Out of the Bag: Passing gas with an ostomy

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I don’t fart. That’s actually one of the perks of having an ostomy is that you no longer have to deal with the embarrassment of accidentally letting one slip. However, like everyone else who still has a colon and a normal digestive tract, we still have to let out the gas at some point. And it’s a bit of a strange experience because you don’t feel it coming. You don’t know it’s there until it, well… until it comes out. And just like non-colonless people, it’s not always quiet.

So overall, when you’re dealing with gas in your ostomy, there are two main things you have to look out for:

stephanie hughes out of the bag colostomy ileostomy crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd ostomy blog stolen colon top 10 reasons to have an ostomy ileostomy colostomy urostomy out of the bag passing gas fartingLetting the bag get too full of air. This mostly occurs at night. For me, I usually wake up in the morning with a bag full of air (and other things…). On occasion, it could get to the point where it causes a problem, such as causing a leak or even pulling the bag off of you. This is why it’s important to watch what you eat prior to bed. So you should be cautious beans, broccoli, starchy breads and pastas, and especially soft drinks. All of these can cause gas buildup and could potentially cause an issue for you overnight. Also, I try to refrain from eating too close to bedtime. My deadline I give myself is 1 1/2 hours before bedtime, but really that’s still cutting it close. I truly prefer to be finished eating more like 2 1/2 hours before heading to bed, with perhaps a small snack shortly beforehand, because this can get your digestive tract moving and you can actually go ahead and get some of it emptied out before bed.

Most bags have a filter, which does help some with letting the gas out, but it’s pretty minimal help. One thing you can try to help with the gas buildup is “burping” the bag, or basically opening up the end of the bag and letting out some of the gas. However, you have to be very careful when doing this or you could wind up with a big mess on your hands. (Yes, unfortunately, I have dealt with this before.) Try to open only a corner and you don’t want to do this when the bag is full of lots of other stuff. Also, you won’t want to do this in any sort of public setting because you will be releasing a pretty potent cloud of gas that you can only blame on the dog so many times.

Your stoma making farting noises. I fully realize this is a major concern for people who have an ostomy or are considering getting one. But hopefully I can alleviate your fears by saying that, in my experience, nearly all of the time it is quiet. Most often the bag just silently fills up with air. You won’t feel it coming out, you’ll just notice the bag inflating. But there is that rare occasion where some noise will sneak out. The hardest part is that it completely sneaks up on you. You don’t have any warning or any chance to hold it in. It’s just suddenly there.

However, it doesn’t quite sound like a normal fart. It’s a very difficult noise to describe, but it’s not extremely loud usually. The times that is has happened, I just place my hand over my stoma, because sometimes it’ll continue to make noise, but the pressure from your will keep it quiet. If somebody hears, I usually just say something like, “Sorry, my stomach,” and nobody has every given it a second glance. And I will say that out of all the years that I’ve been living with an ostomy, this has only happened a handful of times, so don’t let it worry you too much.

There are, however, two instances (that I have found) where gas does happen more frequently. The first was right after my surgery. For the first few weeks, as my body was adjusting to the new ostomy, I had a lot more gas then I have now. But even then, it was mostly just the bag filling up and not that it was making noise. I had to be careful overnight because it did cause a leak several times. If you are worried about it, it might be worthwhile to set an alarm for the middle of the night to check on it and empty the bag if needed. I never did that and was fine for the most part, but it is an option if this is something that really concerns you. And after a few weeks, your insides will settle down and it won’t happen as often.

The other instance was after my ileoscopy. In this procedure they pump in a lot of air, so there was a LOT of noise afterwards. I mean, it was pretty bad, so I would just be prepared for that to happen. (i.e. Don’t bring anyone you’d be embarrassed for that to happen in front of with you.)

Basically, I think the best advice is just to have a sense of humor about it. I mean, let’s be honest, nobody wants to fart in public, but it happens. And you just have to learn to roll with it and to laugh it off, if need be. The plus side is that it will happen to you much less often than your colon-filled friends (especially in the bathroom).

Have you had any funny and/or embarrassing instances of passing gas? Any tips or tricks to dealing with the noise? What about dealing with a bag full of hot air?


134 thoughts on “Out of the Bag: Passing gas with an ostomy

  1. Norma

    I love this story. I have “burped” Ivy (my ileostomy) everywhere and anywhere. I wake up during the night often just to stand up and “burp” her. Once during a very long meeting at work my bag was filled with air and my stomach was empty. Needless to say, Ivy was LOUD. Not a typical fart sound, but that of a whiney sound…made everyone laugh and ask for a break…we stopped, I went to “burp”, ate some lifesavers and continued with the meeting. At least I made people laugh!

    1. norma matos

      This is my first and im still at the hospital,i experienced,all the new noise and gas,and i work in a hospitality inviroment and i dont know know how ill handle that.

      1. Tori

        Hi Norma! Like Stephanie said, it really will calm down after the first few weeks. I was worried, like you, since I work in a quiet office, sitting in a cubicle, surrounded by my co-workers. I was so anxious about the idea of not being able to control those noises. However, by the time I was ready to return to work (about 5 weeks following surgery), the gas noises had lessened greatly and were mostly silent. Good luck to you!

        1. Scott

          I work in a cubicle environment as well. I am a big guy at 6’3″ and 400 pounds. I have found that wearing a T-shirt and suspenders with an overshirt allows me to avoid constricting the colostomy bag with a belt. So, I put a folded up fiber cloth washrag under my outer shirt and over the ostomy area will quiet down noises coming from the bag. Of course it doesnt stop all noise, but helps with muffling what comes out. I use a filtered bag so I dont have to burp it every hour or so like I did with the closed ones from the hospital. Also, check with your local Ostomy club for people who can share their experiences as well. That helped me.

      2. ladykori

        Welcome to the stoma family, Norma!! Honestly, if you have the discipline, the gas can be controlled a LOT through diet. There is a great pamphlet they shouldn’t let you leave without getting. It details things that will give you gas. If they don’t have that, you can see if they have access to the website that they can print it off from. Heck, you can probably Google it and print it yourself later. Lol

        It does get less gassy though 🙂

      1. Simone LeDay

        That’s great you all name yours because I named my Simon because of it’s looks. I am going on 3 years having Simon and we have been through a lot. Right now I am having lots of gas and it hurts. I am worried and don’t know what to do.

