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Bag Issues

westie66's picture
westie66
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi all: Now that I am a not-so-proud owner of a colostomy bag, I need some advice. I have had more embarrassing leaks and explosions than most people I think (or maybe not!). For example, I had a CT scan on Wednesday and had to drink 2 bottles of barium stuff. When I got back to the place I'm staying, everything exploded! So embarrassed.
Anyways, I am using products made by Coloplast. I have a real leakage problem around the flange - probably because I have a fat little tummy! I use the 2 piece system. All terribly expensive (a box of 5 flanges is over $120 and a box of 20 bags is about $130 plus all the seals and deodorizers). Can anyone advise on the following:
(1) seals to prevent leaks
(2) perhaps better systems
(3) ordering products online (I am Canadian).
I will have it for life.
Thanks!
Cheryl

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Ministry of Health covers assistive devices, including ostomy supplies....Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Assistive Devices Program
7th Floor, 5700 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M2M 4K5

Toronto 416-327-8804
Toll-free 1-800-268-6021
TDD/TTY 416-327-4282
TDD/TTY 1-800-387-5559
Fax 416-327-8192
e-mail: adp@ontario.ca
Assistive Devices Program
Ostomy Supplies
Who can apply?
Any resident of Ontario with a valid Health Card issued in their name, who has a permanent colostomy, ileostomy, urostomy, ileal conduit or continent pouch/reservoir.

The ADP does not pay for supplies for persons with a temporary ostomy.

The ADP does not pay for supplies for persons who reside in chronic care hospitals, Schedules I or III Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) residential facilities or people in Schedule II Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care facilities.

The ADP does not pay for supplies available under the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) or to Group '‘A'’ Veterans for their pensioned conditions.

What do I do first?
You begin by getting an Application for Funding Ostomy Grant form.

The form can be downloaded and printed from the Assistive Devices Program website at www.health.gov.on.ca. Or by calling the Assistive Devices Program directly.

I'd call them and see if you qualify. Check out the website.

John23
Posts: 1832
Joined: Jan 2007

I have an Ileostomy (a bit tougher to manage than a colostomy,
or so they tell me), but much of the information regarding "care
and management" of a stoma is the same, regardless of type
of ostomy.

You can read some of my suggestions here: http://csn.cancer.org/node/227905

You'll have to provide some info regarding your stoma. Is it an
"innie" - recessed lower than the skin surface, or an "outie" - the
way it should have been formed, where the stoma sticks out
3/4 to 1 inch from the skin's surface?

If it's recessed, you'll need to use convex wafers to push down on the
peristomal area and make that stoma stick out further into the pouch.

Using an adhesive ring around the stoma (between the skin and wafer),
can add much to your "wear time", and greatly reduce the problem of
leakage. Hollister Adapt Rings, Convetec Eiken Seals, Incutec seals,
Coloplast seals.... there's plenty to choose from! They all can add to
the wear-time by providing a better seal around the stoma.

You should make sure the wafer is cut as close to the stoma as possible.
No skin should show around the stoma when the wafer is on! The stoma
can't be harmed by the fluids from waste, but the skin can, so a fairly snug
fit is best.

Wearing an ostomy belt is always a big help also. It helps keep the wafer/pouch
tight against the body, preventing "problems".

And you should heed the manufacturer's instructions, and make sure you
empty the pouch when it is no more than 1/3 full!

Also..... The UOAA forum is full of information (some good; some not so good)
but you can learn about other neat tricks there! With a colostomy, you have the
advantage of utilizing "irrigation". That's something we ileostomates aren't able
to make use of..... You can "flush" your stoma as you would use an enema,
and that can allow you to do without the appliance (wafer/pouch) for periods
of time. You have more control of your situation...!

An ostomy is a life-changing event, but what isn't? We do what we have to do,
and we move forward.

Check my "blog"; check out that UOAA forum, and if I can ever be of help,
just yell, ok?

Best wishes!

John

Dyanclark's picture
Dyanclark
Posts: 258
Joined: Apr 2012

Liberator Medical I believe is much cheaper. Also are you useing the paste to help seal the flange. My husband is new on the bag but the visiting nurses are so helpful. We live in Las Vegas, NV, USA & he has Medicare they provide a nurse service for 60 days. Once you get used to using the supplies you should not have leakes or breaking. I think drinking that stuff was a lot to go thru a person, dont see how the bag could hold all that. My husband usually eliminates about 2 hrs after eating.

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2943
Joined: Jan 2010

I am in the USA and deal with Liberty Medical.

They do have a web site www.libertymedical.com Their direct number for calling to order ostomy supplies is 1-800-208-1057. You cannot order off the internet, but can see the options for systems and there are many. They deal with various providers.

I don't know if there is anyway to get a discount via your Canadian medical coverage or not. I have Medicare and a supplimental insurance here. You can call them to find out about any discount and costs. They can also send you a small catalog with available supplies.

I use a Holister 2 piece drainable. Using the drainable is definately more cost effective than the one use type. I can ususally go about 1 week between changing the appliance.
You need to empty the bag when it is about 1/3 full and also release any air/gas build up when it occurs to help maintain the seal.

Having a 'fat little tummy' should not be a problem for the seal. It is the valleys and folds at the seal site that cause problems. For this they make a paste that you put on before the flange to fill in the gaps and make a flatter surface for the seal.

Accidents will happen, but with time and practice you will become more comfortable with the ostomy and its care.

If you need more info, don't hesitate to ask here or PM me. I will try to help you have a better life with an ostomy.

Hugs,

Marie who loves kitties

westie66's picture
westie66
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks, all! For the Ontario people here, I already applied for the grant from the govt - it is only $600/yr and I've already spent that (in 3 weeks!). My plan covers about 85% luckily but I have to use up the grant first which I have. I do use the following - convex flange (as my "outie" isn't very "out"), seals of various types, belt, lotion to help the burning of my skin (I am allergic to adhesives of all types) - I still have a problem. I do have a community nurse that comes every 2-3 days thankfully. My problems are in the mornings so now I allow lots of time! I'll try the Hollister products next (I have coloplast and salt).
Thanks!
cheryl

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2943
Joined: Jan 2010

If you contact Hollister Canada via web page

http://hollister.com/canada/

you may be able to talk with someone directly about your issues and get them to send samples of what may work better for you.

They also have a powder called Karaya which might help with the issue with the adhesives. I use it with every change on the area around the stoma and out to the area of the flange adhesive wings. Sometimes it does cause the adhesive to not hold as well. For that I have recently been using a product by Genairex called Hydrocolloid Skin Parrier Strips. It is an alternative to tape and for those with allergy to those adhesives. It works well.

Hope some of this will help you with the issues.

Hugs,

Marie who loves kitties

joemetz's picture
joemetz
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

Cheryl

I had the bag for 9 months, and when I first got it... I, like you, had several very embarassing situations, leaks and explosions. Not fun whatsoever.

I went to google and found every company who sells bags and bag supplies.
I requested samples from every one. I would call them and I would email them and ask for samples.

these companies want your business! (as you've discovered, these things can be costly)
I went to the one piece bag, and I liked the ones that had a concave harder plastic "connection" to my skin. I tried everything... and that worked best for me.

and, once i received samples from all the companies... I had extra supplies.

I'd use the nice expensive ones when I knew i'd have it on for 3-5 days. (yes, I most often got them to last 5 days) and I found that some of the cheaper ones, would definately last 3 days.

also, ask your caregivers at your hosptial if there are peer groups or a leader that can answer questions and provide you with help and assistance.

thanks

Joe

dmj101's picture
dmj101
Posts: 526
Joined: Nov 2011

Holister products.. I have seen most of the vendors products and I find the Holister 2 pieces the easiest and most durable.. they can last me anywhere from 3-5 days at a time. I also use the adapt paste. You have to experiment to find what works best for you. and most will send you samples.. I was very lucky a colostomy support group at the local hospital had the vendors visit with their products and provide samples and advise how to use them..

I think accidents can happen with any product. You have to get used to you schedule and it depends on what you are eating as well sometimes.. so sorry you had any accident... also mood I find can effect.. if I get axious.. I find I put our gas and stool that is acid and loose.. I also find if I suddenly get very tired.. I am passing stool at a large volumn.. learn your signs.

I am in the US so I cannot offer you any suggestions regarding prices they are all costly.. I order thru Edgepark.. don't know if they are in Canada.. my insurance works best with them..

Good luck at finding your match..

westie66's picture
westie66
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks, all! I will try Hollister next. Yesterday was a 4 bag/flange day, lots of leaks. Ugh. I prefer a 2 piece system as my hands are still too stiff to do well at cutting the flange to fit so I don't have to do that as often. I have a special scissors that cuts in curves. I have both disposable and rinse out bags. I will get as many samples as I can! Mine is on for life so ...
Cheryl

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2943
Joined: Jan 2010

Before calling for supplies measure your stoma...I assume you got the cut outs of the various sizes to do this.

It may be that you can get a flange that meets your needs without cutting. If not ask them if they can pre-cut them. They will charge a little for that service, but that will help you with your hands. It may also help with the leakage problems since that edge will be smoother.

It will get easier.

Hugs,

Marie who loves kitties

dmj101's picture
dmj101
Posts: 526
Joined: Nov 2011

agree wit Marie.
measure your stoma, I use a precut so I don't have that worry of cutting..
In fact its been a while since i measured myself. maybe I too should do that..
it your cut is not good or too large leakage will happen regardless of what you use..
and rings anf pastes are important too..

westie66's picture
westie66
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi all: Thanks again. My stoma is not round but rather kind of a squished oval. All the templates (at least the ones I have) are round. I used a very expensive seal yesterday (it was a sample from coloplast) and it appears to be working well but it is very expensive. Like Eakin seals I think. Since it was only done 3 months ago, my stoma may still be changing (I've kept all the templates I made). Yup, it will get better I know. Tomorrow I am going on a long car trip - I'm taking along a big old towel (there are few places to stop on this most major of Canada's highways). Wish me luck!
Cheryl

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2943
Joined: Jan 2010

I use ConvaTec # 411807 flange which has an oval stoma opening.

