Changing a stoma bag
Before you leave hospital your stoma care nurse will show you how to change your bag. S/he will also teach you how to use a stoma guide to check that the hole in the adhesive flange or base-plate is the correct size. If necessary, you will also be shown how to cut the right size and shape using a template.
Here is a simple guide to the changing routine
- Check you have everything you need: water, soft wipes, a new bag, any accessories you use and a plastic disposal bag.
- Remove the old bag, working slowly and gently from the top to the bottom of the flange. medical adhesive remover (available on prescription) can be used to avoid damaging the skin. It is wiped or sprayed beneath the flange as it is peeled away from the skin.
- Wash the stoma and surrounding skin with warm water using dry wipes (provided free by suppliers) or kitchen roll. Don’t use harsh solvents, soaps or disinfectants. Remember the stoma bleeds easily if it is rubbed too hard, but bleeding should stop quickly. If blood comes from inside the stoma, contact your stoma care nurse.
- Dry the area around the stoma thoroughly using dry wipes or soft kitchen roll. If you are prone to sore skin, barrier wipes, sprays and lotions are available.
- When your skin is completely dry, fit the new bag (or base plate), making sure it is secure all the way round. When fitting a one-piece bag, it helps to bend the top half of the flange away from your body, so that you can see to fit the bottom half around the stoma. Then, with the flat of your hand, press the remainder of the flange in position. The warmth of your hand will ensure that it adheres snugly.
- If using a two-piece appliance, then attach the bag to the base plate.