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When Should I Change My Ostomy Pouch?

Alarm Sounding Check Ostomy Bag

Many people find it helpful to schedule their ostomy pouch changes early in the morning or late in the evening right before bed.  A lot of people say that their stomas are less active during these times, but obviously that is not true for everyone.  You will need to get to know your habits, and plan the best time for you.  Generally speaking, you will have 3 to 5 days between pouch changes.  If you find yourself going through a lot of pouches and are experiencing a lot of leaks, you should contact your Ostomy nurse.  They are your greatest resource for information regarding your pouch and your supplies.  A good tip for keeping track of when you last changed your ostomy bag is to simply write the date on the pouch itself.  You can use any permanent marker and this little extra step will save you any confusion later.  You can also use your phone to set an alert and that will remind you to check your ostomy wafer. If at any time you are wearing your pouch, and you start to feel an itching or a burning sensation, you need to check your stoma as soon as possible.  If you feel any discomfort, check your stoma and the skin surrounding it to make sure you don't have a small leak and to make sure your skin is not red, irritated, or sore.  If your skin is sore around your stoma, then there are products designed to help your skin heal and avoid irritation in the future.  Stomahesive powders help to form a protective barrier, this not only protects the skin but it helps to extend the life of your wafer. Checking your skin and getting to know how your stoma works is the best way to keep your skin healthy and happy.

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