra wide elastic barrier strips to prevent leaks.
2. Experiment with different products and approaches to find what works best for individual needs.
3. Consider using an ostomy belt to secure the bag and prevent leaks, especially during activities like swimming and sleeping.
4. Check for leaks under the flange/baseplate or from the bag/sleeve in other places to identify the source of the problem.
5. Inspect the baseplate for sharp edges or imperfections that could cause microscopic holes in the bag to prevent leaks.
6. Use Imodium to thicken output or try different foods to manage output consistency and reduce the risk of leaks.
7. Seek advice from ostomy nurses and representatives from ostomy product companies for personalized guidance.
8. Consider using hernia belts, Sure Seal rings, and strips of brown tape for added security and confidence.
9. Experiment with different ostomy products, including convex skin barriers, to improve sealing and reduce leaks.
10. Establish a consistent routine for changing the appliance and be patient in finding what works best for you.

If you have specific concerns, consider posting your question in the discussion forum of MeetAnOstoMate for personalized advice and support.

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Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister