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Incontinence is simply a catchall term to describe the involuntary excretion of Urine or Feces. It is surprisingly common, affecting 5% of men and over 12% of all women worldwide. Even though such a prevalent health condition (About 3.5 million Canadians) is rarely discussed, there are a large number of people (even just in Ottawa) whose daily lives are severely affected.
Many people who have long-suffered with forms of chronic disease or function-related incontinence frequently welcome the creation of an ostomy as a way of maintaining control over stool and urine, and indeed – regaining control over their lives. An Ostomy (Colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy are the most common types) simply refers to surgically creating an opening in the body for the discharge of body wastes.
To these people, Conval-Aid has committed to providing the highest quality ostomy supplies and wound care products available in Ottawa. We only provide products from the top suppliers, including Convatec, Hollister, Bard, Coloplast, Mentor, Smith + Nephew, Tyco. We also carry an extensive range of incontinence products from Tena and Attends.
If you require more assistance, would like a demonstration, or have questions, our friendly and experienced staff are always more than happy to answer your questions.
Call us, visit our store or contact us online. We’re here to help.
Our extensive, in-stock inventory allows for prompt and friendly delivery on most products—often the same day. Once you have purchased from us, we will keep your order in our system, and a simple phone call or email will mean a quick re-stock.
Conval-Aid also has certified Enterostomal Therapists from an independently-owned clinic located on-site. If you require the services of an Ostomy clinic in Ottawa and need ostomy products and incontinence aids, our clinic is a convenient and comfortable choice.
Please note that the Ostomy clinic is by appointment only. Appointments can be set up by calling Conval-Aid at 613-738-2721.
There are two types of systems. Both comprise a pouch to collect the flow of bodily waste and an adhesive skin barrier (or “wafer”):
One-piece: The wafer in this system is attached to the pouch permanently. These are simple to apply and to remove as one unit. Popular because they are low-profile (and therefore less noticeable when the wearer is clothed), they are also more affordable and more manageable for those with vision or mobility challenges.
Two-piece: This system has two separate pieces: the pouch and wafer are connected via a flange (plastic ring). Users find it easy to unsnap and change the pouch without removing the skin barrier — convenient when they’d like to switch to a smaller or larger pouch, according to their current level of activity. This system is also less likely to irritate the skin.
Closed: Closed pouches are suitable for lower output, which requires emptying only 1-2 times daily. The pouch must be removed, emptied, and discarded.
Drainable: Drainable pouches are best for frequent output. The pouch does not need to be removed in order to empty it (though it should be replaced once or twice weekly). Empty this type when it becomes one-third to one-half filled, via an integrated closure or clamp.
Application: Ostomy barrier rings are used for two related reasons: 1) to fill gaps between the stoma and the wafer, and 2) to caulk uneven skin surface in the stoma area. In both cases, they create a better seal to safeguard against leakage. Make sure skin is clean and completely dry before application; however alcohol-free rings may be used on irritated skin. Barrier rings can either be attached to the wafer or placed around the stoma before adhesion of the skin barrier.
Size and shape: Barrier rings are available in assorted sizes and shapes (commonly round or oval). To select the correct kind, look for one which is closest to the size and shape of the patient’s stoma. Stack several together or cut to shape for better matching.
An ostomy belt is an optional accessory, used when additional support is desired to keep the pouch securely in place. Support belts provide more peace of mind by preventing leaks if the wafer does not form a tight seal with the skin. Patients who have hernias often find an ostomy belt helpful. Other individuals might also wish to wear a belt while exercising.
Stoma powder absorbs excess moisture to keep the peristomal skin dry, particularly important when skin is irritated. The powder permits the wafer to adhere more readily.
Apply the stoma powder by dusting it lightly on the skin surrounding the stoma. (Avoid over-applying since an overly large amount of powder may prevent barrier adhesion.) In some cases, it may be advisable to cover the powder with a skin barrier protective wipe.
Although stoma powder does not contain any medicinal ingredients, it should not be long-term. Discontinue use after skin irritation has cleared up.
