Managing liquid ostomy output can be difficult, but my recommendation is always to try a gelling product. In this review, I’ll be looking at the Pearls gelling sachets by Trio Healthcare Ltd.
Trio had contacted me about this product before I even knew that it was available and they were kind enough to send me samples as these aren’t easy to get in Canada (yet).
About the Trio Pearls
“Pearls” is the name of this gelling product made by Trio Healthcare Ltd. out of the UK.
Unlike other gelling products, which may come in tablets or capsules, Pearls come in small sachets that can be placed directly into an ostomy bag.
Each sachet is filled with white, sand-like granules which rapidly absorb water as they form a gel – this product is free of animal ingredients!
The sachet itself does not need to be opened up as it breaks down and dissolves quickly in liquid.
The sachets measure about 7cm x 2.5cm x 0.5cm (2.75″ x 1″ x 0.80″) and can fit into just about any appliance either through the drainable outlet or through the hole cut in the back of a wafer.
A container of Pearls includes 100 sachets and a small, resealable plastic bag to keep a few sachets with you for convenience. The container has a twist top lid and does a great job keeping moisture away from the sachets.
How to use Trio Pearls
Pearls, as with other gelling products, need to be put into your ostomy appliance for them to work. You can either put it through the hole in your wafer or through the outlet opening – this needs to be done every time you empty your bag if required.
Once it’s in your bag, you’re done! It’ll go to work as it comes in contact with your watery output. If you have thicker output then it just doesn’t do anything and there’s no harm of using it when your output is thicker.
A Handy Product to Have Available
The beauty of gelling products is that they can be used in many situations where your output may be inconsistent or when liquid output is expected.
This can include:
- When traveling.
- When fasting.
- While doing bowel prep.
- When taking antibiotics.
- When you’ve got the flu or unexpected diarrhea.
- When eating or drinking certain foods that cause liquid output.
As you can see, this list can include situations where even a colostomate may benefit from using this product.
I’ve personally kept these sachets handy during a recent trip, and use them when I have unexpected liquid output.
The beauty about Pearls is that they work very quickly – often in less than 5 minutes! Even when I use them overnight they work perfectly.
One of the claims that Trio makes about this product is that it can also help reduce odors when emptying your bag. For the most part, I did find this to be true, but keep in mind that it won’t eliminate odors caused by gas in your bag.
Odor reduction really is a bonus when using this product, and I wouldn’t use it only for odor management. It can work in conjunction with other odor-elimination strategies, so experiment and see which combination works for you.
I’d like to point out that when it comes time to empty your bag, the output will look pretty normal. I mention this point because another one of my favorite gelling products, the ConvaTec Diamonds, caused output to turn black! Obviously, black output can be alarming, so there’s no need to worry about that when using Pearls.
At the time of this writing (Jan 2017), the Pearls by Trio are available in select markets:
- European markets like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Holland, Portugal.
- Nordic markets like Sweden, Denmark, Norway.
- New Zealand.
- UK and Ireland.
- U.S. and Canada (US patients should contact http://trioostomycare.com; Canadian distribution is being worked on!)
I do not have North American pricing, but I suspect that these will be expensive like the ConvaTec Diamonds are. And depending on your insurance or healthcare system, they may not be covered by insurance. It’s best to contact Trio to find out how to get these.
You can also ask for samples through Trio Healthcare, which is always something I’d recommend doing.
If you have liquid output and are looking for a better way to manage it, then I would give the Trio Pearls my highest recommendation. These work quickly, effectively, and are convenient to use.
These will likely be expensive if you don’t have insurance coverage, but the costs may balance themselves out if you’re used to changing your appliance often due to leaks.