        1. Keith Hindley

          When you say it hurts, can you describe the feeling and the intensity of the pain. See I had a J-Pouch instead of having a stoma. But I get a lot o
          f pain when gas builds up and its not easy to pass the gas without following through if you know what I mean. Because of this I am thinking of having my J-Pouch removed and having a Stoma, but if you recon that gas still gives you pain maybe I’m better to stay the way I am because once I have the stoma theirs no where else to go.

          1. Teddy Burr

            I don’t get ANY pain passing wind through my Stoma. In fact, it’s quite embarrassing at times because you can’t feel when you are going to pass wind – and it can make a funny sound, depending how big and long the gas release is…..😲

        2. zAhiedah isaacs

          Hello All. I had my ileostomy on 25 Jan. So its all still new to me. I have a weird sensation in my bum. It feels like I want to fart. But clearly I can’t. Anyone else feel that? I got the all clear yesterday
          So reversal happening in April

          1. Sarah

            I had my colonostomy on 2/8, and have actually been farting a little today and yesterday. I found this website just now while looking for answers. Best of luck to you.

          2. lacy

            Ive had mine since January doc said i can reverse it in june😳 but yes totally normal to feel that urge. My doctor told me its ok to pass it from that end.

          3. Nick De

            zAhiedah, I seem to be on the same schedule as you. I had my Ileostomy surgery on 11 January and having it reversed beginning of April. During my almost 3 months, I have experienced the feeling of having to fart out of my bum. I sat on the toilet and pushed and was able to pass gas out of my bum. It’s weird because clearly it’s not connected to anything.

          4. Joyce

            That happened to me too. It’s just your body adjusting to all the changes, it will pass. I’ve had mine 7 years now and maybe once or twice a year it happens. It’s normal so I don’t worry about it.

          5. beth trenter

            I had that feeling too and even had ‘material’ exit my rectum even though I had an ileostomy bag. It freaked me out…a lot! I had a reversal, so I don’t know if that feeling would have continued, but I experienced it almost daily. When I asked my nurses about it, they said that it was normal. 🙂

          6. Lynda

            My husband had his colostomy for colorectal cancer in February 2016. His stoma is active but he says that he still farts from his rectum sometimes. How does this happen?

          7. Jen

            I did just rectally fart after getting an ileostomy a week ago. Creeped me out! Gonna ask my doc about it tomorrow.

        3. Sheila Barker

          I have a big problem with gas, but it never hurts. I don’t think it should hurt. Maybe a call to the doctor or ostomy nurse is called for.

      2. Deborah

        I have lived with a colostomy for 3 years now — I have named her “Rosebud”…. I get a lot of noise — mostly in the morning which is great so by the time I start my day at the office she is quieted down. It seems for me that I use the bathroom more. Not sure why — I think I’m done and by the time I get up and get back to my office desk I have to go back in the bathroom as more slips out…some days it is really frustrating– anyone else out there with similar issues? Thank you!

        1. Nancy

          I have the same problems also last two days I’m getting a lot of gas trying to see what I’m eating differently gas and filling up spending lots of time in the bathroom

      3. Judi Maca

        I named my stoma Sheila and she is just a normal part of me now. My issue is my diet is mostly plant based and vegan. Thus, there is gas in great supply. I am curious how often some of you change out your gear and also how you handle the odor even when the bag is closed up. It seems whenever I bend over there is a lot of odor escaping. This is all the time which can be pretty embarrassing and frustrating. I have a two piece Hollister New Image bag and flange and have had that same set for 5 years now. Thoughts?

        1. Laura Stuebe

          Hi Judi, I am also vegan. I change my gear every few days. I have a one piece and the bag sometimes gets worn and sometimes I can’t clean well enough the part of the bag I open to let the stool out. I don’t think I have an odor coming out of my bag when it’s closed – maybe you’re really sensitive about it? Or, maybe try a different bag? There is a website called vegaostomy.com – try that for answers also. Sincerely, Laura

        2. Bunny

          Hi Judi. I have had my bag since March of 2017. I started experiencing odor leaking once the swelling started to go down. I called my nurse whose sent me more samples. I now wear a bag that doesn’t leak odor, and I use a blue gel for odor control as well. The combination is wonderful. I got the bag wet and part of the tape pulled away from my skin, but still no odor due to the gel. If you like I can give you the reference # for the bag and gel.

          1. Teddyburr

            Bunny – What is the name and brand of the BLUE GEL please? I’d love to try some. I’m in the U.K. Many thanks xx

    2. Dawn

      Lol, so far I haven’t had that happen at work…luckily just happens at home….I’m sure I will get my turn though!!

  2. Danny McLaughlin

    Gas is the very reason why I started to use a 2-piece appliance.
    I can open the very top, between the pouch and the plate ever so slightly and release the gas.

    I’ve perfected this so well I’ve that worst 6 years, I can do it through my shirt, so I can do it very discreetly if I’m outside.

    I wouldn’t advise doing it inside. It is quite potent.

  3. Katie

    I’m a new ostomate (Oct of this year)! I experienced increase gas post surgery, but now Dot (my stoma) is much quieter. The only time she really makes noise is when I consume too much dairy… anyway I completely agree with you, a little pressure seems to muffle the noise to the point where no one notices. Thanks for always posting such open, informative content.

  4. pat

    You can purchase a gas vent. You poke a small hole in the new the bag before you put it on. It is a plastic cap with sticky tape and you just put it over the hole you made onvthe top of the bag and then you can push all the air out in between bag chores.

  5. Janet

    Hi I’m new to this blog to sept ,upto,now darci is a little angel ,sex is great but still not sure how to burb her

    1. Linda

      I burp Stella and it is very easy to do, just pull the bag off the flange just a little and use very slight pressure on the bag to force out air and close up

  6. Debra

    When I first had my ostomy .My mom heard a noise and asked me what it was .I said gas .She looked surprised I said I still fart . Boy it can blow up like a balloon. .Also my mom thinks I can’t do things because I have ostomy. She acts some times like I’m a invalid . I said I can do every thing that I did before butt I don’t have to wipe my butt. .Every thing goes in my pouch. And out of it too. She thinks my pouch gets in the way . And I have had my ostomy for over 10 years.

