Showering with an Open Bag after Surgery?

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somar49

First time posting. I have a question: can anyone tell me if I should or can I take a shower without my bag if it's not completely closed? I had my surgery about a month ago.

Holly

You can take a shower without your bag. Didn't you get any advice from the ET nurse? You can call them and set up an appointment with them at the hospital. Make sure you use all the facilities available as it is the only way you can learn.

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Wilski
You don't say if it's an ileostomy or colostomy.

In any case, although you can shower without your bag, there is always a risk that your stoma will go off in the shower.

If you have an ileostomy, the likelihood is higher than with a colostomy.

When I had my colostomy, I remember showering first with the bag and then taking it off in the shower. I'd rinse off my stoma and be clean for the next bag change, which I would do after drying off.

Now with my ileostomy, I don't do that because the ileostomy goes off all the time.
Reversal is next Tuesday and bye bye to all those bags finally.

Good luck!
cornwallp
Hi, should not be a problem but always check with your nurse before changing major habit patterns - only a phone call away. I shower all the time with my colostomy - would not dream of having a shower with a bag on unless I am in a hurry to get out. I even have baths without my bag on, although I do have little accidents from time to time, but that's not too bad.

Ileostomies
and baths, well that is a different matter, this may just be a hygiene problem, best to check first. Every blessing. Paul
Primeboy

I remember showering 8 days after surgery while still in the hospital. Showers promote healing and reduce infections, and I shower without any bag, flange, or cover. My ileostomy is active or dormant for long periods of time so I can predict when a shower is more likely to work without complications. You definitely received patient care post-operative instructions and should follow them. Address your questions directly to your surgeon who received the big bucks for your operation. My layman's understanding of your situation is just that. Welcome here, and be well.


PB
 
Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
lorraine-cooper1960

Primeboy got it again! I think he should be the official go-to man. I have an ileostomy and I remove my flange (wafer) every time and I put some gauze or cotton wool over the end and use a very gentle tape like Primapore which is very soft on the skin. And go for it. It feels so good. Just remember NO soap-scented or moisturized, no body wash or body lotion. In that area, I purchased from Hollister ostomy clean solution. It may be called something else where you live so go online. It is gentle, helps the appliance to attach and soothes. So go for it, maybe put your iPod on and really enjoy it. Just remember to treat it like a newborn baby, very gently, rinse thoroughly, remove the cotton wool or gauze and dry gently and thoroughly. I use a hair dryer with a diffuser on low heat to make sure it is very dry. Good luck!

jason43

Hi there, I had a colostomy and used to take my bag off for a shower (I managed to get into a bowel moving routine and could predict 'quiet' times). It never went off once in all the months I had the stoma. It was soooo nice to have 10 minutes without the bag and I could have a wee scratch and shave the area, etc. I also showered with the bag on a couple of times if I had to shower during stoma movement times of the day.

ladyblue

No problem.. I have had my ostomy for 4 years.. Always shower without a bag.. Ladyblue

