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Best Colostomy Bags

Jack Vejvoda
Written by Jack Vejvoda on Mon Dec 20 2021.
Best Colostomy Bags

What is a colostomy bag?

A colostomy, or ostomy bag is a pouch that collects fecal matter following a surgery called a colostomy. A colostomy is an operation where the colon is given an opening in the abdomen, called a stoma. This type of procedure might occur in patients who have colon or rectal cancer, intestinal or bowel blockage, or serious inflammatory bowel syndrome. The bag attaches to the stoma and acts as your new way for catching and disposing of waste.

Is there a difference between Ostomy & Colostomy Bags?

An ostomy bag and colostomy bag are the same thing. The only potential difference is not in the bag but where it is placed on the body. This depends on whether a patient is receiving a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy and depends on which section of the colon is used to create the stoma. If a bag is called an ostomy bag it can be used for those with colostomies, the only thing to look for is to not purchase a urostomy bag, as this is only capable of collecting urine.

What is life like with a colostomy bag?

Once you heal from ostomy surgery, you can live life in much the same way as you did before. You can eat all the same foods you ate before your procedure. Besides high contact sports that might injure the stoma, you can remain active and participate in sports. There are products such as an ostomy belt that can secure the ostomy in place while being active. Most bags can be hidden under the clothes without anyone noticing that it is there. Colostomy bags can be changed on your own, however, if you are bed-bound or otherwise incapacitated, you will need someone to assist you.

An ostomy bag should be emptied when it is between ⅓-½ full (usually between 4-10 times a day). Some bags are drainable, in which case they need to be changed every 2 or 3 days while others need to be replaced with a new one everytime the bag fills up. The average bag costs between $4 - $9 depending on the brand and specific features, and often come in a pack of 10.

It's important to remember that it will take time to get used to life with a colostomy bag, both physically and mentally. However, once that adjustment is made, you will be able to enjoy almost all of the activities you took part in before the colostomy.

What are the different types of colostomy bags?

The important questions to consider when selecting a colostomy bag are: Is it a one piece or two piece? What size is it? Is it reusable or single use? Is it trim to fit or is it single fit?

One-Piece Colostomy Bags

A one piece ostomy bag is the only thing you will need to buy. The barrier is attached to the drainage pouch and it fits around the stoma with an adhesive. When you need a new bag you take the whole thing off and use a new one. The pros of a one piece system are that they are often less expensive and the bag and flange can’t be separated so there’s less risk of leakage. The cons are that you will need to change the bag more often which can irritate the skin and bag changes take more time.

Two-Piece Colostomy Bags

A two piece ostomy system will require the additional purchase of a base plate called a flange, or wafer, that will fit around your stoma. The bag attaches to the base plate. The bag is changed as needed and the flange is usually changed every 2-3 days. The pros of a two piece system are that you can switch out the size of bag you are using, allowing you to wear a bag that is appropriate for whatever activity you’re engaging in. They also require less flange changes making them gentler on the skin. This system, however, is more expensive, and can, rarely, come apart and cause leaks.

Reusable Colostomy Bags

Reusable, or drainable, bags have a closure at the bottom of the bag that allows wearers to drain the contents, wash the bag and replace it. Two piece bags can be removed then drained whereas one piece bags can be drained while still attached. Single use, or closed, bags have no closure and are removed and discarded whenever the bag needs to be changed.

Trim to fit bags mean that you will cut the opening of the bag or flange to fit around your stoma. Single fit bags mean that the bag comes with a specified stoma size, therefore you will need to measure your stoma and purchase the appropriately sized bag.

Most bags will come in a standard (~655 ml) size and are what most people will use. Smaller bags are also available, these need to be changed more frequently and are most commonly used by people when playing sports or when wearing tight-fitting clothing.

The Best Colostomy Bags.

