Past present and future for ostomates ?

I do miss my pre surgery tummy ( apart from the colitis bloating ). Being able to run my hands over my tummy without the bag always being there. Having baths and showers without that horrible cold wet bag touching my skin. Looking in the mirror and knowing it is ALWAYS going to be there.

I just think that in this day and age there should be something less…well …bag like ! I know there are a few futuristic things coming up that has like a reservoir behind the stoma and then you can have a cap fitted over it to empty when you like. But I have to say that the recovery period sounds scary and what if it doesn’t work? not sure about it at all, but as long as they keep inventing stuff then we are heading in the right direction. I don’t think there will be any alternatives to bags in my lifetime but hopefully in the not too distant future there will be a device invented.

I would think that the amount of bags we get through and the other things we need to keep our skin from becoming sore that there would be an alternative now. Yes they have come a short way from the early bags but they are still BAGS, crinkly unsightly bags. I remember seeing a camel on holiday with a bag strapped to its bum collecting poo. I still have the picture and seeing it now with new eyes it is sad to think we are no further forward than a camel.

I know that they used to have a sponge strapped to their stomas at one time, and even in this day and age there are people in the third world have empty bean tins strapped to them to collect their poo, what do they do at night? its horrific to think this happens in the here and now.

There were some unusual contraptions for collecting waste from a stoma back in the day. Salts healthcare have passed on some pictures of the changes over the years, many held in place by a thick belt.


As you can see from these, there has been some improvement but I still think there could be more. I know that around the 1700s many people didn’t survive the operation or became very unwell with infection and died, but people still to this day don’t always make it through because the surgery is very invasive and difficult, and many patients are so ill and malnourished before the surgery, which makes it even more of a risk. It is a risk that we had to take.

Please take a look at this link from a very informative site

They have a brilliant article on the history of a stoma and surgery etc, it really is an interesting read. The link takes you straight to that article. I was amazed by some of the things they did to form stomas, and how they had to care for them. I know I think we should be further along with stoma care and appliances I am so glad I didn’t need one in those times.


2 Replies to “Past present and future for ostomates ?”

  1. Hi Clare,

    Thank you for the above honest post. I have to say I was in my art class last week and we were talking about Harry, when one lady said she has a french friend who emptied his bag once a day in the morning, it was call irrigation and apparently is the way the do it in France. We supposed it was then capped of for the rest of the day. I wondered how all that poo could be stored all day. It seems fascinating, I will look it up when I have time.

    I am sorry I do not know the full history of you back end. I do remember reading somewhere that they can make an internal pouch from part of the ileum that they can fashion for it. Perhaps you could speak to your consultants. Sorry if I have misunderstood you Clare. I wish you well x

    1. Hi,I can’t have a reversal as I now have no rectum etc.the French one could be a kock pouch , I think your bowel becomes a reservoir so that it can store the stool x

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