Also referred to as stoma, an ostomy is an opening created between the abdominal wall and the intestines through surgery. Doctors perform this procedure to create a connection between the small or large intestines and the abdominal wall. An ostomy can either be temporary or permanent. The need to avoid the passage of stool via intestines underneath the stoma, usually occasion a temporary ostomy. To avoid an infection risk, doctors create a temporary ostomy to permit the intestines to heal following a surgery or when a patient is suffering from particular illnesses such as Crohn’s disease. A permanent ostomy happens when some parts of the patient’s colon, rectum or anus have been removed – including the muscles responsible for controlling bowel movement. According to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, a permanent ostomy is removable in selected cases.
Once an ostomy is made, the patient moves bowel through the opening of the abdominal wall. The appliance used in this instance is known as ostomy bag – made up of a bag and water. The ostomy bag should be changed on a need basis. In some cases, a patient and his/her caregiver may have to deal with an ostomy bag leaking. This may catch you off-guard and cause panic, especially if the doctor hadn’t warned you of the possibility of it happening. Some of the culprits of this bizarre episodes include;
- The adhesives and your skin do not agree, and in turn, causing an allergic reaction.
- Failure to drain it adequately, resulting in an overflow, and eventually, a leakage.
- If you are not dressed appropriately. Stay clear of tight clothes as they tend to cause loosening of the edges of the ostomy appliance.
- Ostomy bag leaking will occur if the ostomy isn’t protruding above the skin since it increases the chances of the stool going under the pouch seal. Besides ensuring that there are no creases, make sure that your skin shape matches that of the peristomal.
- You are using soaps that have a lot of oil and moisturizers, and in turn, leaving the surface slippery.
- A super runny output or one that is too acidic may also lead to leakages. You may have to watch what you eat. One huge recommended consideration is going gluten-free and decreasing fruit intake, at least until you get rid of the ostomy.
Apart from the above tips, you might have observed other causes of ostomy bag leaking. Try and engage your creativity to avoid these nasty occurrences. For instance, you can make use of a blow dryer to leave the area where you attach the ostomy bag as dry as possible before wearing the appliance.