Frequently Asked Questions on Urostomy

What is Urostomy?
Urostomy is an abdominal opening from the urinary tract. The stoma for a urostomy is often built from a short length of ileum conduit and may look nearly the same as an ileostomy. But the difference is simple - if it flows urine then it is a urostomy and, if it flows digestive waste then it is an ileostomy.
When is urostomy needed?
Urostomy, or a urinary diversion, is needed when the bladder is not working properly. There are four major reasons for performing a urinary diversion, the most common being bladder cancer. Others are birth defects, neurological dysfunction or chronic inflammation of the bladder.
What kind of a bag should be used for Urostomy?
Open bags with an anti-reflux valve preventing the urine from flowing back towards the stoma are often preferable. There are 1-piece and 2-piece systems available:
  • 1-piece systems
    In 1-piece systems the adhesive and bag are welded together. The advantage of using a 1-piece appliance is that it is easy to apply and the bag is flexible and soft.
  • 2-piece systems
    In 2-piece systems the bag and adhesive are two separate components. If your skin is sensitive, the 2-piece system might be preferable as you do not need to remove the adhesive frequently. The adhesive can stay on for several days while the bag can be changed as required.
  • Will bathing or taking a shower require me to take off my pouch?
    No, there are no concerns about that. You can shower with the pouch on or without it. The stoma can be exposed to soap and water without causing any problems. Water will not enter the stoma so you need not be concerned about that. Or you can keep the pouch on when bathing or showering.
    Do I continue with the same size and type of pouch throughout?
    No, it is not necessary that you will be wearing the same pouch throughout after surgery. As the healing process occurs, the stoma may shrink in size and therefore, you might need to change the size of your pouch. And after the initial period of recovery, you might need to go back to a regular lifesyle, going back to work, etc. In that case you might need to change the type of pouch you are wearing, in order to adapt to your present needs. Your caregiver might help you in selecting the change.
    What should alert me to change my pouch?
    When the area around the skin barrier begins to itch or burn, then this may be an alert for you to change the wafer. You have to be careful when you change and how frequently because too much or too little change may damage the skin. Usually, a pouch might need wearing between 3 to 7 days without change. It will also depend on the adhesiveness and sturdiness of the pouch.