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Common Urostomy Problems

Urinary Crystals

Urinary crystals on the stoma or skin are linked to alkaline urine – the crystals look like white, gritty particles and may lead to stoma irritation or bleeding of the stoma.

You should try to keep your urine acidic through:

  • Drinking cranberry juice
  • Eating live yoghurt
  • Keeping well-hydrated by drinking water

Proper cleaning and careful fitting of the pouch will also help to prevent urinary crystals forming. There are also gels and washes available to help reduce urinary crystals – please
contact your stoma care nurse for more information.

Mucous Build Up

The appearance of mucous is normal as your urostomy is made from a piece of bowel. It looks white and sticky and can commonly be mistaken as a sign of infection.

Urine Infection

If your urine is cloudy, and has an offensive odour, or is thicker and darker than normal or if you feel shivery, have a high temperature, nausea or vomiting then you may have a urine infection and should contact your GP or stoma care nurse for advice.

Taking supplements such as Vitamin C and cranberry juice can help infection problems. However advice must be taken from your GP or stoma care nurse prior to taking these, as they can interfere with certain medications that you may be prescribed, such as Warfarin. It is also important to maintain good hygiene each day.

Trouble Sleeping at Night

A leg bag or night bag can be attached to a urostomy pouch to give greater capacity and help provide you with an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

These are available on prescription through Fittleworth and your stoma care nurse can advise you as to which leg bags or night bags are suitable.

Urostomy Bag Leakage

Urostomy bag leaks can occur for a variety of different reasons, which can include:

  • Urostomy bag hole is too large – this needs to be a snug fit
  • Urostomy bag is applied incorrectly – this can be due to creases in adhesive and abdominal skin behind the pouch. To combat this, the skin needs to be gently stretched
  • Skin is too moist – make sure the skin is dry before applying the stoma pouch
  • Stoma is in a dip or crease in the abdomen – try paste, washers or different pouches to help the adhesive gently conform to the body’s shape. Speak to your healthcare professional for advice.
  • Stoma is flat or retracted – you may need a stoma pouch with a convex flange.

Speak to your healthcare professional for advice.