Reasons for Ostomy Pouch Leaking
written by Jessica Morris, MSN RN CWOCN
Top Reasons Ostomy Pouches Leak
One of the biggest fears people have regarding their ostomy is leaking. Though leaking can happen, it should not be a regular part of life with an ostomy. Learning to live with an ostomy bag is an adjustment. It takes time to learn how to use and care for your new pouch. Here are some practical tips on application:
- Do not use any wipes, moisturizers or products on peristomal skin. Make sure skin is clean and completely dry prior to place wafer on skin.
- Shave peristomal skin
- Change your pouch first thing in the morning, prior to eating or drinking
- Become familiar with how to apply your pouch correctly (opening and closing drainable/urostomy, connecting wafer to the pouch, removing all plastic/paper backings
Peristomal Skin Complications
- Development of wounds or broken skin under your wafer can cause difficulty adhering.
- Fungal skin rashes, folliculitis and other types of skin irritations can also make your pouch difficult to adhere
These are treatable conditions, but may require you to see your Ostomy RN or Provider for treatment.
Changes to your body: Weight gain/loss, wrinkles, hernias
- Changes in our weight may mange the shape, size of stoma. It also may change the abdomen around the stoma. Remember we want a flat surface when applying our pouch.
- Peristomal hernias can cause a bulge around the stoma, often changing its appearance or surrounding skin.
- There are a variety of pouching options that address these changes including soft and regular convex wafers, and 1 piece or 2 piece pouching systems. There are also many accessories including barrier rings, barrier extenders, belts, and many more that can assist in creating a better adherence.
Leaking should not be a regular part of your routine. If you continue to have difficulty with your pouch leaking, please reach out to your local Ostomy RN for evaluation and additional guidance and resources. We are here to help!
Connect with other ostomates talking about leaking Ostomy support group.