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Showering with a colostomy.


Everything I read says to be careful not to get your pouch wet, but no one has given me any explanation of how to accomplish this when showering. I'm a new ostomate and my "schedule" is not predictable enough to risk showering with my pouch removed! Any advice would be welcome.

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Hi---I use a shower cap (a good one), and tape around the sides with waterproof tape, throw the tape away after and reuse the shower cap the next time, I'm sure there are other suggestions out there------Meg
Hello dlgates....when I first got done not even the stoma nurse worried about getting it wet..I dont cover it at all....when I get out of shower,because the wet bag itself is annoying,I change the wet for a new bag.And just towel dry the wafer part as much as possible.Never have any trouble.Mind you,dont do what I first thought I had to do..They said to put the wafer part first(it should stay there for 5 days at least) then every day with your shower do a bag change...So I get in..take off bag(not the wafer),shower and clean the inside of the wafer(thinking I'm a quick learner)..and if that shower wasnt timed right,well what a tough job keeping it clean,(Mmm)lol...and then after towelling dry,put new bag on....and wonder why an hour or so later(sometimes less) I'd be having trouble and having to do a complete change again...Good luck with it.I use Mini shower caps,(made in material)they are good to get it up and out of the way, in times of need..I like to decorate mine, cheers Tara.

Actually from my experience there is not need to worry about getting the bag wet, I have an ileostomy. My stoma nurse advised that I should change the bag every other day, rather then every day as I thought orignally, which means you have to have a shower with the bag on, unless you change it everyday. The bag that I use is waterproof and I think this is the case for most bags if not all. I do cover the bag with a shower cap but there have been times when I didn't do that and its been  no problem. I normally change the bag after having a shower so it does not get wet straight away after putting it on.
Thanks for the advice guys. As soon as I can get a ride, I'll try to find an appropriate shower cap. I use a two-piece drainable system so generally shower at least two or three times between bag changes.
Hi dlgates, while your waiting to go for that drive,heres a little something that might help.Freezer bags and an elastic band or hair tie....Freezer bag over the pouch,then put the rubber band on or hair tie,will keep it as dry as till you find the others.Freezer bags became my best friend in the early stages.Because of the waste hitting the skin,it would be so inflamed I wouldnt be able to keep a wafer I'd lock my front door,get undressed and wafer off...then put the freezer bag over the stoma,then used the little sticky things,meant to go on the bag filter,to keep the freezer bag on me.As fiddly and yukky as this might served its purpose.My skin was able to have a bit of fresh air..and I wasnt continualy pulling a wafer off and making my skin worse.But be warned,if you let your best girlfriend in while doing this,as she seen it all before,but not this...well when she stopped laughing, I told her it worked like a gem,she said well thats all that matters...But I reckon she cant look at a freezer bag the same way ever again.lmao....Now the difference here is,what you have to do is not open the freezer bag but keep it closed up..What I did was open it..You only need to keep it all dry...So double strength will help you better.Hope this has helped for now, take care...Tara
I have an ileostomy & routinely get at least 10 days between wafer changes so have a lot of showers between changes. Just before stepping into the shower I remove my pouch & use the hand held shower to clean the wafer (best to shower before eating). After showering I towel dry the wafer & surrounding area (did I mention it's best to shower before eating?) then I snap on a fresh pouch. I use vented pouches so when I have to expose the pouch to water, as when swimming, I cover the vent hole w/ one of the little patches that come w/ your pouches. Basically the only real reason to avoid getting your pouch wet is that it will clog the vent system, also a wet pouch is uncomfortable & will wet your clothes.
Thanks, all! Mine is a colostomy and I use a drainable two-piece Convatec system--a wafer may with luck last a week but never more, and I change pouches twice per wafer or every three or four days. I'm interested in the reference to a protective patch for the filter because my supplies do not include anything like that.

Also, I've tried the freezer bag trick three times now but it always seems to slip before I'm done. Do you have to tighten it up around the underside of the flange? Maybe I shouldn't be trying to use the one with the handle on the zipper (Hefty bags) since that seems to get in the way... When things do get a bit wet, I stand in front of a fan or use a hair-dryer on lowest heat.

