A lot of the time, people are unsure when they should be changing their pouching system for their ostomy. It’s a very common question to see when ostomies are concerned, and it’s one that should be taken seriously considering you don’t want the skin around your stoma to become infected or damaged.
The first thing to remember is that changing your pouching system is dependent on your situation, so there’s no real answer that fits everyone’s question. The best thing you can do is choose a day and time that fits your schedule best, and try to stick to that schedule. From there, it’s best to monitor when your stoma isn’t producing much urine or stool, as this will make cleanup and the changing process much simpler. Oftentimes, this means in the morning before you drink or eat anything. Other times, this may be right after you bathe. No matter what you opt for, try to keep consistent with what you choose.
Additionally, it’s often asked how exactly you should be removing your pouching system during the changing process. Ostomy supplies are easier to remove than you would imagine, though it takes practice at first. The first thing to remember is to go slow and don’t feel rushed. You don’t want to damage your skin in the process.
Basically, you should be lifting the edge of your pouching system with one hand and pressing down on your skin near the sticky barrier with your other hand. Starting from the bottom and working up or vice versa seems to work best for a lot of people. At times, warm water can help the adhesive part to come off of your skin much easier, or you can opt for an adhesive remover that is specifically designed to do this.
Keep in mind that your skin may look darker or pinker than your normal skin color right after you remove the ostomy supplies, but the color should fade within a few minutes. If this doesn’t go away, consider letting your health care professional know in order to avoid any future issues with the ostomy.
Overall, you should be monitoring your own needs more than anything else. If something hurts when you’re changing your pouching system, take note. If you’re not changing your system often enough, make the time to do it. Your health matters more than anything else, so don’t skip out on doing this the right way the first time.