How to empty the Ostomy pouch? Pouch emptying skills

After your Ostomy surgery, the foremost thing you need to learn is how to change your Ostomy bag or pouch. This is the most important and basic part of Ostomy life.

This article is going to help you with all the possible things you should know.

Proving the pouch level

It is always recommended to empty your pouch when it is almost one-third filled. If your pouch gets too much filled with the contents then it will become heavier and pulls the skin barrier off the skin. As you can’t control the feces or don’t feel the flow of the feces you need to check it from time to time. You can do it by putting your hand on the pouch have a rough estimate.

Decide the best position

You should ensure enough water and you must have proper space in the bathroom so that the feces don’t spoil your clothes. The best position for you can be varying depending on the size and location of your stoma.

Your ease is the priority.

  • Sit on the toilet seat spreading your legs wide and in a forward position
  • Sit or stand while your face is toward the toilet and you are leaning backward
  • In case of a side position, you can sit or stand beside the toilet seat.

Draining or emptying the feces

  • You can sit leaning backward on the toilet seat or stand over it.
  • You must have a piece of toilet paper near you.
  • Then raise the opening end of the pouch.
  • Slowly open the pouch and unclamp or unfold the sealed drainage.
  • Lower down the opening point in the toilet seat. Move your hand’s side of the pouch to drain out the feces.
  • In case if you are in a standing position, then you need to flush out many times also you need to place toilet paper on your legs and in toilet seats. It will prevent the splashback of the feces.
  • Then wipe the opening and closing of the pouch with a toilet paper
  • Add the deodorant if needed
  • At last, put the clamps back or seal them again.

Changing the pouch

You need to change your whole one-piece pouching system every three to seven days. If you experience itching or burning under your pouch it means you need to change your pouch without any delay otherwise it will lead to an infection.

Bring all the supplies near you

The supplies you need are:

  • A new pouch
  • Wipes or toilet paper or moist towel
  • Pen or marker to write the size of the stoma
  • Scissors
  • Plastic bag
  • Stoma paste if needed
  • Skin barrier if needed
  • Pouch odor filter if required

Dispose of the old pouch

  • Start with peeling off the one end of the skin barrier.
  • Then start moving to the other corners and keep pushing it away from the skin. You can use a wet towel or adhesive remover to help yourself.
  • Put this old pouch into a disposable plastic bag.
  • If you use a clamp don’t put it with the pouch. Keep it for later use.

Cleaning and observing

  • Observe your skin around the stoma and observe the color of the stoma. The stoma must look red and damp.
  • Look for any redness or rashes. The skin must appear the same as the normal skin. You may use a mirror to have a clear view of the stoma.
  • Use warm water to clean the skin around the stoma. Don’t use oils because it will reduce the adhesion property of the barrier. Also, avoid:
  • Soaps Baby wipes
  • Pat dry the skin slowly and completely
  • You can use a little amount of skin powder if you experience slipping or weepy skin around the stoma. This powder helps in absorbing moisture.

Measure and cut the opening of the barrier

  • It is very crucial that the opening of your skin barrier is the same size as your stoma. After three months of the surgery, the stoma will stop shrinking. Initially, you need to measure the stomal size and cut the barrier according to it.
  • You should put a piece of paper or tissue over the stoma if there is a danger of any leaking when you’re measuring the stoma.
  • Then start measuring. You can use your measuring grid and mark according to the size of the stoma. If you have an irregular stoma then your doctor will give you a template according to it.
  • Then hold the measuri9ng at the backside of the barrier and trace the exact size.
  • Use the scissors for cutting the skin barrier. Don’t cut the front side of the pouch it will cause leakage and odor.
  • Place the new barrier on the stoma.

Place the new pouch

  • Peel of the lining from the back of the flange or skin barrier
  • Place the center opening over the stoma.
  • After placing the skin barrier around the stoma keep pressing the side for almost thirty seconds. Start from the area near the stoma. Always ensure that is properly attached to the skin.
  • In case of a drainable pouch close the opening.
  • Lower down the pouch
  • Clip your Ostomy belt if you use any of them.
  • Keep the supplies back to the place for using them again.

Ostomy accessories

Stoma care can be very easy and simple. You can use different accessories along with the pouch. You can take help from your ET nurse in this regard.

Stoma Paste

Stoma paste is used for contouring the uneven skin around the stoma. It fills all the gaps and creases and helps the pouch to remain in place.

