How do you handle bag expansion with fitted pants?


So, since I've had my ostomy, I've never tucked it into any pants that are fitted through the butt (so, track pants, yes; jeans, khakis, women's dress pants no). Instead, I modify the waistbands of my pants to hit lower than the flange, then I wear the bag over with a longer shirt to cover.

However, I've become curious: how are you (especially those with ileostomies) handling the fact that the bag expands when you're covering it with close-fitting material that doesn't stretch? Especially when your hip joint is there so the more you move, the more the bag will get crunched? I know some people suggest emptying the bag before it gets to 1/3 the way full, but if I were to do that I'd be in the bathroom like 16 times per day. So how do you accommodate? I'd like to figure it out cause buying tunic length shirts is a pain.


I wore leggings and tunics for the first 2 years after my surgery. I got tired of it and decided to try out "regular people" clothes. Interestingly enough, I have found that most all fabrics stretch enough to accommodate my output, etc. Even jeans. Good luck!!


I just make sure the band of my underwear, leggings, and jeans are over the top of my bag. I have not had too much of an issue with it. I did make an effort to get all high-waisted underwear, pants, and leggings, and that solves the issue. I was also lucky I was able to choose where I wanted my stoma, so I went down as low as I could. I have an ileostomy, but I only empty two times a day, sometimes 3 because my ostomy is so low output due to my GI disorders. I have more of an issue with gas, but that can't be solved by burping the bag and using bags with filters. I do tend to go for more tunic-style shirts or longer shirts, but I did that even before my ostomy.

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Hello theluckyfrog. During the firsst few years of having a stoma, I concerned myself with such issues and tried all sorts of different things to resolve the issue of clothes rubbing on the stoma and squashing the bag. Nothing worked very well for me until I gave up with the 'fashion' thing and took to wearing  boiler suits (plus bib & brace in the summertime) . My wife dislikes them and would like to report me to the fashion police. but I have grown very fond on the fact that they 'work' with regards to the stoma and they also give the impression that I am a proper 'workman'.  Very occasionally, someone will comment on my 'suits' when I am in places that do not normally accommodate such clothing. I usually joke about it and tell them the truth -- that I used to get all my office 'suits' from  the charity shops but, since I decided to buy them new, I thought I would opt for the working variety rather than the 'office-look'. This week, I have been watching the world snooker championships and considering what the competitors wear. It occured to me, that I could get a suit made where the waistcoat acted as braces for the trousers. This would be undetectable by casual observers who might be looking to appoint me as the new fashion model for 2018. However, I still like to silence my critics by informing the more persistent ones, that I wear the boiler suits because I have a stoma and these are the most comfortable and appropriate clothes to cater for that condition. Fortunately, I have enough confidence and humour to engage anyone in  conversational banter on most subjects, so when it comes to ridiculous comments about what we choose to wear, I can soon swing it round to teasing out that many people prefer to see others wearing nothing at all. After that, it should be up to the individual to choose whatever is comfortable for them. I have many stories about when employers have tried to insist on employees wearing suits and ties as a sort of 'uniform'. Although I always wore a suit, I would argue in favour of 'freedom of choice' in such matters - unless the employer was willing to purchase the items they were asking their workers to wear. - But those are stories for a different audience.

Best wishes



I fold my bag up once. I wear the classic fit that goes over the top of the pouch. I have had my ileo. Wearing the shape-fitting panties works for me. I do have to empty quite often too.

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I have a colostomy and wear waist-high briefs and jeans. My output is manageable because I take a loperamide (anti-diarrhea) tablet with each meal. I empty my pouch when needed instead of letting it fill up. I don't think my pouch is particularly noticeable--I wear my shirts outside rather than inside my pants.


Hi, I wear jeans and normal clothes. I put underwear right up over my bag, and it depends on how and what I eat. I empty it about 2 times in the day. I do wear tops, just on my hips and baggy ones.


