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Using one hand to change and empty ileostomy bag

Posted by freedancer, on Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:42 pm

Hi folks, I am looking to have hand surgery in the near future.  It will be my left hand and will be a LRTI on my left thumb.  I need to know if anyone else out there has had to be stuck using one hand to change and empty your ileostomy.   The changing part won't be real hard but emptying it during the day is going to present an issue since I will need to wipe it out a little before closing it back up.  I had this surgery on my right hand a few years back but did not have the ileostomy yet.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I will not have use of my thumb for several months and the hand will be in a cast.  After I get the cast on, I will be able to use my four other fingers but it will be limited.

Reply by NewlifeVictoria, on Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:43 am

Hi sweetie How are you? Sounds like it’s going to be difficult  😢😢I’m sorry to here this and your probably single? I know I have my issues and it isn’t fun... I’m praying for you have a great day text if you like? Victoria 

Reply by w30bob, on Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:40 am

Hi freedancer,

  I think your best bet would be to contact the local Veteran's Admin hospital.  Many vets are amputees and if anyone knows how to do what you're asking I'd bet they do.  Another thing to consider is to use a 2 piece barrier/bag.  Instead of trying to open, drain, clean and reseal the bag it might be easier to just remove the whole bag and either toss it or empty it thru the large barrier hole and then wash out and re-install.  Not sure how many times you empty your bag, but since they are expensive you can also consider bringing a number of bags with you and then after you drain your full bag just get as much out as you can and then put them in a zip-lock so you can bring them home to wash and re-use.  I'll keep looking for better info, but sorry I can't be of more help.




Reply by panther, on Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:28 am

Yes I'm right handed and had surgery on my right hand tendon repair & bone infection so could on use my left hand for almost 3 months, tbh emtying and changing bag wasn't much of a problem once I got used to it, I couldn't clean end of bag very well I used a bottle filled with water and just poured it over end of bag to clean it best I could, I did try lock & roll closure system bags but found them more difficult to use than the velcro closure bags, mine was emergency surgery so no prior warning, as yours is planed I would get lots of practice now just using your Right hand and don't be temptied to use your left hand. Hope surgery goes well 

Reply by anyark, on Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:48 pm

I’ve seen this topic on another site, and as a retired occupational therapist, I saw it as a challenge.  This is possible as I was able to do it.  I suggest you practice now every time you need to empty your bag.  Since you’ll have use of fingers on your casted hand, you can support the tail of the bag and wipe the tail.

With repeated practice, you’ll figure out a method and get comfortable with it.


Wishing you the best....

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