Stoma Output Sticking: Is This Normal?

Aug 20, 2023 1:07 am

Just a quick question since I'm new to all of this but my stoma output sticks to the stoma and doesn't always come down. It doesn't really “pancake” just doesn't all slide down and a bit is stuck right on the stoma. I drink a ton of water with my meals which helps. Does anyone have the same issue? Is this common and ok to stay like that until the next bag change? I'm afraid of infection or something happening to the stoma. Any info is appreciated!

Aug 20, 2023 1:57 am

Hey there, so I have a tendency to always be thick no matter what I do... just the way my body is. But I get my fair share of pancaking, lol. So, you want it to get to the bottom of your bag. When it sits there, it will eat away at your wafer. A good trick is to put a little air in the bag. If your bag is vacuum-tight together, it doesn't have room to flow down. And if you can push the output down to the bottom of the bag. They will tell you lubricant deodorant... but for me, it doesn't work. It might for you though.

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Aug 20, 2023 5:45 am

Put some baby oil in the bag after each empty. Not a lot, just a small amount will help it move down and empty easier.

Aug 20, 2023 7:05 am

Oh, I never thought of putting any in after emptying! Gonna try it, thanks!!

Aug 20, 2023 8:13 am
Reply to MoeMoe

Hello Moe Moe.
Output sticking to the red part of the  stoma might not be a problem because that is still part of the colon and is designed to tolerate output. However, the danger is when it touches the skin to which the stoma is attached, then it can be irritating to the point of causing damage. I couldn't find a satisfactory way to overcome this until I started making my own baseplates and experimenting with devices to guide the output to where it should go.  I know not everyone is adept at DIY but if you continue to have problems after you've tried the oils and sprays, then Salts Demacol stoma collars can be an alternative solution. They come in different sizes and fit snuggly and comfortably around the stoma (protecting it) and guide the output away.
Salts are very helpful at giving advice and sending out free samples so, it might be worth a try.
Best wishes


Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Aug 20, 2023 11:35 am

When I am at home, I fill a bottle (Bai Water bottles are very sturdy) with water and flush my bag every time I empty it. Then I squirt a small amount of baby oil inside the bag - at this point the bag is clean, as is the stoma, and the oil provides a slip-n-slide route down and out. JB

Aug 20, 2023 2:54 pm
Reply to MoeMoe

As Bill said, Salts Demacol stoma collars are excellent and I use them all the time and have no problem with leaks or burns. Make sure you get the right size though.

Aug 20, 2023 3:42 pm

I have output like that all the time. Put some warm water in the bag, close it, swish it around, and then empty. Then, add in some sort of lubricant.

Aug 20, 2023 7:24 pm
Reply to Beth22

I use that trick too by putting air into the bag. In the morning and night, I put in some warm water into the pouch and swish it around up to the stoma to get the stoma cleaned off. Just be careful not to put too much water and don't squeeze too hard or you might push the water outside the sides.

Aug 20, 2023 7:26 pm
Reply to IGGIE

Do you do that with a colostomy or ileostomy? I have an ileostomy and I find it gets too messy even with lubricating deodorant.

Aug 20, 2023 7:35 pm
Reply to Bill

I have never heard of this collar before. Do you get it through your provider?

Aug 20, 2023 8:54 pm
Reply to Redondo

Salts is a U.K. company, and I don't think their products are available in the U.S. We here in Canada can get them and I know in Australia they get them too. You could look them up on the Net, maybe there is a way.


Aug 20, 2023 10:43 pm

Note: Regarding use of baby oil. There was a scare recently regarding baby oil although I continue to use it in my bag - however in my youth - many years ago - my mom would give me mineral oil as a laxative…not sure if this might be safer to use than baby oil and probably less expensive - any thoughts on this? Just curious. JB

Aug 21, 2023 2:24 am
Reply to Justbreathe

Olive oil is a good alternative.

