Stoma leakage is one of the most common and frustrating issues faced by ostomates. It is uncomfortable and embarrassing and can signify a more severe health issue. It is essential to take the necessary steps to prevent stoma leaks. In this blog post, we will discuss stoma leakage, its causes and symptoms, how to avoid it, tips for wearing ostomy supplies, and how to deal with stoma leak emergencies.
What is Stoma Leakage?
Stoma leakage is when liquid or solid waste leaks from the stoma. This can be due to a faulty seal between the stoma and the ostomy pouch or a blockage in the stoma. Leakage from the stoma can cause skin irritation, discomfort, and embarrassment. Taking steps to prevent leakage is essential, as it can lead to serious health issues.
Causes of Stoma Leakage
The most common cause of a stoma leaking is improper fitting of the ostomy bag. If the bag is not fitted correctly to the stoma, it can cause leakage. Another common cause of leakage is blockages in the stoma. Blockages can be caused by food, medications, or other substances that can block the flow.
Gas buildup in the ostomy pouch can be caused by eating certain foods, such as broccoli, beans, and cabbage. Gas can cause pressure in the pouch, which can cause it to leak. Additionally, an obstruction in the intestine can cause leakage around the stoma. A narrowing of the intestine can cause this due to scar tissue, a tumor, or another blockage.
Symptoms of Stoma Leakage
When stoma leakage occurs, it can have several different symptoms. The most common symptom is a feeling of wetness or dampness in the area around the stoma. Other symptoms may include skin irritation, pain, and discomfort. Additionally, leakage can cause a foul odor and discoloration of the skin around the stoma.
How to Prevent Stoma Leakage
The best way to prevent stoma leaks is to make sure your ostomy pouching system is correctly fitted to your stoma. This can be done by consulting a medical professional or an ostomy specialist. Additionally, it is essential to take steps to prevent blockages in the stoma. This can be done by avoiding certain foods, such as broccoli and beans, and by taking medications as prescribed.
It is also essential to ensure that you are regularly changing your ostomy pouch. This will ensure that the pouch is not overfilled, which can cause leakage. Making sure the pouch is sealed correctly will help prevent stoma leaks.
Tips for Wearing Ostomy Supplies
When wearing ostomy supplies, there are several tips that you can follow to prevent leakage from the stoma.
Ensure a proper fit
Ensuring that the ostomy bag is properly fitted and sealed correctly will help avoid stoma leakage. It is also important to make sure the ostomy pouch is not too tight or loose, causing discomfort or leakage. Moldable Technology by Convatec offers clinically proven skin and leak protection when choosing the right size ostomy pouching system.
Choosing the right size
It is also essential to ensure that the ostomy pouch is the correct size for your stoma. If the pouch is too small, it can cause stoma leakage. Additionally, if the pouch is overfilled, it can lead to stoma leaks and discomfort.
Regularly scheduled changes
Finally, it is essential to ensure that you are regularly changing your ostomy pouch. It is important to empty the pouch when it is one-third to one-half full. If left too long, the pouch may become overfilled, causing the adhesive to break down and leak. Additionally, it is important to check the pouch regularly for any signs of a leak. If a leak is detected, the pouch should be changed immediately. Taking proper care of your ostomy pouch is the best way to prevent stoma leakage and maintain your health and well-being.
Choosing the Right Ostomy Supplies
When choosing ostomy supplies, it is essential to make sure you select the right products for your needs. The right products will ensure that your stoma is sealed correctly and that you are comfortable. Several types of ostomy supplies are available, so it is essential to research and find the right products for you. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the products you choose are comfortable and easy to use.
Some of the most common ostomy supplies for stoma leakage prevention include, but are not limited to:
- Ostomy pouches
- Skin barriers
- Barrier strips & rings
- Ostomy belts
- Ostomy adhesives & removers
- Barrier wipes & sprays
- Stoma powder
- Ostomy odor eliminators
- Stoma caps
Cleaning and Disinfecting Ostomy Supplies
Cleaning and disinfecting your ostomy supplies will ensure that the supplies are free of bacteria and other contaminants which can cause stoma leakage. You must follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning and disinfecting your supplies and use a gentle soap or cleaner or a disinfectant approved for ostomy supplies.
How to Deal with Stoma Leakage Emergencies
Stoma leakage can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation. It is important to take steps to prevent leakage, but it is also important to know how to deal with it if it happens. If you find yourself in a leak emergency, it is essential to stay calm and try to identify the cause of the problem.
If the cause is a faulty seal between the stoma and the ostomy pouch, ensure the seal is tight and secure. If the cause is a blockage in the stoma, take steps to clear the blockage.
Summing it up
Stoma leakage can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation. It is important to take steps to prevent leakage, such as ensuring your ostomy pouch is properly fitted and that you are changing it regularly. Also, ensure you clean and disinfect your ostomy supplies and correctly store them. Finally, it is necessary to know how to deal with a stoma leak emergency, such as identifying the cause and taking steps to address it.
Stoma leakage is a common and frustrating issue, but it doesn’t have to be. Following the tips in this blog post, you can prevent stoma leaks and avoid messy situations. Take the necessary steps to protect your health and well-being and stop leakage now.
If you need assistance choosing the right ostomy supplies for your needs, our Product Experts are just a phone call away.