How to Easily Rotate Your Ostomy Bag : Ostomy Hack

rotate ostomy bag header small

I love wearing my ostomy bag sideways, but some people may find it difficult to adjust to, especially when it comes to emptying their appliance.


There are plenty of advantages to wearing your appliance sideways, but there’s always been a nagging issue with some bags.

Depending on how you empty your bag (sitting, kneeling, squatting, etc.), it may be really awkward to empty a bag when the outlet isn’t facing straight down.

Some 2-piece bags, like the Coloplast Sensura Click or the Sensura Mio Click can freely rotate before being locked into place, but other products like Hollister New Image systems cannot be rotated easily.

One of my readers had reminded me of a trick that I had only read about but had never tried: lubricating the flange.

I decided to give this a shot and found that it works very well! Not only can I rotate my Hollister 2pc, but I can do so with very few problems.


How to Easily Rotate Your Ostomy Bag : Ostomy Hack
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Note: I do all of this while my wafer is already on my skin. The entire process takes less than 20 seconds.

1. Have the following handy: Your 2-pc bag, oil of choice (I use sewing machine oil as the bottle has a fine tip, like THIS one), toilet paper/gauze to clean off excess oil.

2. Carefully put one drop of oil at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position in the flange of your bag.

Ostomy bag rotate oil placement
Placing a drop of oil at “2 o’clock” and “10 o’clock” works best.

3. Hold the bag vertically and allow the oil to drip down to the bottom.

4. Wipe off any excess oil.

5. Attach the bag to the wafer in the vertical position.

6. Gently rotate the bag while holding the wafer securely.  It will get easier the more the bag spins. I usually spin it 360 degrees to make sure it’s adequately lubricated.

That’s it! Now you should be able to rotate your bag freely without worrying about it being fixed to one position.

So, what’s the catch?

While this trick has been reliable for me, it doesn’t come without risks.

Possible Issues

  • The bag can come off.
  • Oil can stain your clothing.
  • You may have leaks between the bag and wafer coupling.

If done properly and using the right amount of lubrication, this should not be an issue, but if you put too much oil or the oil comes in contact with the wrong parts of the flange then there’s a risk that it may cause the flange to lose its seal.

It’s also crucial to make sure that your bag is always being well-supported.  If you lubricate your appliance with the intention of wearing it sideways, make sure you’re wearing a support band.

And when it comes time to empty your bag, make sure you are supporting the weight of that bag so it’s not tugging too much.

If your bag is too full, then I would suggest not rotating it at all (regardless of whether you’ve lubricated the flange or not).

What about using lotion?

You may be able to skip the oil and rub lotion on your flange instead (do it on the wafer side).

The reason I use oil and not lotion is because I like to get the oil right inside the channel of the flange, which is difficult to do with lotion.

I also find that machine oil doesn’t dry up or get sticky, which may happen with body or hand lotion.

Can you use any oil?

I use sewing machine oil because the bottle has a really nice spout, but you can use just about any type of oil: mineral oil, coconut oil, olive oil, baby oil (which is usually mineral oil), etc.

Keep in mind that some oils may be too “runny”, so try a small amount to start (one drop should be enough).

Burp your bag? Use caution!

If you tend to “burp” your appliance to relieve ballooning then I would recommend you to do this with caution.

Every time you open your flange to burp your bag, you increase the chance of your flange becoming lubricated in the parts that are supposed to keep it in place.

And while I really haven’t had any issues in the months of doing this, it is something to note as a potential problem.

Closing Words

If you wear your bag horizontally and find that emptying your bag is an awkward affair then give this trick a try.

It can help to improve your quality of life, but be aware of the risks before dripping that oil on!

Bonus: Tip for Coloplast Sensura Mio Click

If you have trouble getting your Coloplast Sensura Mio click to rotate, you can still use the above trick, but in a slightly different way.

The flange coupling on the Mio doesn’t have a channel to put oil into. To use this trick, you should put a drop or two of oil on the top of the coupling on the wafer side (see below) and let it slide down a bit.

Sensura Mio oil
A drop or two should be all you need.

After the oil has had a chance to slide down the sides, you can snap your bag on and rotate it before locking it into place to allow the oil to coat the coupling evenly.

Question: Have you used this trick?

2 thoughts on “How to Easily Rotate Your Ostomy Bag : Ostomy Hack”

  1. I am confused about wearing anything tight (clothing, a stealth belt, etc.) around my bag as it would keep the output from sliding down. I have to recline for 3+ hours during dialysis treatment and I always experience pancaking (can be VERY embarrassing!) I am trying to solve the pancaking problem, but I really long to wear fashionable dresses, slacks, etc. instead of baggy attire all the time.

    • Hi Sandra,

      I personally feel that the biggest problem with tight clothing is exactly what you describe. And yes, it can be embarrassing if left without an intervention.

      There can be a few solutions to helping with this, other than wearing loose/stretchy clothing.

      I do cover a few options to explore in these two articles:

      One question: do you have an ileostomy or colostomy? If you have a colostomy, then you also have the option of irrigating your stoma, which could provide you with many hours to days of no output (since you would be manually evacuating anything in your colon). I would strongly suggest speaking with a stoma nurse if you have a colostomy, as they’d be able to guide you through the process.

      If you have an ileostomy, like I do, then I hope something from those two articles will help :)


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