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Do I need to sleep on my back?

Tue May 31, 2016 5:20 pm
"This is the best website for people with an Ostomy, hands down. So much understanding. Everyone should join."

Did you change your sleeping position for your ostomy?

I have just reached the point at which a bag has stayed on for 3 days. For these 3 days, I have been sleeping on my back, and I wonder if this has made the difference. I have one deep crease and a narrow crease on the other side of my colostomy. I was using sample paste and caulking strips.

I started a new type of bag, a Hollister convex. However, the first Hollister convex, which the ostomy nurse put on me when I went to the doctor's office last Thursday, May 26th, came loose that same evening. From then until the evening of the 28th, I used three more bags (two types of ConvaTec reusable bags), which all came off.

Thanks!

Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:52 am

Hello MarianC. Welcome to the site. I sleep on my back every night and do not have any trouble with the wafers coming off or leaking. However, I do not sleep this way primarily for the sake of the stoma but because I suffer with sleep apnoea and if I move about the nasal inserts come loose and sound like the airbrakes on a large lorry. Not good if your looking to get a reasonable night's sleep. I bought myself an adjustable bed and modified it so that it keeps me in a comfortable position on my back with little chance of my body moving out of position.  This has worked for me for years but like most things stoma related we need to experiment for ourselves to find what is best for 'us' as individuals. It's surprising how much people move about in their sleep and when they wake up they believe that they haven't moved from the position they started.

I hope this helps

Best wishes

Bill

PS: It sounds as if you are the sort of busy person whose mind is probably still active when asleep. This is another factor that sometimes causes people to move about when they are in REM sleep.

MeetAnOstoMate - 26,431 members
Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:10 am

Hi, Bill--

Thanks for your reply. How's this for coincidence? I, too, have sleep apnea. I use a full-face mask because my nostrils (one or both) sometimes close up at night. My machine is acting up. I need to call the manufacturer and see if someone can walk me through a repair process. If not, I'll have to take it in, once I'm feeling sufficiently recovered. At present, it sometimes goes off for no obvious reason.

I usually sleep on my side, generally facing the table where I have the CPAP machine. I just changed my reusable convex bag, without undue fuss. What a relief. I will continue to sleep on my back unless and until I feel comfortable trying my side again. I find that partially sitting up is better than lying flat. I guess that's what you've done with your adjustable bed.

Cheers,

Marian

Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:23 am

Hello Marian. A coincidence indeed!

I realise that this is not the site for talking about sleep apoea but in this case I find it hard to resist. The closing up of the nostrils can be a right pain but as I seem to have found a solution I'll share it with you here. I could not use the face masks because I was allergic to whatever it was they are made of. Instead I use the Resmed FX nasal pillow system which I find much more comfortable and effective although I do require a chin strap to accompany it.

The nasal pillows only allow air through the nose and by accident I found that with a few drops of Albos oil in the moisurising container I can let the air flow through my nose and straight out of my mouth for a short while before I close my mouth. This simple technique seems to completely clear my nasal passages and my sinuses and I can then get a good night's sleep. I have no idea how it works but it does. I've tried with the Albos oil in the normal way but it hardly makes any difference at all. I've also tried nasal clearing medication but nothing seems to work like the 'blow-out' method.

I hope you get your machine working soon.

My primary reason for sleeping on my back and slightly raised is to counteract a hiatus hernia but it certainly helps with the CPAP macine and because it holds me in a contasnr position I can run the air tube over the top of my head and the headboard rather than  have it going down or sideways. I also helps with the bag I wear at night because 'if' there is any output, gravity tends to take it to the bottom of the bag rather than coagulating around the stoma.

Best wishes

Bill

Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:14 pm
MarianC wrote:

Did you change your sleeping position for your ostomy?

Hi Marian.

When I first got an ostomy back in 2004, I slept on my back for fear of putting pressure on the bag. Then one day I came across a YouTube video produced by a young man who demonstrated how to apply an ostomy device. In the course of his presentation he digressed with a short comment on sleeping positions which I was grateful to hear. He said that your body needs several sleeping positions in order to remain truly comfortable throughout the night. If your stoma is on your right side, you can learn to sleep on your left side as well as on your back. You have options.

