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Colostomy help

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Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:24 pm

I had an emergency colostomy June 5th and Praise God that I am alive! I am new to this group in hopes that I can meet some people and learn some tricks of the trade!

My question or problem is this:

I am getting a really good seal and using Convatec 2 piece and an elkin seal. I get about 5-6 days on the appliance. Lately I notice that my stool becomes a little softer (pancake a lot here) and when it does it seeps to the right only and burns or causes itching. The only thing I have found to work is to take 1-2 tablets of anti-diarreha each day so that my stool is harder and firmer. Does anyone else find they have to do this? I drink lots of water and I eat real well. I never have diarreha or stomach pains.

Looking for some hlep or thougths. I have tried changing appliance when it happens but it occurs almost everytime I pancake. I have tried oil and all, and nothing appears to work. Very frustrating. I never empty bag from the bottom, I ALWAYS open the 2 pience and remove from the stoma area. I AM FINE WITH THIS!

Thanks for any ideas or suggestions!

Lee Ann (Mesa Arizona)

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:25 pm

what was the reason for your operation? if the remaining colon is healthy i would suggest you try irrigation. the burning/itching is caused by the skin breaking down where stool seeps under the barrier. do you use a skin prep? this adds a slight protective coating over the skin, but only lasts a few days.

hope this helps, keep us posted of your progress

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:11 am

Hi Lee Ann, I can relate to the itching and burning. It is miserable. Torbot liquid bonding cement is the only product that seems to work for me. It provides a barrier between your skin and the appliance.  I ordered it from Edgepark,and you can get it on Amazon.  As for the pancaking you may need to cut the dose of anti-diarrhea in half.  I am a little curious about who taught you to empty your bag?  I use a lock and roll bag that has a velcro seal. It is very easy to empty.  I hope this helps and good luck.

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:28 pm

I have diverticulitis and I perforated the colon which resulted in emergency surgery. They took a little more than a foot of colon out. I have heard of irrigation but haven't tried it nor do I know how to. I have an appointment with a Gastro tomorrow so was planning to ask about it. I do use a skin prep called Cavilin Smile


Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:32 pm

Hi Heidi! When I take 2 anti-diarreha a day I don't pancake, but I feel I shouldn't have to do that?! I have no stomach issues with anything I eat, maybe I just need to add more fiber or rice daily so the stool is firmer rather than pancake.

No one taught me how to empty the bag, I just started to do it this way since day one. Nothing falls to the bottom so what are my options? If it's not pancaked than its little balls that just stay there in the bag. I roll the bottom portion up so that it doesnt dangle down if that makes sense?

What is a lock and roll bag?

Lee Ann

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:12 pm

Hi Lee Ann, 

I have an ileostomy so my output is always soft or even watery. Pancaking can be a real challenge when my output thickens. I find the only thing that helps is to manually press under the appliance seal while pushing/rolling on the top of the bag to roll the output down lower into the pouch. I do this several times a day, or whenever I can feel pressure building in the upper pouch. 

I'm also wondering if you could thicken your output with foods? Rice or rice pudding works wonders for me.  

Good luck. I hope this helps. 



Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:08 am

Hi  Lea Ann, I use Hollister bags , but you can get bags with velcro closures from Convatec and Coloplast.

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:52 pm

I use the same type Heidi, mine are just from Convatec Smile

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:53 pm

Thanks Mark - I may try thickening foods but I always feel like it's such heavy starch. Wortha  try anyways. I could do rice and see if that helps daily.

Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:57 pm

Hi Lee Ann

i also use the two piece system. And like you I always take it apart to clean. Something that might help with the pan caking.

i use the small white stickers that come with the pouches, I cover the vent at the top and I also open the bottom of the pouch and pull it to allow just a little air in. Otherwise the vacuum created which is to give you a flat profile, is too strong and everything just pancakes around my base. I do have to burp my bag a couple of times a day, but I find that no big deal. I also use the Coloplast paste as I find it conforms better for me. Hope this helps.


Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:45 pm

Thanks Rosiesmom - i also use the little decal ove the vent, but still it pancakes. So frustrating! Guess it's just trial and error.

Lee Ann

Posted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:07 pm

I use the Coloplast paste between the skin and skin barrier every change.  It eliminated that irritation.

Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:00 pm
GodisGreat wrote:

i use the Coloplast paste between the skin and skin barrier every change.  It eliminated that irritation.  I also have an illeostomy since 2011 after years of ulcerative colitis.  I also use the paste and like you , it has saved me from so many leaks and irritation, I wouldn't be without it.

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:26 am

Hi and welcome to the site.  I have an ileostomy and also pancake at times.  Usually it is when I eat foods that are thickening such as pototoes, rice, apple sauce, pasta... a low residue diet.  I would avoid taking immodium because it sounds like that is the problem.  How many times do you need to empty your pouch...2, 3, 4 times per day?  I use coloplast drainable and have for over two years.  It has a velcro closure.  I also, (when able) rinse my pouch with cool cater because contents do get stuck inside and I like the pouch as clean/empty as possible.   I also change the pouch every day in the morning.  I do this because contents seem to collect around the stoma where the pouch snaps on and I detect a slight odor.  I don't know if this is a fact, but I believe the contents sitting on the wafer begin to erode it every so slowly.  I try and keep the wafer as clean as possible.  In addition, my filter clogs by the end of the day no matter what I do.  I like the filter pouches because they seem to present a lower profile.  Also, Coloplast does not make a pouch with out a filter in my size...can't figure that one out.  Take care...and keep posting your questions.  We will try and help.  LH 

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:06 pm

Hi , LH. I could be wrong, but it seemed that Lee Ann expressed pancaking when her output softens. I think she mentioned that when it cones out as round balls (think larger rabbit, it would not pancske. Being an ileo, I had to try to picture this, because for us ileos, we pancake when output is thicker. Lee Ann's output may actually thicken beyond the point of pancaking. I had never given this any thought so I was a bit intrigued. Other than the dehydration, perhaps we're fortunate to have ileos? I rarely hsve problemd with psncaking, unlrss I ho crazy with the low residual foods you mentioned. Take care! 

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