New to all this, ? on how long I can leave it on


At the two month mark with my colonostomy and still have ?s.

They told me to change the whole thing every four that standard?

I have had issues with the waxy ring, sometimes stuff leaks through.  So, when it's working right, I get leary of messing it up again.

Having a hard time adjusting to all of this, but it SHOULD be reversed in four months.  That is the only thing keeping me from loosing it.

I have been having serious health issues for about a year, still undiagnosed.  Then in December I end up with diverticulitis and the ostomy.  Then a major spleen infection.  Somewhere along the line, I seriously pissed off Karma. :)


welcome bobbie.

understood abt karma.

i don't think its that.

u have any family history of this or family medical complications? 

u can lean on us. 

i have an ileo.. i do not change it in 4 days. nope. when it leaks i change it..

what appliance do u have?  a one piece or two piece?  drainable? are u wearing a mounting plate belt?

over time u will know the max wear time. trial and change it.

other "colostomies" ..rather osties...will chime in with better advice.


sit tight. do chk the messages and reply.

we got you. we get it.🤠



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Hello Bob

Change it when you have to/ want to. It's a simple as that.


Hello BobbiesZoo.

I agree with Axl on this one. My situation is a little different inasmuch as I make my own baseplates, so my bags last for months. However, the principle remains the same in that I only change them when necessary.

Best wishes



It is not bad advice given you are at the 2 mo. mark and still not sure of your management of the stoma. There are a number of factors that may affect how long you may keep it on. For example ConvaTec recommends that you remove their ease strip flange extenders after 72 hours. Similarly Eakin seals will start to weaken after a certain amount of time. Pancaking can also shorten the length of time you can keep the wafer on. Your anatomy and where the wafer is located also affects how long you can keep it on.  If you were advised at the hospital to replace it after 4 days, I would stick with their advice until you understand stoma management better. To enhance your chances of a reversal requires you to take very good care of your stoma. Incidentally I have a colostomy and change my wafer every 4 days. 

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

Asothers have said, it really depends on you. I use a 2 piece Hollister system for my colostomy and I can typically get about 3-5 days between flange changes. So, 4 days seems about right. That said, I change mine when it is showing signs that it is going to leak and not so much based on time. I have been able to get 7 days between changes a few times. Good luck.


Welcome . Education is key on this new journey of yours.   I suggest you check out UOAA, United Ostomy Association of America. It’s our National organization.  Also , .  You will learn about foods, blockages, skin care, clothing , Ostomy products, travel, activities , and a whole host of other tricks of the trade.   You might also want to check out a local support group near you .  Just remember you are not alone on this new journey of yours. Wearing a pouch does not define whom you are.  There are solutions. We’re here for you . Best of luck. 



I have a colostomy.  Use 2 piece Hollister system.   Change wafer every 7 days.  Have stretched it to 9 days when I'm lazy.  No skin problems doing that.  Change bags when they get really soiled.  Discovered I can go 7 days same bag.  I use a barrier ring.   Washing out a bag with water will extend use.

It's good to know how long.  Insurance or Medicare could change their policy... so you might have to stretch supplies.

I thought my ostomy was temporary....  Nope.  Permanent addition to my life.

Mysterious Mose

Ileostomy here. I try to get at least 7 days on a barrier. If I start to get that tell-tale itch, I will change sooner. I found that the barrier rings were more prone to seepage, so opted for a convex barrier. I have one low spot that is prone to leaks and, for the most part, the convex wafer has solved that issue. For now.

I think all got the "every 4 days" talk. In an ideal world, that is certainly better for the peristomal skin. Especially if you can get those naked showers at the same time. But in the real world, I think we all would like to delay the changing task as long as possible. :-)



Hi Bobbie,  When you are a new ostomate, there is a big learning curve, so your doubts are natural.  A good thing to do is try several different appliances, different brands, different flanges, ie, flat versus convex, one piece or two, using a barrier ring, or not, etc, etc.  All the suppliers are happy to send you free samples to try.  With a colostomy (versus an ileostomy) getting a week's wear time is not unusual, so you may well be able to stretch it out.  Making sure your application process is good will make a big difference.  Before you apply a new appliance, make sure your skin is clean and really dry.  Before you apply the flange, it's helpful to give it a 30 second blast with a blow dryer.  Remove the backing and use the dryer on it just before applying to your skin.  Hold it in place firmly for a good minute or two (I usually count 90 seconds at least).  This one step made a huge difference for me.  Good luck, you'll get there!



