An urostomy bag and collection of ostomy supplies, including barrier wafers, rings and ostomy paste.

Supporting an Ostomy Bag: Barriers and Ostomy Paste

Last updated: October 2022

If you are reading this, you may already be an ostomate – someone who wears an ostomy bag following bladder removal surgery. You may be early on your journey or just beginning. Maybe you and your medical team are considering bladder removal surgery, which would result in you wearing an ostomy bag.

Whatever the situation, this article hopefully helps you to see that even if you are experiencing some challenges with your ostomy bag, there are things you can use to help get a good seal when replacing your ostomy bag and preventing leaks.

Having a secure fitting ostomy solution that works is essential practically and psychologically. You want the confidence to go out and do everything you enjoy doing without worrying about ostomy issues.

No 2 ostomates are the same

It is important to note that no 2 stomas are the same. Like no 2 people's bodies are the same. Whether or not you need any additional ostomy products depends on your individual body. The motto I always live by is "less is more."

You don't want to be using anything you don't need to. However, if you are experiencing peristomal (the area around your stoma) skin issues or leaks, there are things available that could help.

Today, I will look at ostomy barrier/ostomy seal rings and ostomy paste.

Ostomy barrier/ostomy rings

Ostomy barrier rings are used in addition to your ostomy bag. They are either flat or convex and can be used with flat or convex bags depending on the support needed. They come in different thicknesses and diameters to help get a good fit.

What ostomy issues does it help with?

It helps with any leaks and helps to prevent the output of the stoma from coming in contact with the skin.

I place it either directly onto my skin around your stoma or onto my ostomy bag before fitting it. There are many different ones. Most are circular, but you can get some oval ones too. All can be molded to fit nicely around your stoma, and most can be torn if you only want to use half a circle in one area, for example.

My tips

If needed and one side of your skin has a significant dip, you can use one ring and cut another in half, using only the half on the side with the big dip. You could use just half a ring if needed on one side. If you need to use 2 full rounds, 1 on top of the other, I suggest using a thicker ring.

Stoma/ostomy paste

This is a tube of paste, like a toothpaste tube. The consistency varies from supplier to supplier, but I think it resembles a putty consistency. It is essential to say this is not a glue to help the bag stick, but rather something to fill gaps. As you recover from surgery and put weight on, dips in the skin can appear, sometimes just for a short time.

What ostomy issues does it help with?

It can help prevent leaks. It is used to fill in uneven areas of skin or gaps, which may prevent your ostomy bag from sealing correctly or staying in place. Some people find, for example, if your bag sits near your navel, it can be a dip in the skin, which can help prevent the skin from coming in contact with it.

You squeeze the amount you need out of the tube onto the inner circle of the hole cut in your ostomy bag.

My tips

Consider where you feel you have the gap or dip, and only use where needed. I find it works better warmed. Simply preparing a bag with paste for a short time before using it is enough for this.

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