A gradual inability to hold a urinal inhibits independence.
Carers may assist with toileting but mastering use of the penile sheath and leg bag can provide indefinite freedom.
A LEG BAG
Leaking if sheath comes loose
Tubing too long causing backflow
Inability to empty bag
Sheaths come in various sizes. Estimate the diameter for you and experiment.
Continence nurses or Blue nurses will provide advice.
Supplies can be ordered from vendors such as Intouch Direct using your CAPS or MASS payment.
PERSIST - IT'S WORTH IT !
Are you a Grower or a Shower?
To prevent the sheath coming loose, your penis should not be entirely flaccid when rolling on the sheath.
Fitting the sheath after waking or arousing thoughts is the best time, to ensure that an optimal amount of glue adheres to an optimal area of skin.
When rolled in place, pressure must be applied for some seconds with an encircling grip to ensure glue melts and adheres. You can be helped to crimp the sheath with your own hand.
The leg bag need not be connected as soon as you transfer to wheelchair but rather just before you go out.
Wear around home at first to gain confidence.
Tubing may be too long. Any loop in the pipe will cause urine to backup, loosening the seal of the sheath. Adjust the length by measuring against the leg and cutting out a section of the tubing above the bag.
Use a plastic connector purchased from any hardware to re-join the tube, ensuring the pipe is the right length for the leg and exits trousers just below the shoe/footplate. When making up a new leg bag don’t forget to rescue the plastic connector and clean it.
Emptying your Legbag
At some point, you will not be able to empty your leg bag yourself. A friend may help but if going out for long periods by yourself, simply leave home with the tap turned on.
To void, drive to the toilet/urinal. Wait until there are absolutely no drips, before driving off. Using this method gives complete independence. NB. An off-cut from the bag tubing can be used to lengthen the tube below the tap.
Velcro straps secure bag to lower leg. Trim lower strap if necessary. All urinary aids need cleaning after use. A sheath is one use only but leg bags may be
re-used if rinsed in detergent solution and hung up
Finally, NEVER wear your leg bag in public with shorts. This lack of judgement runs counter to your goal of inclusion. If jeans or track pants are not seasonal, wear: light slacks, fisherman’s pants or sarong to conceal your leg bag.
Mastering a Leg Bag by Deborah Robins
is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. 2015.
NB Not to be construed as medical advice