The New Stuff


Avoiding Accidents & Embarrassment When Wearing a Leg Bag

Wear a leg bag? If you run into challenges with managing it while going about your day, read on for some tips on making leg bag use easier and more discreet.

More People Wear Leg Bags Than You Realize

Up to 2 million people in the US can benefit from leg bag use, either temporarily or long term.

Up to 2 million people in the US can benefit from leg bag use, either temporarily or long term.

If you’re one of the many people who use a leg bag as part of your continence care regimen, rest assured — you’re not alone.

Urinary leg bags are commonly used by people who have neurogenic bladder due to stroke, paralysis, multiple sclerosis or another condition.   In the US, studies show that up to 2 million people may benefit from using a leg bag, either temporarily or long-term.

Like you, scores of people wrestle with the challenges that come with wearing a leg bag. Those include unexpected leaks, complications in emptying the bag when you are on the road and not at home, and other surprises that may literally “pop up.”

You Should Be the Star of the Show – Not Your Leg Bag

Quadriplegic & Paralympian Bert Burns personally understands the challenges that can come with wearing a leg bag, as he has used one himself for more than 33 years.

“Right after I got home from rehab for my spinal cord injury, I had a date with a lovely young lady who offered to pick me up in her brand-new car,” Burns shares. “Mind you, this was over 30 years ago before I was married, well before we had the advancements available today in leg bag use.”

As he rolled up to the passenger side of his date’s car, Burns explains, “I was confident I could transfer into her car all by myself. I certainly didn’t want my date’s help to do that! So as I began to swing my leg over into the car, and lift myself up to transfer over, the last thing on my mind was my leg bag resting low around my ankle. Somehow, I grazed the bag as I pulled my leg into the car, and it burst on the spot. I sat there horrified, in the front seat of my date’s new car, as my leg bag emptied out onto her floorboard.”

Fortunately for Bert, his date was forgiving even if his leg bag wasn’t. However, the memory of that unpleasant experience has stayed with him for a lifetime.

Yellow is a color best suited for the outside of your car. On the inside? Not so much.

Yellow is a color best suited for the outside of your car. On the inside? Not so much.

Stories abound about leg bags going awry, with fellow wheelchair users sharing a laugh over leaving a trail on the dance floor, or losing a shoe in the toilet as they prop their leg up to empty their system. Most people take it in stride, chalking up those moments as being part of the ongoing dues for this club that no one asked to join – the fraternity of wheelchair users worldwide.

Bert Burns is the founder of Life After Spinal Cord Injury and has used a leg bag for more than 30 years.

Bert Burns is the founder of Life After Spinal Cord Injury and has used a leg bag for more than 30 years.

Your leg bag experience doesn’t have to be like that, though. There’s a better way to wear your leg bag, a way that focuses on you as the star of the show while keeping your leg bag where it belongs – discreetly hidden away.

Taking Control of Your Leg Bag with Melio

While many people choose to increase their independence and mobility with discreet, convenient leg bags, most don’t realize that new technology exists that can help empty your leg bag in an easier fashion.

The new Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System© empties your leg bag with a push of a button – and it tells you when it’s time! Besides its’ obvious convenience, Melio is known to increase independence by:

Eliminating embarrassing drips or leaks – by the push of a button you can empty this leg bag. This way you don’t have to move your leg or get your hands wet.

Eliminating backflow – let the built-in sensor alert you when the bag is full. With this reminder, you can avoid backflows.

Reduce the risk of a UTI – without the hassle of emptying your leg bag, it helps to encourage proper hydration, which in return can reduce the risk of catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

Keeping it simple – the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System not only relieves individuals of the everyday struggle of emptying their leg bag, but it helps to improve their quality of life by being discrete and easy to use.

Get In & Go with Melio

How many times have you found the handicap stall occupied in a public restroom? Get in and go without the wait!

How many times have you found the handicap stall occupied in a public restroom? Get in and go without the wait!

“Melio answers one of the biggest inconveniences of using the bathroom when you’re away from home. It never fails – every time I visit a public restroom, the handicap stall is occupied by someone who is not a wheelchair user,” Burns explains. “With Melio, I don’t have to wait for that stall to free up. I can just roll up to the urinal like any other person and empty the leg bag system straight into the urinal. No mess, no clean up.”

How does Melio Work?

The integrated sensor in the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System© monitors the urine bag level, sending a signal to the controller when the leg bag is approximately 2/3 full.

The controller on your waistband alerts you when the leg bag is approximately 2/3 full via a flashing amber light and discreet vibration. You can also turn on an audio alarm. When you’re ready to empty the urine bag, simply push the buttons on the top or bottom of the controller to activate the pump. If you have limited dexterity, you can use the magnetic bracelet to activate the pump. Simply hold the bracelet against the front of the controller to activate it.

Melio lets you empty your leg bag with a push of a button - and tells you when it's time!

Melio lets you empty your leg bag with a push of a button – and tells you when it’s time!

You can empty the urine bag without raising your leg using the extended Discharge Tube. Place the tube under your clothing and tuck it into your waistband for easy access. Different lengths are available to meet your needs. The Leg Bag, Pump and Discharge Tube are an integrated, disposable unit. The controller is rechargeable and is designed to last for years with reasonable care.

What Users Are Saying About the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System

“I require the use of a Suprapubic catheter as a result of a C5 spinal cord injury. As a tetraplegic, I was unable to manage my own bladder care (including emptying my leg bag) which made me nervous to go out in public alone. I was afraid of Autonomic Dysreflexia occurring if my leg bag would fill up and my bladder would become distended,” says Joseph, a Melio user from the UK.


“When I would go out, I would limit my fluid intake to next to nothing to avoid this, which is detrimental to any catheter user,” he adds. “The Melio leg bag system gave me confidence to go out without causing harm by not drinking water. It as well gave me independence even at home, being able to empty the bag myself instead of asking for help. The system greatly improves quality of life for people in my situation.”

Caregivers also benefit from the freedom and flexibility that Melio provides.

melio leg bag

Experience the Melio Difference

Want to know more about the Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System or would you like to try it for yourself? Visit their user-friendly website at or call 800-482-2907. You can purchase and track your order online. Or, you can inquire about Melio with your local urological supplies provider.

Click here to learn more about Melio & insurance reimbursement.

Contact these dealers for more information about Melio or to place your order along with your other continence care supplies:

melio - 1*The Melio Self-Emptying Leg Bag System is engineered and manufactured to the highest quality standards. Registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a urine collection device, Melio is designed for use by individuals who use indwelling, sheath, or suprapubic catheters. Ask your doctor about issues related to your health and neurogenic bladder, and if Melio is a good fit for your continence care needs.

More Clinical Resources: Free Nurse CEUs


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