Urostomy Bag

Several people suffer from bladder dysfunction each year and the doctors recommend urostomy surgery depending on the severity. This surgery is a lifesaving procedure which alters bodily functions.

With the latest medical breakthrough ensuring a better quality of life post-surgery, this article throws lights on the one-piece urinary pouch and how not to let your stoma control your life.

What is a Urostomy?

Urostomy is surgically diverting the urinary pathway when the natural path (the bladder/ureters) is damaged. The surgery creates a permanent opening on the abdomen proximate to the bladder and a pouching system is attached to the stoma to collect the urine.

Urostomy might be needed for various reasons – bladder cancer, birth defects, and injury.

What is a one-piece pouch?

The one-piece urinary pouch, also called urostomy pouch, is a specially designed bag to collect urine from a urostomy opening. A one-piece pouch comes attached to the skin barrier. It allows a user to quickly attach and detach the pouch when necessary.

(In case of a two-piece urinary pouch, the barrier is a separate item)

The urinary pouch comes with a drainage valve required for emptying it. It is recommended to empty the pouch when one-third is full. This reduces the risk of leakage.

After successful urostomy surgery, the respective health care practitioner guides patients through the use of the pouching system and helps pick a pouch. With time, the stoma created on the abdomen tends to become smaller. In such cases, one must purchase suitable pouches for themselves.

Though there are no special diet instructions, however, you could avoid certain food items that cause urine odor like onion, fish, eggs, and alcohol. Increase your intake of water, buttermilk, and cranberry juice to fight infections and odors.

What are the different types of one-piece pouch?

There are several types of pouches, and one must choose depending on personal preferences. Some of the popular variants are:

• 1-piece opaque urinary pouch hides the discharged content.

• 1-piece transparent urinary pouch allows a visible display of content. People admitted to healthcare facilities use this while under verification.

• 1-piece pouches with belt tabs give extra support and stay put in position.

• 1-piece cut-to-fit pouches are for people with uneven skin contour around the stoma. This is ideal for obese people who find it difficult to use regular pouches.

Is a one-piece pouch ideal for you?

While some people prefer one-piece urinary pouches, some do not. A one-piece urinary pouch is ideal for someone who:

  • Prefers less bulky pouch structures. One-piece pouches have fewer divisions and discreetly sit under the clothes.
  • Has uneven skin or abdomen structure. The barrier comes attached to the pouch and is easy to fit.
  • Prefers a simple pouch mechanism. It is easy to apply and remove.

Urostomy bag care

Frequently asked questions:

1. How often must a one-piece pouch be emptied?

It depends on the urine production of an individual. On average, it must be drained every 2 to 3 hours.

2. Can I be still involved in sports?

Urostomy does not affect outdoor and recreational life. Swimming, dancing, hiking, horse riding all is encouraged. You can wear an ostomy support belt for extra support.

3. Can I shower while wearing the pouch?

The pouching system is waterproof and can be worn during bathing or swimming. Although, fluids do affect the ostomy adhesive yet a few minutes in the shower will not harm. Avoid the use of shower gels as these may irritate the stoma.

(In case of skin irritation, use ostomy powder for relief)

4. Can I get pregnant with urostomy?

Urostomy is not an obstruction to motherhood. Several women are successful mothers despite the surgery. Neither does this impact sexual life.

[Read more on: Smelly urostomy bag]

How to empty the urostomy bag?

  • Sit or stand as much inside the toilet bowl as you can.
  • Hold the bottom of the urostomy pouch and empty the contents of the same.
  • Close the valve carefully and make sure the valve end is dry (use a toilet paper)

Having a stoma makes your body function differently. It is very likely to cause emotional turbulence and physical adjustments are necessary. Do not be skeptical to consult your nurse when the stoma looks different or when you see signs of urinary infection.