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My wafer doesn't want to stick

My surgery was on May 24. My husband is trying so hard to be helpful and is the one who changes my bag. I am using the Convatec Moldable Wafers. The tape around thr outside is not sticking to me.

He is using the spray and powder (spray, powder, spray, powder, spray.) Any idea what is going wrong?

On the plus side the bag hasn't leaked until today and that was after I showered.

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The key is clean DRYskin. The spray/powder... is likely the problem. What kind of spray? I assume the powder is Stomahesive or similar brand. I only use that on sores and only a dusting as to much will keep the adhesive from sticking. It's like putting flour on a rolling pin. Skin-prep wipes might help.

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Two different ostomy nurses advised me to not use any product on the skin under the wafer if possible, for the best adhesion. The pectin part of the wafer is very skin-friendly and using any barrier wipe/spray under it will compromise its staying power. The barrier wipe or spray can be used to protect the skin from the adhesive on the tape part of the barrier however. The powder-spray-powder-spray, called "crusting", is to protect broken and oozing skin and sores (ick and ouch! I've got 'em right now!) often located right at the edges of the stoma. This crusting method should only be used where needed so as not to interfere with the barrier adhesion. Hope this helps!

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Thank you for this info. This really is a learning process.

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I also use the convatec moldable wafers. I had my first ileostomy surgery in 2009. They had me using the wrong size at first with the Eakin seals and the prep pads. I was constantly leaking and having to change the wafer almost every day! I had a second surgery on March 30th. My surgeon's nurse re-measured me after the surgery and made sure i was using the proper size wafer and she told me NOT to use the eakin seals OR the prep pads, but to use a thin layer of paste instead. Now I can go a week in between changes with ABSOLUTELY NO LEAKS! This has CHANGED my life! I FINALLY FEEL FREE!! Hope this helps you!

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Thank you for that information. I have a tube of paste but really don't know what to do with it. We were just going by what my husband was instructed to do by the ostomy nurse the day before I checked out of the hospital in June. I am going to try using the advice I got here when we change the bag next time.

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Hi again. Wow, your surgery was just five days after mine! I am still experimenting with different products. There are so many body shapes, skin types, stoma shapes and sizes, but fortunately there are a myriad of pouches and wafers out there so something will work out! Take your time and if possible, contact an ostomy nurse now that you are home so she can spend some quality time with you and demonstrate and fit different products. You are in a different frame of mind now that you are home, and your physical shape has probably changed since the surgery. All the major companies will send you free samples because guess what? They want you as a lasting customer! I have learned a lot just by contacting them and they are more than happy to make suggestions for your unique situation. I just received what I hope is my last "tryout sample" in the mail today after six weeks of testing different products. If its a go, I will take the plunge and order a whole month's supply! Yikes!

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I have had an ileostomy since December of 2011. I had problems with breakthrough leakage which I have pretty much controlled through trial and error. I use the Holloister 2-piece appliance with the opening I have to cut myself - I found the ones you stretch to fit are not consistent - but all brands seem to work the same way from what I have read here. Here are some tips for you:

1. I do not shower with the bag on - I change every 4 days, removing everything first. Wash the whole area with soap and water - never use a soap with cream or lotion in it - I use Irish Spring.

2. Before doing anything, run a good-sized bead of Adapt paste - or any other brand made for that purpose - around the prepared opening on the wafer, and let it sit while gathering up all your necessary supplies. An ostomy nurse who has had an ileostomy for 25 years told me to make sure the paste sits for 10 - 15 minutes at least until it is no longer sticky to the touch. This seems to be very important.

3. After showering I temporatily lightly tape a 4 x 4 gauze pad over the stoma to catch any leaks. Then I put on surgical gloves to applly the wafer because some of the paste may ooze slightly when you run a finger around the opening to make sure the stoma is fully through the opening. Once you get that paste on your fingers it is hell to remove. Also be sure that all traces of old paste are removed in the shower - run your finger around the stoma to make sure. In 4 days it should have deteriorated enough to just wash off. Any remaining old paste will prevent a good seal.

4. Use a skin-prep pad to further clean the area where the wafer will touch, and allow it to dry - it only takes seconds. Then take off the gloves and apply the wafer. "Picture-tape" the wafer edges with paper adhesive tape strips on all 4 sides.

5. Apply the bag and hold your hand over the wafer area for a couple of minutes to warm it slightly to insure a good fit.

6. I emply the bag every time I empty my bladder, using a flushable wipe to clean the opening at the bottom to get a good seal - mine has a velcro closure.

7. When I go to bed at night I wear an old pair of underpants under a Depends pull-on panty - if I should have an accidental breakthrough during the night it is easy to just throw them both away before showering - be sure to prepare your wafer first thing so the paste can dry while you are gathering supplies and showering.

Hope these tips will be of some help - I know it is frustrating at first. We took a 2-day trip to visit friends in Key West and I had to change 3 times in one day. It was not possible to remove the old paste completely, and that caused a bad seal and more leaking.

This sounds like a lot to do, but now I am used to this routine, I can practically do it with my eyes closed. Good luck - and God Bless!

By the way, if you are old enough to be on Medicare, contact one of the companies that will send you a 3 months worth of supplies and bill Medicare. They will contact your doctor to ensure that you are in need of the supplies and take care of all the paperwork.


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Dear Fabgrandma,

Thank you for your post and to those who have provided the great suggestions here to help resolve your leakage issues. I also use Convatec moldable wafers. There are a couple of different styles to maximize comfort and security and the great ostomy nurses at Convatec can help you with the proper selection and provide FREE samples and instruction and support for proper application. Just call 800.422.8811 tomorrow after 8:30AM Eastern Time. Ask for Karen and tell her Randy sent you. LOL

I've posted the Convatec application sheet for Moldable wafers at:

Here is a link to some other great tips for getting your ostomy products to stick and keep from leaking: ur-wafer-stick/286562971436672

Good luck and please keep us posted on your progress.

