Care for a Urostomy
You may have more questions as you read about how to care for your urostomy. You will find many helpful tips in this section. Remember that no two people are the same. There is no right answer. You can only get suggestions and ideas.
Change the pouching system by emptying and changing it
Before you leave the hospital, you will be instruct on how to empty and change your pouching system. Sterilizing supplies don’t necessarily have to be use. To clean around the stoma, you can use tissue, toilet paper, or paper towels instead of sterilized gauze pads.
Empty the pouch
The drain valve on the bottom of the urostomy pouch allows for easy emptying. It is important to empty your pouch frequently, as bacteria can quickly grow in urine. The pouch seal could also be damages if there is a lot of urine. Empty your pouch only when it is 1/3 to 1/2 full.
Most people have to empty their pouches every two to four hours during the day. If they drink a lot, it might be more frequent. Because their pouches may be smaller, children might need to empty the pouch more frequently. These steps will help you:
As far as possible, sit as far back as you can on the toilet.
To reduce splashing, place a little bit of toilet paper in your toilet.
Open the valve by holding the pouch in your hands.
Gently empty the contents into the toilet. To help prevent splashing, you can place some toilet paper first.
Close the valve.
Use toilet paper to dry the valve’s end.
A piece of flexible tubing can attach to your pouch’s drain valve at night. This allows urine to flow into a larger bedside bag or drainage container while you’re sleeping. A bedside drainage system is preferr over having to get up in the middle of the night to empty the bag. This is further discussion in “Using night drainage systems.”
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Change the pouch
Different pouching systems have different life expectancies. Some need to be changes daily, others every three days, while some only once a week. It all depends on the type of pouch.
You should change your pouch on a schedule that suits you. It’s best to set a regular schedule for changing your pouch so that problems don’t occur. Don’t wait for the pouch to leak before you change it. It might be easier to change your pouch the next morning before you eat or drink anything. You may find it difficult to change your pouch in the morning if you drink fluids. Wait for at least one to two hours before you eat or drink anything. This will ensure that urine doesn’t get on your skin.
The best place to put your pouch on is sitting
Standing, or lying down. You should be able to see your stoma from any position and it should be convenient for you to make a change. People sometimes stand in front of the toilet to catch the urine that drips from their stoma. It’s a good idea to move your buttocks towards the front of the wheelchair while changing. A mirror can help center the pouch above the stoma.
Make sure to wash your hands before you change your pouch. Clean pouches reduce the chance of bacteria (germs) entering your urinary tract. Even the smallest drop of urine can allow bacteria to multiply quickly. These germs can travel up the ureters to cause kidney infections. Bad-smelling urine can also be causes by bacteria. To absorb the urine from the stoma, some people use rolled tissue, paper towels, or tampons.
Sterile supplies don’t necessarily have to be used
the skin around the stoma is clean but not sterile. It will save you both time and money if your supplies are organizetion and kept clean. Keep at least two complete pouches on you, one for your body and one for your next change.
You may be surprised to find out that changing your pouch can take as long as 30 minutes at first. You may eventually be able to change your pouch faster with practice and time.
Factors that could affect the seal of the pouching system
Your skin must be able to hold the pouching system in place. It is important to replace it as soon as it starts to leak or loosen. How long the pouch remains sealed to your skin will depend on several factors, including how well it fits, weather conditions, scars, diet, activity, and the shape of the body around the stoma.
These are just a few other factors that can affect the length of a pouch’s life:
The number of days you can keep a pouch will be reduced if you sweat. Skin barriers will become looser faster when there is body heat and outside temperature.
Wearing time may be reduced by oily, moist skin.
How long you can keep a pouch open will depend on how much weight you have. Your abdomen can change if you gain or lose weight after urostomy surgery. A different system may be needed.
Wearing time may be affected by physical activities. Wearing time may be reduced by swimming, strenuous activities, and other activities that make you sweat.
Protecting the skin around your stoma
Your skin around your stoma should look the same as your skin elsewhere on your abdomen. This skin can become tender or sore from a urostomy. Skin irritation can decrease as you become more skilled and proficient at using your equipment. These are some tips to keep your skin healthy.
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Make sure you have the correct size pouch and skin barrier opening. A small opening can cause the stoma to become inflamed or cut. The opening should not be too large. Urine could reach the skin and irritate. Both cases should be addressed by changing the pouch or skin barrier.