What’s an ostomy bag and how do they help?

What is an ostomy?

Before we jump into explaining what ostomy bags are, we should start with the basics. An ostomy is a surgically-created opening in an organ of the body, typically the bladder or the intestines. The ostomy medical term is typically used interchangeably with the word "stoma" which is also used to indicate an artificial opening created during a required medical procedure, such as a colostomy. Through this opening, body waste is able to pass and is eliminated from the body despite the no longer complete biological system and pathway.

While many people may hear the ostomy medical term and immediately bring to mind negative connotations and effects, there are a number of noted benefits to choosing and undergoing a procedure like this. For one, doing so has been known to ease what is often quite significant discomfort. Where once digestion and waste elimination was a painful situation, many patients now report that they can carry on with normal daily activities without discomfort and with greater peace of mind. Instead of experiencing gastrointestinal distress, incontinence, or whatever other issue prompted the need for the procedure, patients can finally experience some relief.


Why might an ostomy be required?

The ostomy medical term typically refers to openings that must be created in one of three primary areas, including the colon, ileum, and bladder. There are a number of reasons why such a procedure might be necessary and this can include:

  • Diverticulitis
  • Cancers
  • Incontinence
  • Trauma and injury
  • Crohn's disease

While not all patients who are experiencing these issues may require an ostomy, surgical intervention and ostomy care are often on the list of choices due to this options often successful outcome and many benefits.


What is an ostomy bag?

For those who go through a surgical procedure to create a stoma or ostomy to correct a severe medical condition, an alternative must be found to dispose of the body waste and fluids that would normally pass through the bypassed biological system. This is where an ostomy bag becomes critical.

So what is an ostomy bag exactly? An ostomy bag is a medical device that acts as a pouching system used to collect waste from a biological pathway that has been diverted during surgery. A number of medical conditions and problems can result in the need for pieces to be removed from either the bladder, colon, or ileum. When this happens, a stoma must be created and an ostomy bag used in order to complete the digestive tract. Through this stoma, certain waste materials pass and are collected in the ostomy bag so that they can be discarded appropriately. Some of the most common reasons why an ostomy bag would be required would be following procedures such as:

  • Colostomies
  • Ileostomies
  • Urostomies

How does an ostomy bag work?

Now that the "what is an ostomy bag" question has been answered, the next logical question is about how this invaluable system works to assist the individual with maintaining a healthy lifestyle with as little inconvenience as possible. Once the ostomy has been created during the requisite surgical procedure, the patient will be given an ostomy bag in which the waste will be collected. The pouch is then periodically emptied as needed and changed every three to seven days. Once the emptying and changing procedure has been mastered, it can become like second-nature and, fortunately, companies like ConvaTec have gone above and beyond to make these pouches easy to use. Not only are ostomy bags simple to utilize, but they have also been shown to be very helpful to those who have previously suffered from severe issues. In fact, many patients who were previously not thrilled at the idea of an ostomy are pleasantly surprised at how hassle-free ostomy care turned out to be.


What kind of ostomy bags are available?

The kind of ostomy bag required will depend upon the type of ostomy you received during your surgical procedure. There are three primary types of ostomy bags including colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy bags. Each of this works in a largely identical way, but differ based on the kind of ostomy that was performed. In general, bags that are designed for either an ileostomy or a colostomy are largely identical and can be used interchangeably for both types of ostomies.


How do you care for your ostomy and ostomy bag?

Proper ostomy care is absolutely essential not only to the proper function of your ostomy bag, but also to the prevention of infection and other potentially serious issues. Emptying your pouch as needed is beyond important, as is making sure to change the ostomy bag on a regular basis, typically every three to seven days. At all times, it's crucial to pay close attention to the stoma and the skin surrounding the ostomy to ensure that there is no sign of infection or other issue.

