A type of product I usually recommend to ileostomates and colostomates who have loose or liquid output are gelling sachets. Eakin has their own called Perform, and that’s what I’ll be covering in this review!
Eakin was gracious enough to send me samples of this product even though it’s not currently available in North America.
About the Eakin Perform
“Perform” is the name of a gelling product made by the company Eakin. Eakin, if you didn’t know, is famous for their Cohesive Seal products, and they extend their lineup with Perform.
Unlike the Trio “Pearls” or the ConvaTec “Diamonds”, Eakin Perform doesn’t come in a fabric-like sachet, but instead, it’s a clear plastic-like packet that houses the magic. Like the other two products, Perform dissolves quickly in liquids and helps to solidify ostomy output.
Each Perform sachet has small white granules of highly absorbent material inside of it. The entire product is free of animal ingredients, so this is completely vegan-friendly!
How to Use Eakin Perform
Perform is a product that you have to put into your ostomy pouch for it to work.
You can either put a sachet into the bottom outlet of your appliance or through the opening in the back. It makes no difference whether you have a one-piece, two-piece, drainable or closed appliance – as long as you can get a sachet in there it’ll work!
While you may only need to use one sachet at a time, there’s no harm in using two if you have a high-output stoma. I haven’t measured the amount of liquid that a single sachet can absorb at one time, but it has no problem completely gellifying 250ml of water, which is approx 1/4 the capacity of a large (12″) ostomy bag.
It’s important to note that you don’t need to tear open the sachet or anything like that – it dissolves, and works perfectly when used as directed.
When it comes time to empty your ostomy pouch, you can do so normally, and then put another sachet into the pouch as needed. Perform won’t change the color of your output (unlike the ConvaTec Diamonds, which turns everything black!)
I don’t use gelling products on a regular basis since my ostomy output tends to be on the thick side most days, but I have used these when my output has changed dramatically to liquid (i.e. when I’m sick).
Eakin claims that the Perform sachets can help:
- Reduce pouch odor.
- Reduce “ballooning” and improve filter performance.
- Make emptying your pouch easier.
- Reduce pouch noise.
As expected, these do a great job to solidify my output quickly ( in a matter of minutes!) and it makes emptying my bag easier compared to when it’s full of liquid. It works regardless of whether I’m wearing my appliance vertically, horizontally or if I’m laying on my back.
As far as reduced odor and ballooning goes, this is more complicated for me to measure. Because I tend to have liquid output in circumstances where my body isn’t doing its normal thing, increased odor and more gas is usually a result. Theoretically, since Perform essentially “traps” your output, it should help with both.
I can say that in most cases, when I expect my filter to be clogged by liquid output, Perform does help to delay that. If your filter clogs quickly due to loose or liquid output, then I suspect this will also help you.
Regarding pouch noises, having thick output (either naturally or while using a gelling product like Perform) can help to make the crinkling of your bag less obvious, but don’t expect miracles here – your bag will still make some noise.
One of the things I really find valuable when using Perform is that it helps to reduce leaks caused by liquid output.
For me, liquid output almost always happens during the times when I’m least able to deal with leaks: when I’m sick with a cold or flu, when I’m traveling, when I’m on antibiotics, etc. In these cases, Perform is a savior that makes leaks less likely to happen.
The only “problem” I have with Perform is that the sachets may stick together under certain conditions when other products that come in a “fabric-like” sachet won’t. This makes it more difficult for me to keep them in my emergency travel kit, which is a shame. Keeping them in a tightly sealed Ziploc bag can help, and so can keeping these in a low-humidity environment.
At the time of this writing (July 2017), Perform sachets are available in the following countries:
- South Africa
- Saudi Arabia
- New Zealand
- Czech Republic
- Norway Slovenia
It is unknown whether these will be available in North America, which is a shame because they work so well. If you’re looking for a similar product, my Gelling Products guide should be able to help give you more options.
These may be covered by your national healthcare system or private insurance, but you should double-check as sometimes they aren’t.
Eakin does offer these as samples, which you can request through their website. I’d suggest trying samples when they are available just to make sure that you can try them before ordering a large quantity.
Gelling products are something I always keep around, even though I don’t need to use them that often.
They are a great way to manage liquid output and this product by Eakin does it just as well as any other brand I’ve used.
If you find liquid output to be difficult to manage then I would recommend these with very little hesitation – provided they are available in your country.