With so many products available for ostomy care, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The basic ostomy care necessities are ostomy wafers (skin barriers) and pouches. All other extra supplies are referred to as accessories.
We have chosen a few of the most common ostomy supplies and accessories for review: pouching systems, pouch support, stoma paste, skin barriers, skin protectors, and pouch deodorants.
This product guide covers:
Pouch Support Items
Barrier Rings and Seals
Odor Control Products
When Do You Need Ostomy Accessories?
While most ostomy care accessories are not necessary, they may enhance care for many.
Ostomy supplies and accessories can help ensure a secure seal. Some people may not need ostomy supplies, as they already have a great seal between the barrier and their skin. For others, however, this may present a challenge.
Ostomy accessories typically aim to further protect the stoma, secure a tight seal, and keep the skin around the stoma separate from bodily waste. Ostomy accessories are often chosen when users want a discreet, simple, and secure option.
You may choose to purchase an ostomy accessory if you notice leakage or if the skin around your stoma is red or irritated. Other reasons to opt for an accessory include a retracted stoma, open areas of skin around that area, or if you notice that the barrier does not adhere tightly to your skin.
The benefits of ostomy care accessories are determined by each individual and their personal needs.
What Are the Different Types of Ostomy Supplies?
The first step of taking care of your ostomy is to know and understand the different types of ostomy supplies, how they work, and the proper ways to use them. The biggest providers of ostomy accessories are Hollister, Coloplast, and ConvaTec.
Choosing the right ostomy bag depends on a number of factors, including the type of ostomy you have, as well as your personal needs and preferences.
An ostomy pouching system is used to collect bodily waste from a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy. It also protects the skin around the stoma (artificial opening) and helps to keep the ostomy pouch in place. The two main types of pouching systems are one-piece and two piece, but both include a skin barrier and a pouch.
In one-piece systems, the wafer is permanently attached to the pouch. One-piece pouches are generally easier for people with bad eyesight, arthritis, or conditions that require hand strength and dexterity.
With two-piece systems, the skin barrier and the pouch are two separate units (usually connected by a coupling system). A two-piece option reduces skin irritation by allowing users to replace their ostomy pouch without changing their barrier. Two-piece pouching systems are slightly more visible under clothing than one-piece pouches.
Different factors (such as the construction of your stoma and surrounding skin area) may have an impact on the security of your pouching system. Pouch support – also called support belts – attach to the wafer and ensure that the bag stays in place. Though they aren’t necessary, they can provide additional abdominal support and increase the feeling of security.
A belt may be needed if your wafer/flange is not tightly-sealed to the skin and you experience consistent leakage. The ostomy belt will snugly affix the pouching system to your abdomen, preventing the borders of the wafer from lifting.
Ostomy belts are beneficial for people who have hernia, as well as people who actively participate in sports.
Manufacturers like Coloplast, Convatec, and Hollister provide a range of pouch support belts available in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. It is important to choose the correct size, as wearing a too-tight ostomy belt may cause skin issues such as irritation and ulcers.