When the time comes to change the bag, there are a series of steps you need to follow to ensure that you're taking proper care of both the ostomy bag as well as your ostomy and surrounding skin. Make sure to:

  • Properly prepare the new ostomy bag: If using a cut-to-fit bag, make sure to cut the bag to properly fit over your stoma. Measure your stoma if necessary to ensure a proper fit.
  • Remove the old pouch: Gently peel away the adhesive, being careful not to irritate the skin.
  • Clean the skin and stoma: Use a wet washcloth and some mild soap, if needed. Don't forget to fully wash the soap away and allow the skin to dry before reapplying the new pouch.
  • Put the new pouch on: make sure that the adhesive is firmly attached. Press down on all edges until the bag is fully sealed.

While the process might sound daunting initially, it becomes much quicker and easier to accomplish the more you or your loved one practice and get used to the process. It's also important to keep in mind that the size of a stoma does not necessarily stay the same, especially soon following the surgery. It's important to measure your stoma prior to fitting the ostomy bag to ensure that you have properly cut the pouch to fit. If you're using a pre-cut option, this also holds true; you'll want to make sure that you're ordering the proper size.


What is ConvaTec and why should you choose this company as your supplier for you or your loved one's ostomy bags and ostomy care supplies?

ConvaTec offers some of the most comfortable and flexible ostomy bags. They have been well-reviewed as able to provide a subtle yet effective solution for those who have undergone surgical procedures that have required the creation of a stoma. ConvaTec creates products that are made to last and to be sufficient for even the most active lifestyle.

As a global medical product and technology supplier, ConvaTec is focused on providing products and services geared toward those who are living with chronic medical conditions. In fact, they are a market leader in the industry of ostomy care, continence, critical care, and advanced wound care. Their products are designed to provide a number of benefits to individuals, both clinically and economically. They are designed to protect the skin, prevent infection, and improve overall patient outcomes, not to mention to reduce the cost of care.

ConvaTec currently employees over 8500 individuals and markets their products to over 100 countries across the globe.


What is the Convatec 22771?

Considered one of the top ostomy bag products available, the ConvaTec 22771 pouch is part of the ActiveLife® collection of ostomy bags available from ConvaTec. Built to be ideal for those with an active lifestyle who are looking for an effective and convenient means of managing their ostomy care, the ActiveLife® pouches are also built to be durable and easy to use. These drainable pouches can be either pre-cut or cut-to-fit, they feature a 1-sided comfort panel, and they are extra secure through the use of Stomahesive® skin barriers. The skin barriers utilized in the ConvaTec pouch not only secure the bag to the skin, but also protect the user from infection due to exposure to both formed and semi-formed body waste.

The ConvaTec 22771 hcpcs is ideal for both colostomies and ileostomies. It's both subtle and odor-proof as well as quiet to maintain discretion and peace of mind. Along with the pouches themselves are convenient ConvaTec 22771 tail clips that can be used to secure the tail enclosure of the ConvaTec 22771 bag.

All of the ConvaTec 22771 products are easy to use and maintain as they are lightweight, flexible one-piece systems, and the ConvaTec 22771 hcpcs is no exception. The ConvaTec 22771 pouch makes draining a breeze, and the bags come in a variety of sizes to suit all needs. Not to mention that the ConvaTec 22771 bags can be purchased in a variety of different "pack" sizes, so you can make sure that you or your loved one are covered at all times.

The ConvaTec 22771 hcpcs is perfect for day and night time use, extended travel, and can even be used with ease during showers and while in the bathtub. The ActiveLife® name is certainly accurate, and the ConvaTec 22771 has been shown time and time again to hold up to even the most active lifestyle. Whether running, spending a day at the beach, or enjoying time with friends and family, the ConvaTec 22771 pouch is a definite asset.



Ileostomies and Colostomies


Crohns Disease


On to you

Now that you have a better understanding of what ostomies are, what other questions do you have? Whether it’s you, a family member or friend that is going through something that requires an ostomy — it can be tough physically and emotionally. Please feel free to give Save Rite Medical a call if you need support.

-Marc Kaplan

CEO, Save Rite Medical


CEO of Save Rite Medical, Marc Kaplan's mission is to provide valuable information and help people searching for answers. These are the pillars that Save Rite Medical is built on.