FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Will I experience leakages, once I become more active?

Leaks do occur, but they should always be the exception rather than the rule. If you experience ongoing leakages, arrange a consult with a WOC nurse in order to assess its underlying cause and address it.  If you notice that leakages are associated with a particular time of day, activity, body position, or occur at a particular location of the barrier, relay that information to the nurse you consult with. It may contain clues to the underlying cause.

Can people tell that I have an ostomy?

Pouching systems are designed to be low profile and inconspicuous. You have complete control over whether and to whom you choose to disclose this information.

Will others detect odor from stool or urine?

Pouching systems are designed to be odor proof. When you empty the pouch, you may be aware of odor associated with stool or urine, but this is true for ostomates and non-ostomates alike. Certain foods tend to produce odor whether or not you have an ostomy. If odor is a concern, there are commercially available deodorants (from ostomy product manufacturers) that one can place inside the pouch. One former member found mint Altoids to be effective as a pouch deodorant. 

How long should I wear a pouching system before changing it?

This varies from individual to individual. Average wear time is 3 days, some people can obtain 5 day wear time. Do not try to stretch your wear time beyond what is usual for you. If you experience itching or burning, or sense that your pouch is no longer secure, change it no matter what day it is!

How often should I empty my pouch?

This depends on the consistency and volume of your output. The general rule of thumb is to empty when a pouch is 1/3rd full. If your pouch “balloons” due to excess gas, release the gas by emptying. Don’t puncture your pouch with a pin to release air!

Are free samples of pouching systems available?

Many major ostomy manufacturers offer limited free samples upon request. This provides an opportunity to "test drive" a product which might interest you prior to committing to a purchase. To request an appropriate sample, you need to know if you require a specific product type (e.g., convexity) and the current diameter of your stoma. If in doubt, consult with an ostomy specialist nurse first.

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Will my insurance cover the ostomy supplies I use?

Insurance coverage for ostomy supplies may have certain limits or exclusions. Some insurers contract with specific distributors which you are required to utilize in order to be reimbursed. Check with your insurance carrier to obtain relevant information.

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Please feel free to send in your questions via Contact Us. We'll be happy to find an answer for you.

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