Hello everyone and welcome to another hotly-anticipated edition of the Ostomy Files! The staff here. Read more
These days, ostomates have a huge variety of options to meet their needs. Regardless of the size of your stoma or shape of your body, you’ll be able to assemble a pouching system that functions to your exact specifications. To this end, Medical Monks stocks brand-name ostomy supplies you can trust at discounted prices, so you can get back to living your best life, free of worry and discomfort. And unlike many other online ostomy suppliers, the Monks do it all at affordable, industry-low prices
Ostomy systems contain two main components: the barrier and the pouch. The barrier is a disc with adhesive on one side that sticks to the peristomal area (the skin around the stoma). There is a hole in the center of the barrier where the stoma pokes through, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate different situations. Flat barriers are still the most widely used because they’re basic, they get the job done and they’re cost-effective.
Convex barriers are the more advanced option. They’re made with a sturdy material that slopes toward the center. This pushes down on the peristomal skin, helping the stoma poke through the hole. To address comfort issues, Hollister and Convatec have developed Soft Convex and Flex Convex barriers, respectively. Coloplast makes the similar Convex Light line, but has also gone in other directions with their designs. Their Deep Convex barriers are intended to provide more sturdiness and convexity. The Convex Flip, on the other hand, is unique in its star-like shape, which can accommodate a hernia bulge – a common problem among ostomates.
The pouch, often referred to as the “colostomy bag,” is the receptacle for ostomy output. Drainable pouches, which allow the output to be drained and the pouch to be reused, are most common. Among these, there are two main types of closures. The old-school versions, still in production, use a plastic clamp to cinch the pouch closed. More modern pouches tend to use a roll-up system. Hollister calls this a Microseal Closure, Coloplast calls it EasiClose and Convatec InvisiClose. Regardless of moniker, these closures all use a velcro-like securement to keep the pouch rolled up until the next time you’re ready to drain.
Some ostomates opt to not drain at all. Closed pouches offer a different type of convenience. Generally recommended only for folks with consistently solid output, they are single-use products. Once full, they are simply removed and disposed of. These pouches, like their drainable cousins, often solve the problem of gas flow by employing a charcoal filter, which allows air to escape while filtering odors.
One-Piece and Two-Piece Options
Most ostomy brands, like the Assura line by Coloplast, Natura by Convatec and Hollister’s Ceraplus, are available in both one-piece and two-piece configurations. One-piece ostomy systems take the two components and combine them into one inseparable product, lending some patients an added sense of security. If you’re looking for something low-profile and unobtrusive, a one-piece system, like Hollister’s Premier series, might be the answer. Without the extra attachments they are flatter on the tummy, which comes in handy when wearing your system under form-fitting clothing.
Still, for many, two-piece ostomy systems are the convenient choice. With these systems the barriers and pouches are separate, but connect via some kind of securement – typically a plastic flange that fits together like a tupperware lid. Hollister’s New Image line is a prime example of the tupperware-style flange. Others, like Coloplast’s Sensura Mio Click, have an added locking mechanism to ensure the two pieces don’t become separated. In another of Coloplast’s notable lines, the Sensura Mio Flex, the barrier and pouch each have an adhesive ring and stick together, allowing for a lower profile.
In addition to the main pouching systems, Medical Monks also carries a wide variety of ostomy accessories. These are essential tools that help keep ostomates comfortable, clean and worry-free. You’ll find everything you need for stoma care and maintenance, like moldable rings and seals, which provide a more reliable seal around your stoma. Ostomy paste and skin protectant, which help protect your skin from leakage, are also available. As are adhesiveremovers, which serve the vital function of cleaning the peristomal skin between changes. You’ll also find supplies that improve quality of life and provide much-needed peace of mind, like barrier strips and odor eliminators.