A Mini Guide to Ostomy Supplies: Wafer Extenders (w/ Video)

Ostomy Wafer Extenders


Mini Guide to Ostomy Supplies: Wafer Extenders
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What Are Wafer Extenders?

Wafer extenders (which are also referred to as flange extenders) can be a handy tool for an ostomate. They can be used for a variety of reasons and they are available in many different styles.

Wafer extenders can provide the following benefits:

  • Helps to keep your ostomy appliance secure during physical activity.
  • Can be used to protect the wafer from water.
  • Can be used to protect the edges of your wafer from peeling.

How Wafer Extenders Are Usually Sold

There are many different styles and types of wafer extenders, but I’ll break down the most popular options to simplify it.

I’ve seen wafer extenders sold in three distinct categories: Films, tape and “elastic tape”.  They are also sold in either full extenders, which would cover the entire wafer, or segments, which you can apply to a specific trouble spot on your wafer.  

Most wafers are waterproof, but some do not handle water well, so their edges will peel or become sticky and annoying, which defeats their purpose!

You can see the photos below that each type is very different from the next.

Aqua Seal Wafer Extender

Aqua Seal Wafer Extender (with release liner)

Flange Seal Ring by OstomyEssentials

Flange Seal Ring by OstomyEssentials on top of a Coloplast Xpro wafer (with release liner)

Nu-Hope wafer extender tape

Nu-Hope wafer extender tape

Coloplast Brava Elastic Tape

Coloplast Brava Elastic Tape, which is an elastic tape product (with release liner)

Purchase on Amazon

You can purchase wafer extenders on Amazon (affiliate links): USA | CANADA

How to Use Wafer Extenders

Each brand and style of wafer extender comes with its own special instructions, but they are all applied over the wafer so that the product extends beyond the edge of the wafer enough to create a good seal.

Coloplast Brava Elastic tape over wafer's edge
Notice how far the edge of the wafer has been extended?

While you can apply a wafer extender at any time, most ostomates will prefer to use them with each appliance change, and they’ll leave them on until the next appliance change. 

I’ve found that films work best for this, as some tapes and flexible “tape” tend to start peeling or even dry up after several days of use.  

If you are careful, you might be able to remove the film or tape before you need to change your appliance, but it’s not recommended that you do (it’ll leave residue that’s hard to clean without compromising the wafer).

Tips When Using Wafer Extenders

  • Sample these products from as many different suppliers as possible, since you may find that some are too difficult to use or may not even work very well.
  • For products that come in smaller sections, use as few or as many as you like. If there’s a single spot on your wafer that tends to be problematic, you don’t need to cover the entire circumference of your wafer for the extenders to be of use.
  • If you don’t have a wafer extender handy, you can use medical tape in a pinch. It would be used in the same way, but it’s not as convenient to apply.

Are Wafer Extenders Vegan-Friendly?

Most wafer extenders are free of animal ingredients, but some still do contain gelatin, so either check with your manufacturer or refer to my vegan/non-vegan ostomy supplies list HERE.

Additional Resources

I’ve reviewed several wafer extenders, which you can read about HERE.

9 thoughts on “A Mini Guide to Ostomy Supplies: Wafer Extenders (w/ Video)”

  1. Hi Jeanne, The Eakin ring tends to leave a lot of residue behind. If you are not getting all of it off during your change the new appliance may not be getting a good seal. Maybe try a different ring. Also any changes that may have led to leaks.

  2. Hi, do appreciate your videos and have learned a good deal. I have had my stoma for 25 years and am again (have had several bouts of this)leaking! I use a eakin seal, and sometimes a belt. The Eakin seal tends to leave half of itself on my skin and is hard to? My stoma is oval and the opening is on the bottom and not in the center, so tends to leak under the flange. Would paste work better than a seal? Also which adhesive remover do you think is best, spray on wipes?

    Thanks for any help you can give me.

    • Hi Jeanne,

      Paste is designed to fill in gaps or crevices in the skin, so they are quite a bit different from barrier rings.

      Have you seen a stoma nurse about trying to get your stoma to direct more to the center, perhaps, even through the use of a convex wafer (if appropriate)? That could be an option over barrier rings.

      As for adhesive remover, I find that sprays are most practical, and you can spray it into a gauze pad and use it like a wipe. Wipes are easier to travel with and can also help to remove reside on the skin.

      I do find that some barrier rings tend to leave chunks on the skin. I’d suggest trying to remove them (gently) with your fingers or a wipe of some kind, then clean the skin with either mild soap and water or a barrier wipe, followed with clean water.

      Good luck!

      • Thanks for the info, I need the convex wafer because without it, my stoma doesn’t go through the hole. It doesnt have enough lenght to redirect it either. Will keep trying.

        Thanks again, Jeanne

    • @Jeanne Domonkos My stoma is oval shaped too. Do you have a good stencil to cut your wafer properly for that shape? I used to cut my wafer in a round shape, tracing the measuring guide I used. I didn’t get leaks, but there would be a gap between the wafer and my skin in some places. Which is when I realized that my stoma is not round and I had been cutting the wrong shape.
      So I made a stencil and here’s how I did it. If you wish, I might record the process on my phone, so you can see exactly what to do. Let me know if you need that (I don’t have good videographer skills like Eric, but I can try or take pictures of the steps).
      Step 1: use a stoma measuring guide to measure the widest part of your stoma. I have to measure horizontally and I got a width of 40mm.
      Step 2: use the stoma measuring guide to measure the narrowest part of your stoma. For me, that’s going from 1 o’clock to 7 o’ clock (12 o’clock is pointing to my chin). That width is 30mm.
      Step 3: mark your measurements on a piece of (graph) paper, as well as the middle of your stoma and the 12 o’clock position. I marked dots for the width and height and then connected them to get an oval shape.
      Step 4: cut out your shape to create your stencil, and see if you have the correct fit for your stoma. If you don’t, you can start over or tweak it. If it fits, your stencil is ready to use.
      Step 5: place your stencil on your wafer, making sure the 12 o’clock mark points to the top of the wafer. Trace the shape you cut, onto the wafer with a pen or marker, then cut your wafer.
      I write the date I created the stencil on the stencil. My stoma is still changing sizes, I presume, so if I notice there’s too much room between the wafer and my skin, I create a new stencil.
      Coloplast has sturdy plastic things that you can use to finalize your stencil. I got a few of those when I ordered samples. Or save the backing of a wafer after you cut it, because paper isn’t very sturdy and can move while you trace your shape.

  3. Thank you. I am new to all this and the videos and information you are sharing has been extremely helpful. Thank you so much.

  4. Funny you posted this article today, yesterday I received some free Brava wafer extenders from Coloplast. I’m excited to give them a try. Talk about perfect timing!


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