OstomyLife Community

I Don’t Want an Ostomy Bag – Top Concerns for Those Facing Ostomy Surgery

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
05/11/17  10:22 AM PST

No one wants an ostomy bag. But Laura’s had one since 2011 and it hasn’t stopped her from having friends, traveling, dating and enjoying her life. Watch Shield HealthCare’s Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist take us through the top fourteen ostomy concerns those facing surgery may have.

These fourteen concerns that Laura addresses are: leaks; noise; dressing; body image; going out in public; sports, leisure and other activities; friends; dating and sex; sleeping; odor; hydration; and travel.

Want to watch this video with subtitles? You can find that option when you watch this video on YouTube.

Check out these links for more information about the concerns Laura touches on:

Serving Medicare Ostomates Nationwide
Dear Laura, I wear a two piece ostomy bag. I need help with concealing an ostomy bag. When I move around my shirt hikes up and the tip of the bag peeks out from under my shirt.
Hi Tom, I have a few suggestions that may help!
First, I'm wondering if a stealth belt would be a good option for you. This is a black belt that you can conveniently tuck your pouch...



  1. helen k.
    Posted March 26, 2018 at 9:22 am PDT

    Why do ostomy bags sometime break or fill up too fast?

  2. Aimee Sharp
    Posted March 27, 2018 at 8:37 pm PDT

    Hi Helen! We sent your questions to our Ostomy Product Manager, and here is his response: “I think with your first question, you’re asking ‘Why do ostomy pouches sometime leak?’ If so, sometime leaks form from underneath the barrier because the adhesive comes loose. Other times it could be that the appliance system the ostomate is using isn’t the best option for that particular user. For example, perhaps the stoma is retracted or sits very close to the abdomen. In this case, a convex barrier might be more appropriate. There are hundreds of options available.

    In addition, there are many accessories available that will help ensure a better fit, from barrier films, to cohesive seals, to barrier strips.

    Gas build up could fill a pouch quickly, which could put pressure on the pouch and lead to leaks. Many pouches come with charcoal filters to help release gas build up and mitigate the risk of leaking due to gas.

    Why to ostomy bags sometimes fill up so fast?
    It could be that the ostomate has high output. A change in diet could help slow output. It is recommended that ostomates change or empty their pouches when they are 1/3 full.”

    We hope that helps! -Aimee, Shield HealthCare

  3. Grace S.
    Posted May 23, 2018 at 9:34 am PDT

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks for all those encouraging words. My mom recently had surgery for a stoma and often cries as she has difficulty coming to terms with it. Please tell me what I can do to help her accept this new way of life

  4. Aimee Sharp
    Posted June 29, 2018 at 11:48 am PDT

    Hi Grace! Thank you for commenting. We’re glad you appreciate the video. I’m Aimee – I help answer the comments for our OstomyLife articles, especially when Laura is busy, as she is now. We’re sorry to hear your mom is having a hard time after surgery. It can be a really difficult process, and there’s no time table about when people feel recovered and start to become “okay” with their stoma. You know your mom best, so see which of these suggestions would suit her best: reading about other people having a hard time after surgery (search online for “depression” and “ostomy,” that’s how we found this forum), reading about other people doing well (you can find our inspiration section here, or you could attend a support group with her (always easier when someone you know is there). There are also a couple of other videos by Laura that you could watch with your mom: Body Image with an Ostomy and Mental Health with an Ostomy. And you and your mom are welcome to join our Facebook community where we have people both supporting each other to do new things after surgery, and supporting each other when they’re having a hard time. We hope that information helps. Best of luck! -Aimee, OstomyLife

  5. John vasu
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 10:52 am PDT

    Hello, my name is John Vasu. I have had a colostomy for over 60 years. I am 66 years old. I went though school with my ostomy and got kidded all through school. I am currently on the board of directors of the Ostomy Association in Denver Colorado. I would really like to help in any way i can. Thank you.

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