How To Prevent Ostomy Leaks
Ostomy Nurse Reviews The Stomaplex Equalizer
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.
To ensure complete ostomy leak 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):
To change a colostomy bag 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.
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 Equalizer comes in to play.
With the equalizer you can apply pressure all the way around the stoma equally and at the same moment in time when you change your colostomy bag. By doing this, you will get better adhesion, guaranteed.