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Colostomy Advice Needed

Posts: 130
Joined: Jun 2004


My dad has a colostomy as a result of his surgery in June. His attitude in general is very good but he is becoming very frustrated with the colostomy. The bags are not sticking well enough, particularly at night. He is having problems with them becoming loose or popping off when he rolls over, resulting in a bit of a mess. He is getting very upset with the fact that he needs my mom to help him. He feels he is burdening her and that he has lost his dignity. He also is hesitant to go anywhere in public because of the noises associated with the bag at times.

His spirits as far as the cancer are great. I don't want him to get so upset about the bag that it takes away his positive attitude. Any advice on making the bags stick better, or a better type of bag, etc. would be so appreciated. They have tried a couple different bags so far.

Thanks So Much,

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

Deneen: Geting the right appliance is a matter of trial and error..firstly, does your dad have an ET-(enterostomal (SP) nurse)? An ET can examine his stoma and determine what system might be best, and give him samples to try. Also, all he has to do is call the manafacturers, and they will gladly send samples. Here are three top companies in my order of preference:
Micro-Skin 1-800-582-0707
Hollister 1-800-323-4060
Convatec 1-800-422-8811
Ask for their catalog and samples of one and two piece systems.
Also, for some interesting "toilet talk" see the following websites:
A few sites for you to explore RE Colostomy:

I use a one-piece system, and alternate between a
convex-(Hollister First Choice #3682) and a flush (Micro-skin Platinum Series # 78425) one-piece system. I would use theMicro Skin exclusively, but
need some convexity due to a flush stoma. If your
dad has any fat around the stoma, and a flush or nearly flush stoma, he probably needs convexity; otherwise the Micro-Skin is superior to all I have tried in wear time and stick-to-itiveness.. Bud

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Deneen,
Sorry to hear your Dad has been having these problems. I totally agree with Bud about (a) getting advise from an ET (stoma nurse), if at all possible and (b) trying out different products, until he finds the best for him (get free samples). Also that some people need a convex system. Another thing that is important is skin preparation -- he should be making sure his skin is completely dry before he attaches the appliance, and don't use any soap or lotion which might leave residue behind. Some folk use special skin preparations to protect their skin. But one basic principle seems to be: use the least amount of stuff you can. I frequent the United Ostomy Association board already mentioned (uoa.org) and have found it very useful (like this board!). If you can give folks some background information such as what type of ostomy does he have, what product is he using now, and what skin or other preparation is he using, folk can give lots of useful suggestions.

About the noise: I found when I switched to a 'plastic-y' pouch to a 'fabric surface' pouch, the noise was reduced -- less 'crinkly'
Good luck to you both!

Posts: 319
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi Deneenb, I agree with what was said my everyone else. I also had a Ostomy Nurse for about a month when I came home with my colostomy, they measured me up got the right size and has not had any major problem since. I did have to get a smaller size wafer as my stoma decreased in size after all the swelling from surgery. The skin prep works well for me some times to well as far as getting the appliance off. I have notice if I have a big B.M.(bowel movement it would leak on the sides from the weight of the feces. Maybe sometimes you will have to wear the ones that you clamp at the bottom. I prefer the close end ones more conveient(sp) for me. Believe me I have changed hundreds for people being a nurse but still opted for the extra help from the Osti Nurse.

Tessyann's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: Apr 2004

I also agree with what everyone has said... since hes just a few months post-op I would contact the hospital he was at and ask to speak to there Ostomy nurse... she may bring him in and help fit him better with a new bag.. there are lots of paste and glues he can also use to extend the wear of his bag.. but mostly if its poppin like that its either not the right fit.. or hes when hes putting it on hes not cleaning the drying the area very well... it takes time to get use to it.. my hubbies had one for 6 year and his still doesnt fit right and pops open sometime at night..

Posts: 238
Joined: Sep 2003

Hi Deneen,

You have already received some excellent advice; go to an ET nurse, consult others on boards, trial and error with various products, ect. I also wanted to ask if your father is embarassed to go out in public because of the bag noise or the stoma noise? For the most part, my stoma is very well-behaved in public but it does "go off" sometimes (and sometimes in very awkward places! i.e. while writing an exam). I have learned to smother the stoma with my forearm. For the most part, it keeps the noise volume down. Sometimes it is loud enough that others hear, but I just apologize claiming that I'm hungry and they believe it! I guess no one suspects that my bowel is coming through my belly! I also have a friend that takes Beano and he claims that it really reduces gas. If you're referring to "pouch sounds" I also use a fabric pouch and you can't hear a thing!

Good luck and good health,

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

yes, I forgot about Beano..best if injested prior to eating gassey foods. Bud

Posts: 130
Joined: Jun 2004

Thank you all for your advice. My Dad did have an ET nurse at first and even then they were having trouble with the bag. I guess part of the problem is that the stoma is so close to his incision which is a bit indented making it hard to get a good seal. My mom placed an order for products yesterday and she included one of your picks Bud. The only one he hadn't tried yet was the micro-skin. Thanks for the suggestion.

Best Wishes to all of you,

grandma047's picture
Posts: 381
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi, I have had a colostomy since May 20th. When I went in to surgery it was the worse thing on my mind. But...after nearly dying, it doesn't seem that bad now. I use the ConvaTec Sur-fit Natura and it seems to do well. I have also used the Hollister and liked it too. I also worry about the stoma noises. I'm afraid to go back to church because I'm afraid they'll be praying or something and it will start making noises. I hope I eventually get over that fear. The ET nurses said that after you have it a while that the noises aren't so bad. I hope so. Good luck to you and your dad. I'm praying for you both
Love and prayers, Judy(grandma047)

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