Need Help with Frequent Bag Changes after Colostomy

Star fish
Mar 24, 2014 2:15 am

Please help. I have done a colostomy on the 13th of January due to rectovaginal fistula. Recently, I am forced to change the bag almost every day. Please help.

Mar 24, 2014 2:49 pm
What kind of bag are you using? And why do you feel like you have to change it every day?

I had my colostomy almost 4 weeks ago and I change them every 4-5 days (I know I should be doing it every 3-4 days), but I found out that in the 2-piece bag, the wafer and already made wax ring 7805, if you take the time to cut the wafer close to your stoma and allow the ring to show a bit (1-2 mm) around the wafer after you apply the wafer on your belly, it holds and seals the bag wafer good. The fabric on the wafer that comes with Hollister bag 18133 is great.
One more thing, when it is time to change, I take a good shower and clean my skin well, then let it dry for 2-5 hours. I am careful and use paper towels to collect any mess coming out of my stoma.
For irritation, I use a bit of honey and leave it in place for a while during these 2-3 hours with nothing on my belly. (Clean the honey with a warm cloth, let it dry, and then apply the wafer.)
I hope this helps.
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Mar 24, 2014 7:11 pm

Hi Starfish - are you using a 1-piece or 2-piece system? If it is a 1-piece, you are going to really hurt your skin changing every day. If it is a 2-piece, it's okay if you prefer to change just the bag every day. Another alternative is to use a deodorant in the pouch like NaScent (ad on this site) or what I prefer to do is use a mentho-eucalyptus cough drop in mine (not sugarless). Also, eating yogurt daily will help as well as staying away from smelly stuff like eggs and spinach. UOAA has a list of foods on its website to avoid for odor problems.

Could it also possibly be because there was a fistula involved, which from my own experience I know to be extremely and horribly odorous...maybe it's the last of those contents discharging? Ask your doctor or ostomy nurse about this. Good luck!

Mar 24, 2014 8:42 pm
Hi and I hope you are getting along well other than the smell. I have an ileostomy for almost 3 years and used 1 and 2 piece bags. I know ileostomy and colostomy are a bit different but smell is smell. Hollister sells this liquid you can put in the bag and smush it all over and it works well. I have to empty a lot so it's never enough as disability only pays for 1 a month. I coat my bag with cooking oil as soon as I put it on. Some use olive oil, just don't use mineral oil. I also put maybe 1 tsp of 3% peroxide in my bag. It sloshes very little and since I put out all liquid anyway, I don't notice it. The only time I have to change is when I eat something like fish. I find NOTHING to get rid of that smell haha. If it's a 2 piece, just change the pouch only, not the flange. Also, I use an Eakin seal. Not just to help with leaks but it gives an extra seal to prevent small leaks. No leak, no smell. I don't care if it smells when I go to the bathroom although it rarely does. Everyone else's smells so why would mine be any different haha. I only worry because if there is some pinhole somewhere I don't quite see or it doesn't leak but odor comes out, if there's no smell in the bag, there's no smell on me. Some folks also put Tic Tacs and all sorts of things in there. Search on it. I know you will find it. GL.
Mar 31, 2014 6:03 pm

If it is the smell that is causing you to change so much, you need to try some Adapt or M9 deodorant drops or just try some Altoids inside your pouch (yes, the strong little breath mints in the little tin box). I just drop a couple into my pouch when I clean or change. That helps stop the smell. If that doesn't help, there are some pills that help too. But the Altoid mints are so simple and do help.

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Apr 02, 2014 10:30 pm

Rinsing your bag with a small amount of mouthwash can help as well. Only use a small amount. You can also add a small amount of liquid fabric softener into the bag when you empty and clean the bag out. Don't put too much, as it shouldn't come in contact with your stoma.

Apr 04, 2014 1:43 pm

I know exactly what you are going through with the smell. I've tried everything. For me, the best thing as far as the cost goes is the mouthwash. I find it controls the smell and gives off a light pleasing scent should you need to burp the bag for gas release.

The deodorants are good BUT VERY EXPENSIVE when your insurance doesn't cover them. I have also used baking soda as well in the bag, which helps.

Hang in there, we're all in this together. Sooner or later, we all have the same issues.
Apr 05, 2014 8:28 pm

Hi all, looking for advice, I am new with our little friend. I was coming off 3 days of chemo for leukemia when I had a perforation in the colon resulting in emergency surgery. I am just a month out. The problem with the taste and smell is constant. I assume it is because of the infused deodorant in the bags. My question is: do different appliances make a difference? All I know is everything smells bad and tastes bad with the same odor.

Apr 19, 2014 1:56 am
What do you mean, forced? Is your bag leaking? Please give more information for us to help.