Why Do Ostomy Bags Frequently Leak?

Many ostomy patients have experienced the issue of "leakage." Leakage not only leads to redness, itching, and skin breakdown around the stoma but also causes anxiety, discomfort, increased caregiving challenges, and financial burdens. There are various reasons behind leakage, and understanding these reasons can help us take targeted preventive measures. Today, let's explore the situations that can lead to leakage and how to avoid them.

  1. Improper Removal of the Ostomy Baseplate and Skin Damage, Leading to Leakage: Although removing the ostomy baseplate from the abdomen seems like a simple action, do not underestimate it. Gentle and painless removal is the first step in protecting the skin! Avoid "rough tearing" or "forceful pulling," as it can damage the skin. Once the skin turns red, sensitive, or damaged, it can affect the adhesion between the ostomy baseplate and the skin, making leakage more likely.

  2. Neglecting Inspection and Incorrect Timing of Baseplate Changes After Removal: Many ostomy patients remove the ostomy baseplate and immediately discard it without inspecting it. However, this step is crucial to assess whether your wear time is appropriate and to identify signs of leakage or potential risks.

    • Check the ostomy baseplate: After removing it, do not immediately dispose of the ostomy baseplate:
      • Observe whether there is residue from excrement on the baseplate.
      • Check if the adhesive on the baseplate appears discolored, foamy, or dissolving. If the removed ostomy baseplate exhibits any of these signs, it indicates that leakage has occurred, and the baseplate's protective function has been compromised. If not replaced promptly, continued excretion can flow beneath the baseplate, causing leakage and skin irritation.
    • Examine the skin around the ostomy:
      • Observe whether the skin around the ostomy matches the skin on the opposite side of the abdomen.
      • Check whether the skin underneath the adhesive of the ostomy baseplate shows signs of redness, rash, or damage.
      • Inspect whether there is residue from excrement on the skin. If the skin displays any of these conditions, it indicates that leakage has occurred or has been ongoing for a while. In such cases, it is essential to shorten the wear time of the ostomy baseplate and make timely adjustments based on the conditions of the baseplate and skin.
  3. Inadequate Skin Protection and Repeated Irritation Leading to Leakage: Prolonged adhesion of the ostomy baseplate to the skin, coupled with occasional irritation from excrement, can compromise the skin's natural protective barrier. Just like applying sunscreen daily or using diaper rash cream for infants, multiple layers of protection are necessary. Healthy skin provides a strong foundation for the ostomy baseplate to adhere to and helps reduce the risk of leakage.

  4. Inappropriate Hole Cutting in the Ostomy Baseplate Can Easily Lead to Leakage : Properly cutting the hole in the ostomy baseplate is crucial for preventing leakage. If the hole is too large, excrement can easily flow beneath the baseplate, causing leakage. If it's too small, it can cause friction and irritation to the stoma, potentially leading to bleeding or swelling. Before each wear, use an ostomy measuring guide to measure the diameter of your stoma. Match the measurement with the center hole of the ostomy baseplate and mark it with a pen (top, bottom, left, right). The hole in the ostomy baseplate should be 1-2 mm larger than the diameter of the stoma's base. After cutting the hole, use your fingers to smooth away any rough edges.

Solving the problem of leakage typically requires considering these factors comprehensively and working with medical experts to find appropriate solutions. Regular follow-up and rehabilitation support are also crucial for resolving the issue. If you have any questions or concerns about ostomy care or encounter any unusual situations, be sure to consult a medical professional or the KONWEDA medical team. We can provide personalized advice to help you adapt to your new lifestyle and ensure the health and comfort of your ostomy bag.

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