Can You Still Pass Wind If You Have A Stoma?

No Farting With A Stoma Blog

The question everybody wants to ask

The one question I get asked, time and time again, when people find out I have a stoma is “can you still fart?” and “if not, do you miss it?”

Here’s the answer…

So for those of you without a stoma: the answer is a big fat NO! Or at least, not in the same way as before (via my bottom). I have to admit that, living with two stinky boys (husband and son), that I did used to get fart envy / rage.

Passing wind with a stoma

When you have a stoma, there are only two options for gas. It has to come out of your stoma, or out of your mouth.

From your stoma, gas usually leaks very slowly into your stoma bag. There are vents provided to help address this and to prevent the dreaded ballooning (where gas builds up inside the pouch) but they don’t really let that much out at a time. However, lots of stoma bags do have filters that stop there being any pong.

From time to time, some people do experience fart-type noises from their stoma. Thankfully, this usually doesn’t happen regularly. Some people report that these noises are worse if they haven’t eaten for a while – others, that it is triggered by the stoma being particularly active so it may just be a case of individual difference.

Nowadays, I burp more often

The other option now is for gas to leave as a burp. This happens to me much more than it used to. Not only carbonated drinks but nuts and vegetable skins can have a really gassy effect. I went to a concert the other week and the beer there gave me really bad hiccups because the burps couldn’t get up quick enough.

I still get blamed!

It’s funny when people try to blame a fart on me. If it’s someone that I don’t know too well, I’ll just have a little chuckle to myself but if it’s my son Callum then I remind him that I have a Barbie butt (where the colon, rectum and anus are removed and all holes to the outside world sewn up) and so it couldn’t possibly be me!

Now and again, I do miss a good fart

I used to miss passing wind, but now not so much. I have developed new techniques to move gas when it’s trapped - a cup of peppermint tea or a good wriggle. Just sometimes, though, when that doesn’t get things moving, I do still wish I could just let one rip.

A note from our Stoma Care Nurses regarding the passing of wind, mucous and stools once you have a stoma:

Generally speaking, Michelle’s comments are correct for her type of surgery and stoma. Passing wind, mucous or even faecal matter via your anus can also be normal though and will depend on your stoma and the type of operation you have had. Some ostomates may still have a section of large bowel connected to their anus. Even though the stoma is producing the majority of waste, the bowel left behind can still produce mucous so some people may still get the feeling that they need to go to the toilet every now and again. There might also be some faecal matter left behind if the surgeon didn’t fully wash the bowel out during surgery, and over time it will work its way out. If you have a loop stoma, you might get some wind working its way through too. All of this is normal and nothing to worry about.


Since having her stoma, the one question everybody asks Sonikmummy seems to be: “can you still fart?”

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by Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

About the author

My name is Michelle; I live in Kent with my husband and son. I have a permanent ileostomy as a result of Ulcerative Colitis. You can follow me on twitter.

Recent Comments

  • Anthony O'Neill

    Hi.

    I am sorry, but I disagree. I have a Ileostomy stoma, & on several occasions since my operation in August 2016, I have passed wind & stools, which my Consultant states is quite normal.

    I do miss a good fart though.

    Thanks.

    Anthony.

  • michele

    Really Anthony
    stool too? i have now started to pass wind through my bottom and have an ileostomy. I'm due for a reversal next week but was quite concerned that my bottom is passing wind. (thought there must be a leak somewhere?)
    Id be very alarmed if I had a stool from there.
    Thanks for your input.
    hope all goes well with you. I'm looking forward to my reversal on 23/03/18

    Regards

    Michele x x

  • Malcolm Parks

    Would really like some advice. I had a stoma fitted last week due to bowel cancer. I have experience a little wind via the back package which I've been assured is quite normal. However yesterday I not only had wind or what I thought was wind. It it was actually well an accident let's say which happened three times in total quite depressing to say the least. Has anyone else experienced this?

  • Janet

    I had a colostomy in 2010 I have had to change my water and bag 5 to 6 times a day been to John Hopkins 3 months had h pylori c diff I only weigh 65 lbs every thing I eat drink goes right thru me been in hospitals all the time from dehydration and other problems all the doctors say there is nothing they can do.i am making my funeral arrangements cause I know it won't be long.i have lived a living hell I'm worn out.i would like to know when you pass I understand you still go one director said if they don't see it up you will still go it blew me away

  • Antonia

    Hi I’ve had a stoma for 3mths now but couple times it felt like I have past wind a little is this normal or should I go to the doctors as I don’t see how as my large intestine is disconnected how is it possible?

