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The Art of Emptying an Ostomy Bag (w/ video)  

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VeganOstomy
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October 6, 2015 11:00 am  
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Let's discuss tips and tricks on how to empty an ostomy bag!

My full, written article about this topic can be found by clicking on the link below.

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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Orihara Kaoru
 Orihara Kaoru
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March 5, 2016 9:47 pm  

"but if I’m standing to empty my pouch[...]"

oh my god WHAT. lol, sorry, that terrifies me. Also might show the difference between how men and women use the washroom... Like, it would never occur to me to do anything BUT sit on a toilet, like, ever. But, hey, if it works for you!

Also can't recommend the toilet paper in the bowl before emptying enough! Learned that one the hard way...

Also, I use clips (Holister) to close my pouch opening, and have found them extremely handy to help move stool out of the bag (the same way you use your fingers).


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VeganOstomy
 VeganOstomy
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March 6, 2016 7:18 pm  

I never liked standing - especially while at the hospital and barely able to hold my own weight! Sitting and kneeling work just fine, thank you very much! LOL

And great use of the pouch clip! I've actually seen a product that's supposed to replicate that function, but if you've got a clip then it's "built-in" for you!


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Ross Wilson
 Ross Wilson
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August 22, 2017 5:30 pm  

well I am having my colon cancer operation on august 30/17 and have been reading all the information on you website. I am not looking forward to using a ostomy bag but will have no
choice. I am grateful for finding your website and thankful that you are helping me to understand
whats ahead.

Ross Wilson


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VeganOstomy
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August 23, 2017 10:57 am  

Wishing you all the best, Ross! You'll find a lot of friendly support on the Community Forums: www.veganostomy.ca/community/

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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Krishnapriya
 Krishnapriya
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September 4, 2017 6:19 am  

Thanks for the tips, Eric!
Another thing I found might be useful in public toilets is to have a couple of toilet seat covers in your carry bag.. Not all toilets have this facility. So, if you are sitting to empty your bag, like I do, it feels so much better to be sitting on a cover and it also helps with the splash. I even carry a small roll of toilet paper with me. Lol, I am particularly fussy when it comes to public toilets!


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VeganOstomy
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September 4, 2017 4:17 pm  

That's a great tip! So much so that I've added it to the article: https://www.veganostomy.ca/how-to-empty-ostomy-bag/#BONUS_Public_Washrooms

=)

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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Ira Trachtman
 Ira Trachtman
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November 1, 2017 9:37 am  

Excellent illustrations and technique. Most helpful.
Thank you for this..Ira


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Marie Tucker
 Marie Tucker
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December 12, 2017 5:20 pm  

Great article! My colon was removed on November 8 and I have learned how to do some of these methods by trial and error! I actually am not comfortable emptying on the toilet because my leg was injured during my surgery so I’m usually wearing a brace to keep my leg locked so it just doesn’t “fit” well when I’m on the toilet. Instead, I stand in front of my bathroom sink - which is fairly low - and use an old Tupperware container, lined with some soapy water, to empty my contents into and then flush that down the toilet as well. Of course I couldn’t stand when I first got out of surgery but I’m strong enough now that I can in my locked leg brace. I have also comment about sitting and using a bucket as well below.

My occupational therapist actually asked me if I thought I could use a Ziploc bag because often I’m emptying in the middle of the night and if I get up and do not have my brace or can’t make it to my wheelchair in time, I usually fall but I wasn’t sure that would actually work (can I actually hold the bag and empty at the same time?) so we set up a bucket next to my side of the bed with trash bag liners and I’m able to sit on the bed and empty if need be without getting up. Right next to it is my camping Porta potty as well with a built-in reservoir. I like the fact that you had in there about mobility issues because that’s where I’m at right now.

Thanks so much for all the great information and comments everyone!


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VeganOstomy
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December 12, 2017 5:44 pm  

Marie, thank you for sharing.

Using a camping porta potty sounds like a brilliant idea for your situation, and I do believe that attempting to empty into a Ziploc bag may prove too be too awkward to get right all the time.