  1. Sensura Easiclose One-Piece System Ostomy Pouch, 1” Stoma

  2. Hollister Premier One-Piece Drainable Transparent Ostomy Pouch, Trim to Fit, Up to 2.5” Stoma

  3. New Image Two-Piece Drainable Ostomy Pouch

  4. Sensura XPro One-Piece System Ostomy Pouch, ⅜”-3” Stoma

  5. New Image Two-Piece Closed Mini Ostomy Pouch with Filter

1. Sensura Easiclose One-Piece System Ostomy Pouch, 1” Stoma

The Sensura Easiclose One-Piece System Ostomy Pouch is a standalone product designed to fit around a 1" stoma. This is a drainable bag, allowing the wearer to empty it throughout the day without having to switch bags. The bag is transparent, giving users visibility on when the bag needs to be changed.

2. Hollister Premier One-Piece Drainable Transparent Ostomy Pouch, Trim to Fit, Up to 2.5” Stoma

The Hollister Premier One-Piece Drainable Transparent Ostomy Pouch is a standalone product that can be trimmed to fit around a stoma that is up to 2.5”. This drainable pouch is a great option if you need to empty the contents while you are out and about. The bag is transparent, giving users visibility on when the bag needs to be emptied.

3. New Image Two-Piece Drainable Ostomy Pouch

The New Image Two-Piece Drainable Ostomy Pouch needs to be purchased with a 2.25” flange. The flange listed here is trim to fit and can accommodate stomas up to 1.75”. This bag can easily be removed and drained whenever necessary. The color is beige for those wearers who would prefer to not have visibility to the inside of the bag.

4. Sensura XPro One-Piece System Ostomy Pouch, ⅜”-3” Stoma

The Sensura XPro One-Piece System Ostomy Pouch is a standalone product that can be trimmed to fit around a stoma ranging from ⅜” to 3”. This bag can be drained while still applied to the wearer. It’s transparent, giving the wearer visibility on when it needs to be changed.

5. New Image Two-Piece Closed Mini Ostomy Pouch with Filter

The New Image Two-Piece Closed Ostomy Pouch needs to be purchased with a 44mm flange. The flange listed here is trim to fit and can accommodate stomas up to 1.25”. This bag does not drain but can easily be removed, disposed of, and replaced. The small size and ease of disposal makes it ideal for use in sports, travel, or if the wearer is looking for something more discreet. It’s transparent, allowing the wearer to see when it needs to be changed.

ProductFeatureCostCustomer Rating
Sensura Easiclose One-Piece System Ostomy Pouch, 1” StomaOne Piece Single Fit (1 inch Stoma) Drainable Transparent 655 ml capacity$6.995
Hollister Premier One-Piece Drainable Transparent Ostomy Pouch, Trim to Fit, Up to 2.5” StomaOne Piece Trim to Fit Drainable Transparent$49.99 (Box of 10)N/A
New Image Two-Piece Drainable Ostomy PouchTwo Piece: New Image Skin Barrier, 2.25” Flange Drainable Single Fit (2.25 in / 57 mm Flange) Beige$31.99 (Box of 10)N/A
Sensura XPro One-Piece System Ostomy Pouch, ⅜-3” StomaOne Piece Trim to Fit Drainable Transparent 655 ml capacity$45.99 (Box of 10)4.5
New Image Two-Piece Closed Mini Ostomy Pouch with FilterTwo Piece: New Image Flextend Ostomy Barrier, 44mm Flange Small size Single Fit (1.75 in / 44mm Flange) Single Use Transparent$119.99 (Box of 60)N/A

Conclusion:

The different types of colostomy bags offer wearers discretion, flexibility, and security. With all the available options, there is a right choice that will allow you or your loved one to go about your normal daily lives. There are many different types of colostomy bags, it will be up to you and your healthcare provider to determine what type of bag works best.

If you have questions about the item we’ve linked in this post, please reach out to our friendly Caregiving Specialists. Call (855) 855-1666 or send an email to support@carewell.com. They can help you make the right decision for your loved one’s needs.

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Jack Vejvoda
Jack Vejvoda

Jack Vejvoda is Carewell’s Special Projects Associate who resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. A west coast native, he enjoys all things outdoors: hiking, running, biking, skiing, you name it!