Wash your hands well and have all equipment available. Put on a clean pair of medical gloves.
Gently remove the pouch. Push the skin away from the seal. Do not pull the ostomy away from your skin.
Wash your stoma and the skin around it carefully with soapy water.
- Use mild soap, such as Ivory, Safeguard, or Dial.
- Do not use a soap that has perfume or lotion added to it.
- Look carefully at your stoma and the skin around it for any changes. Allow your stoma to dry completely before connecting the new pouch.
Trace the shape of your stoma onto the back of the new pouch and barrier or wafer (wafers are part of a 2-piece pouch system).
- Use a stoma guide with different sizes and shapes, if you have one.
- Or, draw the shape of your stoma on a piece of paper. You may want to cut out your drawing and hold it up to your stoma to make sure it is the right size and shape. The edges of the opening should be close to the stoma, but they should not touch the stoma itself.
Trace this shape onto the back of your new pouch or wafer. Then cut the wafer to the shape.
Use skin barrier powder or paste around the stoma, if your doctor or nurse has recommended this.
- If the stoma is at or below the level of your skin, or if the skin around your stoma is uneven, using the paste will help seal it better.
- The skin around your stoma should be dry and smooth. There should no wrinkles in the skin around the stoma.
Remove the backing from the pouch. Make sure the opening of the new pouch is centered over the stoma and pressed firmly onto your skin.
- Hold your hand over the pouch and barrier for about 30 seconds after you have placed it. This will help seal it better.
- Ask your nurse or doctor about using tape around the sides of the pouch or wafer to help seal them better.
Fold the bag and secure it.