For people living with a colostomy, urostomy, or ileostomy, leakages can feel like a nightmare but they’re actually a very common issue that every ostomate will face at some point in their ostomy journey.
But there are some easy ways to prevent ostomy leakages, as well as some quick fixes for those times when leakages do occur. Watch the video below to learn more.
Hi, my name is Siobhan and I lead ostomy education here at Better Health. I have an ostomy myself so I’m very familiar with the ins and outs and ups and downs of daily living with an ostomy. One of my jobs here is to be a coach, to people who are new to ostomies, whether they have recently had surgery or will be having surgery very soon.
So I’m here with Duncan and Duncan, you have an issue that’s coming up. You just recently had surgery. Yes, I did. And hi, Siobhan, I’m having problems with leaks under my barrier that I change it once or twice a day, but what’s causing these leaks Duncan. Let me reassure you that these leaks are very common.
I’ve had my fair share of leaks and there are a couple of things that we can do to troubleshoot the problem that you’re having. So let me walk you through that. Does that sound good? Fantastic. So today I have with me our anatomical training model, this is a, for short, we call him Fred. Fred has a stoma.
So Fred has a healthy stoma right here. Fred is also a training model. So he has some examples of some unhealthy stomas. So just disregard those and focus on the healthy stoma right here. So the very first thing that might be causing your pain. Duncan is that your barrier may not be fitting close enough to your stoma.
Oftentimes if that barrier isn’t close enough, that output can kind of make its way under the barrier edge and make your skin irritated. It feels very uncomfortable. It will also make your barrier last, not as long as you would like it. So when you’re putting on your bed, You want to make sure that that barrier is very close to the edge of the stoma, not choking it because you don’t want to cause a whole host of problems in that direction.
But when you put the barrier on want to make sure that it’s centered and within eighth of an inch to three to five millimeters away from the stoma itself. Now another thing that you should be aware of when you’re troubleshooting leaks, is that right? Sometimes you just don’t have the right barrier on.
Sometimes it can be, we call it some. People have challenging anatomy. So a challenging anatomy means that there’s just, you know, bumps increases just normal human body stuff. Maybe an incision. I have one that interferes with my own barriers. So if that’s the case, you may want to try a flexible barrier like this.
Some barriers are more rigid. Some barriers are very flexible and can kind of fold a little bit and make sure that they kind of work their way in underneath the. In this little valley that’s created by the skit. I see. Great. So let’s talk about another troubleshooting tip. One way to get a more even surface that you can use to apply your barrier is by adding on either osteomy paste, which is what I have an example of here and just creating a line around it that asks me pace.
We’ll create a flexible seal and we’ll keep the output from making its way into the brain. Kind of like the caulking in your shower. Alternatively, if you don’t prefer Asami pace, another option is something called a barrier ring. So I have two examples, this one and this one, and this one is for, you know some ways that may not be round they’re more oval or maybe even irregularly shaped.
And this would go around the stoma and you kind of warm them up with your fingers. You kind of apply them sort of like a paste and that will do the same job as the paste and create that flexible. So the shape matters that that type of barrier matters and maintenance matters. Absolutely. And if you are having a lot of leaks that can break down the skin a little bit.
And so you want to make sure that as soon as you identify that you are having those leaks and you can identify what the problem is you want it to start taking care of that because it can be very hard to get a barrier, to stick, to read irritated skin. Like you can kind of see, okay. In these two examples.
Oh, great. Thanks. Siobhan that’s good information. It’s my pleasure Duncan. For more information, tips and guidelines about troubleshooting ostomy issues. Stay tuned to the series or go to Better Health Ostomy Supplies at www.joinbetter.com.