  7. Sam Richardson

    I am now about 120 days out from emergency surgery to repair the damage of a blood clot thrown through the large intestine. The ileostomy revealed a total blockage in my rectum caused by cancer. After 35 days of dual radiation and chemical treatment, I now have a very active stoma that generates gas and waste till almost dawn–no matter how early in the night I quit eating. Two hours of sleep a day has become the dreaded norm. Advice?

    1. Christie

      Sam – 5-yrs post ileostomy, I generate waste 24/7. During the day, I empty my bag every time I urinate, and sometimes more often (pretty much every hour, hour and a half…which is impossible when I’m substitute teaching; it means that I can’t eat or drink during the day.) At night, I sleep anywhere from 4 to 7 hrs depending on my schedule the next day. Yes my bag will be fuller, but I’m no longer breaching. I’m using a Hollister two-piece bag with acharcoal filter. I think the bag may be making the difference.//Marshmallows, eggs, cheese and peanut butter can slow down production. You might try one of those right before you go to bed (I do find that pizza for dinner, if I don’t drink a lot of water, will end up coagulating around my stoma causing a breach…so I’m not talking about a lot of cheese before bedtime,)

      1. Kay HN

        Thanks Christie, I also have an ileostomy that empties a lot. I am to return to work soon in a retail customer service environment after having a small bowel resection and am worried as I seem to have more gas discharge than I had b4 the resection. I am a longtime ostomate at 22 yrs. I am trying simethicone tablets now but they seem to perhaps quiet the gas down but not reduce it. I also try to manage my eating times and do not eat much b4 a shift at work.
        Your slowdown foods are spot on and I would also add applesauce to that list.
        I have thought about a new appliance system – currently 2 pc Convatec. I think I will look into the Hollister with charcoal filter you mentioned. Some ostomates take activated charcoal tablets. I saw them at the drug store and may try next.
        Best regards to you and all ostomates who daily conquer the ostomy challenges. ‘Kay

        1. Mary Lemieux

          My mother in law puts Altoids mints in her bag to help with the smell of the gas and stuff. I also have an illiostomy. I also am getting cleared for reconnection surgery. Had a ostomy since Nov of 2017. And received the iliostomy in May of 2018.

    2. Sloan patient

      When I was in chemo I started using high output bags because I couldn’t keep getting up so many times during the night. It was a lifesaver and I still use them. I now can sleep through the entire night. You can also burp them very easily. I’m 3 yrs post colectomy surg.

    3. Rosie Baker

      I have a high output illiostomy and have the same trouble. The things that help with the gas is not drinking fizzy drinks (which I love as I no longer drink alcohol), avoid gassy vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, legumes. That helps a bit but I still get up twice a night to release gas as I am afraid the bag will burst.

  8. Tina

    I’m very new to the colostomy-only have it a month now. Had to have an abcessed diverticulitis removed and lost most of my large and small intestines from it.
    I’m doing pretty good at changing it. I use the 2 piece device.
    My question is: I heard it’s not good to go more than 4 hours without it working. I go in the morning and after lunch then it stops till the next morning. They told me not to worry about this in the hospital then I get onto sites to look up info and they tell me this is not the norm.
    I do pass gas throughout the day though.
    Does anyone else have this happen to them?

    1. Danny McLaughlin

      Your stoma is still quite new and it’s still settling.
      My bag fills as soon as I eat, it’s as if the bowel wants to make room.
      It will then move again around 2 hours after I eat.

      There is no real set time for me. It will gradually fill in between times too.

      I usually empty first thing in the morning, then I might need to empty again in the afternoon and I always empty before bed.

    2. arlene

      hi i got my colostomy in may 2015 i find that mine acts up at 6am it goes and then i usually get nothing till the next morning i thought this was a good thing because once i go i dont have to worry for the rest of the day i will have to check with my doctor to see if this is normal

    3. Jimmy

      I just got my colostomy 2 weeks ago, I tried the reversal from the iliostomy, but for 2 months I had no feeling or control, now I have gas,and sometimes I go a whole day without any poop.tbey say it takes time,good luck

  9. Susanne

    I wear a closed end one piece with a filter. So when I have gas or air , whatever , I take my little sticker off and let the air out anywhere anytime , where ever I am… Lol why not everyone else does this and some can do it on command. I have 4 brothers, that wasn’t easy growing up trust me. And I’ve had my colostomy since I was 15. So it’s been 32 years now. Gas is gas no matter who. But I think ours can be worse if it’s been closed up , it gets smellier because it’s been closed up fermenting . Lol gross I know..

    1. TeddyBurr

      Errrr……not a good idea to “release air” from a bag in an enclosed space, especially near to others!! Don’t forget….if you’ve had your Ostomy for some time, you sort of “get used to” the smell (gross, I know). If you burp your bag, it’s like letting out about 20 or more farts in one go, compared to someone without a Stoma, letting out one or two!! Use deodorants in your bag…..I use the Brava Lubricating Deodorant, which is superb. You can leave the bathroom without being embarrassed about leaving a terrible smell in there…cos’ that’s exactly what it can be…..absolutely awful at times, and certainly not nice for others to have to “savour”.

  10. Nancy T

    Wow, so interesting to read everyone’s stories, I just found this website by chance, glad I did. I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2013, went through chemo/radiation, surgery, then more chemo. For the first 9-10 months I’ve had issues with the bag falling off, exploding off of me in public without warning, of course the gas issue. I have yet to figure out how my colon works. Doesn’t matter what I eat, sometimes it takes a few minutes to generate stool, sometimes 2 days. No rhyme or reason. My Dr. doesn’t seem to think there are any issues. Just glad to know I’m not alone with my issues, and good to read how people deal with. I’m going back to work in September after a 2 year hiatus (teaching high school) and am obviously worried about the gas and bag issues.

  11. Michelle Law

    My ostomy “yells” at my husband all the time. Especially during a bag change. But last night.. he and I had a “farting” contest to say. He’d let one go and then my ostomy would girggle and spit at him.. we laugh at it.

