B. Braun Flexima 1-piece Drainable Ostomy Bag : REVIEW (w/ video)

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Having been impressed with past ostomy appliances by B. Braun, I was excited to see what their 1-piece system offered!

I received samples in advance of the anticipated North American launch of this product through B. Braun, which makes me extra excited to be bringing you this review.

Video Review

About the Flexima 1-Piece

The specific appliance I’m reviewing here:

Product name: Flexima 1-Piece
Manufacturer: B. Braun
Product #: 42776
Dimensions:  Approx. 20.5cm long x 15cm wide. 710ml capacity.
Quantity per package: 10

Flexima is B. Braun’s flagship ostomy appliance in many regards. It’s a line that is continually improved upon, and this iteration is the 2017/2018 version.

B. Braun is one of the largest manufacturers of ostomy supplies in the world, although their presence in North America is still quite new.

While Flexima is available worldwide, it also goes under the name Softima in countries such as the UK, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherland.  Both the Softima and Flexima version of this appliance is identical, so this review applies to both.

I’ve confirmed with B. Braun that the 1pc Flexima used in this review is free of animal-based ingredients, which makes it suitable for vegans. Other styles of Flexima may not be, so ask if that’s a concern.

The Flexima 1pc does come in sizes ranging from Mini (260ml) to Midi (580ml) to the Maxi (710ml) size I’m reviewing here.  B. Braun also offers closed, high-output, and urostomy versions of this appliance (none of which I’ve tried).

Along with the various styles, Flexima also comes in a fully opaque, transparent, and “split cover” version (which has an inspection window). This review is based on the split cover version I’ve been wearing.

Included in the box, you’ll get filter stickers and instructions, but no stoma measuring guide or disposal bags (just like with the Flexima 3S).

The Pouch

Like most one-piece appliances, the Flexima 1pc is very thin, which is great for concealment and comfort.

Cloth Material

One word: Wow.

I could immediately tell that the cloth fabric used for this appliance is better quality than most other pouches you’ll find today.

The thickness of the fabric cover is “just right” and it feels premium. Comparatively, the fabric is similar to what you’d find on Hollister pouches but thicker and more durable.

It’s got a light texture and the traditional beige coloring. The texture differs considerably from the smooth fabric you find on Coloplast Sensura Mio products, or the almost plastic, stretchy fabric you’ll find on some ConvaTec pouches.

B. Braun Flexima 1pc fabric

The appliance that I’ve used has a “split window” or inspection window on the front, which I believe every 1pc appliance should have as it makes aligning your wafer so much easier.

Filter

I’ve been a fan of B. Braun filters since I first started using their Flexima 3S a few years ago.

On this Flexima 1pc, the filter is found at the top and you can access it under the split cover (for when you need to apply a filter sticker on it).

B. Braun Flexima 1pc filter
While the filter works well, it does need to be covered before getting wet.

While I find that B. Braun filters don’t clog as fast as others, which means they do help prevent ballooning, you do have to cover the filter before hopping into a shower or going for a swim. This is something you’ll need to do with most filtered pouches, although some brands (i.e. Hollister) don’t need this.

Outlet

The length of the outlet on this Flexima drainable pouch is longer than what you’ll see in many other appliances. I happen to believe that this is a good thing as it allows for more control when emptying your appliance.

Speaking of emptying your appliance, the closure at the end of the outlet features what I call a “double hook system”, which uses two strips of plastic hooks instead of one strip of hooks and one strip of loops as you’d find on Velcro.

B. Braun Flexima 1pc closure
The two plastic strips are secured much like Velcro.

The closure is easy to open, even with one hand, and it’s what I’d consider a “wide” mouth – certainly wider than what you’ll find on the Hollister New Image bags.

B. Braun Flexima 1pc outlet width
Top: B. Braun Flexima 1pc. Bottom: Hollister Premier.

To secure the outlet, you roll it back several times until the strip of plastic hooks meet each other. After that, it’s a simple squeeze to lock them in place.

One thing you’ll notice is that the outlet doesn’t fold under the fabric of the cloth cover, so you’ll catch a peek at it. Despite that, it still looks fine and works just the same.

The outlet itself is opaque on the back and transparent on the front. The transparent front is a double-edged sword: it can be helpful when cleaning the appliance, but at the same time, you’ll be able to see your output even when the outlet is rolled up.

B. Braun Flexima 1pc outlet sides
Because of the transparent outlet, you can see your output even when its rolled up.

The Wafer

B. Braun Flexima 1pc waferThe wafer on this appliance is a full hydrocolloid, which is thicker than tape border products, but it’s still quite thin.

