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Ostomy Change Tips

How often should an ostomy pouching system be changed?

Each ostomy procedure and patient reaction are slightly different, so the frequency of change may vary. Conditions including the type of ostomy, activity level, physical shape, and amount of perspiration can increase change frequency.

Commonly, ostomy pouch systems can be worn for 3-7 days. Some systems are designed to be changed daily. After the procedure, a WOC nurse (Wound, Ostomy and Continence nurse) will direct the patient on the proper technique and timelines for their particular situation. If the appliance requires more frequent changing it is advisable to contact the physician or WOC nurse.



How do I remove my old pouching system?

Carefully loosen the old ostomy pouching system by lifting on the appliance with one hand and pressing gently on the skin around the stoma with the other hand. Pull in the direction if any body hair to reduce pulling on the follicles. Remove any barrier or adhesive using warm water or adhesive remover. If any residue remains, make sure to clean and dry the area to prevent skin irritation.


How do I clean around the stoma?

The area around the stoma can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Make sure all debris and adhesive is removed. A cleanser is not needed, but if desired, consider using a mild soap or specialized ostomy wipes. Because there are small blood vessels in the stoma tissue, some blood may be seen on the cloth and is completely normal. However, any excessive or continued bleeding should be reported to a healthcare professional immediately. Do not use any chemicals or standard cleaning wipes as these may irritate the area. Ensure the area is completely clean and dry prior to reapplying any ostomy products.