  12. Keith Hindley

    I had my Colan removed 11 years ago and had a J-Pouch fitted and only had to use a bag for 3 months until the J-Pouch had healed. But the last 11 years as had me using the bathroom up to 10 times a day and worst of all the nights I have had a few mishaps and have to use a pad every night. Also the feeling of wanting to go to the bathroom is painfull. So after all this time I have decided to go back to having a Stoma. I live in Australia and travel the outback a lot doing bird photography ( http://www.twitcherscorner.com ) and I would find it much better when out and about if I had a Stoma.
    I hope you are all in goodhealth and coping with lifes little hickups.
    Keith (IGGIE) Hindley

    1. Sheila Barker

      I have always been very grateful to have a stoma. The j pouch sounds like it can have a lot more problems.

  13. Santiago

    “… it doesn’t quite sound like a normal fart. It’s a very difficult noise to describe, but it’s not extremely loud usually…”.

    I have a funny story that can describe how stoma farts could sound like. This summer I was having dinner outdoors with my family and extended family. It was a late dinner and didn’t snack properly between meals. This was a terrible mistake: my gastrointestinal system was full of gas.

    I already knew my stoma was actively farting. There is much I could do except eat! Of well, I sat down. To my left, I had my wife, who knew perfectly well what it was going on and could see the look at her face: “you shouldn’t have missed you snack time!”. To my right, I had my wife’s cousin, who was continuously slapping her ears and neck to keep the bugs off. However, our entire family quickly noticed that there were no bugs flying around… just an actively farting stoma!

  14. beth trenter

    I, too, am new to having an ileostomy after having an emergency surgery due to a complication of C-Diff and Sepsis. I’ve had it about five weeks now and have had some gas and one BIG explosion/leakage during lunch with friends. I was so embarrassed initially, but luckily, I have great friends and no one in the restaurant seemed to notice. I now keep a large towel in my car (to wrap around my waist), along with a change of clothes. I can laugh about it now, and am thankful it didn’t happen on an airplane etc…
    I am very concerned about reconnection. I think I’m freaked out about having to go all of the time. A bag is somewhat more convenient, I think. I’m so confused…

    I love your stories. They are the first real bright spot since my surgery. Thank you!

  15. Anne Slloan

    I have had my ileostomy three years and I still can’t he put on for more than three days and then idly or sometimes I will leak every day my question is will annoy us to me does anybody else fart from the arrector this just started recently and it makes me nervous I feel like I will never get used to this ileostomy. I’m top of the I know Have diabetes and the diet for one conflicts for the other. And the diet for one conflicts for the other. Any suggestions would be helpful.

    1. beth trenter

      I feel your pain on the leakage issue. I had three leaks in one morning a few days ago after suffering from a leak every day leading up to it. I am now pretty nervous about going out, but just have to plan for the worst and hope for the best. My ostomy is quite noisy, but I just hold my stomach and blame it on being hungry. The diet thing drives me crazy. I don’t know how you manage it, but it sounds like you are working on it. Great job! You have way more experience with an ileostomy than I do. I just try to piece together tips and go through trial and error. How is your skin doing with the leaks?


        1. beth trenter

          Hi Kate,

          I used adhesive remover, then the skin prep (with alcohol, even though it stung), and stoma powder on the sore areas. No matter what I tried, I had a lot of leaks and bc I’m very active, they were very inconvenient. I was lucky in that I was able to get reconnected. I’ve had issues with that surgery too, but at least I don’t have to deal with leaks. If it hadn’t been for the leaks, I would not have gotten the second surgery, but I am glad that I did.

          Good luck to you! Leaks are so frustrating. I wish I had a good answer.


  16. Scott

    Like they say, the gas can come when you don’t expect it. I was standing at a feeding cage with the grand kids at a pumpkin patch, watching the bunny rabbits while the kids fed them. There were 2 college girls feeding the rabbits too. Of course my stoma decides it is time to pass gas, and it sounds like a big rip roaring one. It was lots of noise in the tent, but the girls heard it anyway, and one of them turned bright red and started laughing, and ran over to her mom, and was in tears laughing and trying to tell her about it. I think this has been the most I have been embarrassed. My wife said I should just let it go, because I usually try to educate people about how Colostomies have no way to keep it in and you down know when it is coming. I have had to explain it to my coworkers because of the meetings we are in. But new people get to hear about it if it erupts, and that is less embarrassing to me to explain it than to let them think I am just being rude.

  17. Doug

    I have a problem with my stoma going into my stomach sometimes and then it goes back to normal does anyone know what that is?

    1. Nelda

      Hi Doug, I’m having same issue with my stoma pulling into my stomach. That’s why I’m searching this site trying to find out whats happening and does anyone know what’s going on when this happens?

  18. lewimew01

    I received my ileostomy 7-19-15. With little testing discovered, if I stop drinking anything 3 hrs before bed. Its guaranteed allows me to sleep 6-7 hrs without needing to empty or burp my Kaylee Also drinking hot coffee and a hot water bag placed across my stomach. While resting my back against the headboard and knees close to my chest is the QUICKEST way to rid my body of a horrendous gas pain and partial blockage

  19. Lynn Norton

    I am enjoying your educational and humorous comments! I have stage 3-4 rectal cancer. I’ve been through radiation and chemo, and I’ll have surgery soon. My doctor thinks he can fix the tumor (or what remains) without doing an ostomy. But I’m not convinced. I want to learn all I can about the ups and downs and how-to’s of having a stoma. Hopefully if I do have a stoma, it will not be a forever thing but I understand people live full lives even with a permanent colostomy. Cheers to all, and good health as well!

    1. beth

      Lynn, I wish you the best on your treatment and road to recovery. I have an iliostomy, so I don’t know what it is like to have a colostomy, but either way, it’s a big learning curve (it was for me anyway). I did not know that I would wake up after ER surgery with a stoma-had never even heard of it before, so I was very far behind on my education. I think watching videos on how to put the bag on were helpful. Also, the nurses always had little tips and tricks that they passed along. Read as much as you can so that you have a good foundation. I don’t mind my bag except for when it leaks a lot. I’m still working on solving that issue, but the bag itself is really not a big deal. Sending positive thoughts your way!!!

