Help with Sticky-Poo and Colostomy Struggles

Jun 02, 2022 2:03 am


I've had my colostomy for about three months and I'm still searching for what feels like it works for me. Here is what I know. I like a two-piece system and I have to have convexity. Now the sticky-poo issues. I'm having issues with pancaking almost all the time. I've tried lubricants, covering the filter, and trying not to have a waistband over my stoma. But given the location of my stoma, I'd be wearing paper bags and I work full-time with the public. I also hate it when the bag has poo stuck all down the inside. It makes me feel dirty.
One of my questions is about closed bags. I'm already using mini bags—long bags just have that much more poo stuck inside. Ick. My insurance will allow two closed pouches per day, but I'm having trouble imagining that would be enough. Three per day sounds more reasonable to me. Do people empty them?
I have so much difficulty that half the time I'm detaching the bag from the top to empty it.
I know it will get easier, but I'm so frustrated. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Jun 02, 2022 3:04 am

Hi, I'm new too. Mine was December 2021. I also use the two-piece system that is convex. Are you drinking enough water? Or is your diet high in carbs? I'm trying to think of the pancaking issue. I empty my bag from the bottom every time I use the ladies' room. Yes, that often, just to keep up with it, but I drink a ton of water. My doctor and ostomy nurses had told me in the beginning to empty often and at 1/4-1/3 full. Not sure if that is standard, but it works for me. A lot of this is just adjusting to the feeling of it. I know, I know, it is gross to feel, and so awkward to realize you have a bag of warm poo against your stomach and leg while around the public, but give yourself a break and permission to take time to adjust. Also, I tried many many different bag systems before getting somewhat comfortable.

Good luck and adjusting - I hope you find your answers!


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Jun 02, 2022 3:57 am

I have been pancaking a lot. I do eat a lot of carbs that will cause this. I tried a bag with a filter but did not like it because I find leaving a little air in helps. I also use a little baby oil to help it slide down in the bag. Sometimes I still have to use my thumb and finger on the outside of the bag to push it down. I sit as far back as I can on the commode and empty the bag from the bottom of the bag. You can use paper to clean the end of the bag and you can buy a box of gloves to use also. I keep a squirt bottle of water by the commode and hold the end of the bag open and squirt water in the bag. Be careful to roll the end of the bag up a couple of times and swish the water around. Then just hold the end of the bag back in between your legs and let it out. I know you cannot do this at work but just empty at work and clean the end then clean it when you get home. Best wishes

Jun 02, 2022 5:04 am
Reply to lovely

I use a one-piece drainable and I flush mine with water all the time, even at work. I would think a two-piece drainable would be basically the same.

Jun 02, 2022 5:51 am

Hello Jensdaisy.

I can relate to your predicament so well as these were the sorts of things I struggled with at first. I never did get the hang of bags, so I started irrigating. No more bags and no more of those problems. I won't pretend that irrigation doesn't have it's own problems, but they are nothing compared to managing a bag system. 

Think of the freedom that no output during the day would bring to your life and that is what irrigation could bring. 

There are plenty of videos about it on you tube and if you want to know more I'm sure there are many on this site who will be pleased to answer your questions. However, before you begin, I believe it is necessary to discuss the technique with a stoma medic, as not everyone is suitable for this procedure. 

These type of alternative approaches are well worth looking into

Best wishes


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Jun 02, 2022 10:45 am
Reply to colenemcclard

Hi, thanks for the response. I've been emptying almost every time I use the restroom as well. I figure if it's there, it can go. I appreciate the encouragement.

Jun 02, 2022 10:48 am
Reply to lovely

Thanks! You are the second person to mention carbs. I do eat a decent amount of them, but I drink a decent amount of water as well. I have pancaking regardless when the stool is formed or not.

Jun 02, 2022 10:50 am
Reply to Bill

Thanks! I've heard about irrigation. I think I need to wait a little longer to actually try it.

Jun 02, 2022 11:42 am
Reply to lovely

Perfectly described!

The baby oil is great advice! I was wondering about it. I currently use M9 and Brava lubricating and deodorizing drops or in my case squirts in my bag once I've emptied and cleaned out the bottom/roll/lock area. It seriously helps and keeps the smell to a very minimum if at all. If I'm going to eat a lot of eggs or something spicy that may smell more, I squirt in more. Your insurance should pay for some - so free! I'm all about that "Free" when it comes to this new way of life. Haha My current insurance pays for 4 bottles of lubricating deodorizer currently. I just started a new job and will have new insurance. I'm hoping it will be the same. I'm going to purchase the travel size lubricating deodorizer or trial sizes soon out of pocket on Amazon just to have the little sweet buggers to use at work.

Good luck!

Jun 02, 2022 8:30 pm

Jen, if you increase your fluid intake, water and lots of it, and other liquids, it will make your output thinner and easier to exit your pouch. Lubricants are probably a good idea to try, if you are not into increasing water consumption. I find that keeping my water intake up is all I need to do.