ROUTINE Ostomy Care

Mastering Routine Ostomy Care for a Confident Life with a Colostomy


Routine ostomy care is a fundamental aspect of living well with a colostomy. This article provides insights into important routines, including pouching techniques and equipment, skin care and maintenance, and effective strategies for dealing with leaks and odour control.

Pouching Techniques and Equipment

Understanding the principles of effective pouching is crucial for a seamless routine. Here are key considerations:

  • Pouch Selection: Choose the right type of pouch based on your preferences and needs. Options include one-piece and two-piece systems, closed-end or drainable pouches, and various sizes.

  • Proper Application: Learn the correct technique for applying and securing the pouch over your stoma. 

  • Emptying the Pouch: If you have a drainable pouch, empty it when it’s approximately one-third full to maintain comfort and discretion. Ensure proper closure to prevent odours and leaks.

  • Frequency: The frequency of changing an ostomy pouch varies, but it’s typically done every 3 to 7 days, if using a drainable pouch. However, individual factors such as output consistency, skin condition, and personal comfort may influence how often a pouch needs changing. Regular checks and adjustments ensure proper adhesion and prevent leaks, contributing to overall ostomy care and comfort. It’s advisable to follow the guidance of healthcare professionals and your NSWOC ( Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence) and adapt the schedule based on your specific needs.

Skin Care and Maintenance

Maintaining healthy peristomal skin is vital for preventing complications and discomfort. Consider the following aspects:

  • Cleaning: Clean the peristomal skin gently with warm water. Avoid products containing oils, as they can interfere with pouch adhesion.

  • Drying: Pat the area around the stoma completely dry after cleaning. Ensure there is no moisture, as it can affect pouch adhesion.

  • Regular Inspection: Regularly inspect the peristomal skin for any signs of irritation, redness, or damage. Address any issues promptly to prevent complications.

Dealing with Leaks and Odour Control

Sometimes, stool leakage and odor can be worries with a colostomy. The only time you might notice a smell is when you’re emptying your pouch, but you can use drops to help with that. All ostomy pouches are made to stop odors. Making sure your pouch and skin barrier fit well is really important to stop leaks. Emptying the pouch when it’s about one-third full can help prevent leaks. If you have problems, talk to a special nurse called a NSWOC (Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy, and Continence) to find the right solutions. Leaks are not okay, so it’s crucial to fix the pouch fit with your NSWOC’s help to prevent and manage leaks and avoid discomfort and skin issues.


In conclusion, mastering routine ostomy care is vital for a confident and comfortable life with a colostomy. By becoming proficient in pouching techniques and equipment, maintaining peristomal skin health, and effectively managing leaks and odours, you can embrace your colostomy with assurance and ease, ensuring a higher quality of life. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey, and support and resources are available to guide you every step of the way.

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