2 piece illeostomy-take off bag to clean stoma after emptying?

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The forum discussion is about whether it is necessary or recommended to clean around the stoma after emptying the bag in a two-piece ostomy system.

I have a 2 piece system with my illeostomy. Occasionally after I emptying my bag I take off the bag and clean the stoma and around it to keep output clear. Is this bad to do? My ostomy nurse said it's not something that's recommended but it's ok if im VERY careful when cleaning, etc. I just see output around my stoma in the space on the wafer where the plastic breaks down. I feel better doing this and I'm wondering if their might be an alternative or if others do the same?

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Hi Jalrein some people pour a little water in their pouch after emptying and swish it around to clean up but me personally i,ve never done it in 30 some years of having an ilieo., now the opening at the bottom of the pouch i make sure there is no output left before i close it up.

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister

Hi Jelrein, after I empty the bag I wipe round the opening with a tissue and then pour about 1/2 cup of water in every time and close it up and swish it around and it keeps everything nice and clean. then just open up and let the water out and re seal the bag, all done in about 3 minutes.


I also have a two-piece system, but I've never done what you describe and it has never been a problem.  Perhaps if you're having pancaking issues it might help, but otherwise I don't see it as necessary.


Can't see how it could harm your stoma think your ostomy nurses is probably more worried it could become an OCD problem in the future.

I always think there's no right or wrong way just whats right for you, you feel better in yourself taking bag of and cleaning stoma it makes you feel more comfortable and confident that sounds a good enough reason to carry on doing it to me.

Some use a small bottle or container to wash inside bag out after emptying, I've never done that myself or your way but I can't see anything wrong with either way if it makes you/them happy thats all that matters in my book.

Reply to IGGIE

Thanks for the answer. I'm gonna give your method a try. I just see my stoma as having mucus, output on it and I think I should keep it clear and clean, that's why I do it. I think this water method might be better than occasionally taking off my bag and cleaning around stoma...

Reply to jalrein

I used to take a water bottle in the public restrooms to flush the bag out; I didn't use it for drinking water so having it near the bag opening wasn't an issue. Seems like a lot of people pack around bottles of some sort nowadays so it was discreet when going into the bathroom, and the flat bottom made it easy to sit somewhere in the bathroom stall. Nobody was the wiser unless they heard me "splashing" in the toilet next to them:)

For home I used an ostomy bottle cleaning kit that was handy, it really helped flushing around the stoma and was inexpensive. Didn't do either of these every time, but did like to have the ability to flush periodically for my perceived need to do so.


I have the same blue bottle and use it after swishing very warm water several times. My output is generally thick and I have to manipulate it to empty into bag. Often I need warm water to help move it along. Because I have IBS, this can take up to an hour before finished.
Fortunately, this is routine in the morning. When finished, I'm good until the next morning.
My first anniversary was this past November and I'm beginning ;to relax a bit about not having a really clean bag.


I completely relate to this instinct! If I want to change out the bag I usually take some gauze or Viva paper towel (cheap and soft!) and run it around the plastic ring, cleaning off a bit of the puffed up barrier ring in the process. I don't worry about getting the whole thing clean and I don't really touch the stoma, I just clear out what might get messy while the bag is off / as I put the new bag on. Then I use a wipe on the outer ring just to contain everything and click the new bag on. My stoma nurse reminds me that the stoma is made of tissue designed to be in contact with your output all the time, so it's no problem. She also suggested I not rinse the bag as it can compromise the wafer's adhesion to my skin, though I see a lot of people in the comments who manage this just fine if it would make you feel better.


What you are doing is not necessary. I would get an opaque bag and change the bag when you change your barrier. Follow the instructions of your ostomy nurse.


I used closed end bags, so I always clean around the stoma and the connector whenever I change the bag.

If a bag change aligns with a shower, when I'm not changing the wafter also, I will shower with no bag on, and use that water pressure to clean all around the wafer really good.

Been doing that for 20+ years without issues.


hey, I have a colostomy so I know we face different issues but I also use a two piece system. After every time I change my bag (1-2 times a day) I always clean around my stoma, I use gauze, qtips, anything to make sure the skin is clean and won't get irritated. My stoma nurse recommends this. Either way ileo or colo a stoma is a stoma so I would say you're probably fine :)


I have an iiliodyomy and also wear a 2 piece system. My nurse says yes, when you take the bag off, use a piece of paper towel to clean around the stoma and lip of the appliance with tap water. Never reuse a used bag. Have you looked into the bags that you could empty by squeezing out the output, clean the opening and relock. I switched and I find it much easier , safer and cleaner. I could empty in any bathroom all I need is Clorox ;wipes and toilet paper and gloves. Good luck

Reply to darick

"If a bag change aligns with a shower, when I'm not changing the wafter also, I will shower with no bag on, and use that water pressure to clean all around the wafer"

Well, I have a drainable pouch, but otherwise...

Me, too!


Hi, jalrein!

Yeah, I do this, too, especially when my supply is running low and I'm awaiting a delivery of pouches.

No problems.

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