Emptying Your Ostomy Appliance
by Penny Brown
There is a question that is frequently asked by individuals with ostomies....What is the correct way to empty your appliance (regardless of what type of ostomy you have)? So many ostomates want to make this so complicated and unnatural! Some kneel on the floor in front of the toilet.... Others take off the pouch and empty and rinse it in the toilet bowl. Some remove the pouch, empty it in the toilet and then wash it in the sink ... still others fill the pouch with water, swish it around and then empty it again. We could go on and on about the way pouches are emptied. Name it and it has been done before! Why not make life as easy as possible and make pouch emptying as natural and stress-free as a normal trip to the restroom.
When the pouch is one-fourth to one-half full, empty it, as the weight will cause tension and loosen the adhesion of the appliance, resulting in leakage. Throw out the syringes, plastic bags, tin cans and whatever else it is that you use. Maybe the nurse at the hospital told you that you had to wash it out or that you had to kneel or face the toilet. But think about an easier system.... Sit on the toilet with the pouch between your legs. Lean forward. With the enclosure clip on, turn the contents upward away from the body. Remove the clip carefully, aim the end of the pouch into the toilet and empty. Wipe off the end of the pouch with toilet paper. Refasten with the clip and ... presto! Place the clip away from harm's way when emptying your pouch. The top of the toilet paper dispenser works will if the surface is flat. Always carry a spare pouch clip with you when you will be emptying away from home or are traveling. Take your time when refastening the pouch clip as you may be more apt to fumble the clip into the toilet when you hurry.
So take your Time if you are a new Ostomate. It is one of the things that you will learn to do in the Late night hours in your sleep.. Dont fret about it just let it come naturaly and you will be ok.
© Penny Brown
Penny Brown was an editor of Suite101.com's Living with Ostomy site.