It’s believed that there are almost one million people in America who use an ostomy bag, according to the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA). After ostomy surgery, it can be incredibly difficult to adjust to this new life you have to live.
While adjusting, you’re likely to experience ostomy leaks. You should never be ashamed of this, as it takes time to learn how to manage ostomy leaks. To help you manage or completely fix ostomy leaks, we have discussed three common causes of ostomy leaks and how you can manage them.
After reading what we have to say, if you decide you need to find new ostomy equipment, we can help you at Sarasota Medical Products. We have a wide range of ostomy products to help you manage leaks.
The Three Common Causes Of Ostomy Leaks And How To Manage Them
Have a quick look below to learn more about the three most common causes of ostomy leaks and how you can fix them.
1. A Ballooning Ostomy Pouch Leak
Often when air builds up in your ostomy pouch and gets trapped with nowhere to go, ballooning will occur. As this air pressure increases inside your pouch, increased pressure will be placed on your ostomy appliance, and this will result in ostomy leaks. Usually, ballooning occurs at night when you sleep and fail to notice the gas buildup.
Tip To Fix This:
Fortunately, if your ostomy pouch fills with gas, you can vent it to let air escape. To do this, you need to use an ostomy pouch with an incorporated filter. Ostomy pouches with built-in filters are designed to reduce ballooning and clogging while eliminating odors and preventing leaks.
Additionally, you could also choose to use an ostomy ventilating accessory. These simple and easy-to-use accessories fit onto your ostomy pouch and help prevent ballooning and leaks by releasing air faster.
2. A Parastomal Hernia Leak
One of the most common complications you could face after ostomy surgery is a parastomal hernia. A parastomal hernia is swelling or bulging where part of your intestines will protrude from the stoma. Not only can parastomal hernias be incredibly painful, but they also cause ostomy leaks.
Tip To Fix This:
Once you have had ostomy surgery, it’s crucial not to do any strenuous activities for up to eight weeks to try and prevent a parastomal hernia from occurring. However, if you feel that you are getting a parastomal hernia, you can use a flexible skin barrier, ostomy seals, or an ostomy support belt to help ease the symptoms.
Using a flexible yet snug-fitting skin barrier will help you prevent ostomy pouch leaks. At Sarasota Medical Products, we have a wide range of ostomy solutions for customers, including skin barriers and mouldable seals.
3. An Improper Skin Barrier Fit Leak
You will likely notice that your stoma will change shape and size a few weeks or months after your surgery. This is because your stoma will be swollen and bigger immediately after your surgery, but after some healing time, it will settle. When healing occurs, and the swelling settles, your skin barrier will not lie flat against your skiing properly, leading to leaks.
Tip To Fix This:
To prevent leaks from occurring when your stoma heals, you should consider using a pre-cut or cut-to-fit skin barrier. You need to ensure that the hole around your stoma has a gap of approximately an ⅛ inch around it. Alternatively, you can use an easy-to-use moldable skin barrier for a custom fit to prevent leaks and protect the peristomal skin.
Now you’re aware of the common causes of ostomy pouch leaks and how to prevent and manage them. If you need any supplies to manage your leaks, you can contact us at Sarasota Medical Products.
We have a range of ostomy solutions for private clients and businesses. We sell industry-leading innovative and comfortable ostomy products that you can trust. You can contact us online or call us at 941-377-1451