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Underwear - can I keep using my comfy cotton Hanes?

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Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:47 am

Hi there

Brand new to the forum, and I have a quick question. Do I have to go out and purchase all new underwear, or can I say with my comfy cotton Hanes?

My ileal conduit surgery is scheduled for 3/6, and I believe my dx is a neurogenic bladder caused by my underlying condition of multiple sclerosis.

In advance, thank you!  

Last edited by MassMikMouse on Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:15 am

Hello MassMikMouse. Welcome to the forum and thanks for an interesting question which I have not come across before in writing.

I suppose it might depend on where your stoma is situated  as to whether you would need new underwear.

I recall contemplating the same issue prior to my surgery and decided I would wait and see. As it turned out I had a parastomal hernia from the outset and the stoma nurse provided some underwear to accommodated that. It was next to useless for the hernia and a hopeless fit  for the incontinence pads I used to catch the anal discharge. They were also annoying for the fact that they were obviously designed for females (with no opening at the front) so everytime I needed to pee, I had to disrobe. ( at my age - needing to pee often is a growing priority!) I went back to using the underwear that I had awlays been comfortable with and have used other methods to sort out other problems.

I hope this is helpful to you in preparing for surgery.

Best wishes


Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:05 pm

Thank you!! I have a feeling this will be a "wait and see" type of issue.

have a good evening


Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:12 pm

I specifically by Hanes since my surgery.  The breifs are high enough that I can tuck my pouch in.  Good luck on your surgery!! 

Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:52 pm

If this catheter weren't giving me so much pain right now, I would get up and do a Happy Dance! Thank you Kami!


Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:44 am

Being a guy I may not have the same problems that you do, but I also have an ileal conduit and being a fellow masshole I thought I'd add my two cents.

I've tried differnt types of underwear. Boxer briefs are good but sometimes put too much pressure on my pouch. Regular briefs (where the pouch can sit on the outside of the underwear) seems to work OK. Since I prefer some support of "other areas" of my anatomy, I prefer tighter underwear rather than loose boxers but you don't have that problem. Generally speaking I prefer a loose fit around the pouch itself.

Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:53 pm

When I received my ostomy,I never considered new underwear,I too wear Hanes. As I get older I buy a bigger size so it will fit over my ostomy conmfortably. I do not want to creat a pancake. This is according to your diet. If you eat more fiber,it will thicken and when you lie down it can accumulate right on the inside as its coming out.You just have to experience one,to know what i mean.I still wear Hanes.

One of the shortcuts I have discovered is baby oil. I carry a small bottle of oil in my purse,and when being out and about if i Need to empty my bag,it helps to put a small amount of oil in the pouch after you empty it. It causes everything to slide out easier and you are left with a empty bag. This probably can't work for everyone,i live alone so I can have things as i need them. I always put a small amount in my bag after emptying it in the am. I still change my entire emsemble  twice a week. I call her Gertrude,and say she got a change of outfits.I don't go around talking about it,only to my daughter.I am older,75 so i don't have the romance thing to worry about,divorced for many years.

I had a bad surgeon,the operation was a success but he nearly killed my spirit by impling that my operation was my fault for contracting diverticulis.I considered a reversal,but could not bring myself to submit to another surgery by his hand.My daughter told him off one day and I have not been to another surgeon since. I have health problems but not that kind.Now,I am better off with Gertrude than without.I call her my wonder woman. Saved my life. It is a learning experience,having to clean up a blowout is sickening,sometimes worse than others. If you stain your clothing,you just want to throw it out. You can,but if you use a potion,it will come out. I use 1/3 dish soap(dawn) and 2/3 hydrogen peroxide. Wet garment,spray,allow to soak for at least 15 minutes. I wear rubber gloves until its clean, I assume you have been told how strong this feces is.Since we no longer have any colon,our feces has not been diluted and it is potent. I'm sorry,I am not explaining that well. It is not the same for everyone. I am happy and adjusted,there are some hidden blessings,no diarrhea.for one. I wish you the best of luck,when I first came home,I lived on this web site,just about. Home health nurses were available for the first two weeks,so much help,I will always admire those ladies.


Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:33 pm

You can wear any underwear you want. I did find 

that I needed one size larger to compensate 

for the appliance. 

Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Hi.  You can definately wear what underwear you want to wear.    The oil in the pouch is a brillant idea.  I have done it for years and it certainly makes emptying your pouch so much easier.  Though i found baby oil was breaking my pouch down around the edge where I empty it.  So I switched to olive oil and all is very good.   Cheers from New Zealaand.  Ngaire.

Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:02 pm

I have had an Ileo Conduit for almost ten years now, and always wear Hanes or Fruit of the Loom, whatever I want.

The pouch goes outside of the underwear anyway, and the briefs fit up to the just below the flange.

I could not put my pouch inside the briefs, as my pouch fills rather quickly, and I would not want it compressed and maybe cause a leak.

I can have leak problems easy enough without pushing my luck, besides, it would not feel right inside my briefs.

