Frequently Asked Questions on Ostomy


What is Ostomy?

An ostomy is a surgically-created intestinal or urinary tract diversion that modifies the normal pathway for waste elimination. This opening is called a "stoma". It is made by creating a space in the abdominal wall. Unlike in the original passage, there is no sphincter muscle on the stoma. Therefore, there is no control over the elimination of waste and the patient will need to wear a bag to collect the waste that flows from the stoma.
There are three common types of ostomies:

  • Colostomy
  • Ileostomy
  • Urostomy
  • Living with Ostomy- E-book
    What does an ostomy mean?

    An ostomy is an surgically made opening in the body, specifically in the abdomen, created surgically for the discharge of bodily waste matter.

    What is an ostomy bag used for?

    An ostomy bag, also referred to as an ostomy pouch, is designed to collect feces or urine discharged from the stoma. It is usually made from plastic and available in varying styles and sizes.

    How often you need to empty the ostomy pouch?

    Timing varies for each individual. No matter which type of an ostomy a person has, the ostomy bag typically has to be emptied about 4 to 8 times daily.

    How often do you need to change the ostomy pouching system?

    Manufacturer recommends using an ostomy bag for a maximum of seven days. After this, the product might break down or no longer offer the protection for which it has been designed.

    What is the purpose of an ostomy belt?

    An ostomy belt supports your colostomy, urostomy or ileostomy bag and conceals your ostomy appliance. It holds the weight of your ostomy bag as it fills and reduces the burden of gravity or stress on your flange/wafer thus increasing the wear time of your device. It also keeps your ostomy appliance discreet under your clothing.

    What is an ostomy barrier?

    An ostomy or skin barrier, also known as a wafer or flange, is an ostomy device that is made to fit around the stoma. It fixes to the peristomal skin creating a seal around the stoma to prevent leakage and maintains a secure connection between the pouch and the stoma.