You can also get this appliance with convexity.

The shape resembles a flower (and not round or square), this is done to help contour the wafer to various body shapes. I can say that the shape makes this wafer feel smaller (which is a good thing).

Hollister Premier vs B. Braun Flexima 1pc
Left: Hollister Premier vs. B. Braun Flexima 1pc on the Right. Note that the Flexima can be cut larger, but has a smaller wafer.

You can see in the above photo, the Flexima 1pc allows for a larger stoma size, but its wafer is smaller. This can have something to do with the shape, but the wafer itself does make good use of that surface area.

On the back is a single, plastic release liner that when removed exposes the full adhesive of the wafer. This adhesive bonds well to my skin and leaves no residue when I go to remove it (although I will use an adhesive remover to help get me started).

The release liner does have a printed cutting guide, but the starter hole doesn’t seem to be aligned in the center, which looks awkward. This appears completely by design and doesn’t cause problems by following it.

B. Braun Flexima 1pc cut wafer
Awkward, but functional.

My Experience

While I’m not a big user of one-piece appliances, I enjoyed wearing this Flexima pouch.

My wear time averaged three to four days, and the wafer would show minimal erosion, which is great to see. I can also report that I had no major leaks in the several weeks of using this appliance, and my skin looked good throughout.

I find this appliance to be comfortable to wear for all kinds of activities and I’ve even enjoyed wearing it sideways in a support garment.

The cloth fabric does a great job during showers and it only got slightly wet after having one. It doesn’t soak up water like some cloth covers do, and any moisture that remains can be easily patted dry with a towel.

My only major gripe is that I would experience edge peeling of the wafer, which isn’t unusual for most hydrocolloid products I’ve worn, but it is worth mentioning. That said, the edge peeling does not compromise the appliance and I’ve had no trouble, even after showers.

B. Braun Flexima 1pc wafer bare
You can see how the fabric in white extends beyond the edges of the hydrocolloid.
B. Braun Flexima 1pc edge peeling
Edge peeling happens, but it’s mostly cosmetic.

This edge peeling is mostly cosmetic, unlike edge wrinkling, which often happens with wafers that use hydrocolloid.

Another very minor annoyance is that because of the way the outlet is designed, I feel that it takes more effort to clean vs something like a Coloplast Sensura Mio, but it is easier than most others.

Conclusion

At the time of this writing (Dec 2017), the B. Braun Flexima 1pc is available worldwide, including countries like France, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Czech rep, Slovakia, Poland, Japan, Australia, Turkey, Argentina, Chile, Malaysia. B. Braun plans to launch this appliance in North America sometime in 2019.

I don’t know what Canadian or US pricing will be until they are available here, but looking at currently available products by B. Braun, I’m going to assume they will be priced similar or slightly less than 1pc appliances from Coloplast or Hollister.

Samples will likely be available when the products are ready to be sold, however, if you live in a country where Softima/Flexima is already available, contact B. Braun to see if you can get free samples.

Pros
  • Very nice cloth cover material.
  • Low profile.
  • The “split window” is a great feature to have, especially on a 1pc appliance.
  • The wafer is comfortable to wear.
  • The outlet is easy to open (even with one hand).
  • The cloth cover is quick to dry and doesn’t absorb water like other cloth coverings.
  • The filter works better than most others.
  • Comes off cleanly without leaving a residue.
  • Wide outlet makes it easy to drain.
  • Can be worn horizontally using a support garment without any trouble.
Cons
  • Some edge peeling around the wafer.
  • The outlet isn’t as easy to clean as some brands, but easier than most.
  • The filter needs to be covered before having a shower or swimming.
  • Stoma cutting guide is awkwardly aligned on the back of the wafer.
  • No stoma measuring guide included in the box.
Recommended

The Flexima by B. Braun is a solid 1-piece appliance.

Everything from the wafer design to the cloth material used illustrates that a tremendous amount of work went into getting this product to where it is.

While I don’t tend to wear 1-piece appliances, I can recommend this one to just about any ostomate out there.

For more information, please visit the B. Braun website at: http://www.stomacare-bbraun.com/  or call 1-855-822-7286 (Canada) /  1-800-854-6851 (USA).
Question: Have you used this appliance? Share your experience below.
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Lynn Closs

It doesn’t seem to have a place for a belt or are my eyes deceiving me? Also I have very sensitive skin do have any feedback on people who have used it who have similar issues?

Member

Hi Eric, it great to see a product that ticks so many boxes and is up to standard. That is a pretty weird thing going on with those cutting rings! I like my current appliance and serves me well but I like to know whats on their should I need to switch to another brand. Cheers