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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


External incontinence devices

Definition

External incontinence devices are products (or appliances). These are worn on the outside of the body. They protect the skin from constant leakage of stool or urine. Certain medical conditions can cause people to lose control of their bowel or bladder.

Alternative Names

Condom catheter; Incontinence devices; Fecal collection devices; Urinary incontinence - devices; Fecal incontinence - devices; Stool incontinence - devices

Information

There are several products available. The features of these different products are listed below.

FECAL INCONTINENCE DEVICES

There are many types of products for managing long-term diarrhea or fecal incontinence. These devices have a drainable pouch attached to an adhesive wafer. This wafer has a hole cut through the center that fits over the anal opening (rectum).

If put on properly, a fecal incontinence device may stay in place for 24 hours. It is important to remove the pouch if any stool has leaked. Liquid stool can irritate the skin.

Always clean the skin and apply a new pouch if any leakage has occurred.

The device should be applied to clean, dry skin:

  • Your health care provider may prescribe a protective skin barrier. This barrier is usually a paste. You apply the barrier to the skin before attaching the device. You can put the paste in the skin folds of the buttocks to prevent liquid stool from leaking through this area.
  • Spread the buttocks apart, exposing the rectum, and apply the wafer and pouch. It may help to have someone help you. The device should cover the skin with no gaps or creases.
  • You may need to trim the hair around the rectum to help the wafer stick better to the skin.

An enterostomal therapy nurse or skin care nurse can provide you with a list of products that are available in your area.

URINARY INCONTINENCE DEVICES

Urine collection devices are mainly used by men with urinary incontinence. Women are generally treated with medicines and disposable undergarments.

The systems for men most often consist of a pouch or condom-like device. This device is securely placed around the penis. This is often called a condom catheter. A drainage tube is attached at the tip of the device to remove urine. This tube empties into a storage bag, which can be emptied directly into the toilet.

Condom catheters are most effective when applied to a clean, dry penis. You may need to trim the hair around the pubic area for better grip of the device.

You must change the device at least every other day to protect the skin and prevent urinary tract infections. Make sure the condom device fits snugly, but not too tightly. Skin damage may occur if it is too tight.

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Male urinary system

References

American Urological Association website. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections: definitions and significance in the urologic patient. www.auanet.org/guidelines/catheter-associated-urinary-tract-infections. Accessed June 16, 2018.

Boone TB, Stewart JN. Additional therapies for storage and emptying failure. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 87.

Newman DK, Burgio KL. Conservative management of urinary incontinence: behavioral and pelvic floor therapy and urethral and pelvic devices. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 80.

Rao SSC. Fecal incontinence. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 18.