You recently had a colostomy surgery and have many concerns about how to take care of your ostomy pouch and stoma. Questions arising very often are: how to handle a pouch when bathing or showering? Are there any specific things I should know on how to bathe with a colostomy bag? Basically, there is nothing to worry about it! For your peace of mind, a few important points you should know on how to bathe with a colostomy bag are given next.
Unless your doctor or ostomy nurse tells you otherwise, ostomates can normally have their bath or shower with or without the colostomy bag (pouch). How you want to do it, it’s a matter of personal preference. Here are a few things to remember:
- Do not be concerned about your pouch being affected by your bathing or showering!
Many new ostomates are afraid of hurting their stoma, or damaging their pouch and wafer when they bathe or shower! You should know that pouch systems are usually waterproof and thus not affected by water. In fact, warm water can sometimes improve the initial adhesive properties of wafers.
Generally, the pouching system is securely attached to your abdomen and, if you choose to bathe or shower with it, it will usually not fall or be damaged. However, if you have frequent long hot baths, it has been seen that wafer´s wear time can be affected because they lose adhesive properties, especially at their sides.
- After your bath or shower, dry your pouching system with a towel or a hair dryer!
The type of pouching system influences drying time and method. If you wear a non-tape border wafer and uncovered bags, you can dry them with a towel. For tape wafers and covered bags, you may use a hair drier set on cool.
Some accessories are very useful to keep your appliances dry during a shower -they do not usually work well for baths. Pouch covers, plastic wraps, and aprons can be used to maintain your pouch system dry. Some stoma bags have pouch covers that are very practical and can be easily dried with a towel, just as it´s done after swimming.
- When bathing or showering without the appliance, protect and look after your stoma with very simple, routine actions!
On your programmed pouching system change day, have your appliance removed before you bathe or shower. Do not let hot water directly hit your stoma. Do not use anything that can excessively moisturize your skin, since this will affect your new wafer from properly sticking to your abdomen once you come out of the bath or shower. Most importantly, enjoy bathing or showering with a colostomy bag!