Join the Largest Ostomy Community
Next >

Mucous Plug (Barbie Butt)


Hey OstoMates,

For those of us with a permanent ostomy who elected to have their rectum and anus removed, I have this question!

Prior to my surgery in 2018 to get a permanent colostomy, my surgeon explained to me why he believed I should elect to remove my rectum/annus was due to 'mucous plug'. I did, in fact, elect to have my rectum/annus removed so that my mucous plug would not leak out and cause a mess.

Now that I have had this done, what happens to the 'mucous plug' in my body? Does my body absorb the mucous?

I appreciate your responses!

Stay safe!

MeetAnOstoMate - 30,214 members
Join a supportive community of individuals who understand your journey and can provide valuable insights, guidance, and companionship throughout your ostomy experience.

That's a good question...


Hi d,

  Well.......I'm at a loss.......the only "mucus plug" I've ever heard of is related to pregnant women and childbirth.  A "mucus plug", as it relates to the rectum, is to the best of my knowledge simply an accumulation of mucus in your rectum that forms a hard sticky ball that can become hard to pass (and may require an enema or suppository to break it down so it can pass). So it's not a man-made "plug" like anal sex plugs. I think what your doc was saying was that by removing your rectum you eliminate the possibility of your body creating a painful mucus ball (plug) that will be hard for you to pass.  But I could be totally off-base here.




Hi dehernash3

I too have not heard of a mucous plug, please forgive me for any naivete.  Is it possible that the doctor meant a build up of mucous can cause your recturm to get 'plugged' up?  Perhaps contacting your doctor for clarification would be helpful.


Hi dhernash3,  I am not sure exactly what you mean but this was all I could find about it.

Anal plugs are foam, cup-shaped devices that sit inside the rectum in order to prevent bowel leakage.

They are made from medical grade foam that is slightly absorbent but can allow air to pass through.

Individual plugs are covered in a dissolvable film which keeps the plug in a size and shape similar to a suppository or small tampon for easy insertion.

Once in the rectum, moisture from the lining of the rectum dissolves the film and the anal plug expands to a cup or mushroom shape.

They can stay in place for a maximum of 12 hours but must be removed in order to pass stool.

They have a string attached for easy removal.



Your colon, anus and rectum are mucous membranes; that is, they produce mucous in order to assist with the passing of stool. Have you ever noticed mucous coming from your stoma? If you have an ostomy, but still have a rectal stump, you still have that part of the mucous membrane that is trying to do its job, even though it doesn't need to anymore. Because stool never gets passed through the rectum/anus, there is no normal function that allows the mucous to discharge along with the stool. So, it can build up, and sometimes leak, or, if there is a stricture, build up and not be discharged, which can be painful. If you have had all of your GI tract below your stoma removed, there is nothing to cause a buildup of mucous below it, so you shouldn't have any problems with that. I had rectum and anus and part of my colon removed due to cancer; any issues I have had were related to radiation, not the buildup of mucous. The colostomy works just fine. Hope that's helpful.


Thanks Bob!


Thanks Bob!


I have an end ileostomy and had the whole colon, anus and rectum removed. No more mucous plugs but before when I still had my colon and anus/ rectum and I had a temporary ileostomy I was getting massive mucous plugs. I'd have to do enemas because the pressure was painful and when they would come out it was wet slimey and uncomfortable. The doctor explained it was because I still had my colon at that time. If you still have your colon I'm not real sure where it would go but be happy you don't have to deal with those things. They are a pain. 

* Please, do not post contact information, personal information or advertising.
All times are GMT - 5 Hours