26 year colon cancer survivor and ostomate
Folsom, CA

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Dear Fab,

When you clean the peristoma, don't use a soap that has lanolin or moisturizers. Best soap I've ever used is Magno Soap (bar or shower gel) from Spain. I first used this soap for my skin while visiting my in-laws in Galicia, Spain, and found a website that sells the bars and shower gel. ( Before I wash the area, I use the Allkare adhesive remover wipe and then use a white washcloth with warm water and the Magno to cleanse the peristoma. To ensure the area is dry, I actually dab it with another white cloth, I apply a fine layer of stoma powder, then wipe the peristoma with the AllKare protective barrier wipe (covering an area about an inch beyond my flange size). I let this air dry a couple of minutes or fan it to assist in drying. I then put my system in place. It may seem like it takes forever, but it's a matter of minutes!

Secret is - no creams, greasy type soaps, etc. You want the peristoma to be clean but dry and not "moisterized" by soaps or lotions. Think of the area like trying to apply a bandaid - it won't stick to lotions, grease or moisture either!

Take care and hope this helps you,

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On the back the moldable part of the wafer, spread a thin layer of the ADAPT paste right around the circle. Don't go off of the molding. It is pretty sticky so you will want to have a wet wash cloth to wipe your finger off with. You don't need it to be real thick. Then just place the wafer around the stoma and remove the paper backing from the wafer and you should have a much better stick!
good luck! If I can help you out any other way let me know.

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I always use the paste. I cut my flange to my hole size and then apply the paste to the edge of the cut (similar to putting toothpaste on your toothbrush). It helps alot. Like using caulking on a flange (ring) to strengthen the seal on your toilet.
I actually cut the hole in the wafer (flange), snap on my pouch (closed or open end), remove the paper from the wafer, apply the paste and place the system around my stoma! My stoma prep is wipe with AllKare adhesive remover, cleanse peristoma with Magno Soap, rinse to remove all soap and dry well. Apply a small sprinkling of stoma powder (tapping the area around the stoma to remove excessive powder), wipe with AllKare barrier wipe and apply my clean system. I've had no system failures using this method and would never put a new system in place without the paste!


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Right you are! Alot of different products out there! I've tested various products but always go back to Convatec Lo Profile flange and closed pouches. I also use the pediatric pouches when I'm irrigating and have more control of the output. Never set up my system without the adhesive remover wipe when showering and the stoma powder, barrier wipe and paste when applying a new system. Herbsgal70 said it best - let the paste "cure" by prepping everything and let it sit while you shower or bath. There is something about letting the paste sit for 10-15 minutes to "cure" before you apply a fresh system. Whenever I don't follow this rule of thumb, I'm more apt to have leakage! I like the "cloth" covering of the Convatec pouches - much more comfortable in hot, humid and sticky weather!


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I* put on a pair of surgical rubber gloves to keep the paste from getting on my fingers and take them off after setting the wafer and running my finger around it to make sure the stoma is all the way through the opening - some oozing may occur. I take them off before removing the paper on the water so the gloves don't stick to the wafer and I can stretch it to get an even fit. Then I apply the bag. Removing the paste from your fingers is a hellish job - LOL

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I had a health care nurse who tried using the powder at one time, but it is so hard to remove, and doesn't do the job like paste does. As far as I am concerned, the powder is a definite no-no.

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This has been a great discussion. Su-Z & herbsgal, when you let the paste "set" I assume that is to let it firm up a bit? My ostomy nurse said it can be a gooey headache and hard to remove. If it sets as you suggested, will it clean off without any adhesive remover or is that necessary? I might give it a try tonight but do not have any remover....

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I've been wondering that too. If it sticks to your fingers and is hard to get off, is it just as hatd to get off of the skin on your sbdomin?

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The paste is water soluable and washes of with water. I get it off my fingers with a wet washcloth. I haven't had a problem getting it off my skin as it bonds to the wafer. I have to use a pretty thick bead around the opening in the wafer as the area around my stoma is quite concaved. The moldable inserts didn't work well for me so I went back to the paste.

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Hello Fab! I think an area that needs to be asked is what type surgery you had? Ileostomy, colostomy? Also, was your surgery done by a Colon/Rectal Surgeon? Is your stoma right up next to the skin or protruding out somewhat? Your stoma is going to change sizes, most likely for the first few weeks. Like some have said, the powder is not to be placed on the entire area, unless you apply skin barrier wipe over the powder, as if it is loose, your wafer will not seal. When you apply the wafer to your skin, place your whole hand over it and this will warm and activate the sealing chemical in the wafer. The paste applied to the wafer will sometimes make a raised area on the wafer and may not make a good seal, as the wafer has to be flat against your skin and around the stoma. One last thing right now, is your stoma round? Waiting for your responses. Oh, I have had an Ileostomy since 2003, and I am deeply involved in helping Ostomy persons.

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Hello stoneface - through trial and error I found that the paste is the only way I can achieve a good seal that will last 4 or 5 days. It deteriorates with time, and washes off completely in the shower. I never shower with the appliance on, but rely on sponge baths the other days. If you run your finger around the opening after applying the wafer (I wear surgical rubber gloves while doing this to prevent any oozing paste to get on my hand), it will seal it very well without any bulge in that area. Marge

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I have heard some of you say that you SWIM with your appliance in?? How is that possible? I only take a real shower when I am changing my appliance and replacing it. Otherwise I am stuck doing sponge baths.

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