Re-Using Pouches?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 463
   Posted 5/13/2011 1:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone...3rd day after ileo and doing really well. My husband had a question...he wanted to know if its possible to rinse out a pouch and re-wear it so you don't have to wait 3-days to finally clean yourself off? Had my first upset tummy this morning and it was completely dumb of me...Lol I downed 3-coffee's and it didn't sit well. shakehead


Another UC wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 5/13/2011 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah too much coffee for sure.

Hubby removes the pouch and gently wipes off any residue on the inner circle of the wafer - first thing in the morning when the stoma is not active as he has had nothing to eat or drink - and then puts on a new one which works well.
Also I assume you can rinse it out and reapply if you are low on pouches.  I cleaned out a long neck ketchup bottle that he keeps on the back of the toilet with water in it which was suggested by his home health care nurse. This might be useful too for you to gently squirt some water into the opening of the pouch to loosen or clean out any buildup.  Don't squeeze with too much force as it was recommended NOT to let it get too far up and wet the stoma area and possibly contribute to or cause the wafer to be undermined.

Post Edited (Another UC wife) : 5/13/2011 1:07:20 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 587
   Posted 5/13/2011 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I used to rinse my pouch every time I emptied. I guess I like thngs a bit cleaner. I would just take a glass and pour warm water in it, put it upside down and swish it around. Worked great. I had a one piece.
Diagnosed 2006. 1st step of 2 step j-pouch 1/3/11. 2nd step April 4, 2011. So done with this disease.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 463
   Posted 5/13/2011 6:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank U again, Another UC wife, and Disneynut...I just hate trying to empty pouch and not being able to get it all out...I feel dirty then, and yet 2-more days before I can change it (if i follow the instructions of my Ostomy Nurse).

The reason I asked is, I didn't know if any bacteria could cause any problems.
Loop ileostomy May 10th 2011, Bipolar 2/ Borderline, Anxiety/Panic-Attacks, Major Depression, DDA-Dual Diagnosis...Recovering Addict/Alcoholic. 9 years-clean from Meth and 8 months sober.
Just recently weaned off of Effexor XR, Prozac now in its place. Gabapentin, Zyprexa, Vistaril, Trazadone

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 5/13/2011 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
hi serenitee, you seem to be doing great after your op, this is fantastic & will be a boost for any others following forum who are in the nervous stage awaiting or considering surgery

i have never considered what goes on in the bag between empties - it would be reasonable to think that bacteria would multiply & be an issue over the few days of wear but personally i have not noticed anything to suggest this goes on - the only areas i concern myself with are keeping the ouput off my skinarounf the stoma & ensuring that drain end is kept clean before & on closing, i think that the stoma itself can happily deal with poop for an extended period as this is what it is designed for.

best wishes
UC since 1990, not a lot of fun
Qualified as ileostomate May 2010, a much happier boy now
panproctocolectomy, abdomino perineal resection, perm ileostomy
my colon may not be, but my heart is in the right place !!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 5/13/2011 10:02 PM (GMT -6)   
it's not necessary to rinse the pouch out everytime, if you want to that's fine. but don't worry about bacteria, your stoma came from inside, it's used to have junk in it! 
you could rinse it and reuse it, but i think it's a pain to put a bag back on, i always make a mess,i get 6 days or so out of the bag too.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 5/14/2011 3:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi serenitee! Glad you're doing well! I wash my bags every 2 days with dawn or downy on the advice of my stoma nurse. And i
Use a Lysol wipe to clean down in once all rinsed, then they dry and they seem good as new minus slight discoloration. It is somewhat of a pain and i do it all over the toilet but it cleans it! Once to twice a day I rinse my bag while still attached to me, despite a 2 piece I still am hesitant to pull it off and leave the stoma to get active! Just like a cup of water poured down the open drainable end and swirled in the bag then emptied, all while you're on the toilet allows for it to to get easily rinsed! Do it two times twice a day and it'll stay pretty build up free! Good luck!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 938
   Posted 5/14/2011 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't do any of that....I just make sure to clean the tail really well every time I empty. I've never really worried about the bacteria or anything and haven't had any problems. I usually go 4 days between changes.
UC dx 2/08

Done with the drugs. Step 1 (of 3) J-pouch surgery 3/22/11, Steps 2 & 3 TBD

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 5/14/2011 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Are you wearing a two piece? Yes, you can take it off and rinse it if YOU want and put it back on! In fact, you can do whatever you want:) If you find something that you prefer...use it. If rinsing works for it!

