The urostomy pouch is designed to adhere to your abdomen where it collects urine from your stoma. It’s waterproof so you can wear it while showering or bathing.
A urostomy pouch has special features including a non-return valve to stop urine from washing over the stoma, helping prevent urinary infections. There’s also a tap or plug at the bottom of the bag to make it easy to drain the contents into a toilet.
When should I drain or change my pouch?
Your urostomy will work steadily throughout the day. Most people tend to change their pouch in the morning as their urine output is usually at it’s lowest at this time. Another good tip is to cough a few times before changing your pouch as this will empty most of your urine into the pouch first.
How often you need to drain or change your pouch will vary from person to person. During the night, a urostomy pouch or a small urostomy appliance can be attached to a night drainage bag so you don’t need to get up to drain your pouch.
Your Wound Ostomy Continence (WOC) Nurse will be able to give you advice on how often you need to change your pouch. It’s recommended that you empty the pouch before you remove it. Then, seal the pouch inside a disposal bag and place it in the garbage. DO NOT flush your pouch down the toilet, as it will cause a blocked toilet.
Taking care of your skin
One of the most important things to remember is to take good care of the skin around your stoma. Here are a few tips that you may find helpful:
- The barrier must fit snugly around your stoma
If the hole in the barrier is larger than your stoma, your skin will become exposed to the harmful effects of the urine and become sore. Also, if the barrier is cut too small, it may cause damage to your stoma. Check regularly to ensure that the barrier has a snug fit around your stoma.
- Watch out for irritants
Leakage on to the skin, excessive removal of the barrier and harsh skin cleansers can all cause irritation to the skin.
It’s usual to experience a small amount of bleeding around your stoma when cleaning. This is not a cause for alarm. However, if bleeding comes from inside the stoma you should see your doctor urgently.
Your Guide to Healthy Skin will give you more information on taking care of the skin around your stoma.
See advice for before and after your urostomy operation for more information.