Your other comment about your crease across the stoma area is a concern. A skillful colo-rectal surgeon will place the stoma in the best possible location depending on your body configuration as well as other considerations. If the stoma is placed where there is a crease or a bend especially when you sit, chances are that any device will come loose or leak. There's a lot of good information on the internet about this issue. Here's an example below. Good luck with your situation!

 http://www.beaumont.ie/files/2010/docs/20110329044844_Benefits%20of%20Stoma%20Siting%20Maria.pdf

   PB

Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:58 am

Hi I use a 2 piece bag since it became moldable instead of cutting have a leak or losing a bag is very rare

I have a physical job and play rough to .can sleep face down as I did before op

Try all ghe available product till you find what suits you 

Also riding fast bikes swimming the works 

 Dave c


Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:07 am

I sleep either on my right side or right side/back (kind of at an angle) so I don't squish my pouch during the night.  When I nap during the day, I sometimes sleep on my left side/back, but never full on my left side for fear of squishing my pouch.  I have enough problems with an active intestinal tract/stoma at night without adding the potential problem of a burst pouch, and that's why I sleep on my right side or right side/back.  So far, it seems to be working real well.  I've had my stoma since April 1, 2014.

You commented:  "Your other comment about your crease across the stoma area is a concern."

And that is precisely why my stoma is on my midriff.  There are no creases on my midriff and I can see my stoma to take care of it, keeping it clean and healthy.  My stoma nurse had marked my abdomen to have my colo-rectal surgeon place my stoma right at my waist which, of course, is right where I have a natural crease.  I went back to see my nurse the same day she made the original mark and asked her to move it up.  She wasn't real happy about it, but when I explained WHY I wanted it moved up, she seemed to understand what I was telling her.  I haven't changed the way I dress at all and no one knows I have my colostomy unless I choose to tell them.  I still wear my shirts out.  I've never tucked in a shirt in my life!  I have never worn tight-fitting clothes, so nothing has changed.

Best wishes!

Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:39 am

I sleep all over the place...when I first came home was really afraid to sleep face down, not only sore from the op, but afraid something may happen to the stoma or the bag may come off while turning over. I started wearing a belt when I went to bed and have never looked back, never had a problem or leak , nothing came off....but like so many of you had stated it takes time to find the right combination of appliances. I started out with a pretty good crease like some, if I got 3 days out of a barrier I felt lucky. It took me about 6 months to really get settled into what works today. I pretty much tried every free sample that was even close, alot of trial and error. Now the barriers last between 7-10 days with no propblems. Its been almost a year since the surgery and today I am cancer free.

kbd
Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:26 pm

That paste is horrible and I quickly quit using it. I have a dip on my left side of my ostomy and I use a barrier ring under the wafer:

http://www.hollister.com/products/Ostomy-Care-Products/Ostomy-Accessories/Barrier-Rings-and-Strips/Adapt-Barrier-Rings

just shape it to fill any gaps.

   I often sleep on my back or right side, my stoma is on my right side and somehow it feels better to sleep on the right than on my left side.

   The main thing is to get a wafer set up that works. Then it should not matter what position you sleep in, though it is possible it will leak less in the mean time sleeping on your back.

Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:15 pm

I'm a long time ostomate and CPAP user for sleep apnea. I usually intentionally (go to) sleep lying on my left (the ostomy) side and intentionally compressing the empty bag; this greatly reduces the frequency with which I am awakened during the night by a ballooned bag filled with gas. As a general rule, my bag doesn't receive significant fecal output until I get up in the morning although there is an occasional exception. Sometimes I wake in the night in a different position but not often as my movement is constrained by the CPAP tubing. I use Hollister two piece rig. Have recently changed wafer ring diameter from 2 1/4 in to 2 3/4 and find that snap flange sometimes opens a bit and leaks a bit; I have stopped that by using a belt putting a little additional tension on the closure.

Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:12 pm

I e had my Ileostomy for 45 years.  It's on my right hand side.  

Well....I sleep on my right and left sides usually.

I do not sleep on my tummy at all - never have, never will.  Apparently, its not good for ANYONE, with an Ostomy or not, to sleep for long periods on your tummy.  You compress your lungs and inner organs, as all your weight is obviously being borne by your front.  Besides, I find it uncomfortable as it squashes my boobs - lol.  

I do sleep on my back, but find if you do so, with a liquid at times output from an Ileostomy, when lying on your back, the fluid output can just "well up" on top of the stoma (like a small pool), and quickly seep right through under your seal, then bag -then you're up in the middle of the night, with half-closed eyes, changing your appliance because of the leak.  THEN, you've got the bed to sort out!! (I always, without fail, use a good quality, waterproof cover on top of my mattress!! Your seal and flange need to be absolutely "watertight" for none to seep through.  Lying on your side, at least you won't get the "stoma pool" sitting on your stoma and the output can drift down sideways into the bag.

Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:14 pm

Oh, I forgot to add....I have not had a leak for years now, thanks to finding my bomb-proof bag, which I've mentioned before on here.


Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:41 pm

Hi Marian!  As far a sleeping positions, I sleep on my side and back.  I use a pillow under my top leg to decrease pressure on my ostomy while sleeping on my side.   The only position I don't use is on my tummy.  

When I read your post, it bothered me that you're not getting much wear out of your appliance.  What I'd like to know is what kind of soap are you using?  If you're using a moisturizing soap, the wafers might not stick as well.  I use Ivory to make sure I get good adhesion.  Most of the time I can get 4 to 6 days wear!  Also, I found that I can tell when need to change is the slight itchy feeling under the wafers. Hope my suggestions help your wafer wear life! cool



Last edited by on Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:15 pm; edited 2 times in total
Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:24 am

I also wondered what appliances you were using and what you were using under the wafer and what soap you were using.  I sleep all over the place except my tummy.  Teddiee said, it squishes my boobs. 

I'm able to wear my appliance for over week and sometimes I could go longer, but I think I need to change "just because".  I too have one of those creases in my belly.  I use a barrier ring (Eakin) and a convex wafer.  Life has been bliss ever since.  :) 

Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:36 pm

I have found it's more about having the right products and cut of your base to keep the skin healthy. I cut mine smaller than it measures to keep the base up under the stoma edge, so the skin doesn't get red and wet, which messes up the adhesion of the base to your skin. Then I use an Eaken ring piece where I have a small depression beside the stoma. Then a convex base, surrounded by coloplast elastic strips. I then put the bag on and a belt. I wear the belt all the time. I get 5 days to every change with perfect to near perfect skin. It took many leaks and a lot of trial and error to get there, but you will find what works. After you do, you will be able to sleep in any position. Also, I set an alarm to wake me at 5am.every morning to empty. That way I never over fill and blow the bag. I hate getting up that early but it beats changing and you can return to bed after. 

Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:46 am

I had my ileostomy  surgery more than 50 ago, and supplies weren't like they are today.   I was always a stomach sleeper, but had to give it up, because the output burst the seal.    I started sleeping on my side, and that worked for awhile, until I developped sciatica.  Instructions were to "SLEEP ON MY BACK" WITH PILLOWS UNDER MY KNEES, TO KEEP THE PELVIC TILT.    So for the last 30 years, that's what I've been doing.  I also have sleep aprnea, and sleeping on several pillows, on my back, with pillows under my arms, or tucked at my side, keep me in position.   But for people without any othe rissues, you might want to try this.    I had to have lower back surgery about 5 years after I had my ostomy, and knew I needed to sleep on my stomach for a few weeks.   I fashioned a u shaped, foam cusion, that I put under/ around my ostomy appliance.   I also adapted and made a longer bag using a plastic tube and connecting it with rubber bands.  Today, there are long bags, for colostomates who irrigated ( called sleeves) .   That adaption, allowed me to sleep on my belly, and also allowed the output to flow easily into the extended bag.    But once I developed sciatica, that was the end to sleeping on my stomach.   I hope this helps. 

Best of luck,

Marsha

Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:48 am

I had my ileostomy  surgery more than 50 ago, and supplies weren't like they are today.   I was always a stomach sleeper, but had to give it up, because the output burst the seal.    I started sleeping on my side, and that worked for awhile, until I developped sciatica.  Instructions were to "SLEEP ON MY BACK" WITH PILLOWS UNDER MY KNEES, TO KEEP THE PELVIC TILT.    So for the last 30 years, that's what I've been doing.  I also have sleep aprnea, and sleeping on several pillows, on my back, with pillows under my arms, or tucked at my side, keep me in position.   But for people without any othe rissues, you might want to try this.    I had to have lower back surgery about 5 years after I had my ostomy, and knew I needed to sleep on my stomach for a few weeks.   I fashioned a u shaped, foam cusion, that I put under/ around my ostomy appliance.   I also adapted and made a longer bag using a plastic tube and connecting it with rubber bands.  Today, there are long bags, for colostomates who irrigated ( called sleeves) .   That adaption, allowed me to sleep on my belly, and also allowed the output to flow easily into the extended bag.    But once I developed sciatica, that was the end to sleeping on my stomach.   I hope this helps. 

Best of luck,

Marsha

Wed Jan 12, 2022 9:01 pm


Teddiee wrote:

Oh, I forgot to add....I have not had a leak for years now, thanks to finding my bomb-proof bag, which I've mentioned before on here.

Hi, Teddiee-
I'm a new premium member here.
"bomb-proof bag, which I've mentioned before on here."
What is it?
Thanks!
Riff

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