Having a colostomy can greatly improve the quality of life for those with certain digestive conditions. However, finding the right ostomy products to manage fecal waste can be challenging. This article covers how to buy colostomy bags in Pakistan, including various pouch options, essential accessories, tips for leakage prevention, and how to get ostomy supplies through pharmacies, medical stores, and online.
What is a Colostomy Bag?
A colostomy bag, also called an ostomy pouch or appliance, is a prosthetic medical device that provides a means for the collection of fecal waste following colostomy surgery. In a colostomy procedure, the colon is diverted through an opening called a stoma in the abdomen. Part or all of the healthy colon may be removed. The stoma allows for the passage of stool into a removable pouch attached externally to the body.
Colostomy pouches consist of a bag with a watertight seal attached to an adhesive skin barrier wafer. This wafer protects the skin around the stoma. Modern ostomy appliances are flat-profile and discreet under clothing. Colostomy bags must be periodically emptied and changed to keep the peristomal skin healthy.
Colostomy Bag Features to Consider
There are many options when selecting a colostomy system. Consider the following features to find the best colostomy appliances to suit individual needs:
- Pouch style – Closed-end or drainable end; one-piece or two-piece
- Stoma size – Measure stoma dimensions to ensure proper aperture fit
- Skin barrier – Prefabricated or custom-cut; flat or convex shaping
- Odor control – Charcoal filtering; odor-barrier films
- Gas release – Filter to vent flatus
- Skin protection – Smooth, non-irritating wafer materials
- Flange extenders – For difficult-to-fit body contours
- Closures – Secure seals, tail closures, clip closures
- Belts – Elastic ostomy belts provide added security and support
Consult a stoma nurse or wound ostomy continence (WOC) nurse for help selecting suitable products.
Where to Buy Colostomy Bags in Pakistan
Colostomy supplies are considered essential medical items in Pakistan. Ostomy bags and accessories can be purchased from:
- Hospital pharmacies – Many hospitals with colorectal surgery departments stock colostomy supplies for patients.
- Medical stores and pharmacies – Larger pharmacies, especially those in major cities, often carry some colostomy products.
- Specialized ostomy supply distributors – There are distributors providing ostomy products to pharmacies and medical stores nationally.
- Online medical supply companies – Various e-commerce sites sell ostomy supplies online in Pakistan. Discreet home delivery options are available.
Major global brands commonly available include Coloplast, Hollister, ConvaTec, Welland, CliniMed, and more. Talk to your doctor or WOC nurse about reputable ostomy suppliers.
Types of Colostomy Pouches
There are different pouch options to suit lifestyle needs:
- Drainable pouches – Have an opening at the bottom to empty pouch contents without removing them. Useful for controllable bowels.
- Closed-end pouches – Must be removed and discarded when full. Offer better skin protection for frequent or loose stools.
- One-piece pouches – The faceplate skin barrier and pouch are integrated into a single unit.
- Two-piece pouches – Allow separate changing of pouch and skin barrier for convenience.
Choose a closed-end or drainable system based on preference, dexterity, and ostomy output. Carry extra supplies when traveling or active.
Colostomy Pouch Accessories
Accessories help secure bags, absorb moisture, and ease pouch changes:
- Adhesive remover spray or wipes – Used to detach wafers from the skin gently.
- Barrier rings – Protect skin from stoma discharge.
- Belts and wraps – Provided added security and pouch support.
- Irrigation sets – Control and regulate ostomy output as needed.
- Lubricating deodorant – Eases pouch removal and prevents irritation.
- Ostomy powder -Absorbs moisture and promotes a better adhesive seal.
- Skin barrier wipes – Help protect and clean skin around the stoma.
- Stoma paste – Fills uneven areas for a better fit.
Preventing Colostomy Bag Leaks and Irritation
Proper pouch application and care help avoid leakage and skin problems:
- Empty the pouch regularly to prevent overfilling.
- Ensure a snug, wrinkle-free fit of the wafer against the skin. Reapply if lifting occurs.
- Use ostomy belts for added security and when active.
- Rotate wafer placement with each change to prevent skin breakdown.
- Clean and thoroughly dry skin around the stoma before applying the wafer.
- Consider convex wafers if the stoma is flush or retracted.
- Adjust diet and hydration to regulate ostomy output and thickness.
- Take care removing wafers; use remover spray or wipes to ease.
- Contact your provider if significant leaking, discomfort, or rash occurs.
Maintain a healthy peristomal skin regimen for optimal ostomy function. Carry extra supplies when traveling or active.
Affording Ostomy Supplies
Colostomy bags must be used continuously, making their cost a concern. Options to offset expenses include:
- Purchase inexpensive generic/store brands when feasible.
- Enroll in patient assistance programs offered by some brands.
- Contact charities providing ostomy supplies for those in need.
- See if medical insurance covers any portion of ostomy supplies.
- Buy supplies in bulk for cost savings and convenience.
- Clean and reuse disposable pouches for a short period if intact.
With proper selection, application, and care, colostomy bags are an effective way to manage fecal waste after colostomy surgery. Work with a knowledgeable ostomy nurse to find the right products. Anticipate changing needs over time. Proper use of colostomy pouches and accessories can allow for an active, comfortable life.