All About Stoma Caps!

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In the past, I’ve discussed regular and high-capacity ostomy bags, but I never went into detail about the smallest bag of them all: stoma caps!

Introduction

Stoma caps are the smallest ostomy bags you can find.

Realistically, stoma caps can’t really be considered “bags”, since they have nearly no extra capacity to hold stool. But at the same time, they are used just like a traditional ostomy bag.

Stoma cap size compare
A stoma cap (left) compared to a traditional “large” ostomy bag (right).

Stoma caps are available through most major manufacturers, and I’ve taken a look to see if they’re called anything else and it seems that “stoma cap” is standard across all brands.

This is good because I’ve often found that appliances being referred to as “midi” and “maxi” or large” and “medium” tend to be unhelpful when each brand uses different capacities for their appliances.

Stoma cap collection
As you can see, there are quite a few stoma caps available from various manufacturers.

Like traditional ostomy bags, stoma caps come in one-piece or two-piece varieties depending on your liking.

In fact, many of the features you’ll find on a larger bag can be found on stoma caps.  Features like filters, mechanical couplings with a lock, clear and transparent options, and adhesive coupling systems are all options depending on the brand!

Many of the stoma caps you’ll find are pre-cut, although cut-to-fit options are available. Pre-cut products are ideal when you have a stoma that does not change size and has been consistent for a while.

One other thing that should be noted, as it’s common across the board and you can see it in the photo above, is that stoma caps tend to have an absorbent liner inside of them. That’s to help absorb moisture that’s naturally produced by the stoma.

When Would You Use a Stoma Cap?

Stoma caps can come in really handy when discretion is a priority.

Some examples include:

  • When swimming.
  • During intimacy.
  • At the gym.
  • During a fitness or modeling competition.

Of course, many people wear stoma caps to enjoy everyday activities as well!

You might also find stoma caps used to cover a relatively inactive mucus fistula, although special fistula appliances with larger capacities also tend to be used.

How to Use a Stoma Cap

Stoma caps go on just like a regular appliance would, so there’s no steep learning curve to these.

Here are some basic steps on how to apply a stoma cap:

(Note: The stoma cap used in these steps is the Safe n Simple #14502, which is pre-cut and includes a filter.)

Step 1: After gathering your supplies, clean the area around your stoma and shave the area if needed.

Putting on a stoma cap step 1 veganostomy-sm

Step 2: Prepare your stoma cap. If you are using a cut-to-fit product, you’ll want to cut the hole to the appropriate size. The cap in the photo below is pre-cut.

Putting on a stoma cap step 2

Step 3: Remove the plastic liner from the back of the stoma cap. Note: Some stoma caps, like the one below, have a large release liner and two smaller tabs that need to be removed. Many will have just one release liner. Be sure to remove them all when ready.Putting on a stoma cap step 3

Step 4: Apply the stoma cap to your skin, making sure there are no wrinkles as you stick it on. I like to start from the bottom, but it’s totally up to you.

Putting on a stoma cap step 4

Step 5: Check for any wrinkles are areas that have not stuck 100% and push them down.

Putting on a stoma cap step 5

Step 6: For better adhesion to the skin, it’s recommended that you apply gentle pressure to the appliance for about a minute or so. I use my hand because heat also helps the adhesive to stick better.

Putting on a stoma cap step 6

Step 7: You’re done! With practice, you’ll get it on much better than I did in the photo below (my first time, and only for this demo).Putting on a stoma cap step 7

Because nearly all stoma caps are “closed’, meaning they have no drain to empty output from, you’ll either be removing and replacing it entirely if you’re using a one-piece, or you’ll be replacing the cap portion in the case of a two-piece system.

Removing the stoma cap is as easy as removing any other appliance. I like to use adhesive remover when I take my wafer off, but that’s optional.

Removing a stoma cap
Adhesive remover works, but it’s not necessary. Gently peel the stoma cap away from the skin and discard it.

And if you have a filter on your stoma cap? Then you’ll want to follow the same rules when using filter stickers.

filter on stoma cap
If your stoma cap has a filter, you may need to cover it up during showers.

The Ideal Ostomate for a Stoma Cap

Here’s the bad news: Stoma caps can’t be used by every ostomate.

Obviously, because of the small size and the fact that these are not drainable means that only an ostomate who has an inactive stoma can benefit from wearing a stoma cap.

This often means colostomates who irrigate or even people with a continent ostomy may be able to put stoma caps to good use, while ileostomates and colostomates who do not irrigate will have to stick with regular appliances.

Is a Stoma Cap Right for You?

After reading this article, I hope you’ll be able to answer this question for yourself.

As a general rule, if you have an ileostomy or unpredictable colostomy then you should avoid stoma caps as they won’t offer enough capacity to be worn without trouble.

If you irrigate your colostomy and have fairly infrequent and predictable bowel movements, then a stoma cap may be an option for you (either for short-term use or daily wear).

Where Can I Get Them?

Nearly every major brand make stoma caps, so your regular ostomy supplier should have these in stock.

They can also be purchased on Amazon and other online retailers who sell ostomy supplies.

But before you run out and buy them, I recommend requesting free samples! You can check out which manufacturers give out free samples on THIS page.

Questions: Do you use stoma caps? What has your experience been like? Any tips to share?
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D Rooney
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D Rooney

I’ve been irrigating for the last 16+ years — some of your readers might want to check out Ampatch products. They are sort of like a large nicotine patch. Next best thing to no ostomy at all. Only made in the USA as far as I know, not all Canadian suppliers will order for you. Highly recommend for irrigated colostomies.
Great site, BTW.

Jattzl
Member

I dry the area after my shower then apply the cap. Then I finish drying and wear it while I blow dry my hair or do other after shower stuff so I don’t worry about any leaking before I get to putting on a new pouch. It made a huge difference in my piece of mind after my shower as enjoying my showers was something I really missed. I could finally relax. I have used them from the beginning.

Marge Spenst
Guest
Marge Spenst

Eric, irrigate my colostomy? Thanks Marge

Laura
Member
Laura

I use them in the shower when I know it’s time to change the bag after the shower. Lasts for the 15 minutes or so and I don’t have to work around the bag. And it gives me 15 minutes of freedom!

Carol Livingston
Guest
Carol Livingston

I have tried most of the caps and have not found them to be waterproof (even covering filter, etc) and been disappointed in the odor control in the filters.
I irrigate my colostomy and get several days without output but have settled on the coloplast sensura mio mini bag—a little bigger than I’d like but very waterproof and superior filter for odor control

brenda
Guest
brenda

I cut out the ring from an old bag and use a sandwich bag over the ring ,snap together and it’s waterproof. I also use them when I’m home alone.

Bubbles
Member

This might work well for intimate moments . As long as  its a  Quicky. But seriously it would work . 😈😈😈

john68
Member

Hi Eric, I have only ever tried them out once. I received one in a sample order which was by convatec. it fitted on the wafer just like the bag. For me my stoma decided it was some sort of challenge to see how fast he could fill it :lol: I do see how they can play a part for some folk and the more options available to help live normal the better.