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Choosing the correct pouch for your stoma

To adapt to life with a stoma, it is important to define, decide and select the appropriate pouching system to suit you.

Choosing the correct pouch for your stoma type

There are many different pouches available to suit your output and your lifestyle.  After surgery your Stoma Care Nurse will be able to advise you on the pouch that is best for your stoma type and what accessories may help you. This guide will outline the main features of appliances to give you the information you need to find the one most suitable for you.


For colostomates, it is best to use a Closed Pouch as the stoma output is usually quite firm. If the output is more liquid though, then a Drainable Pouch is more suitable. A Closed Pouch would be replaced with a new pouch 1 to 3 times a day. The features of the Closed Pelican Pouches (supplied by Eakin):

  • An advanced filter system to help control odour prevention. 
  • Filter covers are also provided.
  • The skin protector is the part of the pouch which attaches to your body. The Pelican Pouch skin protector is comfortable, very kind to the skin and provides a secure fit. 
  • Pelican Pouches are available in many pre-cut sizes to ensure a snug fit. However, if your stoma is not perfectly round in shape, the cut-to-fit size will suit you better as you can cut the skin protector to suit your own stoma.
  • A silky soft fabric which allows you to wear your pouch quietly and with comfort.
  • Anatomically designed to suit your body shape.
  • All Pelican Pouches have a split fabric backing so that you can see your stoma through the clear film, allowing you to position your pouch with ease and accuracy. The split backing also enables easy positioning of the filter cover and at other times, the silky soft fabric discreetly hides your stoma.


For ileostomates, it is best to use a Drainable Pouch as the stoma output is generally liquid faeces. A Drainable Pouch does not require changing as often as a closed pouch, fewer pouches are used and they are easily emptied without being removed. 

The features of the Drainable Pelican Pouches include the above with some additional features: 

  • The Clipless Closure system provides maximum security and comfort.
  • It has a large opening for fast and easy mess-free emptying.


For Urostomates, it is best to use a pouch with a tap or a bung so it can be drained easily. 

The features of the Urostomy Pelican Pouches includes the same as the Closed Pelican Pouch with some additional features: 

  • A filter is not required due to the type of output from a urostomy. Instead they are made with an odour barrier film to contain external odour within the pouch. 
  • The Pouches have a non-return valve to prevent output from going back into your stoma. 
  • Comfort backing behind the tap protects your skin and allows you to wear the pouch with comfort. 
  • The tap closure is very soft and flexible, it is completely secure whilst remaining very easy to open and close. Medical film under the tap allows you to keep the area around the outlet clean.

 Convex Pouches

Sometimes short, flush to the skin or retracted stomas can cause problems with leakage under the flange/ skin protector and so skin irritations develop. A tighter seal than normal is needed around the stoma. The answer to this may be a Convex Pouch. The full range of Pelican Pouches are also available in a convex version which are designed to help the stoma protrude a little more and thus direct the flow of stool or urine into the pouch. However, they should only be used after prior assessment with a Stoma Care Nurse.

As well as the features of the Closed Pelican Pouches such as a comfortable skin protector, split fabric backing and a wide range of sizes that are common throughout the Pelican Pouch range, Convex Pelican Pouches have the additional benefits: 

  • Every problematic stoma is different, therefore you need a solution that will conform to your body contours and to the nature of your abdomen. Convex Pelican Pouches conform to your stoma type and your individual body shape. 
  • They offer unique flexible convexity where it is needed.
  • For maximum convexity, Pelican Convex Pouches can be used with Cohesive® Seals. This will add depth to the convexity while preventing any leaks through skin folds or scars.
  • They have a comfortable, flexible flange that will provide maximum comfort and eliminate ulcer causing pressure points found in rigid convex pouches.
  • Convex Pelican Pouches come complete with ostomy belt loops for added security and peace of mind (ostomy belts are also available from Eakin).

Choosing the correct pouch size

There are many different pouch sizes available. After surgery, your stoma may be swollen. This swelling will go down after a few months your stoma will most likely have shrunk to its standard size. Given these changes in the weeks following surgery, it is important to measure your stoma to ensure that the size of your pouching system is still appropriate. You may want to remeasure your stoma occasionally to ensure you are still wearing the correct size.

If your stoma is round, then a pre-cut pouch will work best for you. You can easily size your stoma using a stoma measuring guide. Do not select a hole which feels tight as this will constrict the flow of your output.

If your stoma is not round in shape then you should use a cut-to-fit pouch. Your pouches may be cut to your shape by your prescription service or prescription delivery company. 

Other pouching accessories 

Eakin Cohesive® Seals – If you have sore skin around your stoma or want to prevent his from happening then you should use a Cohesive® seal around your stoma for complete protection.

Perform™ Solidifying Agent - Perform offers total pouch control by turning stoma output into a gel for easy and clean disposal.

Release™ Deodorising Adhesive Remover - You may find that removing a pouch can be quite painful. Release™ allows you to remove your pouch and any additional residue quickly and easily...and most importantly without any pain! Release™ has a fresh spearmint scent and contains Vitamin E to moisturise the skin.

Protect™ Barrier Film - Just as the name suggests, Protect™ provides complete skin protection against harmful bodily fluids, excoriation and harsh medical adhesives. Protect™ has a fresh spearmint scent and contains Vitamin E to moisturise the skin.

For further information on our range of Ostomy Pouches please refer to the Product section on our website.