A one-piece closed urostomy bag or pouch is a prosthetic medical device that collects urine outside the abdomen. You may use this after you have undergone bladder surgery. Before you learn more about this appliance, it’s best to understand what conditions lead to its use.
Why would you need a one-piece closed urostomy bag?
Several conditions can compromise the normal function of your urinary tract. These conditions include bladder cancer, abdominal trauma resulting from a severe injury, congenital disabilities, chronic infections, and painful bladder syndrome.
Your attending physician may advise you to undergo a cystectomy if you have a severe bladder condition. A cystectomy is the surgical removal of a portion of the bladder or the entire organ itself. After completing the procedure, your surgeon must redirect the body’s flow of urine output. This is where a urostomy comes in. Its purpose is to create a stoma, a temporary or permanent opening on your abdomen, that serves as the new exit point for your urine.
There are two types of urostomies:
- Conventional – This involves the construction of an ileal conduit that serves as a pathway for the excretion of urine. Your surgeon will take a part of your small intestine, connect one end to your ureters, and let the other end pass through the stoma.
- Continent – In this procedure, your surgeon will create an internal pouch that comes with two kinds of valves. One of them prevents urine from going back to your ureters and kidneys. The other keeps urine inside the pouch until you insert a catheter through the stoma to drain the fluid.
If you undergo a conventional urostomy, you need a urostomy pouching system as an external repository for your urine.
The basics of a urostomy pouching system
A urostomy pouching system has two main components. The first is a skin barrier, also known as a flange or wafer. This adhesive plate attaches to the peristomal skin or the area around your stoma. The other component is the bag that collects your urine. This comes in two types:
- One-piece pouch – This device features a skin barrier and urostomy bag joined as a single unit.
- Two-piece pouch – Here, the flange and bag are separate from each other. When you remove the pouch for disposal or emptying, the wafer stays attached to your stoma.
In addition, each type has two variants:
- Closed or Closed-End – This pouch is sealed all around the bottom. Once it’s full, you need to remove it from your stoma for immediate disposal.
- Drainable – This device has a clip, seal, or clamp that you open to empty the bag of its collected urine. As you drain the pouch, it stays attached to your stoma.
Your physician or ostomy care nurse will talk to you about these options to help you decide which one suits your lifestyle. If you wish to use a one-piece closed urostomy bag, you may want to learn about its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of using a one-piece closed urostomy bag:
- It’s generally more affordable as the bag and wafer don’t come as separate pieces.
- Since the bag is disposable, there’s no need to clean it after removing it from your abdomen.
- Urine won’t seep out of the appliance, and foul odors won’t emanate from it because the bottom of the pouch is completely sealed. Since the bag cannot be seperated from the flange, it may be a good option for when you aredoing various physical activities, including exercising, swimming, or having sex.
- It has a discreet profile, which means it’s less noticeable under your clothes. This is particularly helpful if you like wearing tight-fitting garments.
Disadvantages of using a one-piece closed urostomy bag:
- You may need to go through more of these pouches since you can’t reuse them.
- The frequent removal and application of this type of bag might irritate or damage your peristomal skin.
- Adhering the flange in the proper position to your peristomal skin can be difficult because the bag blocks your view of your stoma.
- If you apply the pouch to your abdomen incorrectly, you must remove and discard it before re-applying a new bag.
Tips for living with a one-piece closed urostomy bag
Remember these tips to make living with a one-piece closed urostomy bag more manageable:
Get the right fit
Depending on the nature of your cystectomy, you may have to use your urostomy pouch for a few months or the rest of your life. Your top priority should always be your comfort. You may have to try a variety of options until you find the one that provides the snuggest fit. You may even wear an ostomy belt so your pouch stays in place no matter how much or how vigorously you move.
Change your bag regularly and properly
It’s important to establish a schedule for replacing your pouch to ensure optimal leakage prevention. This can depend on how often you urinate and how much fluid you ingest in a day. In addition, it is a good idea to change your bag when it is a one third of the way full or half-full. If you delay the process and wait until the bag has reached maximum capacity, your accumulated urine can produce foul odors or may become too heavy and start to detach.
To change a one-piece closed bag, follow these steps:
- Go to the bathroom and wash your hands with soap and warm water.
- Place your new bag and other pouching system supplies on a nearby clean surface.
- Gently peel the pouch off your abdomen, then place it in the trash.
- Clean your peristomal skin and dry off any urine that may dribble from your stoma with some toilet paper or paper towels.
- Align the new bag to the outside of your stoma, then adhere it to the peristomal skin while smoothing out any creases.
- Rewash your hands with warm, soapy water.
Seek advice from your healthcare professional and fellow ostomates
There are a lot of variables that come into play when using a one-piece closed urostomy bag. For this reason, it is best to get help from those who know what you are going through. For more personalized help and advice, visit us at www.joinbetter.com or call us at 415-475-8444.