  20. Cheryl Bailey

    Does anyone else have a hernia from the surgery? I look like a freak. Not too bad in the winter when I can wear coats and vests but summer time is going to be a real problem. Can’t wear 3/4’s of my clothes. I look 6 months pregnant on my left side only.

    1. Patsy Gazaleh

      I have the same problem. It’s like there is a dividing line down my front. If I wear clothes that are close fitting, my stool just sits on my stoma. I have to kind of push the stool off to get it to move into the bag. The swelling comes and goes, so all my pants and tops are very loose at the waist. This helps some too.

    2. Keith Hindley

      Dear Cheryle,

      I had my Colan removed in 2004 and had a J-Pounch fitted and over the first 2 years I had a total of 8 hernias removed. And I have at least 2 right now but they don’t give me much trouble. I you have them removed have the surgeon put a special webbing just under where he is going to stitch and this helps to stop more hernias.
      Good luck and stay safe.


    3. Sloan patient

      I have the same problem. 3 yrs. After surg. Have ileo. And have large hernia. I hate it. It’s so embarrassing. Mine email is on right side. My husband is deployed so I’m waiting for his return to have my hernia repaired and also will have rectum removed at that time. I suffered with colitis for 15 + yrs. Then had 2 tumors in colon that were cancerous which caused blockage. This is how I found out.

      As for the noise I’ve been trying high fiber low carb diet to aid in losing the 70 lbs.
      I gained after chemo. I can do the high fiber since I’m 3 yrs. Post surg. Just chew 30x, and slowly and you can eat anything per osteomy nurse in my support group. My surgeon suggested losing weight before hernia repair. It’s so hard to lose. I’m 47. So I stopped eating marshmallows and peanut butter which really helped. The key to stop noise is to not have an empty stomach. I usually keep protein bars with me and fruit.

      They say weight gain is horrible for stoma so for those with a new stoma I advise to watch your weight. I just had so many cravings with the chemo. I also never took off work so the food helped with my energy.

      I also had leak issues when the hernia started growing and then wound issues. I’ve got that under control but skin is very thin with hernia and gets itchy. I relieve itchy with lotions but then have to tape the wafer to prevent it from lifting. I love the pink tape. I started water aerobics so it helps with that too. Or they have wound dressing sheets that are amazing.

      Sorry I know I went off topic a bit, but recently my stoma has had a lot of noise because I’m cutting calories and really watching my food intake. This is how I found your site.

  21. lacy

    Its not so funny when you’re at work in constant worry its gona happen..its loud and frustrating because i have no clue when it will happen.

    1. Linda

      Hi Lacy I have a perm Ostomy and I find that whering a tight fitting belt or spanks stops the flow of gas and solid waist until I am ready to let it breath again. I am a very small built woman and I use the Hollister juvenile pouches 88800 no paste no leaks

  22. Sam

    Mine did it very loud long fart at a b&b at breakfast with 12 strangers all sat in silence… I wanted to cry and totally have lost my confidence now! Advice and tips welcome x

  23. Eric

    I had stage 3 colorectal cancer diagnosis Nov 2013, had surgery a month later, lost my rectum and last 2 feet of colon, followed by 4 months of chemo and 6 weeks of Tomo Therapy (radiation), took almost a year for my stoma to settle in, if you can call it that, when ever I eat the bag fills, I go empty it and within a few minutes it fill again, this happens over and over every few minutes to every 10 minutes for the next 2 plus hours usually, changing my diet over and over has not helped, I have tried lots of different foods in different combos to no avail, I eat and I am doomed for the next few hours or more, so I cannot take any long trips of an hour or more, nor can I return to work, finding it difficult to find an employer who will let me be in the bathroom so much is tough….lol, also the gas is also a problem as many have stated, I use the holister 2 piece bags and its easy to pop the ring open a bit and burp, but be in a very well ventilated area for sure, have only had a few public gas passing instances and took the opportunity to educate those close by and was not embarrassed one bit, but I guess my main concern is my frequent trip to the bathroom to empty the bag, has anyone else experienced this also, I do get tired of the 100 plus trips a day sometimes to clean out and cannot get any kind of answers from the doctors, the just say its my new normal….

  24. beth

    I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this. This does not sound like an acceptable ‘new normal.’ I have 0 % of my colon; I had to empty 10-12 x a day, and had nearly daily leakage issues, but that is nothing compared to your situation. Do you have any other doctors that could give you a second opinion? This just seems so wrong.

    1. Stephanie Hughes Post author

      Sharon, I don’t think it’s necessarily a good or a bad thing. I would definitely ask your surgeon about it, because it can depend on what surgery you’ve had and a number of other factors.

    2. melenac

      I’ve had my colostomy bag 7 weeks and have just started farting from my rectum last 2 days… from my bag as well .. I’ve heard this is ok? Can you confirm please?

      1. Anthony

        I have been recently reversed but had my colostomy for 2 months. After week 3 I had gas a number of times. After week 5 mucus about once a week with at least a few times sudden urge. My surgeon said 100% normal and healthy too. The further back from the rectum any cut is made the more this will occur because of peristalsis.

        1. Melenac

          Thank you Anthony!! I’ve not had any mucus to date but have been feeling the urge all day and have been wondering about it!? Thank you for your detailed answer, it’s greatly appreciated! I have a few months before my reversal …how was your reversal?

          1. Anthony

            I had my reversal 6.5 weeks ago and it went great. At this point digestion is 100% with biggest issue a fear of constipation (which isn’t really an issue). I had my bag only 8 weeks and had no control issues at all.

            I had full midline incision not laparoscopic. I was in hospital for 5 days and home from work for 4.

            The incision sites are externally healed and internally we are coming along. Sore afternlon days and too much sitting.

            Doing greast and glad to answer any questions.

            I was nervous but I am really happy now.

        2. Melena C

          Hi Anthony! I have my reversal scheduled for March 14th – which will be 4 1/2 months since my emergency colostomy. I’m very nervous about it… Did you have to have a colonoscopy the day prior to surgery along with a multitude of other tests? wondering what to expect at hospital as well as when I go home? special diet etc? any suggestions to prepare for the surgery? I’d appreciate any and all advice you can share with me please….

          1. Anthony

            Hi Melena.

            First of all take a deep breath. Now do it again.

            I was so nervous as you are now.

