Ostomy Bag Hacks, Leaks, and Changing Frequency?

Past Member

I noticed online while searching YouTube that there are "ostomy hacks". Such as wearing the bag sideways. Have any of you tried this? What are other hacks that you can do? My other question is, has anyone found something they find works best for leaks? Also, on average, how often does everyone change their bag? I'm trying to gather an "average" so that I can use this information on educating people. Thanks!


Wearing the pouch sideways or almost sideways!! I do this when I play golf or go bowling, and at times doing yardwork and such. I put it on that way to keep it snug to my body so it doesn't shift or move around. Seems to work okay. As far as leaks go, I guess you're talking about the opening on the drainable pouches. I switched from the drainable to the closed-end pouches, also Hollister New Image. They are a bit smaller than the drainable. But the good thing with them is when you soil it, just toss it out and replace it. My insurance allotted me 20 drainables per month as opposed to 60 closed-end per month, so that's 2 a day on average. No brainer for me, many days I only use 1 pouch per day so I manage to build up a spare inventory and never run short. I hope this helps!! Snappy profile photo, by the way!! LOL

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I have a colostomy and usually change once a day, but sometimes twice and occasionally three times or not at all. I guess it depends on what I have been eating. I use Hollister products and get about seven days before I have to replace everything. In the shower, I made a little shower curtain that I wear. It helps keep the appliance dry and lasting longer. I use the regular or mini pouches with a cover or belt to keep things in place. If my flange starts to lift a bit, I use some waterproof tape to hold it down till I get around to changing it. I would like to see the results you get.


Hi, I had my ileostomy over 4 years ago and use convex drainable pouches. A hospital nurse thought it was a good idea to put my pouch on sideways; fine if I was using a bedpan, but emptying it in a washroom was pretty difficult.

Using Hollister convex bags, I used to achieve 2 to 3 days between changes but this reduced to 1 to 2 days twelve months back due to their new 'improved' filter soiling quickly. I had changed my supplier when I went over to using Eakin Cohesive Slim seals with my pouch. So when I was looking for alternative pouches, I asked Pelican Healthcare for samples of theirs. With both the Eakin Seals and the Pelican pouches, I knew instantly when I put them on that they were both a huge improvement on previous types. For me, security and comfort were second to none and I now achieve 4 to 5 days between changes and no longer worry about leakage.

We are all different shapes and sizes and suffer from various problems with our pouches and accessories. However, using trial and error, we can eventually achieve the correct regime and learn to live with our disability.

Hope this helps. Regards, John


I cut two small slices in the flange to create a flap. If my stool is small, the flap stays closed. If my stool is large, the flap opens and lets it pass easily. I cut the flap so that it will be on the upside of my flange opening after I apply the flange.

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Past Member

I have an ileostomy so my comments may not work for you, but I found that using a small closed pouch works when I am working out, but I also bought wraps that hold the bag great when I need to be able to drain the bag and don't want to mess with dealing with the mess from the enclosed pouch. My biggest problem was the smell and the only thing I found that works on that is the Diamond pouches you put in after draining and cleaning the pouch. It must have charcoal in the pouch since it comes out black when I am emptying my pouch. I hope this helps, and you can do a search on wraps and they will all come up, and they vary in price depending on what kind you want and if you want one that is more waterproof.

Past Member

I attach Velcro to the outlet of my Hollister pouch so it doesn't dangle so much - Coloplast has this built-in, but Hollister doesn't and it's annoying without the "hack" :) I posted a video of it on YouTube.


I swim a lot and wear my bag sideways for that so it fits better under my bathing suit

Casey & George

I use a 2-piece bag and sometimes wear it sideways. I tied a ribbon around the support belt the width of the bag at the opening to support the bag. Then I don't need an expensive stealth belt to support it. I have photos at this site.



I use a two-piece Convatec, sometimes a two-piece Hollister, with no filter. If it gets gas bloated, I burp it like Tupperware. Always lubricate the edge of the ring with water or deodorant lubricant and listen for the snap as you push it closed. I also cut a small "v" in the outer flap to make it easier to open and empty, and when I fold it shut, I attach a small dollar store all-metal binder clip for extra security. At home, I rotate rinsed-out used bags and only use a new bag if I am going out for the whole day. I use a convex faceplate; Convatec has a turtle. I sometimes prefer the two-piece Hollister as it has, in my opinion, a better adhesive. The good thing about the two-piece is that you can detach it in a private bathroom and with dampened toilet paper, clean out what is stuck to the inside of the faceplate or clean it out with a shower attachment. Sometimes I use an extra skin prep to minimize staining of the faceplate tape or clean it with hydrogen peroxide. Ileostomies can be difficult with hernias and adhesions. I do use Miralax for bolus plugs that interns incorrectly call constipation. My surgeons gave me this advice, but check with your own doctor if this is a problem. I use the generic propylene glycol but use it rarely. Sometimes grape juice works to get things moving. I stopped eating a lot of grains like brown rice as they expand inside you, white rice minimally. I have no problem with Thai rice noodles, and I do use the shaved dark green tops of broccoli. Hummus is also no problem, but forget grape leaves and tabouleh, etc. I warn against using the bags more than five or six times as they tend to deteriorate where the snap ring joins the bag and can leak there. You save money with the two-piece system as the faceplate can last up to four days (for me), and I can rotate three or four rinsed bags for as much as two weeks.

One other tip is that I sometimes cut a line close to the top of the elastic on my underwear and pull my attached bag through it so the bag lies on the outside of my briefs. I presently can use a tucked-in T-shirt to cover the bag. I do this as I want to prevent UTIs by separating the bag closure from coming even indirectly near the urethra. If you use a plastic curved clip with a hook closure, you can also reinforce it with a one-centimeter O-ring available at most hardware stores that acts like a rubber band but much stronger. This prevents the clip from separating as it weakens with age. Warning: the hinge can eventually wear out and break on that end.

A lot of people do not trust two pieces, but if the ring is lubricated with a smidgen of deodorizing lubricant or even plain water, it is much easier to snap on and off, and in the case of gas, burp it. I avoid the filter bags as I often find the filters do not work and the bag seems thinner.


I have an ileostomy and I use a 2-piece Convatec moldable Durahesive flange with open-end pouch. I've worn mine sideways since the first week. The day before I had surgery, an ostomate came into my room at the hospital and showed me how she wore hers sideways. It's worked out for me just fine.


The Ez Vent is a great little gadget to let the air out of your pouch without having to open the bottom of the pouch.


Hi, I received my colostomy only last year so I am still a newbie, I guess. However, I do on occasions wear my pouch slightly angled on to my tummy as sometimes, depending on what activity I am doing, the end of it can dig into my leg. I have also found it useful to put a light smear of Vaseline on the front of my base; it makes for easier cleaning. I use Convatec two-piece with Velcro closing on the pouch, and I have never had any problems with leakage. I use anywhere from one to three a day depending on what I eat.  


Hi all.

I use a combination of drainable bags and closed bags. I use the Velcro closure bags when out and about, golfing, car travel, etc. I find I have to tape the end of the bag up as it is too long and the plastic closure bangs on me and irritates. I use plastic medical tape as it's easy to tear pieces off. I have to remember to carry a roll in my jacket pocket and have one in the car, etc. I make these bags last 4 days as allotted 10 per month. You can wash them out if you have a laundry sink. I don't have that in my apartment.

I use the closed bags at home and at night. I empty the output and reuse them as long as I can. One hack is I store the used bags in a large coffee can with a good lid. This hides them and keeps away odors.

My main problem is controlling gas. I find the vents in the bags do not work at all, so I have to...