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pancaking?

So, I read the term pancaking and from what I read i think it refers to the stoma output collecting around the stoma and not moving down into the bag. Is that correct?

My stoma is just above my waistline and I am curvy (OK :-) FAT) and I have a terrible time with the output collecting there. Also, a lot of times, the out put is thick and the texture of wet clay. This texture causes more pancaking. Finally, my underwear and pants naturally fall on my waist and that is directly below the stoma.

Sometimes, I look down at my stoma area and see this huge lump there. It is not easy to camouflage that lump.

Are there solutions to this problem? What do you all suggest?

Helen

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21 replies. Join the discussion

I have an ileostomy but I do get pancaking from time to time. My WOCN nurse said I should drink more fluid and it will make the stool thin out more.

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OK, as soon as I ready your message, I got more water to drink. Thanks. What other things do you all do to avoid pancaking?

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Stool softeners. I have the same issue you do with the stool not automatically moving down into the pouch. That means, at least for me, that i'm a bit on the constipated side and I'll take 1 or 2 stool softeners and it will loosen up enough to go down into the pouch. BUT, that said, make sure you don't take too many or you'll be in trouble. You could also just add more fiber to your diet and that will help as well.

IF you take stool softeners, start with just one.

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Drinking sugary drinks or hot drinks also seems to add looseness to the stool. Over time you will sort of know what food causes what. Most of us sort of press around (over the stoma) to push down if we need to. Plus spray pam into the bag. It helps keep the bag oily. Plus all of the other advice given here until you get a feel for what food cause different consistencies.

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Since pancaking has been addressed above, I'll address your other concern. Your stoma above the waist and what to do about your clothing. My stoma is also above my waist and I have to wear my pouch outside my pants under my shirt. The shirt I wear shirttail out. When I dress up like on Sundays I wear pants with a waist that's too big and wear suspenders to hold my pants up.
The bulge you see is stool that cannot fall down into the pouch because your waisted clothing prohibits it. You have to wear clothing that's looser.
Blessings,
Alan

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Hi there...I am a goof about trying to keep the bag looking as decent as possible...I clean it out with a paper cup filled with water. It is quite a routine...I empty the bag, then I pour warm water into the open end of the bag (I have a two piece), then I close the bag and go sit in a chair and swish the water all around the bag....then I go and empty it again. I do this until it is "clean" and the pancaking or whatever else is leftover from my bowels is as "gone" as possible. A lot of work...but keeps me a little more sane...

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I have tried something similar because I hate that bag looking nasty. I am glad to know that I am not the only one who is bothered by that. It is interesting how we all try the same things to fix it. I have the one piece but I still try to clean it out. We do what we have to do to keep our sanity!

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Have you ever milked a cow? Well, you can also milk your pouch. Also there are some who swear by spraying the inside of a new pouch with a cooking oil spray to lubricate walls of the pouch when dealing with sticky output.

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I use lubricating/deoderizing drops in my bag. It helps the stool move down in the bag and prevents odors. I agree with everyone else though drink lots of water. Apple juice also helps in keeping your stool soft. Good luck! I am finding like everyone else that its a lot of trial and error and you need to find what works best for you. My colostomy is also at my waist line and i found bags by Hollister that are soft and small. They end where my underwear do so I can wear the bag out side of my pants with out having to wear a longer shirt or I can enjoy wearing hiphugging jeans.

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I rinse my pouch out every time I empty if can. The only thing I have found with that it could get under the seal if get inside next to wafer,I be careful with that,and I use the lubercating deoderant afterwarg.I agree it takes more of my time each day since I empty several timesa day. I have a hard time drinking a lot of water ,but know I should. I beleive what causes my leaks sometimes is pancaking over my stoma. Like everyone knows life is not easy dealing with a ostomy,wish everyone knew this. some people just dont understand.Glad I found this group,been a big help.
God Bless,
Faye

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Faye,
I don't like water either. Have you tried Chrystal Lite in your water? Or G sports drink. G is Gaterade without sugar. The berry is quite good and it has electrolytes in it.
Blessings,
Alan

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Helen,

I rinse my bag each time I empty it. I use a plastic water bottle and pour the water in the end of the one piece bag, then "swish" it around to clean. Usually takes several times to clean it. Sometimes I sit to do this and other times I stand in front of the commode. There are times I have pancaking and the next time I pass feces it will be watery!!! Who knows????

I HAVE to keep the bag clean. It bugs me if not. I equate it to having a dirty diaper on a child.

I have tried PAM but for me it didn't do too much, others swear by it. You just have to try different things. What works for one may not help another. But this is a great site. Lots of information and caring from everyone.

Good luck. Hang in there. Remember if we didn't have the ostomy we probably would not be alive!!!!

Clara

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I was told that drinking grape juice will make your stool looser -- and it should pass through a bit easier. Good luck finding a solution.

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Skylex,

Thanks for your reply. I just received the lubricating deodorant yesterday and put it in a new bag. It did help with both the odor and the other problem. I was thinking that I might go buy some maternity pants and see if that worked to keep the waist band off the stoma. I used to wear hip huggers when i was in my early 20's but not sure about hip huggers on a 60 year old ( and not skinny) woman?

Helen

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Faye,

I don't rinse every time i empty but have tried rinsing. Rinsing does seem to loosen the seal sooner and I try not to do that because I have very sensitive skin and have to be careful with rashes and blisters from the adhesive. It seems the more I change the bag, the more problems there are with skin issues.

Helen

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Alan,

I actually like water and drink quite a bit. But, I may have slowed down drinking it since I got sick. Before I got sick, I was teaching between 15 to 20 exercise classes a week. I taught PE for college students and line dancing at senior centers and chair classes at senior living facilities and water aerobics for pregnant women and for older adults. I had to drink water to keep from getting totally dehydrated. The week I got sick, I taught 15 classes. Now, that I am not doing that, I forget to drink as much. I will make an effort to drink more.

Helen

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Clara,

I was very happy to hear that I am not the only one who is bothered by a bag that isn't clean. I haven't managed to keep my perfectly clean but at least I know I am not crazy for a dirty bag bothering me so much.

Helne

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Cindy,

I am going to the store today and I will buy grape juice and apple juice that somebody else mentioned. I will keep looking for a solution.

Helen

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I also forget to drink. Or just have to pee too often. But you just need to DO IT! It really should make a difference. if not then you are eating too many fibrous or thickening foods.

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Cookielin

If I am eating too much of a certain kind of food, it would be fibrous. I am trying not to eat too much of that but before all this happened, I ate lots of fiber. Now, i am on coumadin because I got a blood clot from a pic line that kept failing ( and they would fix it and it would fail again) . So, now I am to avoid eating spinach and salad greens, etc. I miss those. I always ate a lot of that.

Helen

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