Anyone with a colostomy tried irrigation??

I am fed up with my colostomy bags leaking!!! Tried all different types but they are all the same. Embarrassing when you are out. Looking at 'you tube' and it appears easy. Stoma nurse happy for me to try but going for 2nd lot of chemo treatment at end October. Any advice welcome, also can anyone tell me if there is a problem irrigating whilst on chemo?? Thanks folks. Love always Izzy XXX

12 Replies

  • Sorry Izzie, I have no advice but I do send my sympathy. I was marked up for either a Colostomy or an Ileostomy before my debulking op. It was just such a shock. I said to my consultant that I really couldn't bear the idea of either. He said he would do his very best to avoid it but it often goes wrong later if not done. I was SO lucky - he managed to get everything away from my bowel (and bladder). My first words, coming out of surgery, were "Have I got a bag?" I can imagine how down you must feel, with all the leaking. Hopefully things will settle for you.

    Good Luck, love, Solange

  • Hi Izzy

    I ended up with a stoma following surgery last Dec. It is permanent and I was advised to wait for about 6 months post-surgery before trying irrigating. Unfortunately I had to start chemo at 6 months and my Onc, and my stoma nurse, were not keen on me irrigating whilst on chemo due to risk of infection. I am therefore waiting until end of chemo to begin irrigation. I have to say I have never had any problems with leakage, even when my stoma has been 'in overdrive!' (the nicest way to put it). Have you got a stoma nurse contact who can advise you as to irrigation and discuss the problems you are having with your bags? My stoma nurse has been a big help in providing advice and support. If not, your doctor should be able to put you in touch with your local community stoma support nurses. Although I have not tried irrigation I know of at least one lady on this forum who is very competent in this field and I'm sure would be able to give you advice. Good luck xxxx Col

  • Hi Izzy

    Me again - apologies, just re-read your post and noticed that you do indeed have a stoma nurse (chemo brain this week - forget what I have read within minutes of reading it - doh!!). I am sure she will be able to guide you through the process. xxxxx

  • Hi Fitzy. Chemo brain affects us all, lol. Glad you don't gave problems with your bags. I think my problem us that I have out on a lot of weight sine I had my debulking op. Bags just don't seem to stick and it comes out the sides, never full up (what a subject lol). I think my onc may have the same view as yours. I will seek her advice as well as my stoma nurse. I am starting my 2nd lot of chemo 25th October :( so bit with starting if I have to stop. Good luck. Best wishes Izzy xxx

  • Hi Izzy

    Not had irrigation but I do have an illeostomy which was the bain of my life because of leakage, changed pouch 10 times in one day, stress levels were on overdrive. I tried all different types of pouches with the help of my stoma nurse but nothing helped, then company sent through a couple new specimens (ESTEEM) which instead of the flange (sticky bit) being fairly rigid is made of a sort of material which seems to be100% better and adheres better. Do not know if this would help you but anything is worth I try. let me know if you would like more info on product


    Bettyann x

  • Hi Beetyann. Thanks for the advice I will ask my stoma nurse about ESTEEM. Stress levels extremely high since having my colostomy. That's why I want to try irrigation. I understand it gives you back control of your movements. I will keep everyone posted on my progress xxxx

  • Hi Izzy

    I have had an ileostomy for three years now and although the first six months or so were pretty horrendous things settled down after that. It sounds as though the seal on your bag is not doing the job properly. Have you tried Salts Secuplast Security Strips. They're crescent shaped and you can use up to three which would fit round the whole bag. They just give that bit extra width and security. I don't know if you use the IA (Ileostomy Association) website, but the forums are wonderful for advice, tips etc on all sorts of topics.

    It's a good idea to place the bag (and the strips) in your armpit while you're taking off the old bag and washing etc. This warms them before applying them to your skin and they seem to stick better then. Also do you need a convex bag rather than a flat one, your stoma nurse would be the person to advise on that. (I hope I'm not teaching my granny how to suck eggs here!)

    Good luck.

    Cathy xx

  • No sucking on eggs Cathy. It's great to hear so many responses and advice. I will try the convex bags as soon as I can. Hopefully they will solve the leaking problems I have. Thanks. Izzy xxxxxx

  • Hi Izzy,

    I am a fairly new stoma owner. I have only had mine for 2 months now so I am afraid I can offer no advise on irrigation. Sorry. I have however also had a complete nightmare with leakage. Have you noticed your skin being wet at all? I was drying the skin with kitchen roll and a hairdryer etc etc but it still seemed damp hence the bag not sticking. My stoma nurse swabbed the area and found I had a infection. Touch wood since I have been on the antibiotics this has cleared up

    Also I have the convex bags that Cathy mentioned and they are great. The one I have should be warn with a belt my nurse was concerned about prolapsing so I just use the flange extenders. This really seems to help.

    Have you tried a wafer under the bag? This has been a help for me.

    Sorry I know that doesn't answer your question but fingers crossed you find the answer soon.

    Take care.

    Heather xx

  • Thanks heather. I was so sore under my bag but my stoma nurse told me to get "BETNAVATE SCALP LOTION ". I did, it stung like hell but cleared up in three days. Not to be used all the time but when sore. I am going to try the convex bags to see if they help with leakage. Going to speak to oncologist and stoma nurse about irrigation whilst on chemo. I will post my answers. Good luck with your colostomy. XXXXX

  • Hi Izzy,

    I have an ileostomy, so may not be a huge help, but when I had sore skin, my stoma nurse gave me sorbaderm spray as a barrier spray, and it worked like a charm, but also is sticky and seems to help the bag stick better. Although leaks weren't my main problem, I have had fewer since I've been using it.

    Good luck. Leaks are so upsetting.


  • Hi Sue. Thanks for your response. Sore skin is no longer a problem since I have been using BETNAVATE SCALP LOTION. Actually works a treat. Strange isn't it ??? Going to try cônvex bags. Hope to irrigate xxx

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