Bathing Tips for Stoma Care

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Grammaof4Boys
Jul 10, 2011 7:50 am
Hello!

I'm sure this topic has come up before, probably before I was a member. Can anyone tell me easy ways to bathe? LOL. You'd think I'd know by now for I've had my stoma (ostomy bag) for a little over 2 years. I used to enjoy taking my baths, but now take showers with a handheld showerhead. I hate it! My bag still gets all soaked, and since I don't have a bowel anymore, I can't take the bag off for I am forever filling it up, and certainly don't want what comes out of it all over. I figured maybe someone has some great tips where I'd enjoy a bath or shower again rather than dreading it. I'd appreciate any info. Thanks so much!
Take good care!
Linda
MarkP
Jul 10, 2011 10:42 am

I have spa baths with my ileostomy bag still attached, no worries. The only thing is you have to empty it before your bath, so empty of solids and air. The life of the base plate is shortened as the water affects all the edges, but I don't mind changing a base plate early and enjoying a spa bath. I have also just been sent some mini caps from Coloplast for trial, which will hold about 50ml to 100ml, so they will last about an hour in the bath but are very small and have been told they are good for swimming too. As far as the shower goes, I have a 2-piece click system, so I empty the bag, then remove the bag and leave the base plate on, and have what I call a nude shower. If Mick (my stoma) works a little, it will just go down the plug and you shower as normal. The only thing is I have to have some paper towel ready when I exit the shower, so if Mick starts, I can cover him until I dry around and above the base plate and attach the bag to the base plate. No doubt other site members will have their ideas as well.

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sooziq
Jul 10, 2011 5:36 pm

I have had an ileostomy for 33 years and take a bath every night, swim, and get in the ocean. No problem. In hot weather, the appliance may not last as long. I get 4 to 7 days of wear. I have always used Marlen pouches and seal tight gaskets in a two-piece system.

butterfly48
Jul 10, 2011 6:41 pm

I also have been missing the complete showering and baths. Recently, I started to use these rubber undies (pants). They're not comfortable, but they seem to keep my bag dry. That way, I can still shower most of my body. Having an ileo does not give me the luxury to be without the bag before the stoma becomes active. I have noticed, though, it is so much better to change everything in the morning when the stoma is not as active. Has anyone tried a hot tub? I don't know how long one should stay in and how it would affect the stoma. I haven't ventured out into a swimming pool yet either. - Butterfly 48

n4christmas
Jul 10, 2011 7:24 pm

Hi there, I have had an ostomy for 28 years and on reading the entries about people not wanting to get their bags wet is something I don't understand. I use a Convatec 2-piece system and I do cut away the top plastic outside liner that Convatec started adding on the plastic so people don't have to wear a cover. I found the top plastic holds the water and it is hard to get dry so I take blunt nose scissors and cut the top piece away on all of my bags and that works great. It is no problem getting a bag wet, when you get out of the shower or tub, just blow the top and bottom of the bag with the hairdryer and by the time you are ready to dress, everything is dry. Maybe other systems there is a problem getting them wet but it is no big deal with the two-piece Convatec system and I change everything every 5 days. NAW

 
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n4christmas
Jul 10, 2011 7:25 pm

Hi there, I have had an ostomy for 28 years and on reading the entries about people not wanting to get their bags wet is something I don't understand. I use a Convatec 2-piece system and I do cut away the top plastic outside liner that Convatec started adding on the plastic so people don't have to wear a cover. I found the top plastic holds the water and it is hard to get dry so I take blunt nose scissors and cut the top piece away on all of my bags and that works great. It is no problem getting a bag wet, when you get out of the shower or tub, just blow the top and bottom of the bag with the hairdryer and by the time you are ready to dress, everything is dry. Maybe other systems there is a problem getting them wet but it is no big deal with the two-piece Convatec system and I change everything every 5 days. NAW

Immarsh
Jul 10, 2011 8:14 pm
Hi all,

I have had my ileostomy for more than 40+ years, and have always bathed, showered, gone to the beach, ocean, pool swimming with virtually no thought or concerns. I too wear a 2-piece convatec.....and just to let you know, they are available without that extra cover on top.....but it still has it on the bottom. It does hold in water so I too cut it off.

I use tape around the flange, but "scanpoor" is like a second skin and dries quickly. Very long hot baths or long sessions in a hot tub may shorten the length of time you can wear the flange. With daily showers, I get 7+ days which is pushing it. I try not to go longer. As for a wet bag, when I dry my body, I dry the bag, and then try to give it some time before I get dressed. So I clean up the bathroom, do my hair (make-up) etc.....and by that time everything is dry. If I'm not sure, I just dust some powder under the bag to avoid a skin rash.

In all these years, the pouch has just become part of my body, and I give it the same attention I give other body parts.

Best of luck, Marsha
Immarsh
Jul 10, 2011 8:14 pm
Hi all,

I have had my ileostomy for more than 40+ years, and have always bathed, showered, gone to the beach, ocean, pool swimming with virtually no thought or concerns. I too wear a 2-piece convatec.....and just to let you know, they are available without that extra cover on top.....but it still has it on the bottom. It does hold in water so I too cut it off.

I use tape around the flange, but "scanpoor" is like a second skin and dries quickly. Very long hot baths or long sessions in a hot tub may shorten the length of time you can wear the flange. With daily showers, I get 7+ days which is pushing it. I try not to go longer. As for a wet bag, when I dry my body, I dry the bag, and then try to give it some time before I get dressed. So I clean up the bathroom, do my hair (make-up) etc.....and by that time everything is dry. If I'm not sure, I just dust some powder under the bag to avoid a skin rash.

