Colostomy Catastrophe: My First Major Blowout!


I have had my colostomy for a year now and haven't had any major disasters with it until now. I have had a couple of leaks but never somewhere public. I was at work and all of a sudden I felt a gush and then a couple more gushes. I figured the heat from the record-breaking temperatures we have had all week may have loosened my stool and activated my stoma. I kept feeling more and more gushes of poo coming out. But then I felt the warm slimy stuff on my belly. OH sh!t! I ran to the ladies' room to check. And what a mess! The bottom part of the flange wasn't attached to my skin. The adhesive must have unstuck and I had all this gooey poo all over the inside of my pants and some of it on my shirt. And to make matters worse, my pants were white. I had extra pouches with me but no extra clothes. I prayed that no one would walk into the ladies' room as I ran out of the bathroom stall and grabbed a bunch of paper towels and wet them with some soap and water. I quickly ran back into the stall and cleaned my clothes the best I could. Luckily my shirt was long enough to cover the top portion of my pants that had brown spots. Thank goodness I only had an hour left of work before I could go home. But I was paranoid that someone would be able to smell poo when I walked by. So I watched the expressions on their faces as I walked by, and nobody seemed to be plugging their nose. Well, I learned my lesson. And from now on, I will bring extra clothes with me. And I think I will avoid wearing white!

I had many times of blowouts. I take the bus and people do notice and have moved away from me, which makes me paranoid. What can I do?

We've all been there, DH. Your points about white clothes and extra clothes are very well taken. I would add just one thing. When blowouts occur, it's usually because the adhesive becomes unstuck as you say; but why? In my experience, there's usually some explanation besides simple equipment malfunction. In one situation, I did not properly adjust the seat belt before a long drive. In another situation, I ignored apparent pancaking. Another time, I got carried away with the stomahesive powder and overapplied. I think it's important for us to learn from these experiences and not just chalk them up to misfortune. Constant vigilance is our best insurance against blowouts. Pardon me now while I make sure there's a little mileage left in my bag. PB

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I haven't had that happen to me in ages, well...had one this AM, woke up got out of bed went to the bathroom looked down and said to myself...looks like it isn't going to wait till tomorrow (I usually change the skin barrier on Sat, Sun or Mon). Thankfully I was home but it happens from time to time. Sweat (for me at least) is really a killer. Like Primeboy said, we have all been there...that oh sh!t (literally!) moment really stinks (I am just full of puns tonite). It gets easier, I've been an ostomate so long it's sometimes hard to remember those early days but browsing through many of the blogs and forum posts here sure bring back a lot of memories.

T point primo. DH, I would never wear white pants, hun.... But I think if you feel a small gush, go to the bathroom then, not when the shite hits the fan (pardon my pun too). If it feels wrong, get out to the loo straight away. I haven't had leaks for sooo long, and the sweat, I don't know. It would be a great question for a stoma nurse, which, given the chance, I will ask the one we work with if we are on the same time :) Mooza xx

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My most dreaded fear!!! Primeboy, please explain what you meant by saying you put on too much Stomahesive powder? Thanks

I sprinkle Stomahesive powder right around the stoma before I put on the flange. Once I was in a hurry to catch a plane and I rushed, putting too much on, and before I left home I had a blowout. The excess powder interfered with the adhesion of the flange.

I've had more blow-outs than I can count. I guess it comes with the territory.

I like to go long on wear time so it happens, but if I think it is coming off, I change. And I have done it in a public restroom and no one has ever said anything. I even had one ripped off at work, got hung up on a work table in the shop. Oh boy, that was like no pain I ever had with my stoma. Good luck and best wishes. Charles

I had a leak the first few days I was home from the hospital. The health nurse had been in on Friday to help me with appliance change, and on Sunday I could smell poop and soon realized it was me, not my grandson. I did not know at that time what to do, so I grabbed my little Hollister bag with my supplies and went to a walk-in clinic. I explained my problem, and they were more than willing to help. I do not know what caused it, but I sure pay attention now. At home or around town, I am leak-free. At work or any other activity, I use the stoma guard for added support. I also have issues with sweating in the heat.

So it looks like a lot of us have this same issue and found the help we need or fixed it. I hope we helped you DH and the ostomy community can keep helping and smiling. Best wishes to all and happy days to all. Charles. West coast.


I've been there DH. Luckily, I live pretty close to work and I usually wear dark suits. I just told my boss I had a prosthetic mishap and that I would be back in an hour. I use a SurFit appliance and you really have to double and triple check that the pouch is securely attached to the flange.

As an ileostomist, with very liquid waste, it is inclined to happen fairly often, but recently I was lucky enough to test some new products for Coloplast. They are introducing a stretchable adhesive, semi-circular extension to flanges. I think they make a brilliant backup for when you just get that first 'uh-oh' feeling and you suddenly have a friend in need that will last until you can sort the problem, about an hour. I keep one in my handbag now and my confidence has been increased dramatically. Try asking for a free sample towards the end of September. Best of luck to all, regards, Marilyn

I've had my Iliostomy since 2009 and had a few blowouts but nothing major. Mainly because I do anything within my power to keep it from happening. I use a one piece Coloplast Sensura (2 piece is just another chance for an accident) with a Hollister Adapt B-ring. If I know I will be golfing or exercising, I tape that baby down with some 3M Transpore waterproof tape (2 inch). Works great for me! Hope this helps! Good luck in the future.

Poor you! I've had no end of accidents, but always in the house so far. I live in dread! Pussycat, your post was interesting - I use Coloplast products through Charter Healthcare, and that extension thingy sounds good. I'll see if I can blag one when I do my next order - thanks for the tip! x

I recently changed to Salts ostomy one-piece appliance. They come from Great Britain. The flange is a soft malleable product that has fabric on the outside. It seems to stick better than the Coloplasts that I have been using. I use the opaque bags and they have a little window in the top of them that you can open up to see your stoma. Peek-a-boo!

OMG, it happened to me once in a shopping centre, just like you felt the warmth running down my legs. The clip had come undone, and all the contents emptied, and I ran out very quickly.

Been there, done that.

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