Aug 21, 2023 6:03 am

I swish with water all the time. I also do not put any lubricant or smell oil in the bag. All that does is loosen the appliance and causes sores around the loose appliance. I don't put on any adhesive either, or any other products other than the wafer and bag. But I do put on a second layer of protection by cutting 4 x 4.5 inch IV dressings in half and surround the 4 sides with them. Knock wood, I haven't had a blowout in a while and I sweat a lot and bend at the site all the time. As for the water, I use a plastic water bottle well marked next to my toilet and refill with tap water. And don't change your appliance too much. I get about 5 to 7 days out of a change and it keeps the area from getting overworked and burning. If it starts burning and itching, give it 2 hours to cool down. It could just be from something you ate. I've had 23 surgeries on my stoma over the last 13 years and I know how to heal a site fast, and playing with chemicals and lubricants are not the answer. I wash it in the shower and then dress it after drying it with a blow dryer. The best time to change is within your cycle. Pay attention to the times when you have no output and do it at those times. Your body will tell you... Good Luck and God Bless

Aug 21, 2023 7:59 am
Reply to jghandymann20


I have to say you have me beat with 23 surgeries on your stoma. I just had 7 in a year and a half and just had 3 back to back. May I ask why you have had so many on yours? Just curious as I have had numerous ones as well not as many as you though.

Aug 21, 2023 10:35 am

Hi MoeMoe. I'm from England and I'm 14 months on from my emergency colostomy. I had this problem almost from the beginning. The hospital prescribed Lactulose for me. It's a sugar syrup that works by helping the gut to absorb more water and thereby softening the output - it should be more like toothpaste!! It's a very gentle answer to this problem - depending on how much you take. I take 10 - 15 mls twice a day morning and night. Although I use a prescribed lubricant, it doesn't solve the problem and neither does baby lotion. Lactulose is something I couldn't do without - ever!! I've checked that it's available in the US and it is. We're lucky here in Britain as we get all supplies and prescriptions free on the NHS (don't believe anyone who knocks it), but I don't think it's too expensive over there. It's a bit of trial and error to find your dosage - too much and output is liquid, too little and it won't make enough difference but believe me it's the only thing that makes that difference. I really hope this helps you.
Indiathecat (Julie)

Aug 21, 2023 11:50 am

I agree with Beth and Redondo to let in some air. I drink a lot of water so I go to the bathroom often. I use a drainable bag, so while sitting there, I open the bag, let in some air, close the bag, and the material will drop down. Anything stuck behind the pancaked material then is able to move out as the vacuum is broken. I then reopen, empty if needed, or just remove excess air, close, and go about my business until next time. I don't use any lubricants or water in the bag either.

Aug 21, 2023 1:18 pm

Beth22 is right about a little air helps. We also use the deodorizer lubricant for my husband.

Aug 21, 2023 4:46 pm

I hate when the output is thick because it almost always ends in a leak due to the pressure, I guess, of it being 'stuck' there. I drink plenty of water.

Aug 22, 2023 8:23 pm

I had horrible pancaking for the first three months after my surgery—we tried different appliances, paste, rings, everything. The key that we finally discovered was lubricating the bag!! The oil emulsifies the output almost, making it flow into the bag wonderfully, instead of just sitting on the stoma and then vacuuming the bag shut. They sell “lubricant deodorant” packets, but honestly I just use 2 tsp/10 ml of vegetable oil (a cough syrup cup), but I've read that people use baby oil, or Pam, or whatever. I also blow just a tiny amount of air into the bag, so it doesn't glue itself together. That with a convex appliance and a fold over bag. I hope this helps! Best of luck!

Aug 23, 2023 3:01 pm
Reply to mandie.hendrickson712

It's amazing how “stuck” together a bag can get without some lubricant.

Aug 27, 2023 4:26 pm
Reply to Redondo

Hi Redongo, I have an ileostomy and the collar works great to direct the flow into the bag. But make sure you get the right size. Regards, IGGIE