A Quick Guide for Ostomy Pouches

A colostomy bag, also called a stoma/ostomy bag/pouch, is a small, waterproof pouch used to collect waste from the body, after someone undergoes colostomy.

Colostomy is a procedure that creates an opening for the colon, or large intestine, through the abdomen. This is needed if one cannot pass stools through their anus. This could be the result of an illness, injury or problem with the digestive system.

There are 2 major types of colostomy:

1. Temporary or Loop Colostomy: In this type a hole is cut in the side of the colon and stitched to a corresponding hole in the abdominal wall.

2. Permanent Colostomy: Where 1 end of the colon is pulled out through a cut in your abdomen and stitched to the skin to create a stoma. A stoma is an opening on the abdomen that can be connected to either your digestive or urinary system to allow waste (urine or faeces) to be diverted out of the body.


There are a few things one must take into consideration, to select the appropriate ostomy pouch. Using a pouch on your own without professional help can be challenging but following a checklist will make the process smoother.

1. Size: Make sure you buy the right size of the pouch. You can buy an ostomy kit, to know the size of the stoma and use ostomy scissors to cut the right diameter of the pouch opening. Smaller bags can cause abdominal discomfort.  The larger size can cause stools to leak followed by foul order, skin irritation, and poor hygiene.

2. Trimming Abdominal Hair: To avoid painful unwanted waxing experiences make sure you trim the hair around the stoma. Shaving the hair will make the cleaning process easier and less painful.

3. Maintenance: Set up a schedule and time to do the following:
(i) Change the pouch once every 2- 4 days
(ii) Empty the pouch when it is 1/3 full
(iii) Keep a check on your pouch for the gas it might be collecting
(iv) Make sure you have a clean private room or bathroom to yourself while you do these practices.

4. Cleaning the Stoma: Avoid using harsh soaps, products that contain alcohol to clean stoma. Warm water and towel or sponging are recommended. Make sure your stoma is clean before you attach the pouch again.

5. Diet: Consult your nutritionist or doctor to know what foods will help you accept the pouch system. Consuming alcohol, caffeine, or high sugar food items can cause disturbances in the digestive system and make the experience very unpleasant.

6. Movement / Exercise: Ostomy pouches are waterproof and are visible under skin fit clothes. However, please consult your doctor before you start running, swimming, or other physical activities.

You can check out the Wide Range of Ostomy Pouches at SmartMedicalBuyer.com at the best prices online.


Accepting something as chronic as colostomy and its consequences can be an emotionally draining or even disturbing. It is important to manage one’s mental health while managing the physical ailment as well. It is important to note that the ostomy pouch does not define who they are, it is just a part of their lives.


Watch our latest video on 'How to Choose & Care for your Ostomy Pouch/ Bag.