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Issues with colostomy bag leaking

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Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:40 am

I am new just 2 weeks my colostomy bag seems to leak at night time I have an incision right next to it.

I am using convatec with skin barrier and powder by the area which is red.  I am using eco seal.  I have an innie stoma.  I dry off wait till dry and set up my bag with wafer and eco seal.  I have a belt that connects to the bag.  I am at a loss can't sleep because afraid it will leak into the wound.  Is there anything I should avoid eating should I not eat at night time sometimes I pick 

Last edited by apheatter on Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:40 am; edited 1 time in total
Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:00 am

Look under Collections, Tips or Premium Content for history. Do you ware a belt or wrap? Everything must be dry when you put it on. Does it leak by the incision? Does it explode or just a little leak? Maybe barrier extenders might help. We need a little more to your story. What product are you using? Take care.

Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:20 am

Hi ap,

  You're asking a question that has many, many parts.  You have an "innie" stoma, so you must be using a convex barrier, right?  If not, that's the first thing you need to change. Next up is your "eco seal" I take that to mean a Convatec Eakin seal, right?  Ok, so assuming your using a convex barrier and an Eakin seal the next thing is to determine where EXACTLY it's leaking.  When you remove your barrier/seal take special note of where exactly it's leaking under the Eaking ring.  Your barrier will tell you everything you need to know, you just have to get used to "reading" it properly. You didn't mention using stoma powder or skin protective wipes, which you need to do if any part of the skin surrounding your stoma is damp or weepy.  You didn't mention how long you go between barrier changes, or if this is happening every night.  We need to know that.  Assuming you are changing your barrier every couple of days...........try removing it a day or two before it leaks and "read" the barrier and ring.  Also note how well it's adhering to your skin when you remove it.  It should still be good and stuck, and not simply pull off as if only your belt is holding it against your skin.  Also note if there are any skin folds or abnormalities in the region it leaks from.  The important part here is to change your barrier frequently when you have a leakage problem to prevent the damage to your skin getting out of control.  Skin irritation is much easier to treat if caught early.  So consider those points and get back to us with more info and questions.  

  In regards to sleeping.........I'm not sure what they told you about it in the hospital.  Obviously, you can't lay flat on your stomach unless you cut a hole in your mattress for the bag to expand into.  So that leaves sleeping on your side, on your back, or on your stomach but with a pillow under your torso right down to the bag, and your knee on your bag side pulled up. The pillow and your knee being up make a space under your bag for it to expand.  Just don't forget your positioning as your sleeping and let your knee slide back down or pull the pillow out.  Since you have a colostomy the option of irrigation is a possibility for you, and folks on here see it as a Godsend.  I have an ileo, so I can't comment either way.  But those folks will hopefully chime in and offer you some good suggestions regarding irrigation.  It might be all you need to solve your problem.  I'll leave it at that for now. Shout back with your thoughts and any new info you have for us regarding your problem. Irrigation folks.............over to you! 




Mon Dec 14, 2020 2:32 pm

Hello Apheatter. 

Bob seems to have covered most of the points that need to be covered for now. It is unlikely that your medics would recommend irrigation for at least 6-8weeks post operation, so you still need to take notice of the advice people are giving with regard to your immediate problem.  In any case, unless you are very fortunate with regard to irrigation, it is as well to have all the problems with the bags covered before you reach that point, as you might need to revert back to bags periodically. 

Having said that, I would highly recommend irrigation at the earliest opportunity, and there are a number of useful youtube videos explaining what that is all about.

As for 'bag' leaks, I tried all sorts of different things, but eventually made my own baseplates to suit 'my' needs.

They are not difficult to make, but need a lot of 'tweaking' to get them to work for my specific requirements. So, I would suggest you try all the manufacturer's 'freebies' before embarking on a DIY route, as very often there will be something already out there, which will save you a lot of time, thought, energy, and frustration overcoming mistakes  before you come up with something that suits you.

I sorted my bedtime leaking problem partly by purchasing a new bed, which elevates both feet and head. This keeps me effectively lying on my back in one position all night. ( a bit like a hammock ) Not a position for everyone  but it suits me for three main reasons:

1)  It allows the flow of output from the stoma to enter the 'bag' without obstruction. (The night-bag in my case is a folded irrigation sleeve - which is huge as a bag). 

2) I have sleep apnoea and this position helps keeps the nasal pads in the right position all night - so I GET A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP. 

3) I suffer with a hiatus hernia and this position prevents severe reflux without having to take medication for that purpose. 


I hope this is helpful, but I also hope that others have more suggestions as to what you can try regarding the leakages. 

Best wishes


Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:36 pm


some great advice has already been given.  I have 2 cents to add. In all fairness I have been reversed but I had several issues when I still had my colostomy.  
my colostomy was very close to my midline incision and I had a lot of difficulty with leaking into my incision.  I started with advice from my ostomy nurse and we straightened out some of the issue by using no-sting adhesive skin prep,  we would apply the adhesive let it dry and apply it a second time and let it dry.  I tried using powders for some redness/irritation and had more leaks which caused more irritation.  My main problem was the close proximity of my stoma to midline incision.  I would ALWAYS leak towards my incision.  My nurse could not figure a way to keep it from leaking.  I am a DIY type person and I eventually tried cutting my wafers off set (cut the hole closer to the incision thereby offsetting the wafer away from my incision) and I never had a leak again.  I do admit it took some time to get my technique down but it worked for me for many months.  I also made sure to apply pressure by hand or with a support belt for several hours after a change.  

my ostomy nurse liked my offset cut in my wafer and has been using it with many of her patients as it has worked well for most patients whose stoma is close to their incision. I think laying flat on your back also reduce leaks.  
I hope this helps some!


good luck, stay with it, I certainly struggled at first but eventually I had a routine that worked for me


Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:24 am

Hey Apheatter,

Great advise already given but sometimes less is best! 
I have no skin issues, never have. I may just be lucky or it may be from not using all those powders, creams, barrier seals, etc. I have not had a leak in several years.  I do know they work with people that have issues so maybe the thing is to use them only when you have issues and try without them when the issue is resolved. 
You may want to get some free samples of pouch systems from Convetec, Coloplast and Hollister to try things that might work better for you. Sometimes it is the material in the barrier that causes problems. Maybe the adheasive.  I was give the worst possible pouch system In the hospital! It took me a while to find what worked and that is a Convetec two piece. I can also use the Coloplast two piece but hate the click system they have. 
i do irrigate and it is a wonderful option for those with a Colostomy. I would certainly check with your Ostomy Nurse or surgeon. You need to be completely healed In order to do it but it will change your life. Brings back some normalcy and there are no leaks to worry about.  
When that time comes, I will be glad to give you some pointers that works well for me. Everyone is different so you have to find your own sweet spot there! 



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