Ostomy surgery is a procedure that helps bodily waste like urine or stool exits the body. It is done through a surgically created minute opening on the abdomen opening into a prosthetic known as an ‘ostomy bag’ outside of the body. A surgically created pouch can also do it for continent diversion surgeries. An ostomy can be temporary or permanent. The main concern remains if you can bathe with an ostomy bag. A major concern among patients with an ostomy bag is how to keep the pouch dry. People think not bathing can be a solution. But, You can always buy an ostomy bag cover to be on the safe side.
Why is ostomy surgery performed?
An ostomy may be necessary due to the following:
- Congenital disabilities
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Incontinence and many other medical conditions
- Severe abdominal or pelvic trauma
- Injuries sustained during military service.
Can You Bathe With An Ostomy Bag?
It may cause concerns in you about the proper care of your ostomy bag or how to handle a pouch when bathing or showering. Showering and bathing, or necessary cleaning should not be interrupted by your ostomy. While you can buy an ostomy bag cover, but with the right information and products, you can still get a comfortable bathing experience. Knowing how to bathe with an ostomy bag and its hygiene can help you ditch chances of peristomal skin complications.
- Peristomal skin is highly exposed to medicaments, urine, ostomy pouch systems, feces, and stoma skincare products. These can cause various peristomal conditions, including physical skin abrasion and even infections, dermatologic conditions, and contact dermatitis.
- Bodily fluids are an essential cause of peristomal dermatitis.
- Use stoma skincare products to protect the peristomal skin and to prevent parastomal irritations.
Know-How To Bathe With An Ostomy Bag:
First, understand that the bag’s location will depend on the colon’s segment where it originates- descending colon, ascending colon, sigmoid colon, or transverse colon. Go through the below mentioned for a safe experience:
- You can choose a bath or shower with or without wearing your pouching system.
- Even though exposure to air or water will not affect your stoma, you can buy an ostomy bag cover.
- Remove the skin barrier if you are bathing without your pouch.
- Align your routine with the time you are due for a pouch change.
- Your skin should be dehydrated before you apply a new skin barrier and pouch.
- Make sure to check your pouch seal before taking a bath.
- It is better to wear the entire pouching system, including the skin barrier and pouch, during shower time.
- Use all-natural products.
- When bathing without your pouch, use an oil and residue-free soap.
- Avoid using bath foams, shower gels, and moisturizing lotions as these are hard to rinse off.
- Select a time to bathe when your stoma is less active.
- Use a filter cover sticker over the filter opening if you use a filtered pouch.
How To Dry Your Ostomy Bag?
Your pouching system’s type will affect the drying time and method. Non-tape border wafers and uncovered bags best use a towel for drying. On the other hand, tape wafers and covered pouches may use a hairdryer set on cool.
- Use a hairdryer on the lowest-coolest setting.
- Do not use direct, high-heat. It will reduce the wear time or irritate your skin.
- You can also gently pat-dry your pouch with a towel.
An Important Concern:
Another important question that might bubble up is “will the pouch leak or smell while bathing?” to answer the question, it can be said that it does not leak or smell generally until the adhesive wears off. Ostomy pouches are designed to be odor-free. You can use pouch deodorizers and oral medications in case your pouch troubles you. Regularly emptying the purse will eliminate chances of leakage. You can buy an ostomy bag cover, aprons, and plastic wraps to maintain your pouch system’s dryness.
Mental Health And Ostomy Bags:
Even if an ostomy can solve many physical challenges, it does not instantly heal any mental issue you experienced before your surgery. However, the surgery itself can be challenging to grapple with. Ostomy bags can take a toll on one’s mental and emotional health. Patients often report lower self-esteem. Patients complain about uncomfortable dating situations. Intimacy and personal hygiene become a significant issue among patients with an ostomy bag. Even though you can buy an ostomy bag cover while taking care of your hygiene, your self-esteem and other psychological problems can be eased by a professional.