Untimely Leaks: OSTOMY TIPS (w/ video)


I had the unfortunate experience of an appliance leak while out, but preparedness helped me deal with it without too much trouble. Here’s a real-time, uncut video of how I handled it:

Note: In the video, I mentioned that I believe the tear was caused by my belt, but when I got home to change my full appliance, I had scratches under my belt line that were caused by the outlet on my Hollister bag. I believe the real culprit was the outlet piercing the bag. This has never happened, but the combination of the rides and the fact that I kept the outlet tucked under my waistband,  were a recipe for disaster in this case.  A pouch cover, wearing my pouch over my clothes or using a system that doesn’t have such a sharp outlet would have prevented this from happening.

A few takeaways:

  • Keep your emergency ostomy kit close by when you’re going out, or at least keep it “close-enough” (in this case,it was in my car).
  • Handling things calmly will reduce stress, and keep things moving forward.
  • Always keep medical tape in your kit.  I actually don’t carry wafer extenders in my kit, because I know the tape can be used.
  • A parked car can work just as well as a bathroom in the event of an accident (most of the time!).
  • There are benefits to using a  2 piece appliance!
  • Mind the pouch outlet! It slices, it dices, it puts holes in ostomy bags!
For tips on how to prevent leaks, check out THIS article.
Question : Have you changed your appliance in an emergency?

19 thoughts on “Untimely Leaks: OSTOMY TIPS (w/ video)

  1. Illona, rest easy that your not the first to keep changing you pouch-I named mine “wow!! Nellie”
    Nellie sings a lot, and she complains if I eat to much-so (bath trips at nite) I don’t eat a large dinner at night or to many fluids. This should help u sleep well- Also a shrink helped me as I was such a mess in shock and so very sick-comma-2-months-death- and surprise the NELLIE that I suggested to the nurses that this bandage should be removed.. Anyway- the anti-depressants got me to rest better, and me a calmer person to accept all of this-took a few years-but those pills helped me-if u go this way=start LOW then if u have to work it up so little at a time-remember YOUR in charge always.. Don’t change your pouch so many times.. I do it every third day needed or not-keeps me comfortable (mentally) with the leaks. (most of the time) Also, u will find so many different ways to prevent the leaks as time goes on-this blog is great!! What I found for me anyway-if that you take the cohesive rings,-cut in half-roll it-press this roll around your opening of the barrier-(I have a heater in my bathroom-so I let it heat up a little) then slap in on ‘ol Nellie.. I found personally, that I don’t get the rash or irrations(sp) that I got when using the whole ring..-Someone in my support group told me of this and thank God it helped me.. My Nellie is lop/sided so half stick out 1 inch and the other slopes down.. I now am using a 1 piece mio soft convex. And use the Reg. cohesive seal rings. They come in slim and reg. So, I brought home one/2 of those bed pads from the hospital, (hey!! I paid for it!!” ) I put this under my bed sheet. Yes, I have my leaks, but I find walking/house work helps things move on down.. If I feel that Nellie is producing rapidly, I turn on my side of the stoma, (Nellie)
    Relax, and heal my dear, and have a great night sleep soon-and for ever!! (may be a night leak-but that is what Nellie does.. ) And trust me, I AM NOT singing when that happens!!

  2. Hello!!!!! Oppps in the car? I keep a large ricotta chees container which I have tucked in with a pouch disposable bag (that comes with most pouches) throw away gloves, lots of napkins, stoma wipes, a few of packets of clean wipes, A dental bib (for drips) and a tie twist-ALWAYS IN BOTH OF MY CARS. Stuck in a parade of traffic? Got a leak or have to empty? Perfect!! I keep this hanging behind my car head rest. (A coffee can is good also) As we all do OR SHOULD have ALWAYS keep a changing pouching system with us.. I found a cheap type bag with long strings to hold my emergency -got to empty- to hang these.. Remember your wafers at not to be in the hot/very cold cars. Just ask the dentist assistant for a few bibs when u get your teeth clean-as they have a plastic backing. Keep things clean and mostly YOU!!
    Hiking? I just bring the pouch bag, with napkins and gloves, etc. and always I put in a bottle of water for MY hydrating.
    Also, I am sure that you as I, have gone into the bathroom and found that there is no toilet paper!! I just tear half of a napkin and place this up BEHIND your pouch next to your skin for a flatter appearance. BEFORE you go out for a trip in the car- Hope this helps you all, not in charge of the car accidents or ours and have to sit for hours on end do we??? Or when the cops pull u over-you know how long they like to keep u waiting… Happy travels-happy trails!!