I have easy access to the pouch this way to drain several times a day. I just have my tops long enough to cover my pouch from view.

No worries. Good luck.




Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:22 am
Ngaire wrote:

Hi.  You can definately wear what underwear you want to wear.    The oil in the pouch is a brillant idea.  I have done it for years and it certainly makes emptying your pouch so much easier.  Though i found baby oil was breaking my pouch down around the edge where I empty it.  So I switched to olive oil and all is very good.   Cheers from New Zealaand.  Ngaire.

Hi Ngaire. The olive oil technique sounds like it would be very useful for me. I always have to use water to "wash out" my pouch when I empty it. Do you know if the oil can be detrimental if it comes in cantact with the stoma and have you ever had any issues with the oil breaking down the seal around the stoma? Thanks!

Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:20 am

Hi.  I was born with spina bifida and had a neurogenic bladder since birth.  I had a urostomy (ileal conduit, Bricker) when I was 10.  Yes' you can wear any type of underwear that makes you feel more comfortable.  I prefer the "tighty whities" briefs because they fit tighter in the waist and press on the wafer to secure it better.  That works better than a belt for me.  You just need to be conscious of when it fills up and keep it from pooling around the top.  I'm 52 now and have had very few complications over the years and that's my story.  Good luck!

Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:21 am


  Yes, the oil is a good ideal.  It does not affect the stoma at all or the pouch at the stoma end. Olive oil will not hurt your stoma.

The pouch I was using at the time did come unstuck  at the end you empty  but it only happened with one brand of pouch. And the olive oil certainly fixed the problem. 

You might still have to rinse your pouch out with water, as I still do,  but it is much easier .    All the best.  Ngaire.


Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:01 am


Yes you can ware the underware you prefer.  I have adaped mine by sewing an additional piece of fabric to the inside of the underware, creating a holder for my pouch.

For your pouch, if you use the two piece system, you could also use pouch liners, which are easer to keep your pouch clean.  These are disposable and bio=degradable.  Simply through them in the toilet and insert a new liner for the next time. There is no mess, and keeps your pouch clean. 

The liner are called Attiva Liners.


Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:39 am


Another tip for ostowomen -- leggings and long tops! I find any top with frills or a pattern hides bag outlines better than plain fabrics.  I also wear shawls more often than coats. . . it's pretty easy to reach in and check my bag under a shawl without anyone noticing!



Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:38 pm

Hi there ....UnderweR ??  Got to be Tightie Whities ...Hanes have great new ones and Jockey make some extremely soft and stretchy ones....very comfortable for delicate skin around the wafer .

This is a subject that brings a grin to the faces of the women in the places I visit . I visit my family in the US to recover from the nasty Irish weather . The US keeps me sane !! Anyway Brother's wives......I mean each wife of each Brother...Each Brother has only One wife !! The wife generally does the laundry and they do not like other people messing with their Equipment . I don't mind being forbidden from Laundry duties and am quite happy that the lovely ladies, and they are indeed Lovely ( they might be reading ? lol !! )  insist on doing my laundry when I visit .....However ... My Rectum is still intact and I get a little leaking sometimes. To prevent Oil Stains lol !! I sometimes use women's pads ...little skinny ones to keep my Butt dry. To keep this feminine accessory in place I must wear briefs. These briefs must be tight to keep the thing in place and keep my poor Butt dry, they also keep the rest of my bits and pieces nice and cozy and comfy ..cotton is great !! 

    I find small seamless cotton briefs the most comfortable ...Men's briefs I might add .. The waistband just covers the bottom half of the wafer so it's perfect, keeps the edge of the wafer tight to my skin.. Also a couple of really bad leaks taught me that I could tuck the whole bag into the tight shorts and they would contain the "Flood" long enough to find refuge in a bathroom.  The briefs are small enough to roll in a ball so that I  have some spares on hand at all times in case of  an emergency .

    The funny bit happens every time the ladies get to washing my Drawers ...." These are smaller than Mine !!!....."  was one comment that made me laugh . She needs to buy smaller panties if my drawers are bigger !! One wife holds them up with my Brother standing there ....holds them up for all to see...." WOW !! Mr Magoo ....does everything fit in here !! ...nice to see that they are so Flexible and stretchy ...' I was embarrassed for a minute but they are such great people we all have a great laugh. 

   Anyway that's my two cents on the subject of drawers !! Wear whatever keeps your Butt and other bits and pieces nice and comfy and warm.....and also dry of course !! Mine look a bit like Speedos ....OK...OK....Not in Public , not when anyone is looking at least !! lol  !!

Who knew I could write that much about my Tightie Whitie Drawers  !!!


Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:29 am


  My name is Marsha, and I've had my ileostomy for  more than 50 years, and I'm 68 now, so you do the math.  

  First of all, welcome to the site.  It's a great place to meet people, ask questions, get opinions and or advice.  Most people are very helpful.   But managing on ostomy  involves individual preferances. 

  Re.  underwear, you can wear anything that you find comfortable. 

