Why I Don’t Empty My Bag

The first bag a brand new ostomate gets is usually a clear, one or two piece drainable pouch. The closure might be a clip, some velcro, or even a nozzle for those who have urostomies. It took me a few years to get away from these types of pouches. Let me tell you why I don’t empty my ostomy anymore.

The first reason I steered away from these bags is the emptying part. I hated awkwardly leaning down to empty my ostomy into the toilet, worried of a clip removed prematurely, a splash back, or just a bad aim. I was always nervous emptying my pouch and ruining my outfit [although Ostomy Aid has eliminated this issue!].

Cleaning the pouch after mostly successful empties was also a battle. It felt like I needed to carry a water bottle or have some sort of bidet at hand to make sure the end of my bag was clean. Even if I did have a water source, it never actually felt clean. There was always a little output I just couldn’t clean off the end, and it would always seep through my shirt.

The closure at the end of these bags were also a little to rigid for me. Should I tuck the plastic clip into my pants or let it hang? Either way, the clip seemed to be noticeable through my clothing. As someone new to the ostomy world, I wasn’t too keen on that.

It was after all of this that I really started exploring different brands. I wanted to see which bag made me feel the cleanest and look the sleekest. I probably went through ten or so different bags until I found the non-drainables. These never crossed my mind as an option as I felt it was a silly idea. How the heck am I supposed to empty a bag that has no opening?! It never made sense to me, until I tried it.

I had originally ordered the non-drainable Hollister bags you see me use in most of my videos for swimming. I wanted something small and discreet for swimming, but also have the option to switch back to a normal, draining pouch. I ordered my usual 2 and 1/4 inch flanges and ordered both bags. Trying out the non-drainable pouch, I realized how easy it was to slip a little baggie over my bag, pop off the bag from the flange, and throw it away. It was just as easy to click a new bag on.

From then on I have use non-drainable. When I tell both co-workers and patients, they look at me like I’m crazy and ask how I can even empty my bag. The answer is, I don’t!


6 Replies to “Why I Don’t Empty My Bag”

  1. Dana

    I Maggie!
    I am going to have my colon removed in September 2017 due to UC issues dx 30 years ago! I now have sever structure, fistula, and dysplasia. Thank you so much for all you do to help others with similar issues. I like the recent video of using a non-drainable bag after I am able to switch to something like this. What is the product name and/or order number?

  2. Steve

    Hi Maggie,
    I had a colostomy in October of last year, and I too could not get used to the ‘ emptying ‘ of my pouches. Trying to clean the opening was difficult and usually removed the bag completely to clean thoroughly. Fortunately for me my wife found a product which has made my process tolerable. They are ‘ Flushable ‘ bags which go inside the ostomy pouch, you remove your pouch any put bag into toilet, clean around stoma, reattach your pouch with flushable bag inside.
    The bags come in 2 different sizes and have turned my ostomy world around.

    • letstalkibd

      I apologize! Most ostomy bag brands have non drainables, but this is a Hollister bag! My flange number is 14603 and the pouch that attaches is 18393.

  3. Leslee Ahlander

    Thank you for you videos and information!!! I’m just two weeks out of surgery (which was a total surprise/shock) and still trying to wrap my head around it! Thanks for your help and concern for others going through the same issues!

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