Stop Ostomy Leaks: Maggie Baldwin From Let's Talk IBD
How to stop ostomy leaks?
Use The Equalizer to apply pressure on the skin barrier to improve the bond between the skin and the appliance. Press and hold for 10-20 seconds. It is flexible and works well with oval shapes. They come in 4 sizes and are reusable.
Is your ostomy bag leaking? This is a simple tool to help improve the bond. For stoma care, it allows you to apply an even and equal amount of pressure in a shape of a ring all the same time.
Ostomy Leak Prevention - Ostomy Bag Leaking
I was excited to learn that Stomaplex is a new company with innovative products. In addition to the Stoma-Guards, the Stomaplex Equalizer is another one of their designs. For ostomy care, it will help to secure the application of the flange/barrier to the skin. Utilize it to apply equal pressure around the stoma-skin junction, seating the flange/barrier. This will help to prevent leakage at that critical intersection. It is available in a variety of sizes and they are soft and flexible, allowing for contouring around even oval or irregular stomas, and they are completely washable and reusable.
- Pearl R. Harmany, BSN, RN, CWOCN.
Stomaplex offers tools to help with ostomy leakage and stoma care.
To ensure complete ostomy leakage prevention, you need a good bond between the wafer of your ostomy appliance and your skin. Just like any time you are trying to adhere one thing to another, you will want to follow these steps.
1) Surface Prep. (Skin):
Make sure your skin is clean and dry. I do not recommend using a moisturizer-based soap but instead a pure soap like Ivory. If you have belly hair, I would advise that you shave it off, but be careful not to nick the stoma.
2) Surface prep. (Ostomy Appliance):
I recommend that you warm the surface of the wafer before applying it to your skin. You can do this by having someone in your family place it next to their body (like under their armpit) or you can do what I do: set it on top of a lamp with a metal plate above it so the heat of the lamp travels into the wafer. This will soften the adhesive of the wafer and make it more sticky so it will have maximum adhesion. When you remove the paper backing, be sure not to touch the adhesive with your fingers.
3) Pressure on Ostomy Appliance:
After you apply the ostomy wafer, apply pressure to the outer ring around the stoma. Pressure is the key factor whenever you talk about adhesion. When I was in the hospital being trained on this, my Wound Ostomy Nurse recommended that I use my finger and go around the stoma applying pressure to the wafer to make a good bond. However, my fingers are too big, and the blunt, round end of my finger didn't make much positive contact with the wafer. In addition, the contact was only at one point at any given time. This is where the Stomaplex comes in to play.
With the Stomaplex you can apply pressure all the way around the stoma equally and at the same moment in time. By doing this type of stoma care, you will get better adhesion, guaranteed.
"Bob sent me a Stomaplex and once I started using it regularly, I realized I cannot ever go without one. I actually now have 2 just in case I forget to pack one if I go somewhere. By not only pressing hard for 30 seconds after you apply the wafer, but also bending the Stomaplex and using the sides to press down on every single corner of your wafer around the stoma (no matter how your stoma is shaped), the wear time of the wafer easily goes up. I think it doubles my wear time without question. Trying to use my fingers to press the wafer down, etc just doesn't allow the same sort of equal pressure. Nor does it allow you to do the extra "pressing" from all sides. By using both methods I described, the wear time of the wafer gets DAYS added on. I think it is a must have for anyone with an ostomy." Anahita (Maryland)