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What Are the Different Types of Ostomy Supplies?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

Ostomy supplies usually include a pouch, adhesive, seals to keep the pouch in place, clamps, tubes, and paste. Each of these items acts to create a reservoir for waste and fecal matter in the case of a colostomy. Fewer supplies are typically needed for ostomies located in the throat and other areas since there is not as much threat of leakage. Supplies will vary based on the type of operation performed and the health condition it was intended to treat.

Choosing the proper ostomy supplies is important for patient health and comfort. Not only would having a leaking pouch or stoma be embarrassing and inhibitive when trying to complete daily activities, but it could also lead to damage to the skin surrounding the ostomy. Stomach acids or waste materials could leak onto the surround skin, leading to severe irritation, rashes, or even burns. This can be prevented by using properly fitted tubing and by applying ostomy paste surrounding the area.


One of the most important ostomy supplies is the pouch. This is used to hold fecal matter in those who have had a colostomy since the colon is removed or blocked off due to disease or injury. The pouch is connected to the stoma by a tube and adhesive tape. Clamps are used to keep the pouch from leaking until it is time to be emptied. Pouches may also come in various sizes to hold different amounts of waste.

A doctor or pharmacist can generally give advice on choosing the right ostomy supplies. Tubes have to be fitted based on the size of the stoma and ostomy. Sizing may change as time passes and the wound begins to heal, so patients should go in to be resized as often as necessary. This is often done at routine visits.

There are also ostomy supplies that are designed to make life more comfortable. Pastes can be used to smooth the skin and pouch closer to the body so that they are less noticeable when worn underneath clothing. There are also noise-free pouches that don’t crinkle and crackle when a patient moves. This makes it much less obvious that patients are living with an ostomy.

There are various brands available, although most ostomy supplies are relatively the same. Patients should speak with a doctor or nurse to determine the most appropriate items for them. They can be purchased in person at a pharmacy or medical supply store, through mail catalogs, or online.

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