Choosing the Ostomy System That's Right for You

Ostomy Product Information

Choosing the ostomy system that's right for you

When it comes to life with an ostomy, there is no one-size-fits-all. Whether you’ve had colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy surgery, we can help find the right system that will work for your ostomy type.

Every person and stoma is unique, so it’s important to explore all your options when choosing an ostomy system. You might find that different appliances work better for different situations, such as swimming or intimacy. First and foremost, you’ll want to routinely measure your stoma, as it will change over time – especially immediately following your surgery. Your ostomy nurse can help you set up a measuring schedule and advise on resizing needs.

Which Skin Barrier is Right for You?

Stomas vary in size and can be round, oval or irregular in shape. It may protrude or stay flat against your skin.

Because of these variations, there are many barrier options available so you can find the perfect fit for you. The right barrier will offer protection from leaks, keeping your peristomal (around the stoma) skin healthy, which is important for your overall health and comfort. ConvaTec offers a wide range of skin barrier options customized to fit your needs.

Choosing convexity


Convex barriers are ideal for flush or retracted stomas, or for anyone with a soft abdomen, making it easier to attach. It comes with a choice of closed-end, drainable or urostomy pouch, and is available in pre-cut or cut-to-fit options. Flexible convex options fits to body contours and moves with you, providing enhanced comfort and discretion.

choosing accordion


Accordion skin barriers lift easily so that you have more finger space and can attach the pouch to the barrier easily. It is designed to prevent pressure or trauma to the area, especially after surgery. Accordion barriers are compatible with a range of Natura® pouch options and are available in flat, convex, cut-to-fit and moldable options.

choosing moldable


Moldable skin barriers offer the most custom fit for your stoma. ConvaTec Moldable Technology™ creates an elastic-like seal that rebounds to fit any size and shape, and then “turtlenecks” upward, to enhance the seal and protect the skin. Moldable barriers are an ideal option for anyone with an irregular stoma, or if you are just looking for an improved seal. Because they require no cutting or guesswork, they are easy to use.

Choosing PreCut


Pre-cut barriers are made for the most common stoma sizes. They are uniform, circular in shape, and ready to apply right out of the box. If you have an evenly round stoma, pre-cut barriers can save you time. However, if you’re like many people and your stoma is not round or a standard size, these may not be the best choice for you. Try moldable or cut-to-fit instead.

Choosing cut to fit


Cut-to-fit barriers have various sizes printed on them as a guide so you can cut the opening to match your stoma size. Using scissors, you can cut a circle, oval, or any shape you need to fit your stoma. This is a good option if you have an irregular stoma shape or are between sizes. If you have dexterity issues, cut-to-fit may not be the best choice for you. Try moldable instead.

Adhesives For Web

Adhesive Technology

For people whose stool is solid, we suggest Stomahesive® skin barriers for standard wear. They’re designed to offer reliable peristomal skin  protection and be  gentle to skin upon removal. For people whose output is mostly liquid, stool or urine, we suggest Durahesive® skin barriers for extended wear. They’re designed to be highly durable and resistant to liquid output. For people whose output is both solid and mostly liquid stool and urine, and who need an all-in-one solution of a soft or flexible skin barrier and pouch in a single unit, the increased flexibility in the Esteem®+ Soft or Flex Convex skin barrier fits and moves with the contours of the body for comfort.

Which Pouch is Right for You?

ConvaTec offers a wide range of pouching options. Whether you prefer a one-piece drainable pouch or a two-piece closed-end pouch, there is a solution to fit any situation. Here are a few of our most common options and the benefits they offer.

One Piece

One-Piece Ostomy System

The skin barrier and pouch are manufactured together as one system and cannot be separated. One-piece systems can offer more discretion and flexibility for a variety of situations like exercise or other physical activities.

Two Piece

Two-Piece Ostomy System

The skin barrier and the pouch are manufactured separately and can be applied to your body individually or together. With this option, the pouch can be removed to be changed or emptied without removing the skin barrier.

choosing opaque

Opaque (Tan-Coloured Pouch)

Immediately following your surgery, you may be provided with a clear pouch. This will help you get used to your output and determine when a pouch needs to be changed or emptied. Once you have gotten more comfortable with it, you may want to choose an opaque pouch for more discretion. The ConvaTec "+" opaque pouch is comfortable, nearly rustle-free and resists water.

choosing closed end


Closed-end pouches are recommended for people who have thick, formed stool that is more predictable. Closed-end pouches typically have a lower profile and come in a 'mini' size for an even more discreet profile. Once they are full (1/3 to 1/2 of the way), you simply remove and replace with a new pouch.

choosing drainable


Drainable pouches allow you to drain the output periodically throughout the day so that you do not have to change pouches as frequently. This option is recommended for people who have loose, liquid stool or semi-formed stool that can be unpredictable.

choosing the right ostomy system for you - urostomy pouches


These are pouches made especially for people who have had urostomy surgery. It has a valve or “tap” at the bottom that allows for draining.

choosing invisiclose

InvisiClose® Clipless Tail Closure

Traditional drainable pouches are closed with a separate clip. ConvaTec "+" pouch solutions have an integrated InvisiClose® option, which provides an easy closure option without compromising security.

Choosing the Lock It Pocket

Lock-it Pocket™

Our drainable "+" pouch solutions also come with the Lock-It Pocket™ feature, which provides the flexibility of a drainable pouch, with the security and comfort of a closed-end pouch.

Choosing a pouch with a filter


You may want to consider a pouch that includes a filter to help release and deodorize gas and keep the pouch flat. Note that the filter must be covered while swimming, bathing or showering.