            Yes I had a colonoscopy. Super easy non event. The prep was annoying but it was super easy and they all know how you feel.

            The reversal was 3 months ago and I am so happy now. Minor pain and soreness now when I do too much but otherwise clear sailing. Give yourself time to heal. The ostomy site will hurt but it gets better every day.

            GOOD LUCK AND TAKE IT EASY!!!!

          2. Melenac

            Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! And ALL of the information!! I really appreciate it as well as the encouragement!

  25. S. Lillie

    I had a permanent stoma surgery Sept. 1987 because of rectal cancer, have a hernia around my stoma and have lots of gas. I think the hernia is causing it, but not for sure. Is there anything out there that I can take for the gas. Some days I just stay in away from people as I embarrass myself.

  26. Marlayne

    Before my surgery in 1988 I remember the ostomy nurse telling me how the bag would “blow up”. The image of a balloon full of you know what flying around the room as the air streamed out of it doing loop the loops filled my head and she was quite shocked when I laughed my head off at her comment. I had to explain. I don’t think she had too many patients who had that kind of reaction prior to major surgery.

    1. Sheila

      Did the nurse give you any remedies for the gas? I can handle it during the day, but at night the bag pops and boy do I have a lot of laundry. It’s happened 3 our of the last 4 nights.

  27. Elizabeth

    Hi just found this web site by chance.its great.to know there are other stomas out there with some of my problems .although I knew there was.i have had my illiostomy fot 3years this month mine was caused by a random clot no warning a bad pain in my stomach almost like labour then 4 days later a bag on my side ( the creature my pet name) but life is more precious then wearing a bag on my side.something l have learnt I do not need to change my bag every time I shower when it looks like it’s not going to leave my side.I knew about marshmallows something I love but keep away from them because they do Bung up the system pardon the term but I am going to start using them for travel its always one of my worries leaks.i am more open about my creature because of my age I am 64 in August I had my opperation 3 years ago. Once more glad to have found you fellow ostomy wearers. PS you may all notice spelling is not my strong point.lol.

  28. Loved Reflections

    In 5 hours I will be on an operating table having my rectum removed and have my anastomosis cut out because scar tissue has grown causing it to close up. The whole that is there is smaller then the size of a straw so basically nothing besides fluids can get through. Now I have been terrified about having an ileostomy because since I was 14 I have been told I needed one. I waited when I was 14 and in 8 years they had made enough medical advancements that I was able to have the surgery and wouldn’t have to have a bag. So I have been living with just my small intestine and rectum for the past 10 years or so. Well unfortunately I went in for a colonoscopy and they found that the scar tissue was causing a problem so they were going to attempt to use a device that inflates a balloon and stretches the scar tissue (if successful) unfortunately the tool that would be used to do this was the width of a standard sized straw and my doctor unfortunately couldn’t get it into the small hole so I woke up and learned that surgery was my only option. I begged and pleaded not to make me have a ileostomy bag and they promised to do everything they could to give me a Jpouch and they explained they weren’t sure if I had enough intestine to do it. I completely understood. So I have been doing my research and have learned a lot of people are happier with their ileostomy bags vs. a J pouch. So now I am more confused then ever. I felt the Jpouch was the only way to go because I already suffer terribly from tremendous amounts of gas. Unnatural amounts. It’s stressful leaving the house because I know if I have to use the restroom that it’s going to be very loud and I couldn’t do anything to change it or help it. So I am terrified I will suffer similarly if I have a bag and I will have a lot of blow outs, which definitely wouldn’t be a quality life. So I just wish someone could tell me what the best thing to do is. I don’t want to have a J pouch only to have a less quality life. I know that if I am scared of the bag that it will probably keep me from doing the things I want because I suffer from such bad anxiety. I also have Addison’s disease which means i require daily steroids to survive. I cannot be taken off of them because that will almost certainly mean death. I was told that healing from surgery while on steroids is not easy. So I really have to factor in my bodies ability to heal after the procedure. I am not sure which procedure is easier or more difficult on your body but I feel like I would be making the irrisponsable choice if I do not chose the one that is easier on my body. Any advice or suggestions welcome although by the time you guys read this I will probably be out of surgery and the decision will have already been made.

    1. Collette bryant

      I have been on steroids of 25 mg for the last three years I have had a colostomy in nov last year the doctors were also worried that I wouldn’t heal properly as I was on steroids for so long but I had 10 days in hospital 5 weeks of work and now back at work I healed really good especially as I had my rectum removed and it healed up really good I am on 5 mg steroids now as I have been on them for so long I have to stay on them the only problem I have is my poop won’t go in the bag it’s just sits in the base plate and my stomach is still swollen but after having chrons disease it’s the best thing I have done good luck to anyone that is having to have this done collette

  29. anthony m

    I just had perforated colon due to diverticulitis. I have a temporary Ostomy and it has been overwhelming. Thanks to everyone who shares their stories.

    I have a question. Sometimes, and especially after/during urination, I feel as if I have gas to pass. Not in the bag, but the way I always did. I know everything is tied off, but has anyone experienced this??

    1. beth trenter

      I am sorry to hear about your situation. I had a great deal of difficulty with my bag and it was very overwhelming, especially since it was a SURPRISE! I went into ER surgery with a colon and left without one.
      I did often have that gassy sensation, and I think it is pretty common from what I have read. I even had ‘material’ leave my rectum occasionally and was told that that was normal too.

      Good luck! Stay strong!!

    2. Phyllis

      My story is similar to yours, Anthony. My colon perforated this past August 21. The surgeon did a colostomy that became necrotic 5 days later while I was at my mother’s house (In a different county, thank god, so the ambulance took me to a different hospital!!) recuperating. The 2nd emergency surgery was done by a far more competent surgeon and I now have an iliostomy that can hopefully be reversed when the time is right.
      I haven’t had too much trouble with gas but I did open the 2 piece bag a little to let some out in my car and OMG, the smell was awful!!!! I rolled down the windows and prayed the other cars had their windows up!! 🙂
      Ya gotta laugh!!

      1. Anthony

        Thanks. That sounds like a nightmare. Good surgeons and bad surgeons. The stories are amazing. I was lucky enough to have one who is older and very experienced. He told me stories you wouldn’t believe for what he has had to “fix”. He geared my original surgery from the beginning towards reversal. We will reverse at 8 weeks (I am at six now). It can’t come soon enough as my stoma is so flush that my skin is just terrible.

