Choosing the ostomy system that's right for you
When it comes to life with an ostomy, there is no “one size fits all.” Whether you’ve had colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy surgery, we can help find the right system that will work for your ostomy type. Every person and stoma is unique, so it’s important to explore all your options when choosing an ostomy system. You might find that different appliances work better for different situations, such as swimming or intimacy.
First and foremost, you’ll want to routinely measure your stoma, as it will change over time – especially immediately following your surgery. Your ostomy nurse can help you set up a measuring schedule and advise on resizing needs.
Watch this video for tips on how to size your stoma:
Which Skin Barrier is Right for You?
Stomas vary in size and can be round, oval or irregular in shape. It may protrude or stay flat against your skin. Because of these variations, there are many barrier options available so you can find the perfect fit for you. The right barrier will offer protection from leaks, keeping your peristomal (around the stoma) skin healthy, which is important for your overall health and comfort. Convatec offers a wide range of skin barrier options customized to fit your needs.
Convex barriers are ideal for flush or retracted stomas, or for anyone with a soft abdomen, making it easier to attach. It comes with a choice of closed-end, drainable or urostomy pouch, and is available in Pre-cut or Cut-to-Fit options. Flexible convex options fits to body contours and moves with you, providing enhanced comfort and discretion.
Accordion skin barriers lift easily so that you have more finger space and can attach the pouch to the barrier easily. It is designed to prevent pressure or trauma to the area, especially after surgery. Accordion barriers are compatible with a range of Natura® pouch options and are available in Flat, Convex, Cut-to-Fit and Moldable options.
Moldable skin barriers offer the most custom fit for your stoma. ConvaTec Moldable Technology™ creates an elastic-like seal that rebounds to fit any size and shape, and then “turtlenecks” upward, to enhance the seal and protect the skin. Moldable barriers are an ideal option for anyone with an irregular stoma, or if you are just looking for an improved seal. Because they require no cutting or guesswork, they are easy to use.
Pre-cut barriers are made for the most common stoma sizes. They are uniform, circular in shape and ready to apply right out of the box. If you have an evenly round stoma, pre-cut barriers can save you time. However, if you’re like many people and your stoma is not round or a standard size, these may not be the best choice for you. Try Moldable or Cut-to-Fit instead.
Cut-to-fit barriers have various sizes printed on them as a guide so you can cut the opening to match your stoma size. Using scissors, you can cut a circle, oval or any shape you need to fit your stoma. This is a good option if you have an irregular stoma shape or are between sizes. If you have dexterity issues, Cut-to-Fit may not be the best choice for you. Try Moldable instead.
What Pouch is Right For You?
Convatec offers a wide range of pouching options. Whether you prefer a one-piece drainable pouch or a two-piece closed-end pouch, there is a solution to fit any situation. Here are a few or our most common options and the benefits they offer.
Opaque (Tan-colored pouch)
Immediately following your surgery, you may be provided with a clear pouch. This will help you get used to your output and determine when a pouch needs to be changed or emptied. Once you have gotten more comfortable with it, you may want to choose an opaque pouch for more discretion. ConvaTec’s Opaque + pouches are comfortable, nearly rustle-free and resist water.
Closed-end pouches are recommended for people who have thick, formed stool that is more predictable. Closed-end pouches typically have a lower profile and come in a “mini” size for an even more discreet profile. Once they are full (1/3 to ½ of the way), you simply remove and replace with a new pouch.
Drainable pouches allow you to drain the output periodically throughout the day so that you do not have to change pouches as frequently. This option is recommended for people who have loose, liquid stool or semi-formed stool that can be unpredictable.
These are pouches made especially for people who have had urostomy surgery. It has a valve or “tap” at the bottom that allows for draining.
Invisiclose™ Clipless Tail Closure
Traditional drainable pouches are closed with a separate clip. ConvaTec’s + Pouches have an integrated Invisiclose® option, which provides an easy closure option without compromising security.
Our drainable + Pouches also come with the “Lock-It Pocket™” which provides the flexibility of a drainable pouch, with the security and comfort of a closed-end pouch.
You may want to consider a pouch that includes a Filter to help release and deodorize gas and keep the pouch flat. Note that the filter must be covered while swimming, bathing or showering.
Ostomy Product Selector
If you’re still unsure about what products would be best for you, try our Ostomy Product Selector tool. You’ll discover and have the opportunity to sample products that fit your body by answering just a few simple questions.
More in Right After Surgery
Using Your Product
Choosing the Ostomy System That's Right for You
Whether you’ve had colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy surgery, we can help find the right system that will work for your ostomy type.Read more
Pouch For Every Need
ConvaTec is proud to offer products for any situation that comes your way, because your ostomy shouldn’t get in the way of living your life.Read more
Creates a protective layer that shields your skin from the damaging effects of adhesives, body waste and skin irritation.Read more
ease™ Strips help keep your skin barrier in place.Read more
Eakin Cohesive Seals
eakin Cohesive® Seals can be molded to a variety of shapes to help prevent leakage around your ostomy by acting as filler for uneven skin surfaces.Read more
Convatec's Proprietary Adhesives
Our hydrocolloid adhesives are designed for use in high-moisture environments and have decades of proven product performance.Read more
Skin care products providing silicone-based skin protection and adhesive remover. And Introducing a new Lubricating Deodorant made with natural ingredients including eucalyptus, lavender and pine oils.Read more
Guide to Ostomy Products
Product Selector Tool
Guide to which product to choose.Read more