Once the situation of living with an ostomy arises, there is a flood of queries about dealing with it. Choosing the right kind of ostomy supply can be an intimidating proposition. Here is some important information about two-piece ostomy pouches with drainable features.

The two-piece ostomy pouching system has the ostomy bag and skin barrier (also called a wafer) as two separate items. A two-piece pouch allows an ostomate to change the collection bag without removing the skin barrier. The barrier attaches to the stoma of the user and the pouch is attached to it.

Two-piece pouching systems are easily manageable in terms of applying and removing. These are replaced every two to five days and are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, to suit the patients’ needs.

What are drainable pouches?

Two-piece pouches can be found in both varieties – drainable and closed. Closed pouches are one-time use only and disposed of when full.

Drainable pouches come with an open-end secured with a closure. The closure can vary from a press and seal to a clamp. An ostomate can easily empty the waste of a drainable pouch and reuse it. Most drainable pouches are featured with a wide tailed opening for easy emptying process.

Is it the right kind for you?

• These pouches are most suitable for collecting liquid waste like urine or bowel with a more liquid consistency.

• Replacement is low compared to a closed pouch, so less number of pouches is required.

• Emptying can become a handful if the waste’s consistency is thicker.

• The pouch requires to be emptied when half full.

• The closure for discharge should be cleaned of any remains after every emptying process.

Who do these pouches work best for?

Two-piece drainable pouches are best suitable for individuals with ileostomy or with frequent discharge. Due to frequent changes, these pouches are more reliable and comfortable.

One-piece or two-piece pouching system?

The choice of pouches is a matter of personal preference. Each kind has its advantages and disadvantages.

As mentioned earlier, in the case of two-piece drainable pouches, the pouch and the barrier are separable items. On the other hand, for draining a one-piece pouch, the complete system has to be detached from the stoma.

Two-piece pouch wearers find it a flexible option as compared to the one-piece pouch. It can be easily detached, cleaned and reattached or disposed of and replaced with a new. All of this is done with ease, without nudging the barrier from its place.

Experts claim one-piece pouches are preferable during sexual activities or when stoma output is minimal. Two-piece pouches put less pressure during the changing process making it desirable for sensitive ostomy surgeries.

Advantages of a two-piece pouch:

  • The skin barrier or wafer can remain in its place for about two-four days. This is gentler on the skin as there is less tugging and pulling.
  • Changing the old ostomy bag and replacing/reattaching it with a fresh one is super-fast and easy. It can be easily done even outside the comfort of your home.
  • The size of the bag can be changed anytime and anywhere. Smaller bags look discreet and are preferable for intimate moments or when dressing up. Switching back to the regular one is not a hassle.

Disadvantages of a two-piece pouch:

  • Because of its bulky structure, it is less discreet and can be visible under clothing.
  • As the pouching system is detachable, it can come apart and cause leakage. This situation can be handled by wearing an ostomy support belt.
  • As the barrier is changed less often, waste material might get stuck behind the barrier instead of coming to the pouch.
  • Two-piece drainable pouches are more expensive.

When living with an ostomy, there are a lot many things to consider. It is recommended to bathe with the two-piece system to preserve the barrier.

It takes time to explore options and discover what suits you best. It is advisable to experiment with new products under the guidance of your ostomy nurse and report any abnormal conditions.