The first and most significant advancement in ostomy products is the development of one-piece pouch systems. These systems have adhesive backing, making them easy to attach to your body without the need for a separate skin barrier. One-piece pouches make it easier to apply the pouch correctly and avoid leaks. They are also more convenient when traveling, as they take up less space than two-piece systems. One-piece systems come with a closed or drainable pouch, depending on your ostomy type, preferences, and lifestyle.
The second advancement in ostomy care is the use of hydrocolloid technology. Hydrocolloid refers to a type of adhesive that swells when it comes in contact with moisture, forming a barrier against leakage. This adhesive is gentler on the skin than traditional adhesives, which are known to cause skin irritation and discomfort. Hydrocolloid products can be used in conjunction with one or two-piece systems and can be beneficial for people with sensitive skin or those who experience frequent leakage.
The third advancement is the development of ostomy belts. Ostomy belts help secure your pouch and keep it in place. They are ideal for people with an active lifestyle and can protect the pouch from rupturing during physical activity. Depending on your comfort level or preference, you can wear the belt with or without a pouch. Some belts come with extra padding, making them more comfortable to wear for extended periods.
Fourth on the list is the introduction of irrigation systems. An irrigation system is a type of bowel management system. It allows you to irrigate your colon, flush out waste, and control the timing of your bowel movements. Irrigation can help reduce the number of pouch changes you need, making it more convenient and less time-consuming. It can also help reduce the odor and gas associated with ostomy care. Irrigation systems are ideal for people with a colostomy and those who have regular bowel movements.
Another advancement in ostomy care is the development of skin barriers. A skin barrier, also known as a wafer, is a thin, flexible sheet that attaches to the skin around your stoma. Skin barriers provide an additional level of protection against leakage and skin irritation. They can be used in conjunction with a one or two-piece pouch system and can be changed independently of the pouch. Skin barriers are ideal for people with sensitive skin or those who experience frequent pouch leaks.
Finally, living with an ostomy can be challenging, but with the advancements in ostomy care, it is easier to manage than ever before. One-piece pouch systems, hydrocolloid adhesives, ostomy belts, irrigation systems, and skin barriers are just a few examples of the many products available to help you live a happy and healthy life. When considering these products, discuss them with your healthcare provider to find the best option for you.