Many that use leg bags are not using ones that are best suited for them. How do we know? We talk to users all the time when purchasing leg bags and hear "I never knew there were so many options." They've always used what was provided by the doctor or facility which is usually the cheapest types available. Here's what you should consider.
Drain Type: There are several drain types - flip valves, threaded, slide, and cap. The most important thing to consider with drain types is how secure are they and how easy are they for the user to open and close. The threaded valve is very secure but if you have limited hand grip it can be hard to open. Plus one must be careful not to get urine on your hand when unscrewing. Flip and slide valves are easier to open and close but can sometimes come open. The cap is just a plug and the least secure.
Bag Size: Leg bags come in small, medium and large sizes. The question that needs to be answers here is how often do you want to empty the bag verses how much weight do you want to carry on your leg? The larger the bag the longer between emptying but they can be bulky and weigh you down when full.
Belly Bags: These are a good option with a super-pubic catheter as they are worn around the waist and not on the leg.
Straps: Most come with thin latex straps. Some users are sensitive to latex exposure and the thin straps can dig into the skin. Fabric leg straps are usually latex free and and wider so the are more user friendly. They can be washed and used longer as well.
Fabric Leg Bag Holders: If you don't like straps leg bag holders are an excellent option. The slip over the thigh and have a pocket for the leg bag. They come in different sizes and are latex free and washable.
Extension Tubing: The right size extension tubing is important. Most extension tubing is 18" long. For most that should be long enough to reach below the knee. It can be cut to size.
Tubing Anchoring Device: This is an important accessory many forget about. The anchoring device is attached to the thigh and keep the tubing securely in place. It helps prevent the catheter from accidentally pulling out as the tubing can be easily caught.
Remember, leg bags are a bacteria breeding ground so please dispose of them within two weeks of first use.
So whether you get your supplies through your insurance provider or buy them yourself please make sure you ask for the type that is best for you. GO Medical provides a full line of leg bags, bedside drain bags, belly bag, fabric leg strap, leg bag holder, extension tubing, tubing anchoring device and of course free consultation.