Hi all, I've always had "waistline" issues, even before I had my ileostomy. My waist is two inches below "normal" for my size, and back when I was a kid, shirtwaist dresses, often with belts, never hit at the right place. I had the same issue with jeans (which were just coming into style) and with pants with zippers and buttons.. (I was 12)... Then I got sick, had my surgery at 15, and although my ileostomy stoma was put in the "perfect" low waistline remained a problem. Full briefs came up too high and rolled down... and pants (and the crotch to waist rise) was always too high. I had some luck with hip huggers (in the 60's) when they were in fashion, as they hit me right at the waist.. But those styles didn't last, so I learned to sew. I've had the zipper and waistband removed from 'good clothes by a tailor/dressmaker, but when I started to buy pull-on pants, I learned to cut and resew the waistband to where I needed it to be. I used to be a "gump" about it, until a dressmaker told me to quit complaining....that not everyone has a perfect body, and most people need alterations. "She told me" and I was grateful. I've had underwear "altered" as well, as I can't stand it when it rolls down. I used to be able to tuck tops in, but after I had two children, my body changed shape, and I had too much of a roll/ or muffin top. I like the layered look and often wear a shell, and then an open sweater or another blouse over that.. I do like to wear longer tops or tunic lengths, just to hide any "bulge" I may have.. It gives me some flexibility. I just bought some spring/summer clothes, capris, & shorts, and I find I still have to alter the pull-on styles to accommodate my low waistline, as well as hiding the ostomy pouch. But I've been doing it a lifetime, so it's my "normal". Best of luck to everyone.....


Hi all.. I have had a colostomy for almost 3 years. 1 month after surgery, I learned how to irrigate my system. I do it every morning and am good to go for the rest of the day, although on occasion it may go again usually at night but not too often, and it may have to do with what you have eaten or drank or if I don't eat my breakfast in the morning, go figure. All in all, irrigation is the way to go. Unfortunately, those with ileostomies can't irrigate. I had an ileostomy right after the surgery of removing my cancer, and I just could not put on a bag right without it leaking. However, my husband ended up helping because it seemed to do right every time he would apply it. I only had that for 2 months before my reversal. Thanks to the radiation I was given, it started causing problems 2 years later, landing me with a permanent colostomy. My ostomy sticks out like an ant mound, ugh.


I seldom wear jeans but I'm very comfortable in dress pants. A lot of dress pants are made with a stretchable waistband. I tuck just one fold of the bottom of my pouch between me and the elastic of my undergarment so that the pouch isn't pressed against my body. It allows it to fill as needed. Gas will always be an issue and need to be expelled from the pouch but I don't have any problems with slowing my output. I don't tuck in my shirt and let it hang over the edge of my pants.


So, I wear normal clothing with my ileostomy. I'm short, and my stoma is about even with my bellybutton. I wear bikini underwear. They do not touch or interfere with my pouch. I always wear a wrap with my clothes. It helps them fit better, makes me feel more secure, and supports the pouch. The pouch fits nicely inside the pocket of the wrap. I wear jeans and slacks/pants that hit the pouch at right about the middle (lower waisted pants, under my belly button). I wear jeans/pants about a size above what I could wear if I didn't have the pouch. This way they aren't binding on the pouch. I do wear a belt as necessary, but not tight. I try to empty my pouch at certain times during the day to keep it from getting full and bloated. I have not had any issues with clothes except for when sitting for extended periods of time because the waistband will block the pouch somewhat. But I just stand or go to the restroom as needed to make adjustments. Hope this helps.


I have not tucked in since I got Maxcie last July 12th and New Maxine (she was revised after stricturing) on Feb 17th of this year. I wrote asking about pants and many of the ladies told me about wearing maternity pants. They look nice and you can wear jeans comfortably. The stretchy panel on top holds the bag nicely even when a little more full. I just wear a fuller top and a little longer one. I got all of mine at a thrift shop and they are gently worn.


Only had colostomy 4 months and I bet I say daily why does this look like an ant hill, lol

Do you know why they look that way? Sassie


Just saw the doctor today, she says my ant mound is a hernia under the stoma, it came after everything has shrunken and to get a belly band so it will keep it pushed in, also when it really sticks out to lay flat on back so it falls inside. If it gets so I can't handle it, I will need surgery, UGH!!!

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