dragon2
Hi, my son has an ileostomy and has a shower with his bag on if it is stuck, and also enjoys having a shower with it off!!
With an ileostomy, make sure you have a shower before you eat, or you could have one heck of a mess because it travels very fast out of the small intestine because you are relaxed and it's warm. Lots of experiences with this one!!
At first, he was worried it would hurt, but of course, stomas have no feeling, so they say. But I think the feeling of it was odd, but no worries now!!
Here's a wee story to tell you: my son is 10. He has had his ileostomy for 5 years after 6 months with a colostomy. There are no nerves in the large intestine since he was a baby. They picked this up finally after 5 years after doctors saying wrong formula, not eating vegetables or fruit. He did all of these, but not once did he ever go to the toilet for poos!!
Then they sent us to a psychologist to change his thinking at 3 years. Still not been to the toilet, except a bit in undies or with anemia every 3 days!! The doctor thought he had been lazy, so left him for 28 days with no bowel motion!! He must have a very high pain threshold. They did an X-ray and there was no room around the whole large intestine. It was concrete compacted poo. I was mad, upset. "How could they leave him this long?" They said it's a process that we have to do to eliminate what it could be, so they did a clean prep, and we had this for a whole year, every 4 weeks!!! It was a nightmare! He was convulsing on the loo when it was coming. Well, it had never really opened to go to the toilet... So I am more than glad that we have an ileostomy. This is easy work and pain-free for him!!
We went camping at Christmas time, and the kids were in the wee rapids floating down on their backs with life jackets on. Then Griffin out of the blue says, "Can I take my bag off?" Sure, why not? Who wants to wear a wetsuit in 35°C!!!
He said, "This feels weird. What if I hurt it?" He said. I said, "Have you hurt your finger in the rapid?" "No." "Well, you won't hurt the stoma, okay!!"
He goes down the rapid with no bag, and at the end, stands up out of the water, puts his arm in the air, and a brighter red cherry on his tummy and shouts, "I'm a real boy!!" "You sure are a real boy," I said, "a super boy!!"
Then the tears of joy started!! So sorry if I got a bit off track. Yes, you can shower with your bag off, but don't use soap around the bag area because when you put the bag on, it may not stick because soap has oils that don't agree with the bag. Just wash the body normally but not the bag area, just water!!! We were told not to use wet wipes because they also contain oil, so we use cotton-like sheet cloth... Griffin says toweling hurts because of the bits on that cloth!!!
Wow, didn't realize all this would come out of one question!!!
Cheers, Julie
Griffin's Mum
dragon2
Hi, my son has an ileostomy and has a shower with his bag on if it is stuck, and also enjoys having a shower with it off!!
With an ileostomy, make sure you have a shower before you eat, or you could have one heck of a mess because it travels very fast out of the small intestine because you are relaxed and it's warm. Lots of experiences with this one!!
At first, he was worried it would hurt, but of course, stomas have no feeling, so they say. But I think the feeling of it was odd, but no worries now!!
Here's a wee story to tell you: my son is 10. He has had his ileostomy for 5 years after 6 months with a colostomy. There are no nerves in the large intestine since he was a baby. They picked this up finally after 5 years after doctors saying wrong formula, not eating vegetables or fruit. He did all of these, but not once did he ever go to the toilet for poos!!
Then they sent us to a psychologist to change his thinking at 3 years. Still not been to the toilet, except a bit in undies or with anemia every 3 days!! The doctor thought he had been lazy, so left him for 28 days with no bowel motion!! He must have a very high pain threshold. They did an X-ray and there was no room around the whole large intestine. It was concrete compacted poo. I was mad, upset. "How could they leave him this long?" They said it's a process that we have to do to eliminate what it could be, so they did a clean prep, and we had this for a whole year, every 4 weeks!!! It was a nightmare! He was convulsing on the loo when it was coming. Well, it had never really opened to go to the toilet... So I am more than glad that we have an ileostomy. This is easy work and pain-free for him!!
We went camping at Christmas time, and the kids were in the wee rapids floating down on their backs with life jackets on. Then Griffin out of the blue says, "Can I take my bag off?" Sure, why not? Who wants to wear a wetsuit in 35°C!!!
He said, "This feels weird. What if I hurt it?" He said. I said, "Have you hurt your finger in the rapid?" "No." "Well, you won't hurt the stoma, okay!!"
He goes down the rapid with no bag, and at the end, stands up out of the water, puts his arm in the air, and a brighter red cherry on his tummy and shouts, "I'm a real boy!!" "You sure are a real boy," I said, "a super boy!!"
Then the tears of joy started!! So sorry if I got a bit off track. Yes, you can shower with your bag off, but don't use soap around the bag area because when you put the bag on, it may not stick because soap has oils that don't agree with the bag. Just wash the body normally but not the bag area, just water!!! We were told not to use wet wipes because they also contain oil, so we use cotton-like sheet cloth... Griffin says toweling hurts because of the bits on that cloth!!!
Wow, didn't realize all this would come out of one question!!!
Cheers, Julie
Griffin's Mum
somar49

I have a colonoscopy on my traversed colon. I've had it for about 5 weeks now. I'm hoping to have it reversed as soon as my doctor says I can. Thank you all for the great advice and can't wait to try taking a shower without the bag.

lorraine-cooper1960

Wow, Dragon's mum, I would have loved to have a mother that was so down to earth and so positive. This has obviously been modeled to your son. I never had my mother around from age 10, so I was responsible for 4 children younger than me. May God shower you with blessings and keep you and your family safe in His loving care. xx Lorraine

Mobayflower

I have a new colostomy (Feb 18th) and switched from a 1-piece pouch system to a 2-piece (flange bag separate). I changed it for the first time yesterday with my nurse. When she left, I hopped in the shower, as I was sponge bathing prior to that. Since then, my stoma has been sore and weeping. Is that normal? I texted my nurse and she told me to take my pain meds for now and not shower for a day or two with it open and to keep my bag closed until I change it next (of course I can empty it).
Can you weigh in on your experiences with this? Thanks.

Past Member

Did you have your flange and pouch on or off when you had your shower? If you had it off, perhaps you got soap or something on your stoma that irritated it. After all, your stoma is only 10 days old and still in the process of healing and shrinking down to its final/normal size. Give it time ...

My ileostomy is over a year old and I still am not brave enough to have a shower with the flange and bag off ... my stoma still has not had a naked shower.

lorraine-cooper1960

JJR I must be honest, I only shower when it is a complete device day, but in the main, I sponge wash. But I wrap my stoma if I do shower in case of just the type of situation mentioned. I also use Ocean brand hygienic body wipes, a bag of 50, 23x33cm, alcohol-free, hypoallergenic, with aloe vera, no water required. You can also get bath bags with 10 larger, thicker, and wetter wipes which hospitals use for bed bathing. BUT I don't use them on my stoma area or where the adhesive will go. They can be purchased from any online healthcare provider, e.g., for disabled persons, etc., and for 50 approx 3AUD/10=2AUD.
I find them helpful to keep in my grab bag. Meaning a bag I carry if I go out so that I can clean up, change my device, and clothes. I think I'm either OCD or careful!! LOL.
Here's a link to a store I purchase from in Australia so you can at least see them

http://store.independenceaustralia.com/ocean-bath-wipes.html

Bye for now, Lorraine

Mobayflower

JJR, I showered with the flange on and the bag off, without soap and gentle warm water spray.

dragon2

Griffins mum here!! Yes, it's normal because it's healing, so it's sore and itchy!! You can have a shower with it on. Griff said this is nice because it relaxes the pain and heats it up!!!
Now this may sound strange to new stoma people, but if your stoma bleeds a bit on the edge or around the edge, this is healthy!!! A stoma that is purple is not healthy, meaning no circulation to the stoma. Get help fast!! Okay, not good!!
Another way of healing the skin with the bag on is a warm hot water bottle!! Oh, we have tried many things because Griff was 5 and we were new to it!! No one else around us had one!
If it's sore and red, the powder that you apply on the skin if it's red is made of the bag fibers, so it heals. When the skin is sore, if you take the bag off again and again, it can't heal... I sound like a nurse, I am not, but experience of 5 years of trial and error!!! Gets you knowing a thing or two!!
Try and eat foods that are gluggy like potato, pumpkin, yogurt, bananas, marshmallows... the more sugary foods, the runnier the poo. Hope this helps!!
Cheers, Julie

lorraine-cooper1960
Coloplast has mini caps you can use for showering or bathing, swimming, etc. They also have pediatric ones. I'm sure other companies also have their version. I will paste it in so you can see it.

Alterna minicap 1-piece. A solution for colostomy for occasions when more discretion is required, or after irrigation.
View Alterna minicap 1-piece
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