Suggestions on emptying one piece bags with velcro drains

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Jacob Fred
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/18/2008 11:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I've had an ostomy for a month now and just moved to a bag with a velcro closure (Hollister on-piece drainable pouch).  Previously I was in a Convatec bag with a clip.   Things seem much better with the new bag.  However, I find it very difficult to empty the bag with the velcro closure without getting "stuff" all over my hands.  Does anyone have any suggestions on technique for staying a bit "cleaner" when emptying?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 11/18/2008 12:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Jacob Fred - that was my grandfather's name! :-) Welcome to Healing Well.

Here's what I do: I take two wads of toilet paper and put one in each hand. After emptying, I lay the end of the bag on the wad of TP in my left hand, and wipe it clean with the wad of TP in my right hand. It works great!

Hope that helps!
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 11/18/2008 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I think this guy did an excellent job of showing a great way to empty your bag:
26-year-old diagnosed with UC in 2004
Underwent stage one of J-Pouch surgery on September 16, 2008
Now living symptom-free thanks to the Cleveland Clinic

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 518
   Posted 11/18/2008 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Don't any of you flip the top down? I use a clip (I know it's not the same) but I fold down the top and do not have to use all the tp and such. I just use one small was to wipe away the edges and I'm done. I'm sure we all have our weird ways....

vette guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 650
   Posted 11/18/2008 10:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey guys- I know chosing the right appliance is about as personal as personal can get. But, I've tried those pouches(calling them bags is a no no to me). And, IMHO, the convenience of the velcro doesn't outway the advantages of using a clip. I found them messy to deal with. Plus, I never thought the velcro could hamdle the same load(pardon the pun)as a clip. Again, it's just my opinion which is no more valid than anyone else's here. But, in almost 20 years of having an ostomy, I still prefer using an appliance with a clip!!! I still like feeling tha the clip is there, and that the little guy is doing his job! Again, this is just my opinion.

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 11/19/2008 5:26 AM (GMT -7)   
With the velcro you cannot flip the end down...which was one of the reasons it took me so long to go clipless!!!

Not all velcro closures are created equal! I use Hollister pouches ("bag" is a no no for me, too) for the filter that actually works (for me) and their velcro closure has an "extra" fold to it...which gives me a better feeling. I also tuck the end up under the "cloth" outerlayer just to be safe:)

I clean the end first (so my hands stay clean) and then wipe out the first "fold" of the end, roll it up, and go!

Jacob Fred
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/19/2008 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the advice. I still like the clip better but I'm not sure Hollister makes a pouch with the other aspects I want without a velco drain. I asked Hollister to send me some other samples. We'll have to wait and see.

Sorry about the "bag" reference. I'm new to this whole thing and didn't know there was a stigma....but going forward, I'm educated. Thanks.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 367
   Posted 11/19/2008 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Ok you're right this is very personal, but let me give you my take. I have a feeling I do it the hard way though after reading some of yours. I squeeze the ends together to make the opening bigger and empty it. But before I even start I take some toilet paper and fold it up. Three pieces to be exact and then set them on my legs. Once the bag is empty I take one of the folded pieces and fold it again longways and then in half so it's smaller, I open the pouch by squeezing the side again and stick the tp in there and then close the pouch over it, when I pull it out it's almost clean. I throw that one in the toilet and do it again two more times and then it's completely clean and I can fold it up all clean. My hands never get messy, I wash them any way of course!

I don't know if I helped but wanted to try. I too am still used to saying "bag" I'll get better at it.

I love the velcro much better.
35 years old
Chronic Lifetime Constipation
Diagnosed IBS - 1995
Rectal Prolapse - February 2007
Rectosigmoid Colectomy w/low anterior Anastomosis - 3/13/07
Diagnosed with Colonic Inertia - June 08
Total Colectomy - September 22, 2008
Take Down Surgery Scheduled - December 15, 2008
The whole world is at your feet; so paint your toenails Red!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 11/20/2008 8:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I do things a little different. I don't sit down!!  I always stand to empty with no problems.  I lay TP
4-6 sheets in toilette to help keep it clean and to prevent splash back. Even when it is watery output I can keep the closure up till I am ready to empty. A little wipe of end of closure and also I wipe inside the end of the closure to prevent any leakage.
As to your other post I leave my shirt hanging out every time I can. I know its not possible all the time but I don't like to put extra t-shirt or anything that will restrict my stoma from output. I am very self conscience about the puffy pouch and just try to cover it up however I can. ie book, jacket, sweater. I have struggled with this whole thing and yet thankful I do not suffer any more from UC.
Total collectomy and permanent Illeostomy April 2006
Pain free and enjoying life again
Have a Blessed day

Jacob Fred
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/20/2008 1:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Again, thanks for all the posts.

I had a break through today while emptying in the restroom in BJs...The need to visit the restroom to empty gave me flashbacks of racing to the bathroom when I had UC. At least this time I was able to walk slowly without "concern".

Anyway, I discovered the key to keeping things clean for me is keeping the drain facing up after I'm comfortable with the empty. That way any remaining "stuff" in pouch will slide back into the pouch instead of running down into the drain that I just cleaned.

Not sure if that makes sense to anyone but it has seemed to work all day.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 11/21/2008 12:48 AM (GMT -7)   
That's great!! :-) My first breakthrough was when I realized I was able to sleep through the night without having to get up to go to the bathroom every hour. My second and third happened while I was grocery shopping and clothes shopping, and I didn't have to stop once to race to the bathroom. It was amazingly wonderful!!
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)

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