You should apply the paste in a single layer. In case of very rough skin, you can add the layers but add the next layer after the first one dries completely. If you experience any allergic reaction to the paste, stop using the paste immediately.

Barrier rings

It is issued for the same purpose as stoma paste. It helps in contouring the gaps and prevents leakage. They are non-alcoholic. Don’t touch them too much it will reduce their sticking property.

Skin sealant or skin barrier

It is in spray form and provides a plastic coating to prevent the leakage of liquid.

Pouch deodorants or filters

They are used to reduce the foul-smelling In the pouch.

Adhesive remover

It is used while changing the pouch and helps in removing the old pouch without pulling or ripping the skin.

Everything about Ileostomy and Colostomy

A surgical procedure that alters the passage of bowel contents outside the body is known as Ostomy. The hole that is made in the abdomen, as a result, is called a stoma.

The type of Ostomy which allows a patient to pass out feces through the stoma is referred to as ileostomy or colostomy.

A stoma is a part of the large intestine (colon) or small intestine (ileum) that is pulled throughout the cut in the abdomen (stoma). It is an alternative path that allows feces to leave the body.

The feces are then collected in a pouch that is worn outside the stoma. The shape of your abdomen and kind of ostomy decides the size and site for the stoma.

Typically, all stomas are the same and they will:

  • Protrude outward, such as inch over the skin
  • Differ in size
  • Have eclipse or round sphere shape
  • Red and damp
  • No sensation
  • It will look swollen initially but then it will shrink with time.

Which individuals demand Ostomy?

Any reason that causes blockage in the drainage and flow of the feces demands Ostomy. These conditions are:

  • Cancer
  • Trauma
  • Diseased colon
  • IBD

In case if the repair of the intestine is not possible, then an Ostomy is needed. Then the feces are directed to a new path (stoma).

What do you need to know about your digestive system?

Food enters your mouth and passes through the esophagus and finally reaches into the stomach. The breakdown of food takes place in the stomach and then it goes to the small intestine.

Enzymes work on the food particles in the small intestine and convert them into a thick liquid. Then water and important vitamin are absorbed. This liquid-type material is then passed into the colon, a part of the large intestine. The reabsorption of water takes place in the colon. Stool moves from the colon into the rectum and it is defecated out through the anus. In an Ostomy, either the small or large intestine is brought to the abdominal surface.


When a surgeon uses a small intestine (ileum) for the creation of a stoma is called an ileostomy. . Ileostomy can be permanent or temporary. Less water is reabsorbed in the ileostomies because they are higher. The bowel content as a result is watery. It will become loose over time.


When a colon is used to create a stoma and passing out feces, the Ostomy is called a colostomy.

The colostomies have been assigned different names based on their location. For example: ascending colostomy, descending colostomy, sigmoid colostomy.  Colostomy can be permanent or temporary. The feces formed as a result are more firm.

All you need to know about your pouch

When your feces leave the body it is collected in a pouch or bag termed Ostomy bag or pouch. This pouch collects the feces and can be changed from time to time. You can’t control your bowel movements after the Ostomy. That’s why you always need to wear a pouching system over your stoma.

The pouching system has sticking and adhesion properties. It helps in:

  • Collection of the stool
  • Captures the foul smell
  • Protects the peristomal skin

There is nothing wrong if the feces come in contact with your stoma, but if the feces remain intact with the peristomal skin it can cause irritation and infections.

Pouching systems vary in size and orientation. They are very light in weight and easy to carry around.

You can seek help from your PCP or ET nurse for the selecting best pouching system for you.

Types of pouching systems

The ostomy pouching system consists of a pouch that is issued for the collection of the feces and a skin barrier or flange that keeps the pouch in place. The pouching system has two types

  • One-piece pouching system
  • Two-piece pouching system

One piece-pouching system

The flange and the pouch are attached.

Two-piece pouching system:

There is a spate pouch and skin barrier.

Drainable pouch:

The pouch that has an open end to drain out feces is known as a drainable pouch. You don’t need to remove it off the skin. You can hold it in the same place for several days.

Closed-end pouch

It has no opening and you can simply dispose of it off when it is filled. It is not recommended for ileostomy patients because it needs to be changed frequently.

Pouch accessories

You can use different products to keep your pouching system in place and sealed properly.


Pouch filters are used for lessening the odor in the pouch

Ostomy belts or wraps are used to keep the pouching system in place while physical activities such as swimming.

Pouch covers are worn over the pouch. They help in concealing your pouch under the clothes.