Hints for Using Ostomy Bags

Copyright 2021 by Ronald B. Standler


I am not a physician. My background is in physics (Ph.D. 1977). I created this webpage to share what I learned through experience with an ileostomy from October 2019 to sometime after March 2021. I am posting my webpage for patients and nurses who are seeking information. However, I do not provide advice or further information than what I share on this webpage.

Things You Need

  1. Ostomy scissors, to cut a hole in the bag for the stoma. (e.g., Coloplast Nr. 95050}.

  2. Adhesive releaser, to remove adhesive without discomfort. (Comes in a 50 ml aerosol spray container, e.g., ConvaTec Nr. 413499 or Coloplast Nr. 120105).

  3. Paper napkins or paper towels, to clean the skin.

  4. Alcohol prep pads, to remove adhesive and fecal material from the skin. (e.g., Becton-Dickinson Nr. 326895).
    Do not put alcohol on the stoma.

  5. Small (e.g., 4 gallon) plastic trash bags for disposal of used ostomy bags, paper napkins/towels, and other biohazards.

Adhesive Strips

When cutting a hole for the stoma, one is removing some of the plastic flange on the back side of the ostomy bag. This flange is coated with adhesive that holds the bag against the skin. For a stoma that is near the maximum size of the hole in the bag, this can be a problem that leads to leaks of fecal material under the flange on the bag. The solution to this problem is to attach curved adhesive strips around the flange, to extend the adhesive outward for a better seal.

Here are the curved adhesive strips that are available in the USA from major manufacturers of ostomy bags:

Manufacture and Part Nr. Manufacture's Title Width
in radial direction
in circumferential direction
at minimum radius
Convatec 422163 Ease Thin Strips 30 mm 6 cm
Coloplast 120700 Brava® Elastic Barrier Strip Curved 30 mm 16 cm
McKesson 176-5725 Skin Barrier Strips ½ arc 29 mm 16 cm
Coloplast 12076 Brava® Elastic Barrier Strip XL 44 mm 16 cm

It can be difficult to see the flange at the bottom of the bag when the bag is attached to the abdomen. I attach a Coloplast XL adhesive strip to the flange on the bottom, completely covering the flange, before I attach the bag to my abdomen. Once the bag is in place on my abdomen, I attach Coloplast adhesive strips to the sides and top of the flange, again completely covering the flange.

The adhesive strips should not only completely cover the flange, but also have no wrinkles.

If the ostomy bag uses an elastic belt (e.g., Coloplast 16716), then the adhesive strip must go under the plastic tab for the hook on the elastic belt. Do not cover the tab with an adhesive strip.

This document is at   http://www.rbs0.com/ostomy.htm
created 4 Sep 2020, modified 4 April 2021

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