Top tips

This page is all about helpful tips for people with stomas. I will keep adding to this as the tips come in.

  • This tip was really helpful when emptying my stoma. To stop splashing and to help with easy flushing, place a couple of pieces of loo roll in the toilet bowl, in the water and on the front of bowl. It flushes away immediately and helps to prevent splashing.
  • Spray your skin twice with barrier spray, it really does give more protection.
  • Buy a couple of cheap kitchen chair covers ( Ikea was where I got mine) and put in the bath when bathing. Very comfy especially if you have lost weight and are boney, and if you have had a proctectomy.
  • Carry a small spray deodorant for when you empty at a friends.
  • A lot of people like to hair dry their bags after a shower to make sure all water has gone before putting on clothes.
  • Light a match or burn a candle when emptying.
  • Have an emergency supply in the boot of car.
  • I found changing my pouch when the output is thicker, is easier to handle.
  • Sit right back on the toilet to empty, it saves your knees being sore, and less splash than standing.
  • If you are especially hairy near the stoma, it is best to shave or wax, as it can hurt to pull hairs when removing pouch even with spray.
  • Don’t forget your poo bags if you think you may need to change when you are out.
  • Try naming your stoma if you are struggling to get used to it being there. It can help to smooth the process.
  • If your skin is uneven try some stoma paste to even it out before applying your pouch.
  • Empty the pouch when about a third full, to prevent pull on the adhesive and a chance of leakage.
  • Some people like to heat the base plate in cooler weather to help with sticking.
  • If you struggle getting the rings to fit correctly, cut it first ,then you can fit it better to any shape.
  • When travelling, take twice the amount of products that you need, you never know.
  • Also when travelling, pack products in two different places ,your suitcase and your hand luggage. If your cases are lost or delayed, you do not want to be left without anything.
  • Take your time when eating and chew well. If you don’t eat quickly you will have less change of ballooning , and if you chew well, you can eat more things. I now eat most things without a problem.
  •  A nice excuse to eat marshmallows and  jelly babies , it helps to thicken your output.
  • If you happen to still be in hospital reading this, or can get hold of one, these bed mats are ideal to help change your pouch in the early days when you are on the bed. ( I still change my bag whilst sitting slightly upright on the bed). I asked to keep some of these mats, not sure of the name but are fabulous and can be reused if not messed.
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  • A great new tip I saw from a fellow ostomate was, if you have particularly watery output, pop a tampon inside your stoma bag to absorb the fluid and save your bag.
  • This tip is for when you need to rinse out the stoma bag with out taking it off, so you feel a bit cleaner and don’t have time to change bag completely. I use an old water bottle with squeezy spout and fill it with luke warm water. I open the pouch up whilst sitting on the loo, empty like normal, then put the spout of the bottle into the end of the bag whilst lifting upwards so as not to spill. I will then squirt most of the water into the bag and fold up the end and hang onto it whilst swishing the water about in the bag. Then let it out into the loo, and hey presto, cleaner bag.