  • Juan Santander

    I have a Ostomy Bag and last night I have passing gas through my rectum?

    is that normal or I should call my Surgeon Doctor?

    Thank you

  • Erin

    To Malcolm and anyone else interested/concerned. WARNING ICKY DETAILS AHEAD.

    I have had an ileostomy since 2010 due to Ulcerative Colitis. My rectum was left intact for possible reversal. I have not experience wind but in the hospital while I was recovering I did experience the sensation of having to move my bowels and a brown discharge in the toilet when I did so. I was quite alarmed but the nurse knew exactly what it was.

    Because I still have my rectum, the rectum produces this discharge to lubricate the anal passage to make bowel movements easier. She said it's normal and fine.

    I still get it, usually twice a day. On one end it makes me feel more "normal' but usually when I get the urge to 'go' it's urgent and yes I've had accidents because I couldn't hold it as it's liquid. :(

    Recently I've noticed blood so I do plan on seeing dr . Thinking it's possible my rectum will need to be removed .

    So, if you still have your rectum and the 'stool' is watery and brown it's probably just anal discharge. Still check with your dr though but hopefully this will put you at ease in the meantime. Take care everyone.

  • Sally

    Thank you all for your information. I'm finally giving in to the Colostomy bag surgery, I've had Colorectal for almost 6 years with bleeding and diarrhea most of the time. No medical personnel would listen to me and now I have no choice. I have put it off as long as I can. Some of my questions have been answered here but I sill have a few more for my doctor. If this had been listened to I could have had a better chance of beating it.
    Thanks again for the help.
    Sally Freshwater

  • Sue

    Hi all,
    My partner had emergency surgery 2 weeks ago, he had diverticulitis and peritonitis! Long story short, he thinks he just botty burped!! He has a stoma and was told there may be ‘phantom poo’ feelings from the other end. If the surgeons didn’t empty the lower bowel, he can still feel like getting rid of any waste, I just put it down to a healing process and anything that isn’t bleeding, oozing or causing pain, can only be good! Hopefully, my partner has the ‘Donald’, as we call it, temporarily, then the same with an ileostomy. We could be looking at a year before all this is behind us!!

  • Patricia

    Sally, I know exactly how you feel. We go to the doctors tell them our symptoms and we are ignored!! Went to see doctor I was passing blood clots in my urine doctor looked st me and said “you don’t look sick”. Now I’m fighting cancer, chemo didn’t work.
    Patricia

  • Gwen

    Hi i have crohns disease at the moment i have a colosamy bag n a mucis fitula bag had my operation year n a half ago it took me nearly a year to get used to it even tho i sed i will never get used to it anyone wants to chat to me n i can help someone in the same situation

  • Barry Milford

    I had an ileostomy in May this year. About 4 weeks ago I had pains in my backside and had to sit on the toilet passing wind and muck. Frightened the life out of me. Phoned stoma nurse who said it's quite natural as the surgeon can't clean everything out and mucus is being produced. They said only worry if there's blood. Only happened twice since and much reduced. Wish I'd been warned about this beforehand!

  • Sharon

    I am positive that during the night, I passed a big fart, ostomy bag since June 2018. It is possible.

  • Kathi

    I had a colostomy 2 weeks ago (October 19, 2018) due to a rectal prolapse. Had several surgeries for the prolapse which did no good so my surgeon said there was no other choice but to do the permanent colostomy. Today to my utter surprise, I passed gas twice through my anus! Does anyone know how this was possible? It really scares me. Thank you in advance for any information you can give me.

  • Marc Lowell

    Anal Ulcer Not healing 4 mths post Chemoradiation for HIP Anal Cancer.Worried about Surgery Possibly and Colostomy...Freaking out but anal pain continues daily...guess no other options coming. MRI Tuesday. Frustrating 2 years of never ending pain and issues....Thanks

  • Teri Aiudi

    Is it ok to pass gas through your anas?

  • Gillian hill

    Nice to here other people say they weren't listens to by there consultant they may give you diagnoses but it's your body and you know when it isn't and infusions injections that aren't working and 4 years later a nightmare but got a stomach bag a great consultant and hopefully a brighter future to what I had

  • Susan McKenzie

    My mom has had a colostomy since 2013.. recently she said she has the occasional flatulence and small amtvof stool from her rectum... should she be concerned.. thanks Susan

  • Clare

    All of your issues a perfectly normal. After a stoma you may still pass wind anally from time to time and also mucous. This can be embarassing smelly and painful and may happen often or occasionally. Everybody is different but all of you who are worried have no reason to be.

