Before discussing whether to go for a one-piece closed pouch or a two-piece one, it is important to have a thorough knowledge of both the systems. What it is and how it works, its advantages and disadvantages before deciding whether one is suitable or not.

What is a One-piece closed pouch?

Closed pouches, as the name suggests, are not drainable or it cannot be emptied as these pouches are not equipped with closures in the end. They are designed for one-time use.

Also, being 'one-piece' means the skin barrier or wafer along with the bag is a single appliance. Unlike two-piece pouches, the pouch cannot be detached from the barrier.

An adhesive is used to fit the bag on the stoma. For removal, the entire bag must be removed right from the barrier/wafer.

What are the advantages of using a one-piece closed pouch?

Ostomates who use One-piece closed pouches prefer these over drainable pouches for its flexibility. They claim this easily sits on uneven skin structure and provide better security. Here are some advantages of using a one-piece closed pouch:

• These are low profile and less bulky. These stay discreetly under clothing without being visible.

• As the product is not separable, users find it a secure choice. These are easily wearable and adhere to the skin firmly.

• Closed pouches are a good choice for intimate moments as there is no fear of detachment or leakage.

• These are less expensive compared to two-piece drainable.

What are the disadvantages of a One-piece Closed Ostomy Pouch?

• Regular removal and application of the barrier adhesive can cause skin irritation and risky for sensitive skin. To resolve these issues ostomy skincare wipes and ostomy powders are helpful.

• Changing the pouch in public places can be critical. You have to position the barrier in the right place, every time.

• Each removal will mean going through the changing regime – applying the adhesive remover, stoma paste, tapes, powders or wipes, and re-application.

Features of One-piece closed pouch:

One-piece closed pouches are available in different varieties. Some are transparent, some opaque. Pouches are found in filtered and non-filtered versions as well.

• Opaque closed pouches are for discreet usage while transparent pouches are used by patients under inspection.

• Pre-cut pouches have the whole in the center; cut-to-fit pouches have more adaptability.

• Filtered pouches can be used while bathing or swimming. Liquid penetration is not allowed inside or outside the pouch. These also control odor.

• Multi-chambered closed pouches reduce noise during movement.

• Maxi sized pouches are available for overweight patients.

• Mini-sized closed pouches are preferred for shorter periods.

Is a one-piece closed pouch right for you?

Several people find the use of one-piece closed pouches more comfortable, however, the following points are to be considered to determine if it is ideal for you:

1. If you experience less amount of discharge through the day, this pouch may be ideal. Huge discharge means frequent changes. Changing a one-piece closed pouch several times can be harmful to the skin.

2. One-piece closed pouches are suitable for solid waste output. In the case of excessive liquid discharge, two-piece drainable pouches are recommended.

3. One-piece closed pouches are not for urostomy patients; their discharge being a liquid consistency.

Living with an ostomy is difficult but when you choose the right type of pouch system that fits well to prevent leakage and is also gentle to the skin, it becomes less stressful and becomes part of your lifestyle with time.

There is no such thing as 'the best pouch'; and with some trials, you are sure to find ‘your best gear’.