        The gas thing is so odd. Passing frequently through stoma but occasionally passing “traditionally”. Makes no sense but is minimal, not painful and doesn’t smell like infection or any concerns. So I just go with it.

        Your car story is so true. It also points out the need to keep laughing!!!!!

        All the best and thanks for all the help!!

        1. Phyllis

          Wow, Anthony, you’re almost there! My Dr said she’ll do my reversal at the end of January 2017.
          I wish you the best and hope you’ll keep me posted on your reversal experience!

          1. Melena C

            Hi Phyllis! Did you have your reversal as planned? Hope all is well and hope you can keep me posted on your experience as well!
            Thank you so much Melena

          2. Phyllis Berger

            Hi Melana,
            Sorry for the delay in responding but I just saw your message. I had my reversal 2/6/17 and all is great. My bathroom habits have changed drastically from my pre-colostomy days but, let’s put it this way, I doubt I’ll ever get a perforated colon due to constipation again!!! When I bend over, my stomach gets a weird feeling that feels like my intestines are moving…but, hey, that’s totally tolerable and even a little amusing.
            Side note- 2 months into my colostomy I met a wonderful man and we are now engaged to be married. He met me when I was pooping in a bag and loves me any way I am! ❤️

  30. Keith Hindley

    I have had a J-Pouch for 12 years now after having my colon remover due to Ulcerated Colitis. But for 12 years I have out up with bad pains when the need to go to the look was imminent. I was never able to pass wind or I would follow through if you know what I men, but in the last couple of years I have mastered the art of passing wind without a disaster, but it takes practice and is not always successful. I still have a few accidents at night and have to wear a pad. Because I travel the outback of Australia doing bird photography I have to still try to be close to a loo as I can not swot due to a spinal operation and its because of this that I am that I am planing on going back to wearing a bag which I had for 3 months after my Colon was removed and a J-Pouch Fitted. I managed the bag very well and it was east to empty even when out in the remote areas of Australia. As I cover a lot of distance each day with my photography a bag would be mush easier to work with and get rid of the pain I get when I need to go now with a J-Pouch.
    Any one out there who enjoys birds my web site is http://www.twitcherscorner.com have a look I might just let you chill out for a while and enjoy some of our Australian Birds.
    Good luck to you all and remember which ever way you go its better than the alternative
    Keith (IGGIE) Hindley

  31. Hugh Tinsley

    I have the same problem with a noisy stoma at times especially in church, at first when folk would look at me, I would put my hand over my heart and gave it a few gentle rubs and whisper , ( that old pacemaker is going haywire, ) I usually get some puzzled looks,

  32. Becky

    I’ve had my permanent ileostomy since June 2016. The list that the hospital gave me about which foods cause gas is pretty accurate. I just avoid them. I’m coming from 38 years of Ulcerative colitis and the same foods that bothered me then-bother me now.
    I use a filtered pinching system that helps for the most part. I have the Mio click so burping is difficult, I just go empty. Peppermint tea also helps.

  33. Mama T.

    My oldest son thinks it is hilarious when I have gas with my colostomy. He’ll reply “mother” and laugh because when he was a teen, he’d intentionally let go of gas and I’d get after him. I have no control over when it comes (though the hand over the stoma helps), so he thinks it’s a riot now. We always have a good laugh. You can’t take life too seriously and need to go with the flow when gas happens because everyone has it.

  34. Suzanne

    I’ve had my ostomy 37 years. Got it at 27 years old. 4 years ago, I had a abdominal peri rectal resection. I will still get phantom feelings of eliminating through my bum. It is strange, having no rectum, anus, sphincter or anything down there. Out of that surgery, I got a new stoma, new & improved, but louder than the previous one! I miss going to church because of it.

  35. Charlotte Klaus

    My stoma is named “SAM” for shitty ass mess. I’ve had it for two years almost and have hated it every day. My stoma is herniated and I also have a hernia right next to it. So actually I look like I have a 5 inch penis hanging on the front of my stomach area. I have not been in a situation where I can have surgery but I really need to get it corrected. I have colon cancer, stage IV. The cancer blocked my colon and during the initial surgery I could not have the mass removed because my colon was so irritated. My question to anyone out there….since surgery I have never actually passed gas the correct way. I am on a clinical trial right now. I don’t know if the drug is working or not yet but I actually passed gas the right way yesterday. Am I getting excited for nothing. Do you normally pass gas with a colostomy bag or does it come out just from the bag? thanks

  36. Wilma McGowan

    I had my colostomy op 5th Feb 2014 and I have a huge hernia at the site of my stoma, plus another big hernia as well alongside of it it makes me feel like a mis shapen freak, I go to hospital next month to see my surgeon to talk about fixing my hernias but this will not happen until I lose a great deal of weight, I have been dieting on my surgeons advice since sept 2016 and have managed to lose 21 and half pounds so far but still need to lose another 6 stones. My surgeon also mentioned reversal of the stoma but I told her no way as when I had the surgery it was emergency surgery because my bowel had ruptured and I had a terrible time in intensive care as my family were called back to hospital 4 times and told to expect the worst, I was very poorly for a long time and still no where near being the person I was post surgery , I have a big problem with gas and my bag ballooning and don’t know how to over come this problem, I have enjoyed reading every ones stories , I wish every one well , and am hoping that I will lose the weight this year that will let the surgery for the hernias go ahead maybe early next year

  37. Kamal

    This morning I woke up with an abnormal aches in my stomach. I had a horrible night too. The reason is because I ate broccoli pasta and a yoghurt. Ian allergic to all these stuff that contain some amount of gas.I checked up and the doctor reassured me that it was not sth serious. All that I need to do is a diet and watch what I eat.