  • Lyra

    Have had an ileostomy for 6 yrs now and for those asking about air & discharge from the anus, it tends to be more frequent soon after surgery and gradually decreases. I had asked my surgeon because of a sensation of anal pressure what to do to prevent surprises, & he suggested using a pediatric liquid suppository (Fleet’s makes one) weekly. It lets me clear out mucus and decrease the fullness, so between uses, I rarely pass any air from below. Normally mucus is light brownish with no bright red blood, though some occasional dark or pink coloring isn’t abnormal.

  • J Nousak

    Thank you for this website. Have ileostomy and just experienced first major morning of gas passing through rectum instead of in pouch. The comments on this website have helped me relax about it, giving a “wait and see” to what happened this morning before seeking medical asistance. Know what I ate yesterday, all the walking I did, etc. But Yes, it is possible to have some gas pass via rectum even though the opening from the colon is very-very small.

  • tim

    my wife just had colostomy from colon cancer stage 3B - she has passed gas through rectum scared the hell out of us wasnt sure if it was normal or not. crazy thing is she was sent home from hospital with 1 appliance and a pair of scissors thats it. had accident, a leak, changed appliance, had another, had to go to emergency room to get another appliance cant find anywhere who sells them over the counter waiting on dr to get medical supply place to deliver some and they are saying at least a few more days even if they do get the order does anyone know a reliable company who sells or accepts medicare for the appliances this is her last if this leaks i guess duct tape and a hefty bag - ridiculous!

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hi Tim, very sorry to hear that your wife was discharged from hospital without any proper supplies. Here in the UK, healthcare is very different.

      I do hope things have been taken care of now - if you haven't done so already, perhaps get in touch with https://www.ostomy.org/ who should be able to help point you in the right direction for ostomy care in America. Best of luck.

  • Doug

    Hi Tim, I just had emergency surgery on 06-10-2019 when I was having severe abdominal pains. I ended up having to have a colostomy bag which will hopefully be temporary. I had the same thing happen to me regarding not being sent home with enough supplies! Without really knowing ANYTHING about colostomies and how often they must be changed or emptied or anything I was put into a horrible situation when my bag ended up filling up way too full in my sleep and then popping loose and all the feces ending up getting all over me and my bedding while I was still ASLEEP!

    I woke up to this extremely horrible mess and spent all morning trying to get some more colostomy bags and related supplies! I ended up having to go to the emergency room in order to get a couple more bags. I then DEMANDED that my surgeon's office provide me with MORE bags and supplies that they were able to get from the hospital (their office is in the hospital thankfully) and then I also had them contact the medical supply company and had them order a full month's supply of everything I need. I.. the PATIENT.. shouldn't have to go through all this! What if I was a 82 year old elderly patient! I'm sure they wouldn't have been able to do all the things I HAD to do in order to get my supplies.

    Anyways.. I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone and that if you have to.. you can go to the ER to get a few bags and things but contacting your surgeon's office is the best way to really get things taken care of. Hopefully my post here will also help some people who might be about to have surgery and will help them make SURE they get everything set up for their supplies BEFORE they leave the hospital! Lesson learned by me.. don;t assume the doctors and nurses have everything set up and taken care of.. be proactive and make SURE it all is done!

  • Michael Holland

    Help! When manually burping the bag it is blowing the seal. How hard or soft do I need to place my hand on the bag to get the air out?

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hi Michael, you may find this video helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRd5104irXg

  • Debbie Alaniz

    I am contemplating on having colostomy surgery in Jan 2020.....due to torn and shredded spinchter muscle, and nerves not working due to diabeties. Reading all this has made me scared but I cannot continue the way I am now.....I've already tried a nerve stimulator which I still have implanted in me. Unfortunately it is not helping me no longer.....what I don't get is if you had the surgery, then why would there be leakage in rectal area ? This is why I'm having this done in the first place....

  • Sue

    Hi im undergoing chemoradiotherapy at the minute for anal cancer. I'm just passed day 4 of 23 sessions but tonight i passed wind from my bottom.first time its done this and now im scared as my colostomy normally does the collections .ive had bertie for about 6 weeks now and as its a friday no one available to ring.am i doing something wrong or am i normal
    Thanks
    A worried sue

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hi Sue, hopefully you have spoken to someone by now? Your Stoma Care Nurse would be the best contact in the first instance. Though as you can see from previous comments, other ostomates have experienced phantom rectum pain and passing wind.