If you will PM me your address I will gladly send you a few flanges and matching bags for you to try.

Marie who loves kitties

Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

Have tried various different brands of supplies and settled on Hollister 2-piece appliance also. Can wear the flanges on in shower even and have no problems with them leaking.
I use both the drainable (at home) and the throw-away bags. I can usually get 4-5 days out of a flange, longer if you "picture frame" it with good tape.
Like said earlier make sure hole size is not to large over stoma for best seal. I use no rings or paste ect, just be sure your skin is clean and dry before applying. After washing I dry the area around my stoma with a hair dryer on low and this gives maximum adhesion for the flange.
Liberty medical stop being a provider for my insurance co. (bluecross) so I switched to a company called Edgepark and they ship immeadiatly, get my supplies in 3 days, plus they call me when a expected order is due to be re-supplied. Sorry I dont have thier # right on hand but you find them easy.
Good luck with yours and you will get better with it over time with trial and error. Again, I 2nd the Hollister 2-piece systems.

dmj101's picture
dmj101
Posts: 526
Joined: Nov 2011

I wish I could remember who it is who makes the moldable barier..meaning the ring... it is a 2 piece system and it is probably what you need.. If any one knows this please advise cheryl..

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2943
Joined: Jan 2010

ConvaTec
SUR-FIT Natura® ConvaTec Moldable Technology™ Skin Barrier

Durahesive® skin barriers swell up or "Turtleneck" to better protect the stoma and peristomal skin. Convex is good for people with a retracted or flush stoma. Mouldable allows for improved skin protection over traditional barriers and provides ease of use and versitility. It requires no cutting or measuring, which makes it easy to learn how to use.

westie66's picture
westie66
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Marie who loves kitties: My middle name is Marie. I put this reply in the wrong place but ... I'll try and google them and see if they will send me samples. I thought I knew how to PM you but didn't work! Can you PM me?
Cheryl

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2943
Joined: Jan 2010

PM sent.

Now all you have to do it click on reply to get a message to me.

Marie who loves kitties

dmj101's picture
dmj101
Posts: 526
Joined: Nov 2011

there is a company I think in california that will customize a barrier.. Do you have a stoma nurse... I have heard the stoma nurse speak of it at my support group meeting at Morristown Memorial. but sorry i didn't pay much attention to remember the name.

She has to build a mold of the stoma.. the company provides a kit to build and you send it to them it is costly and some insurances pay a partial payment .. but not a total payment..

Coppercent
Posts: 143
Joined: Jan 2012

I also use the Holister Two Piece system and love it. However, I have a temporary ileostomy and honestly don't know the difference in taking care of the ileostomy/colostomy. I have excellent insurance and they send me 20 bag/flanges a month. So I could easily change them every other day but I do not. I have only had accidents when I was lazy and tried to stretch it over a weekend when I was not planning to go anywhere.

You learn things every day on this site. I had a visiting nurse for my first change. She came for wound care but helped with the ostomy that day as well. She taped around the flange which I never understood why until someone else just mentioned it helped streth the life. I never used it after she did it that one time. If your cut out is the perfect size you don't need paste or a ring. But my stomach is a little on the puffy side and the ring does help some but I don't always use it. When I came out of the hopital my opening was one size then it shrunk and it has stayed the same size for the last nine months.

I have had several CT scans since I had my bag with the two bottles of "delicious drink" and my bag has always stayed on but like I mentioned I have an ileostomy and they must not output as much. However, I always carry an exta bag set up when I go out and a set of clean clothes. I have had to change the bag set up when I have been out but it never got so bad I needed to change my clothes.

Good luck! Once you get used it the bag, you will be able to do it in your sleep.

westie66's picture
westie66
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

I tape around my flange most times just for the added (mental) security. I think the difference between an ileostomy and a colostomy is the output - the ileostomy is from the small intestine and so the output is more liquid; the colostomy is from the large bowel (mine the sigmoid) and the output is like it was before. Technically, from what I heard, the drainable bag was really designed for the ileostomy folks. So you output after a CT and drinking and oh-so-good (!) barium wouldn't be much different. It was an interesting experience! I have heard of an older blind lady who does her own changes!
Cheryl

steve g
Posts: 55
Joined: Dec 2008

Cheryl; If you would E-mail me your address I will send you my extra supplies that I have. I use Holister 2 piece with a flange paste and have never had any leaks. Must have a 3 or 4 month supply that I could send. Steve snpglenn@aol.com

westie66's picture
westie66
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi: You don't need them any more? Wow! how kind! I'm a Canadian though if that makes a difference. They manufacture the Hollister stuff in a town near where I'm visiting (so their website says anyways).
Cheryl

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