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How to Properly Cut to Fit Flanges for Your Ostomy

Ensuring a proper fit for your ostomy flange is essential for comfort, skin protection, and preventing leaks. Cutting a flange to fit correctly can seem daunting at first, but with the right tools and techniques, you can achieve a secure and comfortable fit. This article will guide you through the steps to properly cut and fit a flange for your ostomy, ensuring optimal results.

Why Proper Fit is Important

A properly fitted flange ensures that the skin around your stoma is protected from output, which can cause irritation and damage if it comes into contact with the skin. A good fit also helps prevent leaks and increases the wear time of your ostomy appliance.

Materials You Will Need

Before you begin, gather the following materials:

  • Ostomy flange and pouch
  • Stoma measuring guide (usually provided with your ostomy supplies)
  • Marker or pen
  • Scissors (preferably curved, specifically designed for ostomy use)
  • Skin barrier wipes or sprays (optional)
  • Powder (if needed)

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Measure Your Stoma

Using the stoma measuring guide, measure the diameter of your stoma. Stomas can change size over time, so it's important to measure each time you apply a new flange.

2. Mark the Flange

Place the measuring guide over the flange's adhesive side and trace the correct size onto the flange with a marker or pen. Ensure the circle is centered and accurately reflects your stoma's size.

3. Cut the Flange

Using your scissors, carefully cut along the marked line. Curved scissors designed for ostomy use can make this task easier and more precise. Take your time to ensure a smooth and even cut.

4. Test the Fit

Place the flange over your stoma to test the fit. The opening should be snug but not tight around the stoma. There should be no exposed skin between the stoma and the flange. Adjust the cut if necessary.

5. Prepare Your Skin

Clean and dry the skin around your stoma thoroughly. You can use skin barrier wipes or sprays to create a protective layer on your skin. If your skin is irritated, apply a light dusting of ostomy powder.

6. Apply the Flange

Remove the backing from the flange and carefully place it over your stoma, ensuring it fits snugly. Press down firmly to secure the adhesive to your skin. Smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles.

7. Attach the Pouch

Attach the ostomy pouch to the flange according to the manufacturer's instructions. Ensure it is securely fastened to prevent leaks.

Additional Tips

  • Use a Template: Once you have a well-fitting flange, you can use it as a template for future cuts.
  • Keep Supplies Handy: Always have an extra flange, scissors, and measuring guide on hand in case you need to make adjustments or replacements.
  • Consult with a Professional: If you experience frequent leaks or skin irritation, consult with an ostomy nurse for personalized advice and assistance.

Conclusion

Cutting a flange to fit your stoma properly is a crucial skill for managing your ostomy effectively. By following these steps and tips, you can ensure a secure and comfortable fit, protecting your skin and extending the wear time of your ostomy appliance. Remember, practice makes perfect, and over time, you will become more confident and proficient in cutting and fitting your flanges.

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