Here’s what I use.
Bag: Conveen leg bag 500 ml capacity with 50 cm tube reference number EA5161
Straps: Conveen leg straps with buttons reference number 50501
Sheath: Conveen Easifit Self Aadhesive Non Latex. You should preferably be fitted by an incontinence nurse for the optimum diameter and length.
I strap the bag just below the knee so it fits on the calf. I've tried the ones with the thigh strap but they keep slipping down no matter how tight the strap. Placing it on the calf means the bulge of the calf muscle provides a natural barrier to slippage. I have the tube on the inside of the knee where it can flex with the knee movement.
I found some discomfort on the skin of the penis until the skin adapted to the adhesive which took a few weeks. However, right from the start, this was better than the burning of the urine in the pads. With the pads, if I restricted my fluid intake to keep the urine volume down, the concentrated urine burnt; if I drank more to relieve the burning, I filled the pads too quickly. The drain system did away with all that.
After the initial fitment by the nurse attached to the urologist I was seeing, I went to an Incontinence Supplier and had a consultation with their in-house incontinence nurse. She gave/sold me a number of samples of different brands to trial, and from these I made my selection. You can download the catalogue for the supplier I use at the link below, however you will want to purchase locally rather than from Australia.
I change the sheath every 24 hours. More often and the darn thing is hard to pull off and the adhesive hard to remove. If I leave it more than 24 hours, there is a risk of leakage.
I wash the bag every 12 hours with plain warm water, squirted into the tube with a 50 ml syringe designed for that purpose. I’ve read that a mayonnaise squeeze bottle will also work. They recommend replacing the bag every 7 days. Some times I’ve gone 2 weeks, but sometimes the bag and tube absorbs a smell after a few days that can’t be removed, so I change then.
If you get a leak, it will most likely be because the penis is not clean and dry when you put the sheath on. I wash thoroughly with soap and warm water twice, then pat dry with a paper towel, and then fan it with a piece of cardboard for 30 seconds to make sure it is air dry. Get a piece of stiff cloth (even paper works) around 5 inches square and cut a hole in it the diameter of your penis. If you slide this over the penis and press it up against the pubic bone, you will keep most of the hair out of the way when you roll on the condom. Hair caught in the adhesive is not pleasant as it pulls.
Some places recommend lying down to put the sheath on, but I found that hard on my neck trying to see what I was doing. I stand up and find it easy to do. You need to hold your hand around the penis for 20 secs of so after placing the sheath on as the warmth sets the adhesive. I failed to do this one day and the thing leaked after some hours.
On a several occasions over the last 6 months, usually in very hot weather, I have grown a fungus under the sheath. It is important to kill this straight away at the first sign. You can smell it in the sheath when it is removed. It is like a brown coating on everything, including the inside of the leg bag tube where it inserts into the sheath. To kill this, I’ve temporarily reverted to pads and applied Canesten cream which deals with it in a couple of days. I then revert to the sheath, but change it after 12 hours for a day or so. Remember to wash more thoroughly after using Canesten as residual grease will diminish the effectiveness of the adhesive and you may suffer a leakage after a few hours.
One more tip: to stop the urine dribbling on the floor through the end of the sheath as I am washing the bag, or getting into the shower, I fold over ½ an inch of the spout of the sheath and use a clothes peg to hold it shut. A small amount of urine will build up in the free space at the end of the sheath, which you can then empty.
Hope this all works well for you. The important part is the fit, and a visit to a specialist incontinence nurse who can let you try different brands and styles is a good investment.
59 when diagnosed, now 60 years old
Da Vinci surgery Jan 10, 2007, nerves spared, no cancer detected outside prostate
Pre surgery PSA 8, Gleeson 3+4=7, T1C, 3 out of 12 biopsies had cancer
Complication 1: urine favoured drain tube over catheter, extra time in hospital, catheter in for 2 weeks
Complication 2 - urinary tract infection - Citrobacter (hospital bug), 6 weeks antibiotics cleared up
Complication 3 - fungal growth on genitals (candida albicans) probably from antibiotics
Aug'07 Urodynamic study for continuing incontinence 8 pads per day; diagnosed bladder neck stenosis
Oct'07 CT scan indicated nothing abnormal; cystoscopy showed narrowing at anastimosis - dialated
Dec'07 averaging 9 pads a day, started acupuncture (no benefit after 10 treatments)
Jun'08 AUS fitted
Post surgery PSA tests: all undetectable