FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a urostomy procedure?
Urostomies are surgical procedures that allow urine to bypass the bladder and urethra and exit the body through an opening in the abdomen, called a stoma. Urostomy bags are attached to this stoma for urine collection and disposal. This type of surgery is usually permanent and cannot be reversed.
What sizes do urostomy bags come in? Which size is right for me?
As with other types of ostomy and colostomy bags, the size you need to take into account when choosing urostomy pouches is the diameter of the flange. This must match the size of the stoma with a 1/8" gap to ensure a good fit. Some urostomy bags are also available as cut-to-fit, so you can customize the skin barrier to your unique stoma shape and size.
Why would you need a urostomy bag?
Urostomy bags are waterproof and act like an external bladder. They are usually needed by patients with bladder, cervical, uterine, or prostate cancer, as well as people with bladder issues from birth defects, prior surgeries, or injury. Urostomy pouches are indispensable after bladder surgery, as they help contain odor and prevent urine leaks.
How do I empty a urostomy bag?
Urostomy bags need to be emptied several times a day, preferably before becoming half full. The frequency is similar to that of having to use the bathroom before the surgery and depends highly on fluid intake. Please note that you do not need to remove urostomy pouches to empty them as they come with a convenient drain valve at the bottom. To empty the bag, you must first sit on the toilet as far back as you can and put some toilet paper inside the toilet to decrease splashing. Pull your clothes away, hold the bottom of the pouch up over the toilet bowl and open the valve. Gently empty its content into the toilet and make sure all the mucus is drained along with the urine. Wipe the valve dry with toilet paper, close it, and wash your hands.
How often should a urostomy bag be changed?
Urostomy bags should be changed twice a week, preferably in the morning, before eating or drinking anything. You can also change them after cleaning around your stoma during a shower. Sweating, physical activities, and oily skin can reduce wearing time so you should pay attention to the signals your body is sending you. Always have a clean urostomy pouch handy as it is important to change it before it becomes too loose and leaks. Remember to clean your hands thoroughly before changing urostomy bags and consider spraying alcohol-free adhesive remover on the skin barrier to reduce pain and skin damage around the stoma. Allergies can develop at any point, even after years of using a type of product, so pay attention to any sensitivities that may be related to the adhesive, paste, or tape. AllegroMedical.com carries a wide range of ostomy supplies and ostomy accessories that you can choose from to find the best match for your skin.
How do you sleep with a urostomy bag?
If you are worried about the high volume of urine produced at night and don't want to wake up to empty the pouch, you can use a night drainage system. All you have to do is attach a piece of flexible tubing to the drain valve of the urostomy bag and connect it to a bigger drainage container by your bed. Make sure you clean your bedside drainage system every morning with a quality appliance cleanser and hang up the tubing to air dry before reusing it. To avoid creating a vacuum in the system, never connect the tubing to the pouch when it is empty. Wait for it to become 1/4 full or don't empty it completely before going to bed.
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