I am fairly new to this, am learning as I go.  My boyfriend is getting better at adhering things, but still not comfortable going beyond 4 days.  When she lets loose, she lets loose.  I will say the barrier rings have had things last a bit longer.  I am still not comfortable letting things go too long.  For me; 4 days max.


Before it stinks and or  leaks..and everyone is different..looks like the average is 4 days( but you can go longer or shorter..its really up to you). I have a colostomy one piece bag..I change almost daily due to the smell..I guess colostomy has alot more smell then a ileostomy.


Thanks for all the replies.  No family history of any of this.  I am also the only one on either side with type 2 diabetes.  Seriously would not be surprised to find out I'm adopted. :)

Using a Hollister 2 piece, no belt.  One thing I found help smooth out the area around by deep inny bellybutton was to cover it with a blister bandaid.

I will be checking out those sites mentioned, thanks again.


Hi Bobbie!  This will be the first tme I am going to have mine on 4 days!  Very nervous about it, but have seen no signs yet of leaking.  I will defefintely be changing tomorrow evening.    My boyfriend changes my bag, he is getting better at smoothing things out, which I think has helped.  I am going to pack some supplies for work tomorrow just in case.

Reply to Maried

hii ..

this is in response to ileo vs colo stomies- bags, and smell.

i respectfully disagree..speaking strictly as an ileo  myself,  I would think a new thread or topic should be made just on this subject.

to get others to chime whether  fact or fiction. my vote is fiction.

our bags stink for a reason.

Smells come from leakage.  also there is likely a smell from a lingering,  porous   bag failed properly clean..

transfer smells too. a stink that sticks altho not a physical leak.

like  cigaret  stink on a jacket.

there are many products available to reduce bag smell. one being M9... I have just started using M9 bc of emptying the bag so often , the stink wanders throughout the house. Quite embarrassing with company over..


and the barrier rings to improve sealing..and the mounting plate bracket with a belt serves me well.

i cant imagine either ileos or colos   needing to replace the appliance on a daily basis due to stink..unless a leak. 

and the shit storm begins in..3...2...1..





In my personal experience, my colostomy hardly smells.  Provided wafer and bag are properly, securely sealed.  My wife only complains if I burp the bag in the house.  That... leaves a mark! 

As such... I totter to the garage to burp it. Cars don't seem to mind.  And there are less spiders now... bonus.


G-Day Guys,  I have an Ileostomy and I must be very lucky as I don't have a problem with smalls. I must add before someone points it out that my nose does work. I religiously change my two piece Hollister with a convex base every Monday and every Friday. I can not remember when I last had a leak but I put it down to the sealing washer I use which is the "Salts Seal with Collar" see photo. I might be lucky but I wish my luck on all of you. Regards IGGIE

Reply to IGGIE

I have a colostomy and I change my appliance every Tuesday and Saturday. I use Eakin Slims along with my appliance. I tried ostoform but it doesn’t work well with solid/semi-solid stool. It along with collars tend to work better with liquid stool.

Reply to Maried

Hi Maried,  I have to agree with Warrior on this one.  If you are experiencing a stink, it means there is a problem, ie, a leak about to happen, a not properly secured appliance, or an appliance that just doesn't fit properly for you.  Have you never found a set-up that would give you more than a day or two?  It must be a huge pain to have to change so often!  As to whether colostomies or ileostomies stink more, I can say that my experience, having had both, is that there really isn't any difference.  I believe that what determines whether your poop smells or not, is diet, period.  I remember when I first got my ileo, and the ostomy nurse in the hospital came to help me change my appliance, I remarked that there wasn't any smell.  I realize now that it was because all I was eating was really bland hospital food.  As soon as I got home and started eating my normal diet, that totally changed.  I eat lots of garlic, onions, cruciferous vegetables, beans, eggs, spices, etc., and my poop really stinks!  It did when I had the colostomy and it does now.  I only smell it when I empty or change my appliance and I go a full week between changes.