Lettuce causing pancaking? Help!

So finally, I can eat lettuce leaves (just the soft edge parts, not the center) and was so happy. That and cooked carrots, mashed potatoes are the only veg that work for me.

Recently (over the last month, corresponds exactly as to when I started eating lettuce) I've had pancaking happen like crazy -- usually late evening or during the night.

Nothing else has changed. Still get up 2 or 3 times at night (and guess what I find when I get up?) Other foods/liquid intake the same.

Have to admit that I love lettuce and now am eating a fairly big portion. Anyone remember Elaine on Seinfeld and her 'big salads'? Well, that's me. I chew like crazy - it's basically green mush by the time I swallow.

Has anyone else found that lettuce causes pancaking?

So do I cut out lettuce ... or just cut back to a couple leaves ... hardly a salad.

Thanks all.


I seriously doubt that the lettuce is contributing directly to your pancaking. There are several factors that contribute including your body position while sleeping. Do you have a tendency of rolling on the side of your stoma? This will do it.


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I have heard that pancaking can be caused by the size of the hole in the flange of the appliance being too big.

I've always thought of it as a legitimate suffering until enjoying this site.




I eat salads a lot, though I don't know about huge bowls. But with marinated feta and the French dressing, cherry tomatoes, yum! Now I'm hungry. No pancaking though.

You guys, Hollister 78500 is a deodorant. Plus, a lot of people I know use it inside the pouch to help everything slide down. So I would give it a go. Oh, I do use it. I have ileo, but still no smell whatsoever. So we go through so many at our Osto Assoc.....cheers! Please try it. xxxx mooza

Hey Mooz,

Sounds like you make a mean salad.

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Hi all,

Here is why I'm really thinking it's the lettuce. (And by the way - it's the type of pancake where it is directly under the flange).

I haven't changed sleeping positions recently. Also, one time it happened late in the evening when I was just lazing on the couch.

The last time it happened, I took the pouch off and just watched the stoma ... that little thing was working and doing more 'up and down' motion than I've ever noticed before. When it was retracting, I could see where the stool would be allowed to go under the flange.

I have a pretty good 'outy' stoma - and as long as it doesn't retract too much, all stool seems to stay above the flange.

But what I've noticed too ... my stoma itself has become smaller (is that typical?) since I had it in Dec 09. I'm using the 'small' flange size and there isn't much 'turtle neck' flange material up around the stoma. Sometimes when I change (non-lettuce related changes), I notice there is a bit of stool on the tummy right up against the stoma.

So for now, I'm not doing the lettuce until I talk to my ET nurse on Wed. I'm also thinking that the rounder tummy could be contributing to a less-than-perfect wafer seal. Maybe it's time to try a convex wafer.

Will let you know.

Hi Bea - what kind of lettuce are you eating? I have noticed that iceberg lettuce and romaine are much easier for me to digest than say red leaf or green leaf. I don't have the pancaking problem per se, but the really leafy lettuces get my ostomy moving before the next time to irrigate.

Iceberg has hardly any fiber at all - it's like eating water - maybe this would help? ;

Past Member
Hey, Pinky -- it was nice to see on this site that someone else "irrigates". I had anal cancer in 2009, had chemo and radiation in Apr/May/June/09 - told I was a cure - NOT. 2 months later my cancer was showing again (my Dr. said I was his "once in 10 years" patient. Lucky me!!) - so in Dec/09 I had a colostomy. I started doing irrigations I think about 6 months later?????? I sure enjoy it (uhhhhh, relatively speaking, that is!!) -- much nicer than carrying around a "bag of poo" as I've seen others describe it. BUT - now I have 2 puppies (part Chihuahua/part Dachsund) -- so am getting used to picking up warm poo and carrying it around in a plastic bag until I can find a garbage can!!!!!
Seems ironic to me that I "play with my poo" in the bathtub - then go outside and "play" with my dogs' poop!!!! I sometimes feel like I'm 2 years old again (or???) - because I get to watch my stoma discharge the poo into the discharge bag!!!!! NEVER IN MY LIFE, did I think I'd be watching my poop at my age!!! (66 this month -- 'tho still feel like 30!!!)
Oh well -- compared to others -- I feel I got off easy. I keep getting told my "attitude is amazing" --- but, as we on here know ---- you either deal with it in a sensible manner -- or you'll drive yourself (and others) crazy with complaining, etc. -- which doesn't get you any further ahead. As well - I'm not shy in telling others I have had anal cancer and wear a bag!!!!!! I think that people who "hide" what they've gone through and what they go through daily -- just set themselves up for failure in some ways.

Hope you all continue to get better and better!!!!!!
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