Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » Stoma Subforum » Pouch in the way?

08-08-2010, 09:58 AM   #1
Senior Member
Crohnadian's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Quebec
Pouch in the way?

So surgery may be the most viable option for me at this point in my disease. I've had CD for 8 years and no medication in the book has worked for me. I was curious about the pouches however. First of all what is the difference between pouches or are they all the same? Also do they interfere with every day life? I play guitar, so will having the guitar rest against the pouch/wound be a problem for example? Or does lifting weight become a problem? How do these pouches, if at all, affect your every day life? I'm not worried about having the pouch so much as I am worried that it will limit what I can do (not like my CD doesn't limit me to begin with). Thanks
08-08-2010, 11:59 AM   #2
Senior Member
CDDad's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New Jersey
I had the same questions before my surgery in April. The first big difference is if you get an Ileostomy or Colostomy. An Ileostomy is formed from the end of your small bowel, and your colon is bypassed. Sometimes the colon is removed, and sometimes not.

A Colostomy is formed from a part of your colon. Colostomy is more common and I hear itís easier to deal with. I have an Ileostomy , which creates more constant output and needs to be emptied 6 to 8 times a day, which is about average.

There are 3 main pouch system companies and many smaller ones like Cymed. The big 3 are Hollister, Convatec, and Coloplast.

The bags (or pouches), come in two main styles: One piece or two piece. And then there are 2 variations, open drainable - and closed pouches.

It is just personal preference if you like the one piece or two piece. I tried both and so far I like the two piece. Maybe in the future I'll switch as my needs and experience changes. With the two piece, the pouch can be removed from the "base" which is called a flange or wafer. With a one piece, the pouch cannot be removed. If you wear a one piece wafer for a week, then you wear the pouch for a week. Personally, with my 2 piece, I use 2 pouches per wafer, so I like the ability to change the pouch and not the wafer.

The closed pouches are more for Colostomies and would not be practical with an Ileostomy, unless you want to go through 8 pouches a day. The drainable is exactly that, it has an opening at the end to empty the contents. Some use a plastic clip, and some use a Velcro type closure.

And I am happy to say that after the initial learning process, it will not interfere with your life. Yesterday, I went hiking, and today a hot and sticky bike ride with the kids.
Your guitar may rest on your pouch without a problem (unless it is very full). Today I was playing, wrestling, and rolling around the floor with the kids and not even worrying about my ostomy or pouch.
I have not had a problem with everyday weight lifting such as my 3 kids. For weight lifting exercise, you will read a lot about the danger of hernia. The key is to wait until you are healed, 2 or 3 months and then take it easy to find your capabilities. I intend to get back into that at some point soon.

If anything, an ostomy will free you from your current Crohnís limitations - it did for me. Iím doing so much more now than in the last 2-3 sick years.
Crohns since 1989
3 Surgeries - Hemicolectomy '08, Sm Bowel Resection '09, Proctocolectomy '10. Lets hope I'm done now!
On Protonix and Humira.

Last edited by CDDad; 08-08-2010 at 06:23 PM.
08-08-2010, 12:55 PM   #3
Jeff D.
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
I think Joe gave pretty much all the advice. I would like to add about playing guitar, last night I just had a 4 hour band practice and didn't have a problem even with the bag being full at the end. I didn't play standing up but that is usually even less of a problem because when you stand up you can always shift the guitar slightly.

Good luck with your decision, I'll keep you in my prayers.
08-08-2010, 02:34 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
@ Crohnadian - My friends, Joe and Jeff pretty much covered all basis. I had my surgery 4 weeks ago and I am the happiest because the CD limited me quite a bit.
I walk two miles every day, building more stemina every day. I went to my personal trainer this past week and he is putting together a low impact exercise routine. I started to lift light weights (12,5 lbs). I tried every nedicine out there and suffered so much throughout.
Like Joe, (he was a great mentor during my ordeal) I use a two piece system. I can sleep all night, on my sides or back.
Good luck with your decision
-Best wishes - Dan

1. Diagnosed with Crohn's UC 1995
2. Flagyl/Cipro Imuran in 80%remission 1997 2005
3. Used 5mp, asacol, 6mp, remicade, imuran, Cimzia, entocourt, Flagyl/Cipro and enemas/suppositories until 2010 with periodic relief.
4. July 9th 2010 total ProctoCollectomy surgery! Free at Last!

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