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Type of clothing after colostomy? (for those with colostomy)

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    Type of clothing after colostomy? (for those with colostomy)

    I am moving along in the process of considering a colostomy. I am now doing a trial wearing an appliance( no surgery has been performed yet)

    I am SCI confined to wheelchair.

    The Ostomy nurse placed an appliance on my stomach to wear for several days so I could become familiar with wearing one. However I am running
    into issues where my jeans ride with the appliance in place.

    When I put my Jeans on first thing they are mid abdomen, which places the appliance below the belt line. As I begin to move around, transfer and go about doing my activities my jeans move down, putting the appliance where the stoma would be under the belt line a lot of pressure) or below belt line, which would have the bag hanging over my pants.

    The nurse said the appliance can not have pressure on it or the stool will be blocked from entering the bag. I am concerned that any pants I wear will either be too tight on the bag, or they will ride down onto where the stoma is.

    My question is what type of clothing do you recommend or wear? Is any pressure on appliance or stoma bad? I do not want to wear sweat pants , which was recommended by the nurse. I would like to wear regular clothing and conceal and protect the bag and stoma.

    Any recommendations are appreciated.

    My question is what type of clothing do you recommend or wear? I don't want to wear sweat pants the rest of my life.

    I wear jeans a size bigger than would typically fit. But I need them to get dressed anyhow. (I have one pair that is fitted enough to give me trouble getting dressed, but still is fine for the bag once on.

    The biggest problem I find with jeans, is that when I unzip to empty during the day, they have to be loose enough to rezip sitting down.

    Pressure directly on the stoma (ie the waistband) will effect how it empties. And pressure on the bag, to near the top, so that it can;t fill properly can cause leaks around the appliance. (Not fun). So you need to keep the waist band above or below it. (MY preference is above).

    I just check and rearrange my pants whenever I transfer.

    I have an illieostomy tho, and need to empty 2-3X a day. Barring medical issues, a colostomy usually would be done, and often only fills once a day. Some people irrigate it, and keep the bag empty all the time.

    There are clothing items (belts and wraps and such) to help hide the bag, if that is a problem.

    The other reason to avoid the waistband on the stoma is that it is slightly tender, and constant rubbing of the waistband will make it sore.

    (Ok that is based on visual for me ..... I can't feel it.)

    Good luck with this. The idea to try it out is a great one!
    T7-8 since Feb 2005


      Thanks Jean423. Does having the waistband against any part of the bag block passage of stool? I am finding in current location the waistband is either on or just below waistband.

      Must the bag have no pressure on it for it to function? I am trying to keep my clothing as normal as possible.

      Thanks for your reply.


        Hi Stormin.
        I have a colostomy for the past 7 years. Mine is high (2 inches above the waistline). My pants are always lower and I wear loose button shirts mostly. Solid colors show the bag more than patterns though. It is not the end of the world if it is compressed a bit. But best is that it is loose and not putting pressure on the bag or stoma. I wouldn't change out any clothes till you get yours and see how it goes. I have found some nice looking pants with an elastic waistband in the back. If you google , elastic waistband pants you will see. I have khakis too with elastic and a (feux zipper) fake zipper with just a flap.
        But it won't hurt your stoma if it is compressed for a little while. First of all, 95 % of the time it is not spewing stuff.
        I hope this helps.....


          A lot depends on where the bag is compressed, how much and how long.

          Close to the top, compressed a lot for a long time (several hours), you may be in trouble, as you have effectively made a smaller bag. (Imagine if you tied off the bottom half or more of the bag.)

          But for a shorter period of time, intermittent, no real issues.

          I would think the biggest problem would occur if your waistband was tight across you middle, just below the stoma, with the rest of the bag below that level, for a period of time. And by tight I mean tight enough to compress the bag a lot, not just smoothly fitting over it without being baggy.

          But, like I mentioned, I just tend to check and adjust my pants when I transfer, as part of settling into position.
          T7-8 since Feb 2005


            First of I want to say what a relief it is to know that there is a discussion forum for colostomy wearers. I have enjoyed reading and learning new ideas for different people.

            I just wanted to let you all know that there is a small pouch that you can wear that will help with the clothing issue. It looks like a 4by 4 pouch. It is an awesome thing. And it will help with the jeans issue.


              i had these same Q's and concerns before my colost....they didn't make me reconsider the surg, but were same...then i had surg, and haven't had a bowel accident or digital stim since...tweaking my wardrobe a bit here and there has been no sacrifice...the only peeps i've met who ever regretted or had it reversed were either walkers or very low paras ....(and i think even then it was misperceived image) one has ever known i had colost unless i told them

              ....i haven't worn jeans since the day of my wreck, but because they are too much effort to wear with my fact most sci w/colost i've met wear jeans...(most sci i met wear jeans)...elastic here, velcro there, most anything can be altered....

              .....also, don't know about others, but trial wear of appliance was waste of time for me..stoma ended up where Dr. put it, not where stoma nurse put X (to no fault of her's) did however help decide what appliance to use, or what appliance was easiest for me i mean