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Advice for Colostomy bag

Farm Girl
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2012

My sister had to have a colostomy last week due to a bowel obstruction. I do feel that she is going to have a better quality of life since she spent most of her time in the bathroom with either constipation or diarrhea. The good news is that they feel that her new chemo Zaltap is working. The obstruction was from the tissue around the colon and not the actual colon tumor. The tumor showed shrinkage along with the liver mets. I would love to hear from any of you with tips or concerns about your experience with the colostomy. thank you

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2878
Joined: Jan 2010

I am glad to hear that your sister seems to be responding well to treatment.

I highly recommend:

The Ostomy Book: Living Comfortably with Colostomies, Ileostomies, and Urostomies

Barbara Dorr Mullen and Kerry Anne McGinn RN BSN OCN

It was recommended by my ostomy nurse. It is an excellent source for the person just starting out. It was written by a mother who has an ostomy and her daughter who is an ostomy nurse. You may find it at your library, but definately on Amazon or perhaps at the local book store.

Check on-line at the Hollister and ConvaTec web sites. They are major manufacturers and will gladly send out samples and help to get your sister started on what she needs. Have her check with her insurance as to how many supplies they will pay for per month.

Hopefully she has contact with an ostomy/wound nurse at her hospital to also help advise her.

For any specific questions, just ask here and we will try to help.

Marie who loves kitties

PS I have had my colostomy since March, 2010 and life is good.

Farm Girl
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2012

thanks Marie,
I will give her this information...She has a home health nurse coming every other day but it seems like this board is more informative then some of the nurses that she is getting care from...Her nerves were so bad prior to this surgery in the hospital that when I ask the nurse if she could start her ativan for her q4hrs the nurse finally gave it to her 8 hours later.At one point my brother n law was going to drive 45 minutes to get her scripts from home. My heart aches for all of you that have to deal with this kind of care. I would appreciate any other advice you can give us...

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2878
Joined: Jan 2010

Does she have a vertical incision from belly button to pelvic bone? This is what I had.

I found that trying to lay flat was painful and found more comfort laying and even sleeping in a recliner for some weeks. The only thing I needed help with was getting the foot rest up, but then I was in pretty weak condition. I put an extra pillow in the seat of the chair. When I moved to the bed, I used a body pillow for laying on my side to give support.

I was advised to get plenty of protein to help promote healing. I had small portions of things and supplamented it with juice sized glasses of Boost with protein at least 3 times a day. I had been in the hospital 3 weeks due to issues and had lost considerable weight. I found that a walker helped me get around for the first week or so since I was a bit unsteady.

Lightly holding olding a small pillow on the belly also helps. I found that once the staples were out, I was in less discomfort. I only used pain meds for about a week.

Sis also needs to be encouraged to walk...not much at a time to start but at least moving around several times a day. This will help not only with her stamina but also to keep the bowels moving.

I was very fortunate in the nursing care I received at the hospital and also for the 3 days of home health care. If you feel the home health care person is not being helpful enough about ostomy care, give the office a call and ask for someone else who can help.

As she recovers I am sure she will have questions, so feel free to ask here.

Hugs to you both,

Marie who loves kitties

Dyanclark's picture
Dyanclark
Posts: 245
Joined: Apr 2012

My husband got a colostomy bag in August. He had 3 blockages from dead tumor and radiation scaring. The bag is a life saver, but it just takes time to learn to take care of it. Right now I am still ordering his supplies for one month and no longer. He just now is getting things they way he wants them. His stoma is flat and very small this is much harder as it is not easy to keep skin from burning from stomach acids. At least now he can eat anything he wants. Tell your sister not to limit her eating she can eat, eat, eat, walk and get strong.

tachilders's picture
tachilders
Posts: 315
Joined: Jun 2012

If she has a colostomy, it will be a bit easier to take care of than an ileostomy (due to the more fluid and caustic properties of an ileostomy). I have had mine since June 2012, and have had very few problems (besides a defective batch of wafers). One thing I was told is that you don't want to change the bag too often, as that can cause skin irritation. Also, make sure to cut the hole the correct size and shape, and make sure to get a good bead of the ostomy paste around that hole. This will prevent the material from getting on the skin and causing irritation. Also, make sure you get the right wafers so that they fit properly. Best of luck to your sis. Living with an ostomy is not too bad if you are careful about taking care of it properly.

Tedd

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2878
Joined: Jan 2010

I would suggest that you either get the standard wafers (come in vairous sizes) or at least have them pre-cut by the company. Making a smooth cut is tough to do.

If you use a one piece ostomy appliance you will need to change when the bag is about 1/3 full otherwise the weight may pull the adhesive loose.

If you use the two piece, the bag can be changed without removing the wafer. If you have a drainable bag, you can keep using the same bag until you change the wafer.

I have found that the warm water of a bath or shower helps to loosen the wafer to help prevent skin irritation.

