Ileostomy leakage troubleshooter

Ileostomy leakage troubleshooter

Experiencing leakage from your ostomy? Ask these questions in order to figure out what may be causing the leakage - and what may be the solution. And if that doesn't work, never hesitate to consult your ostomy care nurse.

Does the barrier fit snug around the stoma?

Your stoma can change in size, so you should measure it regularly to make sure your barrier opening is still the right size.

Tip
Accessories like the Brava Mouldable Ring can help you create a seal around your stoma. You can also talk to your ostomy nurse about using a convex solution, which will help push the area around the stoma down and may help you get a better fit.

Is the skin around your stoma uneven?

If the skin around your stoma is uneven or has bulges, this is a very likely cause of leakage. Even tiny creases can cause output to seep under the ostomy barrier.

Tip
You can either use a mouldable ring or you can smooth out your skin surface by using a paste (like the Brava® Tube paste) to fill out creases and folds.

When did the leak occur?

Perhaps you were squatting, or bending, or twisting your torso. This should of course not cause leakage, but if it did, it is a sign that your pouch is not following your body movements.

Tip
Brava® Elastic Barrier Strips (EBS) secure the edges of the barrier to give you added security. You may also want to consider a convex solution for a better fit around your stoma.

Leakage while playing sports or being active

Leakage while playing sports or being active

Depending on fit and body shape, some movements might simply be a little too vigorous for the pouch to withstand.

Tip
Elastic Barrier Strips (EBS) could help, but for more strenuous movement an ostomy belt may be the more secure solution, if that is an option for your pouching system.

Is the skin beneath the barrier moist?

This could be a sign of maceration, a skin condition caused by excessive moisture, similar to the pruning that happens to your fingertips after a long bath. If this is the case, the leakage might have happened because the moist skin surface makes it harder for the barrier to stick.

Tip
Make sure the skin is completely dry before applying a new pouch. Apply gentle pressure around the entire barrier, and you may consider wearing a belt for the first hour to make sure your barrier is adhered to your skin.

Does your ostomy look different?

Leakage could also occur because of more serious complications; some of these would likely cause your stoma or the skin surrounding it to change appearance.

Tip
In this case you should contact your ostomy nurse immediately to get the right treatment.


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