Eating Popcorn After Ostomy Surgery: Experiences and Advice?

Jun 02, 2024 1:13 am

I just had my ostomy surgery a few months ago. I'm starting to eat again as I used to. What is your experience with popcorn? Does it cause any problems?

Jun 02, 2024 2:54 am

Welcome. Since you are eating again, I'm sure someone, your doctor or stoma nurse, may have mentioned "chew, chew, chew"?

So, with that in mind, regarding popcorn, try it. A little bit.

Some members don't have issues. Others do.

Popcorn should be the least of your worries.

Eat in moderation. See how it affects you. Everyone is different. Just be careful inhaling foods, thus... chew, chew, chew.

My experience as an 8-year ileostomy patient is I don't even try it. No thanks. No interest in it.

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Jun 02, 2024 3:24 am

Colostomy or ileostomy?

Jun 02, 2024 4:27 am

Well... do you have an ileostomy or colostomy?

Basics: Eat a little; chew... chew... chew. Chew until the popcorn is like liquid, then swallow.

I eat popcorn all the time. I get a small bag at the movies. Chew the hell out of it. Lasts for the whole movie.

Next day... The digested popcorn comes out like cement. Really thick. I don't even try to drain the bag. I just snap on a new bag. (I use a 2-piece Hollister system).

I'm not sure what would happen with an ileostomy. It's easier to get a blockage, which hurts like hell and usually requires immediate medical attention in the emergency room.

So... try a couple of small handfuls of popcorn. See what happens.

Jun 02, 2024 5:10 am

No more than a handful for me at a time.

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Jun 02, 2024 10:15 pm

As above. A little popcorn is fine. If you eat a jumbo bag, you run the risk of getting obstructed. That goes for nuts and other foods that are hard to digest. Chew well and drink plenty of fluids. Be careful with salads. If you don't chew salads well, especially the stems, you can get obstructed. Getting obstructed is not a big deal and usually can be relieved by irrigation.

Jun 03, 2024 12:32 am
Reply to warrior

Thank you. I gave it a try and everything is okay. 👍

Jun 03, 2024 12:34 am
Reply to aTraveler

I have an ileostomy. Getting used to it.

Jun 03, 2024 2:11 pm
Reply to shealtiel.duran

Since you have an ileostomy, popcorn is more difficult for you to digest. If you must eat popcorn, eat it in small amounts. When you eat a large amount of popcorn, it can clump together. It then gets stuck in the small intestine, causing a blockage.

Even when eating in small amounts, you should chew it until it becomes mushy. It is easy to have lapses with popcorn where you just chomp and swallow — this can lead to a blockage just waiting to happen.

Jun 03, 2024 4:15 pm
Reply to shealtiel.duran

Good day, Shealtiel Duran, if I were you, I wouldn't eat popcorn if you have an ileostomy. But if you have to, then chew it thoroughly. Regards, IGGIE

Jun 04, 2024 12:39 pm

I'm not sure I get it completely. I have a colostomy. My doctor told me last week to eat whatever I want and ate before. Since then, I have had corn on the cob. One piece and I chewed the crap out of it. I didn't even notice any on the other end.

Anyway, why?

If someone has a colostomy, why can they eat more than someone with an ileostomy? I have small intestines that the food needs to progress through.

Jun 04, 2024 2:11 pm
Reply to luvram13

The stoma for an ileostomy is smaller than that of a colostomy — the diameter of the small intestine is much smaller than that of the colon. The problem occurs when going through the abdominal wall; this is where the blockage usually occurs because the opening is much smaller. Remember, the stoma is sutured to this wall, and there may even be some adhesions here, further restricting the opening.


Jun 04, 2024 2:20 pm
Reply to aTraveler

Oh, okay, that makes sense.

Jun 04, 2024 2:22 pm

A traveler is correct.

Also, someone with a colostomy will digest food more thoroughly. The colon removes water from digesting food passing through as bacteria break down the remaining material.

Jun 04, 2024 8:54 pm
Reply to luvram13

This also confused me when I first got my colostomy... I got the same advice as you from my surgeon - eat whatever I want. Yet, I kept hearing about blockages from the wound nurses and other staff, so I had to research things myself. It took me a while to figure it out. :)

Jun 06, 2024 5:17 am

Just enjoyed a small popcorn, no butter, tonight at the movies. Sometimes... you just gotta have it.

I'll "pay" for it tomorrow. But, that's another day.

Jun 08, 2024 5:14 pm

Chew! I never ate a lot of it, but when I grabbed a few handfuls, I chewed the heck out of it!

Newbie Dana
Jun 08, 2024 9:50 pm

I don't eat it because I can't get through the chew, chew, chew stage. I always grab and gulp, especially when I'm not paying enough attention. And then I suffer. For me, it's just best not to deal with it.

Jun 08, 2024 11:20 pm

Popped sorghum is fine; it's very small and I call it popcorn with a pituitary problem. It's pricey when bought online already popped, but you can get it inexpensively at some Indian grocery stores. Popping it in an air popper doesn't work too well because it's very light and just comes out. What is good for us


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is that it has no hull, so there's nothing to block up.

Jun 09, 2024 5:02 am
Reply to anyark

Wow! I have lived in farm country most of my life and knew of sorghum being grown but thought it was used for cattle feed. I had no idea the seeds could be "popped." Must try.

Jun 09, 2024 11:49 am
Reply to Newbie Dana

"Grab and gulp." 😆 I call it inhaling food. (Insert vacuum noise)

I like that image, though... grab and gulp... Used to do it pre-ostomy... not anymore...

Like you, it's best not even to deal with popcorn.

Jun 09, 2024 1:44 pm
Reply to Beachboy

4 years post-op ileostomy at Mayo. My surgeon and ostomy nurse said corn is the most dangerous thing I could eat. I'm from Iowa, "the Tall Corn State." Bummed out, but not going to chance it. Read online about a few ostomates that ended up in the ER, in pain! Chew chew chew.

Jun 09, 2024 9:08 pm
Reply to MizNola

I cook and eat sorghum, chew thoroughly, and enjoy it. Add butter, salt, and pepper - yum. I have also purchased it popped and enjoyed it.