In all these years, the pouch has just become part of my body, and I give it the same attention I give other body parts.

Best of luck, Marsha
Past Member
Jul 10, 2011 8:33 pm

I remember my first day home from the hospital and thinking, "How do I take a bath?" I was told nothing and you guys, my belly-buddies, taught me everything. ... Poo left in my rectum??? Why didn't they clean that thing out?? ... A phantom urge to push, you've got to be kidding! Thanks, from me and for everyone in the future that needs to know just basic stuff. Carol

Grammaof4Boys
Jul 10, 2011 9:33 pm
Thank you all for your tips! I'm feeling naive because I don't know the difference between an ileostomy and colostomy. I don't know what I have, but I think it might be the colostomy. I had my entire bowel, anus, and back wall of my vagina removed due to cancer two years ago. Nothing was explained to me. I don't even have an ostomy nurse! What I'm learning is all coming from wonderful people, my fellow ostomates on this site. Thank you so much!

MarkP-What are mini caps, and do they send samples?

Butterfly48-It seems like you and I can relate. Where do you get the rubber undies from? Are they hard to put on and take off? My stoma is always active. Frustrating, huh? A lot of times I sponge bathe, but it isn't the same, you know? At least I still bathe. LOL. It's bad enough I'm self-conscious about the bag, don't want to be about body odor too. LOL.

sooziq-I wear a one-piece, EasiClose Wide Outlet by Coloplast. It too has a plastic covering. Would it be safe to cut that off? Jeez, you change your bag in 7 days? I change mine every 2 to 3 days.

N4Christmas-Good Idea! Never thought of the blow dryer. What does N4Christmas stand for?

Immarsh-I've read so many of your blogs and learned a lot from you. Your 40+ years compared to my 2 years, I can imagine how much more I'll learn, or need to. I can see where you learn as you go from wonderful people like you and fellow ostomates. Thank you so much!
MarkP
Jul 11, 2011 10:04 am

As a general rule, if your stoma is on the right and your output is more fluid, it is an ileostomy. If it is on the left and your output is more solid, it is a colostomy. Usually, if you have lost your whole large bowel, it is an ileostomy. The minicaps I mentioned are from Coloplast, so contact them and they should be able to supply a sample.



Mark

Bill
Jul 11, 2011 2:23 pm
Hello Linda,

Having only had a colostomy for a matter of months, I'm still experimenting with bags, changing, washing, bathing etc.

From the start I couldn't be bothered with the bags filling up almost all the time as there was no cyclical 'rhythm' to it and it was unpredicatable. I decided to irrigate at the earliest opportunity and this gives me at least one day where I don't have to concern myself with output. The problem of bathing did not really arise with any of the variety of bags tried as they all were waterproof and I just dried them off with the rest of my body. However, i did have problems with the Dansac disposable irrigation sleeves in that the adhesive made me sore. I simply cut the outer bag off the base plate that was already stuck around my stoma and stuck the irrigation sleeve over the top of it.   I do this last thing at night and leave the (hopefully) empty irrigation sleeve on overnight rather than put a new bag on. Then, in the morning I am confident that nothing will leak, I have a long, hot soaking in the bath with nothing on at all - just like I used to. There is no 'real' difference bathing with or without a bag. However, there is something indescribably satisfying about not wearing anything and doing what you want to do, as, when  and when you want to do it, with no restrictions.

I did experience some minor diosapproval from my wife at first when she said she felt as if she would be bathing in a toilet. But after some reassurance that it leaked no more then her arse, I've heard no more on the subject. ( I didn't say 'my-arse' because that's  a wholly different story ).

I do hope you find a solution to the bathing scenario that will suit you and bring you pleasure rather than worry.

Best wishes

Bill
Past Member
Jul 11, 2011 7:25 pm

Hi - read your note - I too "schedule my showers" and clean up in between. Can I ask you where you got your rubber panties - sounds like a great idea. I go 3 to 4 days changing my bag. Just hate to try it later as I've had accidents by waiting more than that. Guess it's different for everyone.



Thanks for the info.



Shirlgirl

perkyberky
Oct 14, 2011 4:09 am

I take wonderful showers and my bag gets completely wet in the process. What I do is get a hairdryer on low and dry the flange and bag, and this takes about 30 seconds. Works wonders and you can again get a great shower.

corncob
Oct 18, 2011 3:18 am

I'm with you, Marsha! I've had a colostomy for thirty-five years now. It's just another part of my body. I've never had any problems swimming, water skiing, hot tubs, etc. I also use the two-piece Convatec. I just dry off my bag as I do the rest of my body after getting wet.

jakie
Nov 08, 2011 3:23 am

You take it off to change it, so why not take it off to shower. Let the shower wash the stool off you until you finish and can get a towel. Sometimes I pass stool while I shower, sometimes I don't. But you can bet I will shortly after I finish the shower. I wait until my stomach is fairly empty before showering, or before breakfast. Sometimes that helps, sometimes it doesn't. However, you can only try. Good luck.

Mikey
Aug 26, 2014 2:07 am

Hi Immarsh,

Thank you for your opinion, it sounds workable and easy. I am not familiar

with the Convatec System as I use Hollister's. I am two years new to this and

am still learning the ways.

Any more that you could add to this, I would appreciate.

Terry G.