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Urostomy Care


Urostomy care is done to keep your urostomy and the skin around it clean. This helps prevent an infection or skin problems. A urostomy specialist will show you how to care for your urostomy. Follow up with your primary healthcare provider (PHP) or urostomy specialist as directed.


Products used with a urostomy:

  • Pouches are used to collect urine that drains from your stoma. The pouch has a spout at the bottom used to drain urine from the pouch. Pouches come in a variety of sizes and styles. Most pouches are lightweight and prevent odor. Use a pouch that has an opening 1/8 inch larger than your stoma on each side. Your ostomy specialist can help you decide which type of pouch is best for you.
  • A night drainage system consists of a large container and tubing that connect to your regular pouch. The container and tubing are connected to the bottom of the pouch with an adapter. The large container can be used when you sleep so that you do not have to get up several times to drain the bag.

How to empty your pouch:

Empty your pouch about every 2 to 4 hours. You may need to change your pouch more often if you drink a lot of fluids. Always empty the pouch when it becomes 1/3 full. Do not let the pouch fill completely. A full pouch puts pressure on the seal and may cause a leak. The pouch may also detach, causing urine to spill. The following is general information about how to change your pouch:

  • Sit on the toilet or on a chair next to the toilet.
  • Point the opening of the pouch into the toilet.
  • Open the clamp that keeps the pouch closed. It is normal to see mucus in urine emptied from a urostomy.
  • Empty the pouch into the toilet.
  • Close the clamp on the pouch.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.

How to change your pouch:

Your urostomy specialist will tell you how often to change your pouch and will show you how. Most pouches should be changed every 3 to 4 days to prevent an infection. Always change it if is leaking. The best time to change your pouch is in the morning before you drink any liquids. You will have less urine draining for your stoma at this time. The following is general information about how to change your pouch:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Empty the contents of the pouch into the toilet.
  • Gently remove the pouch. Push your skin down and away from the adhesive skin barrier with one hand. With the other hand, pull the pouch up and away from your stoma.
  • Clean the skin around the stoma with warm water. You may also use soap. Do not use soaps that contain oil or perfumes. Pat your skin dry.
  • Hold a gauze roll or piece of clean cloth over your stoma while you clean your stoma. This will soak up urine and keep your skin dry. Do not insert anything into your stoma.
  • Center the new pouch over the stoma and press it firmly into place on clean, dry skin. It may be helpful to hold your hand over the pouch for 30 seconds. The warmth of your hand can help to mold the adhesive skin barrier into place.
  • Discard or clean the old pouch. Place the old pouch in another plastic bag and throw it away if the pouch is disposable. If you use a reusable pouch, ask how to clean the reusable pouch.

How a urostomy fits into your lifestyle:

  • Reduce odor. Some foods, such as asparagus, cheese, and eggs may cause your urine to have a strong odor. Vitamin C may help to decrease urine odor.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Most people should drink at least 8 (8-ounce) cups of liquids each day. Ask how much liquid you should drink each day.
  • Return to work when your PHP says it is okay. You may need support to prevent a hernia if you lift heavy items or perform heavy labor. You may need an ostomy belt over the pouch to keep it in place.
  • Stay active and exercise as directed. Ask your PHP about the best exercise plan for you. Wear your pouch when you swim. Use waterproof tape over the edges of your skin barrier to keep your pouch from leaking. Empty your pouch before you exercise or have sex.
  • Carry extra supplies with you in case your bag leaks. Supplies include extra pouches, skin protection products, and a change of clothing.

Contact your PHP or urostomy specialist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have blood in your urine, and your urine has a strong odor.
  • Your incision wound or stoma is red or swollen, or you have a rash.
  • You have nausea, bloating, pain, or are vomiting.
  • You have little or no urine coming from your stoma.
  • Your stoma changes in size or appearance.
  • You are weak and unable to do your normal activities.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You cannot stop the bleeding from your stoma.
  • You have severe abdominal pain.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.