How Do You Empty Your Stoma Bag?

by Michelle Williams

How Do You Empty Your Stoma Bag

I recently realised that I’ve been emptying my stoma bag wrong

Now, I am the first to admit that I’m a little ditsy, so it will no doubt not surprise you to hear that the other week I suddenly realised that I’ve been empting my stoma bag wrong.

My chosen method is to sit on the toilet, unroll the outlet neck between my legs, just below the underside of my thigh. My output then empties quite high on the side of the toilet bowl. The fact that my output lands on the side of the toilet bowl has frustrated me for the last 9 years. I often have to double flush so that the toilet is left completely clean. I spent a lot of time and money finding a new toilet for our home that had a strong front flush, and even considered importing one from the USA!

I can’t remember how I came to the decision to empty my stoma bag this way - I think it must have been the way the hospital Stoma Care Nurse showed me. Although the internet was pretty prolific back then, the discussion of stomas, so publicly, wasn’t. Thankfully so many ostomates have changed that!

The light bulb moment

But, last week, l suddenly had a light bulb moment. I realised that, if I shuffled back a little on the toilet seat and aimed my outlet neck more centrally, my output just dropped straight into the water at the bottom of the bowl. Genius!

How do you empty your stoma bag?

I know some people empty their bag by standing or kneeling, facing the cistern and empty their bags that way, but I have two concerns with that method (which may be unfounded). The first being splash-back and the second being that, if you kneel, what do you do in public toilets?

I popped the revelation of my newly discovered method on twitter and was surprised to hear about the method that @xoCaz uses. She sits on the left hand side of the toilet and leans to the right to empty hers. And this got me thinking: how many different ways can a stoma bag be emptied? Let me know how you empty yours in the comments below, so we can all compare notes.

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

  • Cathie

    I've had my oscopy bag 13 yrs, just barely got a laptop of my own to view whatever without others knowing I'm finding out all kinds of (shit) about my oscopy , I didn't dare empty into toilet if any one was around I'm sorry but if I can't stand the smell ,,,,,,anyways I've always changed the whole bag & put in a ziplock then in a black plastic bag then in trash, is that bad ?

  • Mike Whalley

    My method of sitting as far back to the left as possible works fine......until you encounter an infrared activated flush, you just have to look out for those! :D

  • Gary Brown

    I have always emptied mine sat facing forward on the right side of the bowel as my stoma is on my left and most of the time it goes straight into the water but do find it difficult when there is a wall to the right of the toilet as i cannot get my legs in to sit on it so then i am unable to use it as i cannot do it on my knees as for some reason i just cannot get my head around the phobia of how clean the floor is

  • John Simmonds

    Just fold a few sheets of loo paper over the rim of the loo where your bag is, sit back and empty onto them then flush the loo.
    You may need to clean up a bit after,,

    You must never give up

    I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 1988.
    I travelled worldwide as an engineer developing production machine.
    Prior to my operation in 2000 many difficult times were experienced driving on motorways and at airports queuing to board planes when suddenly I had to run to the loo.
    The operation worked but only half of my stoma protrudes from my body and the bit that does is at an angle so I use a two piece convexed package, strip paste fills in one side with a backplate that is glued on that presses into my body which pushes the stoma out.
    The bag clips on the outside and it’s all held on by a belt, no problems.

    This works well 95% of the time, I do get a small leakage at times but I always remember, I AM ALIVE, as the surgeon said after the operation ‘my colon was thinner than his wife’s tights.

    I AM ALIVE and 65 years old.

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