One problem that most, if not all, ostomates face is pouch ballooning.
Ballooning is caused when gas fills your ostomy pouch and has nowhere to go. The result can be a very inflated pouch that can end up causing a leak or even a full-on explosion!
Needless to say, current pouch designs do very little to help, and while most pouches can be purchased with a filter, they often become clogged quickly, especially with liquid or loose output. “Burping” your appliance will only work if you have a coupling that opens like a Tupperware container, but even then there is a risk of releasing more than just gas (yes, this has happened to me).
There is a unique product which aims to overcome this challenge. That product is the Osto Ez-Vent.
I’m excited to review this product because overnight ballooning has been an issue for me, and while I’ve never experienced a leak, it is still quite alarming to wake up to a pouch ready to burst.
The Osto EZ-Vent attaches to your pouch (apparently any pouch) and when you need to release some gas, you simply open the small valve when it’s convenient for you and you’re done.
It sounds easy, and it is but there is a process you must follow to attach this product to your pouch. You can follow the link below for instructions on how to install the vent onto the pouch.
There is also video instructions available on that page too.
I’ve use the Coloplast Sensura pouch with filter during my tests (Coloplast #11125), but i keep my filter blocked with the sticker that’s included with my pouches.
I also mount the Osto EZ-Vent onto the top left position (rather than centered on the top) so that when I rotate my pouch horizontally, which I do when wearing the Stealth Belt or a wrap, the pouch contents are less likely to get in contact with the EZ-Vent.
A few things to note regarding the installation of these vents
- I usually batch-install these vents for about a month’s worth of pouches. That allows me to always have a pouch ready to go with the Osto EZ-Vent in case of an early pouch change. This also gives a 24h+ delay to allow the adhesive on the vent to stick to the pouch.
- My pouch has a soft, fabric layer around it for comfort. Because of this, I do have to make a hole in the fabric to expose the plastic layer which the Osto EZ-Vent sticks to. To do this, I simply trace the Osto EZ-Vent and cut around it. If your pouch doesn’t have the additional fabric component (i.e. transparent pouches), then you’ll save time on this step.
- If you’re an ostomate who has problems with joint pains or arthritis in the hands, you might want to have a friend or relative help.
The EZ-vent locks quite securely and even a very ballooned pouch won’t cause the vent to open on its own. It has never caught on clothes or anything like that.
One of the nice things that I like about this product is that they offer a nice enhancement to the quality of life as an ostomate.
Using a drainable pouch, these vents will stay on until your next appliance change and I usually put vents on several pouches at a time, so I’m always prepared for the next appliance change. If your vent get soiled, simply clean it the next time you drain your pouch.
If you’ve installed it on the top part of your appliance, and you use the product when standing or sitting, the pouch contents shouldn’t interfere with the venting process.
I should add that gas from your pouch, like the gas in a traditional fart, will smell. If you weren’t breaking wind around family and friends before your ostomy, you won’t want to start now. Be courteous and mindful of where you vent your pouch.
At the time of this writing (Jan 2022), the cost of 10 Osto EZ-Vents (one pack) is approx. CDN$24 and about US$15. Shop around for the best price.
This product should be covered by all insurance policies that cover ostomy supplies, but the manufacturer’s website states that Medicare will not cover both the Osto EZ-Vent and filtered pouches, so be aware of your particular policy before making a claim.
This product is sold worldwide and you should be able to get samples from any supplier carrying this product.
For anyone who’s had issues with pouch ballooning, I can’t recommend this product enough. It’s so ingenious that I’d like to see vents as a standard on pouches.
I feel so confident about this product, that I’ve started ordering filterless pouches (Coloplast #11135) for future wear.
There is an odor eliminating filter which can be used with the EZ-vent. I haven’t tried them at the time of this review, but I’ve requested samples and will follow up with another review once I receive them.