I have found that I have to make myself happy with my 'way of going' and that has changed MANY times over the years! I have gone through a 'change the pouch EVERY day' phase and an Imodium phase and many more...right now I change my pouch every other day and then there are days that I don't feel like it. What I am trying to say is that there is no one right way!

A stoma is no different than when your someone has a BM, wipes, then washes their hands...the bacteria is the same.
formally known as OHIO76 ~ honoring my daughter's passion!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 5/15/2011 7:15 AM (GMT -6)   
A stoma nurse who came to my house right after the surgery said that rinsing the bag every time was like giving yourself an enema every time you go to the bathroom -- just not necessary. The bag is replacing a pretty dirty organ, and it's ok for it to be dirty inside.

But if cleaning it makes you feel better, go for it. Like some of the others, I just worry about the end. It's going to get dirty again inside in a few minutes....
48 years old, female.
2004 dx indeterminate colitis. Back and forth between Crohn's and UC dx. Many drugs, minimal success.
2010-11 Crazy skin and eye complications, high fevers, bad flaring. Out of good drug options, tired of scary drugs.
Feb 2011 -- proctocolectomy with permanent ileolostomy; abscess, blood clot. Still healing, still glad for the surgery

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 5/15/2011 11:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Ron I thought that said next to the couch! I was like wth! That is disgusting!
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

windy city
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 607
   Posted 5/15/2011 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
It just amazing as to how everyone does these basic things differently.  In the hospital, I used to take off the bag and wash it out entirely and wipe the wafer/stoma area.  I disliked it because of the mess and didn't see the purpose.  My WOCN that came to my home said that pulling off and reattaching the bag gives some effort and your compromising your tight seal.  So, I do rinse at every emptying.  My sink has a close faucet and I just let alittle water in, making sure not to get too high up, turn to the toilet and let it drop, repeat until clear.  If I'm out, I just wipe the tail closure w/o rinsing or use my squirt bottle that I've kept postpartum that I've let my kids use in the bath (came in handy again :-)).  I feel clean because the bag is and its of great comfort, get 7-11 days wear.  Though, couple of months ago, this would make it 6 months post op, I was experiencing burning, pinching pain from my stoma.  Unaware of what was occurring, I tolerated the pain for couple more days until appliance change.  When I removed my appliance,  my stoma was covered in waste that had dried.  It never moistened and fell.  Was worried at first but the stoma is coming from a 'dirty' place with 100's of bacteria.  Now I realize the pain if it were to ever occur again.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 463
   Posted 5/15/2011 12:50 PM (GMT -6)   
To Everyone: I really got a lot of responses and great ideas from everyone, so I Thank You :) It is funny how everyone may do it slightly different from one another...but all great ways. You all are all so strong and brave, thank you for being there for me.

Loop ileostomy May 10th 2011, Bipolar 2/ Borderline, Anxiety/Panic-Attacks, Major Depression, DDA-Dual Diagnosis...Recovering Addict/Alcoholic. 9 years-clean from Meth and 8 months sober.
Just recently weaned off of Effexor XR, Prozac now in its place. Gabapentin, Zyprexa, Vistaril, Trazadone

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1251
   Posted 5/16/2011 6:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm another who doesn't bother rinsing since the stoma is your intestine and used to having stool on it. I just wipe the tail end with toilet paper after I've emptied, do it up again and I'm good to go. To my way of thinking, there's no need to make the procedure more complicated than it needs to be :)
Ileostomy for 34 years due to UC. I had my surgery at 10 years of age.

Moderator of the Ostomy and Psoriasis Forums


I'm not a complete idiot - some parts of me are missing!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1059
   Posted 5/17/2011 3:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I just wipe tail end of bag and that's it. Never even thought of rinsing bag after every opening. With a high output stoma like mine that means I would be spending even more time in the toilet and that sort of defeats the object of having the stoma for me. Less time in the bathroom is my main aim so as long as tail of bag clean then I'm happy.
Crohn's dx 1989, loop ileo 1992, end ileo 1992. Arthritis developed 1990 Stoma abcess 1995. Azathioprine started 1995. Panprocolorectomy 1999. Stillbirth 2000, antiphospholipid syndrome dx 2000. Flare up 2004, stoma abcess and strictoplasty 2004. Low blood pressure dx with impaired kidney function 2006, fludrocortisone pres. flare up 2010, steroids, Humira, codeine.
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