      • Thanks Eric!! Just watched you video of showering-how come you weren’t IN the shower? .. I just sponged bathed for a few months after my surgery.. And the hair dresser weekly for my hair, as I was to weak to stand more than 3 minutes at one time.. When it is time to change my pouch ( Nellie) I enjoy a nice hot bath and a sip of wine or tea, then I am fresh, and dried off, had everything ready to dress up Nellie.. I look forward to my special bath (with pouch on) Also, I read someone wrote you and said that their stoma was active in the mornings. Well, honeys! It WOKE UP!! Time to play! If I get a leak in the night, I just get things ready for Nellie Put the shower cap on my head-and take off the pouch and shower-no soap near Nellie-she doesn’t like that.. Just at the last minute I rinse her off with the shower head, get my composure together, and then off for the bedding routine.. .. I find when leaking at night, showering is faster to clean yourself up. I mean, your awake anyway…… Also, I find when a leak at night-Nellie is not active the leaking.. Do you? or anyone else?

          • Hey, Eric.. What do u mean by retract?

            Do u have any personal pictures of peoples different stomas and category them as: Flat, some that stick out in so many inches? Like to offer us what kind of wafers that are best for these measurements? As mine is lop-sided, they put on a flat barrier as half of mine sticks out when ever I am in the hospital..- And I use a convex.. And some barriers I get confused with what type of convex barrier and which thickness I should use with each. As of the commercials, they show the flat-only. As we are all in the same boat, but I feel that I only have one ore in the water with this. Getting better-but some new members and I could always use a better showing of stomas than their pictures of advertisements. I will show u mine, if u show me yours.. ………. Like I said, we are all in the same boat, and thank god we have our own floating devise huh?

              • Thanks Eric!! First I want to say is, this blog of yours is like a bible to me!! Second, your un-happy stoma is my regular stoma-judging the way it goes side ways. so I use a convex and a modular ring cut in half-roll it length wise and press this like a TIGHT pie crust for extra fit. (if this helps you or anyone).. – and yes, I was wondering why my stoma (Nellie) was acting like a roller coaster sometimes (not many) when I was changing, thought it was kinda funny-told Nellie to knock it off as I had slap on her dress!! So that is a blockage huh? I have had a blockage once and ended up in the hospital but Nellie did her thing after a while, and blew it out on the nurse.. OHHHHHHH, what a relief that was.. Getting back to blockage— Now, it is to my understanding that if I can have a small blockage and don’t notice/feel pain, that is it? Just if Nellie is rolling/entertaining me a bit, that is a blockage right? I will take this as a signal and drink “grape Juice” as they told me to do if I was ever in pain of such again or coffee. Yes?

                Third, talked to a few men at support Group, they said that course “HAIR” is so strong growing out that it can and does push the wafer away (as it grows out ) on any wafer they use.. If woman/men have less use of their wafer, this may be the problem also.. (I feel so bad for them !! Just another aggravation for you all) Hugs Eric !!!

              • I am not on twitter or face book-etc. Just plain ol’ me.. Does that matter? Computers and I don’t get along well.. Just asking before I start.. Also, I tried to reg. before.. May have same information-should I change but AIl? except I still have the same e-mail address. .. Thanks Eric..

              • My e-mail is ———- shulmjs@aol.com

                Eric, Your a Doll !!!!!!! Marcie… ………… I love to reply to others.. Makes our issues FUN !!! Never mind we are all ONE!!!!!!!!! We are all IN the same boat, and some of us (mostly in the beginning) Feel like we only have on ore in the water…… Speaking of????????? Me at this time.. …….

            • Hi Marcie, looks like we’re running out of room to write!

              My stoma retracts when I have a blockage, but some stomas are always like that – blockage or not.

              For a blockage, you will certainly notice something is off. I list some common symptoms in this article: https://www.veganostomy.ca/dealing-with-ostomy-blockages-w-video/#Signs_of_a_blockage

              If you’ve got more questions or would like to discuss this further at length, I would love to have you on the community forums: https://www.veganostomy.ca/community/

              Take care!

  3. For a different reason, my husband experienced his first emergency quick change today whilst at a football match (soccer to you chaps across the water). This was caused by a catastrophic failure of the seal around the tap on his SenSura Mio urostomy appliance (I really can’t recommend these, they are so unreliable, and have a really short wear time, sometimes as little as six hours). Thankfully he did have a change set with him and only missed ten minutes of the second half, so no trouble at all! Sadly our team only managed a draw though.

  4. Amusing little video, you are right, shit happens, it took me about 2 months post surgery to learn that, funny because when I finally learnt it, it rarely happened again.
    In my stoma bag change kit, I always keep a 20ml pod of sterile water (they are designed for eye wash or wound wash). They are great because they are really small so take up hardly any space, but they contain just enough water to be able to wash you stoma / skin if you need a full bag change. The design of them is to be able to squirt small amounts of water as and where directed, so with a couple of dry wipes you can use them in a car without getting too messy. Perfect also if you are on holiday somewhere and you don’t trust the tap water.

    • Yup, I’ve filled up a small bottle with water, and keep it in my kit, too. If you have a stack of gauze pads, you can soak them all using a little water and it really helps to clean around your stoma during an appliance change. Great thinking!

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