Since I live on the Texas Gulf Coast (between Houston and Galveston), right now I'm glued to the news because I may have to evacuate Hurricane Gustave in the next couple days or if not, bunk in a health care facility that has generators and extra cots, since I'm obviously not yet fully adjusted to ostomy maintenance. (In 2005 I was in New Orleans when Katrina came and had to evacuate with the natives. I got home and two or three weeks later had to evacuate before Hurricane Rita and was away for six days!)
I never did have very good luck with the freezer bags, but here is a link to the solution that has worked really perfectly for me: "Keeping your pouch dry" at "". I can highly recommend it as the cheapest and most effective solution both!

(Sorry, I'm apparently hot eligible to use html for links yet...)
Press and Seal wrap works for me.
I've had my colostomy for 28 months. In the beginning I was nervous. Now, for the first time in 3 years, I went swimming in the pool at Caesars LV. No problem!  I wore a belt to be sure, but the wafer (Convatec) stayed on after it dried. Showering, I don't get why everyone is so concerned. The wafer and bag gets wet and then dries off like everything else. It doesn't get loose nor fall off. I shower without the bag and wafer sometimes if I'm going to change it. I think it may be the appliance that you are using. I'm puzzled about the fuss.
hi yes i go swimming most weeks and have no problem at all it just takes longer to get the bag off with thw wet paste on skin after, i have colostomy and use dansac nova convex bags  theyre ok 4 me, i shower as normal . hope everyones ok   been to blackpool with daughter and grandaughter for few days  thats an expensive seaside resort in england for overseas members  but it was a nice change  darent go to top of tower tho   hate lifts  grandaughter did with her mum and shes only 5
I think it may depend on the system you use and what you are doing.  I use Esteem Synergy by convatec and love it.  However, the pouches have a flannel like finish that is hard to dry off (as does the flange I use).  I am prone to fungal  and heat rashes, so if I do not have a lot of time to dry off or if it is very hot out and heat rash is an issue it is sometimes easier to cover the pouch and flange when showering.
What are you using that you get 10 days?
Thanks everyone for the hair net suggestion!
I don't have a problem taking showers with the bag on.  I use one piece coloplast and all I do afterwards is take the hair dryer and dry the bag since it's made of material.  

If a bag keeps the wet in, then it keeps the wet out.I shower with the bag on.
When I change the bag, I prepare the new one,  remove the old,  shower,  protect the stoma with a wad of tissue whilst drying, then put on the new bag. Simple.
[quote="dlgates"]Everything I read says be careful not to get your pouch wet, but no one has given me any explanation of how to accomplish this when showering. I'm a new ostomate and my "schedule" is not predictable enough to risk showering with my pouch removed! Any advice would be welcome.[/quote: I use a two piece system andMy ET nurse told me it was Ok to shower with the bag off I've been doing it for a year and a half
I shower  and take baths with the bag on all the time.  Afterwards, I wipe the outside part with the towel to take off excess water then I dry it with the hair dryer.  I use Coloplast assura appliance and its opague and kind of material.  No problems there.



I don't see why there is any problem with getting the bags wet?  I always shower with mine off in the morning because that is when things are the most calm.  And if it happens to go,well at least it all goes down the drain to the sewer!!   and its one less bag change.  Sorry but I just hate dealing with it all the time.

I go swimming with my daughter all the time and I dont do anything special at all.  Just put on my suit.  I also go in the hot tub.   I have been very lucky with my colostomy.  I hardly ever have it leak.  I have had it the colostomy for 3 years and I think I have only had it leak from the wafer twice and that was always when I was sleeping at about 3am.

The new products shouldn't have a problem with getting them wet.
after showering, I pat dry the outer edge with toilet paper or tissue,and then take a long piece of toilet paper, and wrap it around the flange. then, I go and put on my underwear, and shave, breakfast, and by the time it is ready to leave the house, the toilet paper has absorbed the extra moisture, so I remove it and find the "cloth" part of the flange dry to the touch. It hot weather, I then apply an anti-fungal powder to it.
Hey everyone, I'm a brand new ostomate. I have an illeostomy, my ostomy nurse didnt make any reference to me needing to cover the bag, they are waterproof, the hollister two piece system. I just towel it dry after I get out of the shower. As far as for those of you who remove the bag to shower, a tip I was given by a long time ostomate, was to eat a handful of marshmallows about an hour before youre going to do so, same goes with bag and wafer changes. It helps stop up the flow. Just remember to eat them, and give it about an hour and then you should be good to go and will have no, or at least very minimum flow out of your ostomy. That should help with the mess in the shower if you like to shower without an appliance or take your bag off to keep it from being wet.
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