Occasionally, repeated removal of the adhesive skin barrier causes irritation or even skin stripping. A medical adhesive remover is formulated to protect skin from damage when the wearer changes the ostomy pouch. In addition, it may be used to safely remove adhesive residue which is left on the skin.
Available as a spray or infused in wipes, medical adhesive remover is a non-sting product because of its alcohol-free, silicone-based formulation. It is fast-drying, with no remaining residue, so the patient will be ready to attach a new skin barrier without worries.
Unfortunately, a frequent side effect of ostomy skin barriers tends to be irritation and soreness of the skin beneath. These no-sting skin protective wipes counteract this problem by forming a film that protects the skin from the effects of adhesive removal and eliminates contact with bodily waste.
Skin must be intact when applying a protective wipe. Let the wipe dry thoroughly before adding the ostomy skin barrier. However, please note, that skin protective wipes are not compatible with extended-wear wafers, since they tend to reduce the duration of wear.
Stoma barrier paste works to minimize leakage by filling in any unevenness in abdominal skin around the stoma. Non-medicated and non-adhesive, it acts as a “caulk,” and creates a smoother skin surface that allows a better seal to be formed between the wafer and the stoma.
Barrier paste, which may be purchased in the form of strips or squeezable tubes, should be applied sparingly to avoid interference with the skin barrier seal.
As your ostomy bag fills, it becomes heavier. The increased weight tends to pull the wafer off your skin, leading to leaks. To avoid this problem, be sure to change your ostomy bag regularly.
Some people find changing the bag every 3-5 days or when it’s two-thirds full works well for them, but since each individual is different, a shorter wear time between changes may be advisable to help prevent ostomy bag leakage. Use your own experience together with the professional advice of your stoma nurse to find the schedule that is right for you.
A poorly fitting wafer (skin barrier) is a frequent cause of ostomy bag leaks. Depending on your body type, a flat or convex wafer might be more secure. The opening should leave a gap of approximately 1/8” around your stoma — not too large or you will have leakage.
However, it should be big enough to permit stool to exit your stoma; otherwise, the stool is likely to pull the wafer up and away from your stoma.
Unusual movements during exercise may result in leakage if your ostomy bag does not follow your body movement. To prevent this unpleasant occurrence, always be sure to empty your pouch before exercising.
Provide some extra security for the adhesive plate with elastic tape, an ostomy wrap, or a support garment… or consider a soft convex baseplate or a rigid plastic stoma guard.
Protect your skin. Keep the skin around your stoma clean. You can shower normally, with your ostomy bag on or off, as you prefer. Check labels and use only skincare products and soaps which do not contain added oil or moisturizers. (White soaps like Ivory or Dove are recommended.)
Remove leftover adhesive residue with adhesive remover wipes or releaser sprays – not standard baby wipes. Ensure your skin is dry before changing your pouch; a hairdryer can be helpful here. Inform your stoma nurse if you experience skin irritation or rash.
Your diet may be the culprit when you’re experiencing frequent leaks. Try tracking your food intake for problems; then make small adjustments, perhaps reducing your consumption of liquids, gas-producing items (for example, beans and cruciferous vegetables), or acidic foods like fruit.
You might also experiment with not eating late in the evening to help prevent overnight leakage. If the problem persists, consult a dietician experienced in working with ostomy patients. You may need a special diet such as a gluten-free meal plan.
Use caution when you change your pouch. Removing the ostomy skin barrier too quickly or roughly may cause not only painful skin damage, but also pouch leakage. Instead, slow and gentle is the way to go.
There are many different ostomy products and accessories available, so if you are a recent ostomate, you might want to test a few to find which you prefer. Do give a new product some time (two weeks is suggested) for a fair trial of whether it works for you before you make up your mind.
As far as accessories go, you will find quite a range of items to help make your life easier and more comfortable, as well as preventing leaks. For example, a seat belt protector (to ease excessive pressure on your stoma when “buckled up” in a car) or ostomy pouch absorbent tablets, which reduce leaks by solidifying liquid output into gel form.