Managing Ostomy Bag with Weight Gain?


Hi, I'm Tom. I'm 51 and a wheelchair user due to spina bifida. My problem is that I've put a lot of weight on recently and can't see the stoma due to my stomach sticking out. I know I've got to lose weight, but in the meantime, how do I manage to change my bag? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


My only suggestion is to use a mirror.

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Just thinking out loud and not knowing how mobile you are and how active your stoma is.... Could you take your bag off, clean everything, and then lay down to apply your new bag? That way, your stomach would be flatter when applying your new bag.


I've never changed my bag. But I lay flat on my back and hubby changes it for me in about 5 minutes.

Reply to Renfromtexas

Really, never?

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Reply to Renfromtexas

Ren. You're the 1st person on this site who's posted something that's the same as me. Your spouse changes your system. My wife changes mine. Albeit, with my help. I lay flat on my back too. She puts a wafer in between a bean bag from the microwave for heat while we clean the skin around the stoma and prepare everything. I can change myself when I go out of town. My wife cuts out the shape of the stoma on numerous wafers for me. Thanks, Ren. I'm feeling better about my wife helping me.....

Reply to jalrein

Neither of you should feel bad or different for having someone else help or change your bag for you. Finding a system that works right for you is all that matters.


Yep..most of us are just have wonderful partners who are willing to help. It's just good to know how to do it yourself..because life always changes...and every caregiver needs a break.

Reply to AlexT

Nope. Firstly, because I also had a huge wound just next to the stoma area because of tumor removal, so I was unable to do it myself and also squeamish af. My husband doesn't mind changing it. It takes him all of about 5 minutes.

Reply to Maried

Main reason is I had a huge open wound opposite of my stoma which was packed and covered. Took 7 months to close. Now a little over a year on September 6th. Still not totally healed.

Reply to Renfromtexas

You really should try to change your own bag. If your hubby is not there, what do you do?

Reply to IGGIE

He has taken off work to care for me until after the reversal ileostomy surgery. Which will be happening pretty soon. Just waiting on the surgeon to let me know.

Reply to jalrein

I'm also fortunate to have my husband to help me also. I've had my ostomy for over 5 months and have only changed it completely myself a few times. We have our own small business and work out of our home, so we are together most of the time. I have only done it completely on my own a few times - when it was the middle of the night and I didn't want to wake him up. I purchased a long mirror for the back of our bathroom door, and I sit on a rolling adjustable stool in front of the mirror to change it myself. The rolling adjustable stool has been so helpful. I had a 12" incision that had issues healing, and I'm overweight, and sitting on the stool to empty my pouch was/is so helpful vs trying to sit or straddle the toilet (that killed my back and was tricky when my incision was still healing).

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