Understanding the Ileostomy vs. Colostomy: Key Differences

Patients who undergo an ostomy procedure do so in one of three ways: 1) Colostomy, 2) Ileostomy, or 3) Urostomy.

The first one is the most common of the three, but there are well over one million ostomy patients across the United States. Each procedure involves redirecting either the digestive or urinary waste away from its natural track toward a modified exit from around the abdomen (the stoma). The new digestive/urinary format requires patients to dispose of waste differently, through various pouch systems.

What are the distinctions between pouch or bag systems between these conditions?

Differences Between Colostomy & Ileostomy Bags

So, if you were to break it down by procedure (colostomy and ileostomy), there isn’t a specific difference between the supplies you’d use. In other words, you wouldn’t select one pouch or another based on colostomy (redirection of the large intestines) or ileostomy (redirection of the small intestines. Instead, bag or pouch choices have more to do with the patient’s lifestyle needs.

In the next section, we’ll cover the particular pouch types, but let’s first focus on lifestyle preferences, mostly dependent on physical activity level. Some pouch systems work better for active individuals, whereas other bags are easier to handle for patients with poor dexterity. Then, you would want to investigate various accessory items, which are like the “glue that holds it all together,” with items like wafers, stoma paste, barrier rings, and so forth.

Bags, Pouches, & Accessories

  • One-Piece Systems – As the name implies, this is a one-piece pouch, optimal for efficient changes, equipped with the barrier already attached. These are easy to hide, but some patients may find other versions more comfortable. These can be drainable (like many of ours), or closed-ended.
  • Two- Piece Systems – This arrangement includes both the bag and a detachable “stoma cap.” They’re often more comfortable since the barrier ring is separable from the pouch. You may find this format more convenient for changing pouches as well.  
  • Pre-Cut Bags/Custom Bags – It’s also possible to order pre-cut or custom-sized pouches. These are important for anyone with sensitive skin or certain conditions that make adjusting pouches considerably difficult.
  • Accessories – Pouches are the essential component, but you don’t want to neglect accessory items, especially if you’re having trouble with leaks. Our Cymed Seal, for example, is a stretchable and moldable barrier, designed to address irregularities and ensure a waterproof seal where the pouch meets your stoma.

Cymed MicroSkin Pouches – Optimal for All Ostomy Conditions

Our mission is to make sure you have everything you need to facilitate care of any ostomy condition: colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy. You can see from our merchandise that we offer a substantial volume of sizes and draining/changing options. Ostomy care in the 21st century is anything but a “one-size-fits-all” affair.

You can enjoy all the benefits of the most advanced hypoallergenic ostomy supplies whenever you obtain them from Cymed MicroSkin. If you’d like to learn more regarding product details, then call us anytime at 800-582-0707.