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Ostomy Appliance Manufacturers

  • Coloplast 1-888-726-7872
  • ConvaTec 1-800-422-8811
  • Cymed 1-800-582-0707 
  • Hollister 1-800-323-4060
  • Nu-Hope 1-800-899-5017
  • Marlen 1-216-292-7060


The Phoenix Ostomy Magazine
Provides solutions to the many challenges of living with a colostomy, ileostomy, urostomy or continent diversion (j-pouch, kock pouch, etc.). From skin care to nutrition to intimacy, in-depth articles written by medical professionals, authors and ostomates show readers how to return to a full and rewarding life with an ostomy."

United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA)
National association of local support groups dedicated to improving the lives of those with an ostomy.


Changing Your Ostomy Pouch

The bathroom is a good place to change your pouch. Empty your used pouch into the toilet first, if it needs emptying.  After some practice, changing your pouch will get easier.  Gather your supplies. If you have a 2-piece pouch, be sure you have the special ring seal that sticks to your skin around the stoma.

Follow these steps to prevent infection:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Be sure to wash between your fingers and under your fingernails. Dry with a clean towel or paper towels.

  • If you have a 2-piece pouch, press gently on the skin around your stoma with 1 hand, and remove the seal with your other hand. (If it is hard to remove the seal, you can use special pads. Ask your nurse about these.)

  • Remove the pouch.

  • Keep the clip. Put the old ostomy pouch in a bag and then place the bag in the trash.

  • Clean the skin around your stoma with warm soap and water and a clean washcloth or paper towels. Dry with a clean towel.

Check and seal your peristomal skin:

  • Check the skin around your stoma (peristomal skin). A little bleeding is normal. Your skin should be pink or red. Call your doctor if it is purple, black, or blue.

  • Wipe around the stoma with the special skin wipe. If your skin is a little wet, sprinkle some of the stoma powder on just the wet or open part.

  • Lightly pat the special wipe on top of the powder and your skin again.

  • Let the area air-dry for 1 to 2 minutes.

Measure your stoma:

  • Use your measuring card to find the circle size that matches the size of your stoma. Do not touch the card to your skin.

  • If you have a 2-piece system, trace the circle size onto the back of the ring seal and cut out this size. Make sure the cut edges are smooth.

Attach the ostomy pouch:

  • Attach the pouch to the ring seal if you have a 2-piece ostomy system.

  • Peel the paper off the ring seal.

  • Carefully apply a small "bead" of stoma paste around the hole in the seal, or place the special stoma ring around the opening.

  • Place the seal evenly around the stoma. Hold it in place for a few minutes. Try holding a warm washcloth over the seal to help make it stick to your skin.

  • If you need them, put cotton balls or special gel packs in your pouch to keep it from leaking.

  • Attach the pouch clip or use Velcro to close the pouch.

  • Wash your hands with warm soap and water.


Important Information About Your Ostomy

  • Empty your ostomy pouch when it is not quite half full.

  • Common reasons to call your WOC nurse: red skin, rashes, leakage problems, and changes in your stoma.

Types of Colostomies:

  • Transverse colostomy

  • Ascending colostomy

  • Descending and sigmoid colostomy

Ostomy Patient Resources:

  • ConvaTec Connections: a resource for ConvaTec products. 1-800-422-8811

  • Wound Ostomy & Continence Nurses Society (WOCN) 1-888-224-9626


Accredited WOCN Schools

  • Cleveland Clinic - R. B. Turnbull, Jr. School fo WOC Nursing

  • Emory University School of Medicine - Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing Education Center

  • Harrisburg Area Wound Care Specialty Program and WOC Nursing Education Program - Sponsored by Wicks Educational Associates, Inc.

  • La Salle University School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nursing Education Program (WOCNEP)

  • University of Virginia Graduate Program in WOC Nursing at the University of Virginia School of Nursing

  • University of Washington Wound Management Education Program UW WMEP

  • VA Eastern Kansas Wound Management Academy

  • webWOC Nursing Education Program

Find a WOC Nurse in Your Area: http://www.wocn.org/?page=Nurse_Referral

American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS)