Talk to others with an Ostomy
Next >


How often will I have to empty my ileostomy per day? I know it's different for everyone, but hoping to get a general idea. Also, will I have to set my alarm at night to get up and empty it several times a night? I have surgery March 21, 2014 to get an ileostomy. I am not thrilled. :-/
Talk to others with an Ostomy
29,520 members
MeetAnOstoMate is the largest, independent website for people with an ostomy surgery. A vibrant, multi-topic community where people discuss various things, and give each other love and support.
hi fay i,ve had my ileo. now for 29yrs. and at first i emptied my pouch about 8-10 times a day as my output was mostly liquid and i didnt want too much in the pouch, i was scared it would leak. i would get up once a nite too empty, nowadays i empty about 4-5 times a day and never at nite, it takes time for your system to adjust.  good luck
I was worried about the same stuff; I woke up every two hours round the clock to empty it at night and did this for MONTHS.  Turns out I really didn't have to actually, so I deprived myself of sleep for no reason lol.  You will have to give your body some time to adjust - but after that you should be able to sleep a good six hours at a stretch without getting up as long as you don't eat for a few hours before you go to bed.

As far as how many times I have to empty it during the day, I really don't pay attention.  Whenever it needs to be emptied.  Actually after adjusting to the shock I'm glad I have one.  If you've had a bad bout of inflammatory bowel disease, NOT having to poop normally is a frickin' blessing.  LOL
It's Input &Output
Once you've settled from the op, you'll find that you'll usually go through most of the night
Day times 4-5 times to be comfortable, but it all depends how much & what you eat
I've had 40 years practice
My mother is 94, lives independently & has had an ileostomy for almost 50 years
I do it every time I pee -- once an hour or so, this way I can still wear tighter clothes.......I try not to eat past 7-8 pm.
Hi dear Fay,

You're no doubt still in the hospital. I'm hoping that there is an ET nurse there who will give you lots of answers and information. But the Forum's will be here when you get back. I'm on the same page as Moonshine. When I pee, I empty. And it does enable me to wear tighter pants.

You'll get to the point where emptying the bag is so second nature and easy ... that doing it every time you pee becomes an easy habit. And since I drink a lot of fluids ... I pee a lot

During the night ... really depends on how much I eat and drink in the evening. Again like Moonshine, nothing substantial to eat after about 7 to 8pm. I dehydrate quickly ... so I still need to drink fluids. Going to bed about 11:30 pm. Up once around 3 am and then at 6:30 am or so.

Hope this helps. Take care and let us know how you are doing.

All the best for a good recovery. It takes a bit of time, but you'll get there.

I am one of those few people who still have a lot of output at night. However, I suffer from short gut syndrome after seven bowel surgeries that lead to the loss of much of my short intestine as well as my large intestine from the initial bowel cancer surgery. It does get better over time as your system adjusts, but an ileostomy can be a challenging adjustment. It's important to connect with a good Enterostomal Nurse- ET nurses who can help you problem-solve over time. It's been five years since my initial surgery and I had a great visit with a new ET nurse in December. He really helped me with the problem of high output at night. I had been getting up every 90-120 minutes to empty my high output bag because of filling. If I slept for three hours without emptying I would have problems. My ET nurse helped my husband and I make a nighttime collection system using a Rubbermaid juice container with a handle and my old CPAP hose. This is connected to one of my two piece high output bags and allows for continual drainage. It isn't pretty but it has been a real life saver. I guess the real message I want to share is to stick with it, find a nurse who you can work with, and together you will find solutions to whatever challenges you face. This website is also an important support for me and others. There is nothing you will go through that others haven't already faced and figured out. There is so much wisdom here. Read the materials they've put together for newbies. There is a lot of great suggestions to use. I hope things get better quickly for you.

Hello from the other Portland (Maine)!!!
* Please, do not post contact information, personal information or advertising.
All times are GMT - 5 Hours