Introduction to the use of ostomy systems

The use of the ostomy systems is not complicated, although at first it may seem so. It is important that you first get acquainted with the main steps of the system application and the replacement process so that their use becomes an everyday routine to you.

Base plate as the basis of ostomy systems

The base of each ostomy system is a base plate – usually a soft hydrocolloid with an opening in the centre. It adheres to the skin around the stoma, protects it and keeps the ostomy bag in place. Base plates can have openings which were cut in advance (pre-cut) and openings which can be cut right before use to fit to the diameter and shape of your stoma.

How to prepare a base plate?

It is very important that the opening of the base plate fits the size and shape of your stoma. This reduces the risk of content leakage and skin irritation under the base plate. This is why it is important to adjust the cut-to-fit base plate to your stoma.

The first thing you need to do is measure your stoma. You do this with a stoma meter — a paper template with multiple circular openings of different diameters.

Instructions for measuring the stoma:

  1. Take the stoma meter.

  2. Find an opening that fits your stoma.

  3. Lay the template on the skin so that the stoma is in the centre of the opening.

  4. The opening should surround the edge of the stoma in a way that the skin around the stoma is not visible, however it should not be touching the stoma, i.e. it can be up to 2 mm away from the stoma to avoid pressing it.

  5. If necessary, use a mirror to see if the opening matches the lower part of the stoma.

When you have determined the diameter that fits your stoma, you can cut a hole with a matching size in the base plate using stoma scissors. If the base plate has no marked diameters, press the template with the corresponding diameter to the base plate so that the opening of the base plate is in the centre, then mark the part that you will cut.

Application of ostomy systems

When you have a base plate that fits your stoma and after you have cleaned and dried the peristomal skin, you can apply the ostomy system. In one-piece systems you apply the base plate simultaneously with the bag because they are integrated. In two-piece systems, first apply the base plate and then connect the ring to the corresponding ostomy bag.  



  1. Remove the protective liner from the adhesive side of the base plate.

  2. Gently apply the base plate to the skin around your stoma.

  3. “Smooth” the plate and maintain gentle pressure for up to one minute.

  4. If you are using a two-piece system, connect the ring to the corresponding bag.

In case you are using a convex base plate such as Lentell Convex II, it is also advisable to use a stoma belt for more security.

Replacement of ostomy systems

If you use drainable bags, it is advisable to empty them before the system is replaced.

Replacement of one-piece systems:

  1. Move the bag so you can have a good overview of the base plate.

  2. If necessary, apply spray to remove the base plate.

  3. With one hand gently press the skin above the base plate.

  4. With the other hand gently and slowly separate the base plate, pulling it from the skin downwards.

  5. Dispose of the removed system in the appropriate waste bin.

  6. Clean the peristomal skin.


Replacement of two-piece systems:

  1. Gently hold the skin above the base plate with one hand.

  2. With the other hand, slowly pull the bag away from the skin to separate it from the base plate.

  3. If you want to change the bag only, you can clean the base plate and apply a new bag.

  4. If you want to remove the base plate, apply the spray to remove it if necessary.

  5. With one hand gently press the skin above the base plate.

  6. With the other hand gently and slowly separate the base plate from the skin pulling it downwards.

  7. Dispose of the removed system (bag and/or plate) in the appropriate waste bin.

  8. Clean the peristomal skin.

Every time you change the ostomy system, it is good to use the opportunity and inspect the stoma and the peristomal skin. An important part of the ostomy appliances use is also daily care for the stoma and the skin, which you can learn more about in our article Stoma hygiene and peristomal skin care.






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