There are ostomy products to help those whose stoma is flat or only slightly raised. You just need to work with the supplying company to try out some solutions.

Ostomy paste is used to fill in any valleys of the skin where matter may leak under the seal and also for those with iliostomy where fluids are more caustic to skin. I personally don't have to use it.

Marie who loves kitties

dmj101's picture
dmj101
Posts: 521
Joined: Nov 2011

HAHAHA....
I agree with Marie..
I am laughing at how we have been refering to what comes out of our stoma,,,
Matter, Material.. .. I can't.. we know what it is...
well... I tried quite a few brands of products and have stuck with Holister..
I had a bad batch of wafers too .. Ted were they Holister...
I find the 2 piece to be the easiest work with and the easiest on the skin.. be sure to use the paste.. it is so important.. I use the whole line, powder and lubicant/deodorant.
When I am on chemo and my bowels are loose I think the drainable seems more managable but that is a personal preferenced.. I also prefer the precut.. it makes the processes easier.
My stoma is a little high so I have issues with waiste bands but found the Ostomy Secrets to help under my clothing.. and they help hold the bag up as it fills. and not pull down on the stoma.
Good luck... let us know if she needs any more info..

Chelsea71
Posts: 1167
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi Donna

Thanks for mentioning Ostomy Secrets. Never heard of them. Visited their web site and bought a couple pair of undies for my husband. (For the low low price of $65.00!) Hopefully they will help hold the bag. It fills quickly and becomes heavy. Thanks again.

Chelsea

dmj101's picture
dmj101
Posts: 521
Joined: Nov 2011

Hope he likes them..they aren't cheap but I like them and find them helpful.
i use the band for when I am at the gym, and the undies under special clothes. I think they have a bigger selection for women more options as we have special needs in that area.. I like all their products.
doesn't hurt the inventer is a Jersey Girl

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2878
Joined: Jan 2010

I was surfing the net recently and found something called the "stealth belt". It is a custom made product which looks much like a cumberbund. I thought it would be a great product for night wear. It is appropriate for males and femalles.

The way it is made, the ostomy pouch is positioned side-ways on the flange. It looks like it would be very comfortable and provide full support of the pouch.

I just wish it wasn't so expensive, but given that it is custom made, I guess it can't be helped...if I were more handy with sewing I would try my hand at making one...lol.

Marie who loves kitties

Chelsea71
Posts: 1167
Joined: Sep 2012

I will check this out too. It's too bad it all has to be so expensive. But, if these products help to make his life easier, I don't mind spending the money. Spills and leaks are no fun!

Thanks,

Chelsea

coloCan
Posts: 1835
Joined: Oct 2009

decrease a bit during first month or so after its creation,afterwhich it should remain stable.....You want to change the wafer as little as possible to reduce as much as you can irritation of the skin....An ostomy nurse should be coming to visit frequently till your sister is comfortable dealing with her new life.....Any problems should be brought to the arttention of surgeon as soon as possible....While it might take time to adjust,esp mentally, look at it this way;"Have bag,will live!" steve

tachilders's picture
tachilders
Posts: 315
Joined: Jun 2012

I use the Hollister 2 piece system, and yes the defective wafers were Hollister. The problem I had was that the ring on the wafer was pulling away from the rest of the base, which allowed the whole darn bag to come loose. One morning, the whole bag fell off right in bed, but thank goodness the mess was minimal!!! I only had the problem with one lot of bases so far, but I have so many extra bases that I just tossed those out. I change my base and bag twice a week, but get 20 bases/bags per month. I sometimes will change just the bag, so I use more bags than bases.

Also, my ostomy is quite high as well, and is above the waist on all my pants, so I wear my bag on the outside of my pants and just cover it with my shirt (untucked). I will occasionally tuck in a nice shirt, and then I will tuck in the bottom of the bag. I have a transverse colostomy, so my "material" is like toothpaste at its firmest, and sometimes looser, so I use the drainable bags.

Tedd

dmj101's picture
dmj101
Posts: 521
Joined: Nov 2011

ok.. my stoma sits at most of my waistbands or just below so my wafer tends to peel away... I had the same occurrence recently..
I am not sure what you meam by basebags.. my insurance doesn't limit my quantity at least not yet.. I change the wafer about 3 times a week.. but I use a closed bag and change it about twice a day. the wafers come 5 to a box the bags @50 to a box. I always wonder how they determine how to package them.. I was using the drainable but found I like the closed better.. and I feel fresher with them too..

tachilders's picture
tachilders
Posts: 315
Joined: Jun 2012

The drainable bags are a pain to get clean, and I have thought about going to the disposable bags. My monthly order now is 20 bases and 20 bags, but if I go to disposable bags I will get 60 bags and 20 bases per month. I was having to clean out my bag 2-3X a day early on, but now it is 1-2X a day on average, so the disposables should work.

Tedd

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