Several urostomy pouch systems are available, each with unique features and benefits. One-piece and two-piece urostomy bags are the most common, but drainable and closed-end pouches are also available.
A urostomy bag is a type of ostomy bag for collecting urine from a person with a urostomy.
A urostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an opening in the abdomen to allow urine to drain into an external bag. A person attaches the urostomy bag to their stoma and wears it outside the body to collect and contain urine.
Urostomy bags come in various sizes, shapes, and materials to meet the needs of people with different stomas and lifestyles. Manufacturers design them to be discreet, secure, and odor-resistant.
This article discusses the different types of urostomy bags available. It also covers information on how to choose a urostomy bag, how to care for them, and where to order supplies.
One-piece urostomy systems refer to a type of ostomy bag with the skin barrier and the pouch combined into one unit. It is also known as a “closed pouching system.”
Benefits of one-piece urostomy systems include:
- Easy to use: One-piece systems require fewer steps to put together, and they are easy to apply and remove. This makes them a convenient option for people with limited dexterity or mobility.
- Discreet: One-piece systems are often more discreet than two-piece systems, making them a good option for people who need a more concealed pouching solution.
- Comfort: The barrier is flexible as it does not have a rigid plastic ring. This makes them more comfortable and suitable for those with uneven abdomens.
- Secure fit: The skin barrier and pouch are combined into one unit, providing a secure fit and reducing the risk of leaks.
A two-piece urostomy system refers to a type of ostomy bag that consists of two separate components — a skin barrier and a pouch. A person applies the skin barrier directly to the skin and then attaches the pouch to the skin barrier.
Benefits of two-piece urostomy systems include:
- Customization: Two-piece systems allow for greater customization as doctors can combine different skin barriers and pouches to meet individual needs.
- Versatility: Two-piece systems offer versatility as people can use different pouches for different activities, such as swimming or exercising.
- Easy to clean: Two-piece systems are easier to clean and maintain than one-piece systems because a person can clean the skin barrier and pouch separately.
Night bags are larger than urostomy pouches to accommodate the increased urine output during sleep. Using a night bag means that a person does not have to get up throughout the night to empty their urostomy pouch.
However, whether a person uses a night bag is a personal preference. Some people prefer to get up to empty their pouch during the night.
A night drainage system can include:
- the container, which can be a bag or bottle
- flexible tubing to attach the container to the urostomy pouch
- an adaptor
- a leg strap to prevent the urostomy pouch or tube from twisting
Some night bags are reusable, and others are single-use.
- Convex inserts: A person can insert these into some two-piece bags.
- Skin barrier pastes, strips, and rings: These can help to fill space between the skin and stoma, resulting in a reduction of leaks.
- Ostomy belts: These go around the abdomen and attach to loops on some urostomy bags. These can help to support the urostomy bag.
- Covers: Pouch covers can help to protect the skin.
- Skin barrier products: These can help to heal the skin if it becomes irritated.
- Tapes: These can help make urostomy bags more waterproof.
- Adhesive remover: This can help to remove wafers and tapes and clean any residue from the skin.
- Pouch replacement cartridge: These are single-use cartridges that a person can place over the stoma to help protect it or during the replacement process.
To choose a urostomy bag, a person may wish to consider the following factors:
- Stoma size and shape: It is important to choose a bag that fits snugly around the stoma to prevent leaks.
- Skin sensitivity: People with sensitive skin should look for bags made of soft, nonirritating materials for sensitive skin.
- Adhesive: Some bags have adhesive backing that sticks to the skin, while others require a separate adhesive ring.
- Capacity: A person should choose a bag with an appropriate capacity that can allow them to be active and comfortable.
- Comfort: They should look for bags with features such as soft, flexible materials and soft, secure closure systems that do not pinch or rub the skin.
- Brand reputation and customer reviews: People should research brands and read customer reviews to find a bag that is reliable, comfortable, and meets their needs.
Taking care of a urostomy pouch is essential to prevent infection or leaks. To care for a urostomy bag, people
- keep it clean — people must wash their hands before changing the pouch and keep the skin around the stoma clean
- avoid rough activities — a person should avoid rough activities or tight clothing that may put pressure on their pouch and cause leaks
- change it regularly — changing the pouch regularly can prevent leaks and skin irritation
- use a protective barrier — a person can apply a skin barrier or pouch ring to protect the skin from the adhesive on the pouch
- seek medical attention for leaks or skin irritation — if a person experiences leaks or skin irritation, they should seek medical attention promptly
Here are some tips for buying and storing urostomy supplies:
- Buy from reputable suppliers: People should purchase supplies from reputable suppliers that offer high-quality products and good customer service.
- Get the right size: A person should ensure they get the correct size of urostomy bags to provide a secure and comfortable fit.
- Buy in bulk: Buying in bulk may save people money and ensure they always have a supply.
- Store properly: Storing supplies in a cool, dry place can prevent deterioration.
- Keep a backup supply: People should keep a backup supply of supplies in case of an emergency or if the need to change the pouch happens unexpectedly.
- Check expiration dates: People should regularly check the expiration date of supplies and discard any that have passed their expiration date.
Choosing a urostomy pouching system that provides a secure, comfortable fit and meets a person’s individual needs is essential.
There are two main types of urostomy pouch — one-piece and two-piece pouches. People can also opt for a night drainage system to prevent needing to get up during the night.
A person can also purchase additional accessories if they feel the need to.
People can speak with a healthcare professional to discuss which type is best for them.