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Leakage of your stomal output can happen for a variety of reasons. Explore some prevention tips to help you avoid leaks.
Making sure your ostomy pouch adheres properly will go a long way towards preventing leaks. Here are some tips for staying leak-free:
Put a high priority on ostomy skin health. Damaged skin around your stoma can be hard to manage because you need to place the ostomy pouching system over the irritated area. This is why being proactive with your peristomal skin health is so important.
Make sure your skin barrier fits properly. A skin barrier that fits well around your stoma helps protect your skin from being irritated or damaged by drainage. It doesn’t really matter whether your stoma is large or small, or whether it protrudes or not, as long as the drainage flows into your pouch without leaking under the skin barrier.
Change your ostomy pouch on a regular basis. It is important to change your pouch on a regular basis before it is susceptible to leakage. An overfilled or overweight pouch causes undue strain on your skin barrier attachment to the skin, which could lead to leakage.
Make sure your ostomy pouch is secure during exercise or physical activity. If you are participating in sporting activities or other forms of exercise, you can wear certain clothing or accessories that can help ease your concerns. The same goes for other “physical activities” (i.e. sex).
Take special care when removing your ostomy skin barrier. Improperly or rapidly removing your skin barrier could cause skin stripping. The associated damage could lead to irritation, pain and leaks.
Find the right product mix for you. There are many ostomy products and accessories that are designed to ensure good skin health and help prevent leakage. Every stoma is unique, so you will need to determine what is best for you by working with your stoma care nurse, as well as trial and error.
What to do if you have a leak
Following these preventive steps can help you prevent leaks. However, if you do experience leakage, it is important to pinpoint the source. Contact your stoma care nurse for help.
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