  • Trudy Ison

    Hi I have had a illeostomy since March 2019.i had a blockage last week and ended up in hospital.not my normal hospital has it was full ended up going to Warwick hospital which believe me is the worse hospital I have ever been in no gloves or gel when examining patients.i know have very water stools like I have a upset tummy I am having to empty my bag every half hour day and night am exhausted.do you think it could be infected

  • Veronica Harman

    Hi. I have a stoma due to blocked bowel after radiotherapy for rectal cancer. I have do get a strong urge to pass feaces through my bottom. Sometimes mucus comes away, but, recently I feel there is a hard lump trying to come out. The discharge is brown in colour. My stoma nurse said it is normal. The question I want to ask is ( can I use a suppository to clear whatever is there.

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hi Veronica, this is a question for your Stoma Care Nurse. If you would like further information you are welcome to contact the SecuriCare team on 0800 585 125.

  • carla lonowski

    I had to have my entire large intestine removed due to Crohn's disease. I have an ileostomy and a bag. I had this done 19 years ago. I was only in my 30's and this caused a lot of embarrassment and depression. I had to have another surgery just a month later due to adhesions. Since then I have learned to live with it because there's nothing more that can be done for it. Good luck to you all!

  • Marsha

    Lyra, my husband had his ileostomy surgery in October and is now experiencing the mucous from his bottom as well as gas. Can he use regular fleet suppository to clear the mucous or is that too drastic.

  • John

    Hello,

    I had APER surgery 4 years ago for anal cancer and since day one my stoma has farted even louder than before and while occasionally it's silent, more often than not they are equivalent to one's that I could generate before! The filters on the bag (Pelican UK) are poor, they allow gas to escape, but it's still a rancid smell and so I have to use drainable ones so I can burp the bag. Filters often get clogged with moisture and allow nothing out. Don't get me started on the whole pancaking dilemma! But without my bag I wouldn't be here so I just get on with it, but someone could make a lot of money if they somehow reinvent the stoma bag!

  • Joan Abric

    Great information. I'm into chemo#5 of 6. All of a sudden my bag is flooding and oozing all over. Had to replace all 3 times in 1 day...today. taking Xeloda as chemo. Could it be possible this course is too much. I'm hoping for reversal in another couple of months. Any comments to add or advice from personal experience. With thanks
    J Abric /Toronto Canada

  • Colleen Barnes

    Hi
    59 male rectal cancer radio chemo for 5 weeks before surgery on 11 Dec For LAR and illostomy op took 7 hours said it was prolonged but uncomplicated ? got an infection while in hospital 10 days later released said infection was gone .
    Had no follow up at two week freaked and begged for an appointment as increasing pain and regular recal discharge not a micas plug got Appointment 4 weeks after surgery surgeon sent me for CRT and bloods two days later went for scan and radiology sent me away as my kidneys had deteriorated so much from 11 th they refused to touch me and called colorectal dept. heard nothing crt in bloods at 158 still no call from surgeons had lost 10kg. Wife took me to emergency Wednesday dieticians said they were seriously concerned about me surgeon kept me fasting while they tried to get me in to do a transanual drain on the Saturday, and see what was going on. Found infection into a cavity from a 1cm leak 10 days in hospital on anti botics Released on antibiotics hoping the leAk heals on its own .

    How go you cope when you have no faith in surgeons illostomy works well am cancer free but the cure has almost killed me twice and now they want todo a reversal , join compromised Terrified, anyone been through this .

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hello, if you are unable to speak with your stoma care nurse or healthcare provider, please feel free to give us a call on 0808 301 2414 Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm and we will aim to put you in touch with one if required.

  • Dai

    I had Rectal cancer 2002 and have used a colostomy since. I use a drainable bag and often flush with warm water. Works fine and my only problem is gas. I do use a stick on EZ-vent and that works fine, but is there a bag with a built in manual vent? If not, why not as it would solve so many peoples problems. The built in gas relief systems only work for a couple of days and then plug up. By occasionally flushing with water I get 7 or 8 days from a bag.
    Thanks for this site I am sure it helps many people. Feel free to ask me questions.

  • Jane

    Hi there looking for advice.i had an ileostomy bag fitted two months ago due to having rectal cancer and I had a contrast enema done last week to check the join in my bowel had healed which thankfully has healed up perfectly but ever since I had that procedure done I have passed diahorrea from my anus twice now even tho I have an ileostomy and I'm a bit worried now.has this happened to anyone else?

  • Margaret BUSHELL

    I went in for the removal of ovaries.I ended up having one ovary remaining,which is cancerous.An emergency colerectomy was performed and cancer also found in stomach lining.I spent over 3 months in hospital with the 'open wound'surgery.Cannot attend stoma clinic because of Covid.My stomach feels distended all the time

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