Bag Bracketology: Convatec 2 Piece

I know I'm behind the NCAA but I need time to use these things people!

I know I’m behind the NCAA but I need time to use these things people!

IF YOU HAVE AN IRREGULARLY SHAPED OR A DIFFICULT STOMA YOU SHOULD KEEP USING THE FLANGE/BAG COMBINATION THAT YOU AND YOUR STOMA NURSE HAVE FOUND THAT WORKS WELL FOR YOU. THESE REVIEWS ARE JUST MEANT TO PUT A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON SOME OPTIONS OUT THERE.

Convatec Natura with Invisiclose and filter (4416417) with Sur-Fit Moldable Stomahesive Skin Barrier (411803)

Ease of cleaning after emptying: I was excited to see that this bag appeared to have a promising closure system before I tried it on. What do I think is a good closure system? Well, one with exterior reinforced plastic pieces that provide support to push against when opening (see pictures below). These plastic pieces are an important feature to look for because they facilitate easier opening and cleaning. However, after wearing this bag after about 12 hours and doing several bag empties I quickly realized the flaws in the opening. What problems? There are 2 major ones I identified. The first is that the mouth has these protruding plastic pieces (lips I guess) which, as they don’t have support, fold back onto the bag when you are trying to clean the bag after emptying (see pictures below). This folding back causes the exterior of the bag to get dirty along with your fingers. To me that is unacceptable. I suppose you could cut these off but personally I don’t want to take the time to modify my bag. The second major problem I identified was that since the bag closes up towards you in the first fold there is virtually no way to control the rate of emptying once you undo the pseudovelco closure system. This creates like a rapid arching waterfall effect when you have liquid output. I do not experience this issue with bags that close in the opposite direction (tucking down in the first fold rather than folding up).  CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE. 

Protrusion from abdomen: I would consider this low profile for a two piece system. It rides closer to my abdomen then the Hollister two piece bags.

Quality of adhesive: There are two adhesive regions. The moldable region adjacent to the stoma sticks very strongly against the skin (it seems similar to the adhesiveness used in the Convatec ActiveLife). The further exterior region leaves much to be desired. It has a plastic kind of feel that did not stick up well to exercise and showering. I had actually reviewed this bag weeks ago when my wound was still draining and thought that it poor adhesion was a function of my wound draining on it. I requested more samples since my wound has finally stopped draining to try and give this bag an honest shot. It was not because of the wound draining, this outer region does not stick firmly even without the wound draining on it.

good bad ugly

Quality of construction: I’ll go through the good, the bag and the ugly here. The good: filter functioned well, the Tupperware like pieces that connect the flange to the bag were the most positive that I have tested and it is more quiet than other Convatec offerings. The Bad: external adhesive region does not hold up well to getting wet, the full cloth covering is overkill as Hollister achieves a similarly quiet bag with ½ the amount of lining which decreases time to drying. The ugly: the “lips” on the mouth and the uncontrolled emptying.

Ease of drying: The bag is totally wrapped by a double lined with a cloth like layer (see above photos). While this does quiet down the bag under your cloths it also traps water after showering. Thus far, this bag has taken the longest to dry and at times I just did not have time so I would walk out of my apartment with a wet/damp bag under my shirt (not comfortable). Swimmers and those who like to squeeze every minute of sleep before showering in the morning beware…this bag takes time to dry.

Number of days per bag: I was only able to do 2 days with this bag. Showering and exercising took its toll on the outermost adhesive layer.

Perceived weight when full: This bag has quite a large attachment point to the skin which makes it feel secure when full. Actually I have realized that a flange that is too large for me is actually a disadvantage considering it will go over my navel and create a weak spot for water to get under and weaken the adhesion.

Who I would envision liking the bag: This bag seems like Convatec’s response to plain Jane bags like Hollister’s 18133 (previously reviewed). It is relatively simple and is something I would imagine would be given to patients during in-patient stays following ostomy construction surgery as they are not showering often. Another group that may be attracted to this flange/bagging system are those with irregularly shaped stomas. The Moldable Stomahesive Skin Barrier (ref 411803) technology would lend itself well to people with irregular stomas who are unable to afford customized flanges offered by other companies. This all being said, I think there are far better options for these applications, and this bag was a pain in the ass (or stoma) to use.

Does anyone else have similar experience with this bag?

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