When to Change Your Pouching System

An ostomy pouching system is a device that collects stool or urine from the stoma created to allow a surgically formed diversion in either of excretory systems. The excretory diversions include a colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy.

There are two components of a pouching system: a pouch to collect wastes and a skin barrier that fits over the stoma. A pouching system can be a one-piece or two-piece pouching system. Each type of pouching system is suitable in a different case, which may include individual needs and preferences.


The primary purpose of an ostomy pouching system is to collect waste passing out of the stoma. The most fundamental job of a pouching system is to allow the stoma to drain into a bag without letting bodily waste to come in contact with the skin around it. While wearing an ostomy bag, you can lead an active life that may include playing sports and socializing.

Skin barriers

A skin barrier is an essential part of an ostomy pouching system. It allows the ostomy bag to adhere to the skin around the stoma and prevent any leakage of the stomal output. The manufacturing of these barriers involves the use of pectin or other organic materials. These barriers are available in different shapes and sizes.

Before attaching the skin barrier to the peristomal skin, you first have to make sure that it has an opening to allow your stoma to pass through it because that’s how the stoma will open into the bag. This opening should fit the size and shape of your stoma. There are several methods to create this opening based on the stoma measurements.

Modern-day skin barriers come with optimization on different parameters such as:

  • Absorption
  • Adhesion and tack
  • Flexibility
  • Erosion resistance
  • Ease of removal

Many ostomy pouching systems have skin barriers with adhesive borders. Those borders adhere to the skin to provide added security to the pouching system.


Based on your needs, you can purchase a one-piece or two-piece ostomy pouch. A one-piece ostomy pouch is a single unit that comprises the pouch itself and the skin barrier. If you want to change the bag, you must remove the barrier. A two-piece ostomy pouch, on the other hand, allows you to change the pouch without taking the skin barrier off the skin. It means that you can change several bags with one flange.

Pouches can be divided into two types: open-end and a closed-end. Open-end pouches come with a re-sealable end that can be opened to empty the pouch. You can reseal the pouch using a clamp. Closed-end ostomy pouches have a closed bottom, which means that there is no way you can empty the bag to use it again.

Routine care

The routine care related to ostomy pouch management involves timely emptying and removal of the bag. Generally, you can let the skin barrier of a two-piece ostomy pouch to remain attached with the peristomal skin for a maximum of three days. After three days, remove the skin barrier, clean and dry the peristomal skin, and attach a new barrier. You must not let the stomal output to come in contact with the peristomal skin because it can cause peristomal skin complications, which can be quite bothersome.