I found that wearing loose, comfortable cotton undies, didn't work for me during the day. I wanted a flatter look on my belly, especially when tops or sweaters weren't long enough.  

When I had my surgery, appliances were quite different, and I needed something with more support to hold in the heavy rubber pouch, plastic flange, and metal ring.   Those were the "not so good old days". 

As fabrics changed, i began to use lightweight stretch undies during the day, and cotton ( Hanes/ Fruit of the loom) at night.   These days, I've been wearing light weight stretchy, Jockey underwear..   The briefs come up too high for me...and then roll down, irritating my skin and binding the wafer.  So I've experimented with the "hipster", which rests right above the flange.  But I still wear the comfy cotton for sleep at night.   Best suggestion, is wait until after your surgery to decide  what is more comfortable.     Best of luck.   Marsha

Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:36 am


I've had a colostomy for going on 2 yrs.. As for the underwear,  I like to first put on bikinis that come to the bottom of the wafer allowing the bag to hang over away from the skin, then put a waist high brief on top to support and conceal the bag. Started doing that when I developed a rash from the wafer tape and it seems to help with that.  Also like to use the baby oil in the bag along with a dash of mouthwash and about 4 tic-tac mints for odor control. 


Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:43 am

or pleats


Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:50 pm

I ise the Hanes briefs too and love them --- 

Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:01 pm

Fast and easy is my motto.... Take two pair of undies (Hanes High-Cut Briefs for me) and turn one inside out, then slip the one pair into the other. Using a zigzag stitch, stretch the leg openings as you stitch them. After the legs are sewn, all you have to do is tuck your bag in-between the two pair. I've been doing this for years!  If I have the time and energy, I'll just use the front panel of one pair and zigzag it in place; down the side, on the edge, across the sea in the front bottom, thee other leg, and up the other edge.  Voila, security and comfort at minimal expense.  

Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:29 am've been given lots of ideas..I've tried different kinds of I use's one of those things of wait and see what will work best for you..

Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:20 am

If you wish to get new underware please do . My advice is to wear two pair . I ware my comfy hains mid rise (not Quite Bikini ) under my pouch and a regular stretch bref over my pouch . The cotton absobes persperation and the outer stretchy bref distributes the feces evenley so you don't have the bulge. I have been doing this fo 33 years , I haven't been sore from sweet since, Also it is a much cleaner look under my cloths no one can tell I have Henretta. ( The name my daughter gave my ostomy 38 yr's ago ) good luck with your new friend .I say friend as I have found that Henretta turned my life around . I am much happier with a pouch than I was before as now I can eat or do what ever I want and not worry abot looking for a bathroom before I mess myself.

Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:23 pm

As a woman in college, I started experimenting with different styles of underwear, and came to the conclusion that bikini panties were the most comfortable for me. They saw me through 2 pregnancies without having to change style or size (they fitted below the mega-bulge, right on up to delivery!). When I got my stoma, I briefly (pun intended!) considered changing to a larger style, but found that the bikinis actually were still more comfortable and I did not require anything over the top holding the appliance in place. This was good, as I sometimes have problems with pancaking, which I corrected by switching from wearing pants to wearing skirts to relieve the pressure and constriction on the stoma - a change of outerwear, rather than a change of underwear!

Not everyone finds wearing the bikini style comfortable, but Hanes does make them in a nice soft 100% cotton, with the same feel of the fabric as the larger/higher brief style. You might consider even trying some in one size larger than the size charts on the package - they still stay comfortably up in place, but do not feel as constricting as the "correct" size might. In fact, Hanes makes them in the complete range - brief, low-rise brief, hipster, and bikini. Strangely enough, I did shopping yesterday for underwear for the whole family, and ended up with a new set of Hanes bikinis for myself!

I have never bothered with the double-underwear solution (although it has obviously worked for several people here on the site), mainly to avoid ANYTHING tight against the pouch for pancaking reasons. I have had excellent results anchoring the faceplate by using the Aqua Seal by Costa Medical over the top of the faceplate and under the pouch. Works like a charm - and I have never had a faceplate fall off.

My best advice is listen to what we all say, experiment to find out what works best for you, and don't worry too much about it. In a couple of months or so, you will have figured it out and it will be basic maintenance after that. Good luck!

Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:04 pm

Depending on where your bag sits, you can wear your same underwear.I was able to wear most of mine but I found some nice ones on the osteomyelitis site too.  I recently found some really comfortable ones that hit just below the flange and they are really comfortable.  I had a hard time finding jeans that I could wear over my barrier that wouldn't be tight.  Then an osteomate told me about wearing maternity jeans!!  It worked famously and I can wear jeans now.  The panel holds the bag securely without pain or pressure.  No one even can tell they are maternity jeans unless you show them.  Good luck to you!

Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:39 pm
MassMikMouse wrote:

Thank you!! I have a feeling this will be a "wait and see" type of issue.

have a good evening


I have used Haines for years and  still do after my colostomy.  Bands on underwear are around my waist, and ostomy is below  so no problem

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