Depending on the consistency of the output, some people can use night drainage bags or larger bags like the Coloplast Magnum pouch if nighttime emptying becomes too troublesome.

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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Marie Tucker
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December 12, 2017 5:50 pm  

Thanks for the info! I’ll have to look into those liners. Being only in my 5th week with my ileostomy, I’m still a bit overwhelmed by all the choices!

Marie


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Marie Tucker
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December 12, 2017 5:51 pm  

Larger bags I mean! 🙂


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VeganOstomy
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December 12, 2017 5:54 pm  

Being overwhelmed is normal, but can certainly be a problem. I will be addressing that in an upcoming article/video.

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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Marie Tucker
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December 15, 2017 3:25 pm  

Great!! Thanks!!!


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Verna Cox
 Verna Cox
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August 25, 2018 8:41 am  

Thank you. Got more helpful information from this article than I got from my ostomy nurse. Emptying an ostomy bag can be quite messy. Will try your helpful hints.


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VeganOstomy
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August 27, 2018 12:02 pm  

You're welcome, Verna! Good luck!

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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Mary
 Mary
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February 2, 2019 5:31 pm  

I use Ziploc in middle night, works fine. Unlock to drain put inside bag and turn it down to drain, it works. Pull out clean with wear cloth and recipe. Close bag and put in trash till morning


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Marie Tucker
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February 2, 2019 9:01 pm  

Thats great Mary! Thankfully my leg has healed where I no longer fall when I get up in the middle of the night and the porta potty is packed in storage but I’m glad to know the ziplock does work as an option!


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LK
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February 14, 2019 12:21 am  

I've learned that when I go to a public washroom to grab a few paper towels, enough to toss on the floor in front of toilet. When they hit the floor you will see if its wet. I leave them there till I am done and trash them before I leave. I use layers of toilet paper to line the seat and I also place some in the front of the toilet bowl, hanging in and over the edge to avoid that area as much as possible. I have gone as far as rolling the cuffs of my pants up to avoid as much of the floor as possible. Gas station WRms are the worst nightmare for me. I always "slowly" release contents to avoid splashing. Keep hand sanitizer handy to clean the outside of the bag if need be, I have used it on a toilet seat. We all know the only place to put our equipment should we have a change issue, is to balance it on the TP roll, my supplies are in a roll down type bag, with a loop and I carry those sticky back plastic hooks ($ store) with me to place on walls at the right height, then hang my pocketed bag from there. I carry the deodorant separate from those. I have been speaking to managers in stores about the fact that his washroom is not only used by those in a wheelchair, those with prosthetics and US too. I will lift my shirt to show them my stoma and pouch, then show them the supplies we need. It is a learning curve for them some are trying to solve the issue. If you have time, please join me in this effort. Compliment a manager when you find a clean facility and explain why. I have had to do a bag and clothing change in a very small WRm...it was a bit traumatic! Needless to say I spoke to the manager and asked about using his private washroom next time. Amazing how clean it was, I always assure them I will leave it just as clean as I found it. You can ask for a permission note if you live in the area, for his staffs sake. I do carry a small spritz bottle of a cleanser in my supplies for cleaning and have had to use it too. Also, if handle flush, use TP for that too. Make sure not to over fill the toilet with paper so flush two, three times if needed. Wow...did I ever edit. Be well.

Linda K

Linda


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Sydneychic
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February 15, 2019 6:56 pm  

I carry a 330ml water bottle with me (I've started to carry it filled so people don't look at me filling a water bottle before going into a cubicle).  I sit sideways facing the cistern, fill the toilet bowl with some paper and then empty the bag.  Rinse it out with the water, dry with some more paper and reseal.  Some people have said that you shouldn't use water in the bag but my dr and nurse recommended flushing the bag out.  If you don't want to touch the stoma with water then just flushing the neck of the bag gets out any residue and cleans the opening.  I also carry a travel size mouthwash and put a few drops in the bowl before emptying for any smell.  I am in Australia and our toilets aren't filled with water, there is only a small amount in the bottom before flushing.  I have wondered how I will cope with the US toilets and splashing.  What do you do?


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