I have had my (second) ileostomy for almost three weeks, and I am trying out products to see which is the best for me. Convatec is out because I have sensitive skin and their products made my skin boil. So, this week I have been using a Hollister light convexity bag. It is a two part system with Hollisters “floating flange” and velcro sealed bag (item #18193).
I haven’t had any seal failures with these bags, but I did have two minor issues. First, the flange came slightly unsnapped one day which lead to a small leak. I just changed the bag, I didn’t have to apply a new wafer or anything. Second, the velcro closure came undone and the contents of the bag went all over the floor. I think the velcro may have become stuck on my dress or something. Not sure. Since then I tuck the end of the bag into my underwear so the velcro doesn’t snag anything.
I like that you can see your stoma when applying the wafer, so I can make sure everything is lined up properly when applying the bag. Also, I have sensitive skin and the wafer isn’t making my skin raw. I am still a bit neurotic about checking that the flange is properly snapped down ever since the little incident (see above), but other than that I think it is an excellent bag.
Showering with the bag was a bit scary for me. I was afraid that the hot water would compromise the seal on the bag, but so far so good. I had the bag on for two day and then I took a long hot shower and the bag didn’t fail.
How I apply the Hollister bag:
I remove the old bag and wafer without using adhesive remover. I have found that adhesive remover is hard to get off your skin, and if any adhesive remover remains on your skin when you apply the new wafer you’re going to have a leak.
I clean the area around the stoma with damp disposable cloths.
After the area is clean and dry, I apply barrier film to any area that is red or sore. I apply a light dusting of stoma powder on top of the barrier film, and then dab a bit more barrier film on top and let it dry.
As the barrier film dries, I apply a thin circle of paste around the stoma opening on the wafer.
Once the barrier film is dry, I apply my wafer. I press the wafer down firmly and make sure all parts of it are firmly on my skin. Then I snap on my bag.
I lay down and relax for half an hour continuing to press down the wafer. The nurses said that it takes a while for the paste and wafer to set, so laying down after application helps with adhesion.
Next week I will try Coloplast’s one-piece light convexity bag. The model even comes with a belt, which is new for me, so we shall see how this turns out together! Fingers crossed