Does My Ostomy Bag Look Bad?

May 21, 2024 12:27 am

I changed my ostomy bag today… tell me, does this look bad?


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May 21, 2024 2:55 am

I'm not a peristomal skin expert, but you need a stoma revision procedure. A surgeon can pull out your stoma so it stands above your skin level. About an inch long is good. Yours is level with your skin, allowing output to infiltrate around your stoma instead of falling directly into the bag. This could be the cause of the skin irritation surrounding your stoma. Consult with a surgeon or ostomy nurse for their expert opinion.

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May 21, 2024 2:56 am


May 21, 2024 3:54 am

Hi Khar,

What Beach said. Your stoma is an "innie" and definitely needs to be an "outie." Should be a simple thing to do as long as there's no adhesions or other reasons your bowel can't be slid out a bit. The sooner you get that taken care of, the better. You're lucky you don't have more severe problems than you do. Get at least two opinions (from different surgeons) and make sure they agree. If not, get a third opinion and go with the consensus. I'd be hesitant to use the same surgeon who gave you that stoma in the first place... but that's just me. Let us know how you make out!


May 21, 2024 5:47 am

I don't know if your stoma is always at that level; it could rise and fall. It's hard to imagine the surgeon not putting it at least to skin level. You, at a minimum, need a convex wafer. Contact Coloplast, ConvaTec, and Hollister about getting samples of convex wafers. A convex wafer will push down on your skin around the stoma, thereby lifting it up. Your skin is definitely irritated. There are also convex barrier rings you could try.

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
May 21, 2024 11:50 am

I'm with what everyone else said; you need a revision and I wouldn't go back to that surgeon either! In the meantime, a convex wafer will help protect your skin some.

I had a revision about 2 months ago and that surgery was a piece of cake, absolutely nothing close to the pain or recovery of the bowel resection & ostomy creation.

Best of luck!

May 21, 2024 5:01 pm
Reply to Kas

My stoma is flat and oval. When I had my cancer surgery, cancer was not on my stoma, and when I got home and changed my bag, it was. So, the doctor removed the cancer growth on my stoma in the doctor's office. I go for a revision of my stoma on June 13. Hopefully, no more cancer.

Your skin around the stoma looks sore/inflamed. Try skin prep and powder to heal the skin before putting the wafer and bag on.

May 21, 2024 5:24 pm

Yes, looks irritated.

You may be waiting too long to change it or using the wrong products or methods.

Mysterious Mose
May 21, 2024 8:31 pm

I agree with what others have said about a revision.

Also, it looks like you are maybe using a flat wafer? If so, have you tried convex? Like me, you look to have enough flab around the stoma to be able to force the peristomal skin down around the stoma with a convex appliance. You may also want to try a moldable barrier ring with it. You are quite obviously leaking.


Jen Fo
May 21, 2024 8:45 pm
Reply to Beachboy

Can you try using a convex bag? I have a similar issue with mine. I also used barrier strips to help with the leaking. I'm by no means an expert, but I would ask about the 'crusting' around your stoma. You may need to adjust how big your opening is based upon stoma growth. Based on your pics, I'd ask for the convex bag from Hollister, and regauge your stoma once a week for a better fit. I'd also look into having an adhesive remover. Basically, prep for the bag change, get everything ready before you remove. I personally like to shower and use the adhesive remover just before showering to ensure there's no leftover powder or barrier ring left. Let me know if what I wrote needs more info. I'm attempting to multitask at the moment. Take care!

May 24, 2024 3:43 am

Hey, you seem to have retracted, and I would suggest having a revision done to pull it out. One of mine actually looked just like that. You don't want the skin to get more irritated, your bags won't end up sticking, and it hurts horribly when the skin gets so eaten away. I am sorry it happened to you.

May 26, 2024 4:58 pm

If you're thinking of revision but while you're waiting for that, call Convatec and ask for samples of Active Life convex bag. My stoma is as flat as yours and this Active Life is one of the only hard convex bags available. I use a Hollister Cera ring with it and nothing else.

Also think of changing more frequently as well. The flat stoma is challenging.