  38. Angela

    This site is great and helps me realise I’m not the only one, had an emergency op in sept, was in intensive care and on a life support because my bowel had ruptured. I was then diagnosed with bowel cancer, the tumour was removed during surgery, 3.5cm. I have and still do struggle with coming to terms with my stoma, I hate it but I’m dealing with it cos I have to. This can’t be reversed. Currently having chemo and have had an emergency scan just recently where they found blood clots on my left lung and in my tummy region so I now have pulmonary embolisms which I have to have daily injections in my tummy! Anyone else suffered the same, interested in your experience. Thanks

  39. Yacine B Nicola

    Hi, I recently had a Hartman’s procedure and a colostomy bag subsequently was attached in my abdoment and the was on the 17th of May I was discharged from hospital on the 26th of may , my questions to the group is how Much time I need to fully recover as it’s been a month and I’m not quite feeling my best , and would like to return to work. also at an appointment at the hospital I had an X-ray and they found small amount of fluid in my chest and I have a appointment to have it drained . Lastly how long it’s usually safe to have the a reverse surgery . Thank you for any feed back as I am really worried.

    Many thanx

    1. Stephanie Hughes Post author

      Hi Yacine, I know this first weeks are tough, but I have found that 6 weeks is the minimum recovery time to getting back to normal-ish, and definitely longer if it was an open surgery, as opposed to laparoscopic. But that’s not to say you’ll feel 100% by then. It will take months to get to feeling totally recovered. It’s a big surgery. I would also encourage you to visit my Facebook page as it’s usually a good place to ask questions and get responses. I hope you continue feeling better each day.

      1. Yacine B Nicola

        Hi Stephanie, thank you for your feed back its very useful and supportive. I did have an open surgery so i must lower my expectation . and definitely i will visit your fb page to keep updated or ask for info.

        Highest Regards


  40. BeeJayCee

    I was recently in a job interview and my bag wouldn’t stop farting😩😩I was soooo embarrassed!! And it was a panel interview, with 6 people.

  41. Mala Morjaria

    I have not posted before nor do I regularly visit this site . I have a end colostomy for colorectal surgery which is technically reversible . I had the bag in jan 2016’ and was very ill and in the hospital for 2 months .My colostomy was almost dead too . I was taught to use Dansac pouches .
    At home I changed it to Welland flushables. Not sure but accept for one blockage due to the surgery I have no issues at all . My pouch does not often balloon either . Try putting a tiny piece of toilet tissue in the bag maybe that worked for me.
    I use the dedrant spray. I flew after 6 months with no problems .
    Am I just fortunate or is it because I nearly didn’t make it that i am too grateful to be alive .
    I have always been diet conscious as a health professional and I eat everything but take longer to eat .

  42. Erin

    I found myself in July being rushed into surgery to repair acute diverticulitis. I was in horrific pain and when I woke up I found they did a temporary colostomy to allow my abdomen time to heal. I had been misdiagnosed for 3 years with bladder infections when I really was having diverticulitis attacks. What was to be a 1.5 hr surgery turned into 5 hours as they found my uterus, part of my bowl, urinary track and an overie all stuck together by past infections. This is when they decoded to do the temporary colostomy. It’s been almost 4 months and I’m still trying to heal, I have a hernia now at the stoma site, I’ve been getting a rash around the stoma site and have been have been using a powder my stoma nurse suggested but I still have it. I also get bleeding from the stoma which freaks me out. I am really trying but I’m struggling emotionally with all of this. I have a colonoscopy scheduled for January and based on that my surgeon will decide about the reversal. The thing I can’t get out of my mind were her comment that they can only go in once to do a reversal and if they go in and find my “parts” still stuck together than this is me for life. I have really appreciated reading everyone’s comments and some of my questions I saw posted so that has helped. The honesty from you all gave me some courage to post my story too.

  43. Margaret Brabrook

    Now I use a two piece with floating flange i have no problem bag burping — in bed at night just reach down and release the tag on the top, burps come out and I close the tab. I use the great new Eakin dot but I don’t know if that is available in USA (I’m in Australia) but Dansac have two piece with floating flange some
    times called accordian flange, Hollister have a FF too – there are many other two piece bags but the FF makes is so much easier for me to get my fingers under the top bit of bag and not have to push down on my tummy.

  44. Robin

    I’m a new ostomate in the last month. I sell cosmetics and skincare and do a lot on social media…. Needless to say I was concerned about farting audibly especially when I’m applying makeup to a client as VBruce” my ostomy is quite literally in their face… Soooo…I’m doing my first LIVE VIDEO since surgery, and you guessed it…I farted live on facebook😂 It was long and loud and I could not stop belly laughing of embarrassment , which just gave “Bruce” more power and soon the noises harmonized perfectly to correlate with my chuckles! I nearly fell off my chair and blew off my bag by the time it was over. I survived and my followers are still talking about it in a positive way…. I’ve always tried to be authentic and this is now part of my life so it was an unexpected way to address one of my big fears right out of the gate.

  45. Candrea Karns

    I had surgery 8 days ago and I don’t know if it’s a stitches but I’m not passing any bowels and now I’m hurting really bad like I’ve got some built up gas from something I ate what do I do

    1. Stephanie Hughes Post author

      If you’re not passing any output, I would definitely get in contact with your surgeon. If the pain is bad enough and you are throwing up/ unable to keep water down and getting dehydrated, going to an ER since it’s the weekend may be the best option. If you can, drink as much water as possible and stick with liquids until you feel it has passed, if it’s not to the point of needing to go to the ER. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Hope it resolves soon!

    2. Yacine Benlaib

      don’t take any solid food, drink water in small amounts at the time, chew gum to trick the stomach to start working, it could be just a sleeping stomach issue that resolves itself by fasting, but It can also be an infection that requires antibiotic. don’t take any chances go to the hospital where you had your surgery fast.

  46. Nikki V

    It sounds like blowing a raspberry, or a wet fart. Lol.
    There are times I’m more gassy than others. I skipped dinner last night, and tonight I am really gassy.

  47. Gee

    I have colon and rectal cancer and will get my rectum and likely the entire colon removed. Plus chemo and radiation. So I will follow you, as having an ostomy will be so….new….weird
    ..but I feel you can be a support!

  48. Dianne

    Just found this site. I’ve had my stoma for almost 30 years and there are times when I struggle still with really loose stools and some blockages. I’ve found everyone is different with their diets and how it affects people differently. Experiment and find out what works for you. I work full time and yes my stomach makes noises, but I laugh it off. You can do anything you used to maybe with a few more rest stops. You’ve been through the worst enjoy your life


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