What if you get pancaking?

What is pancaking?

Pancaking is the term used to describe what happens when the output from your colostomy does not fall to the bottom of the pouch, but instead remains at the top and around your stoma.

What can cause pancaking?

  • Insufficient air in the stoma pouch causing the sides of the pouch to stick together.
  • Sticky or stodgy output from your stoma.

Hints and tips

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, unless you have been advised by your doctor to restrict how much you drink.
  • A laxative or a stool stiffener to alter the consistency of your stool may be advised.
  • Cover the pouch filter with one of the adhesive tabs supplied with your box of pouches. This will prevent the air escaping too quickly from your pouch.
  • Put a small crumpled tissue inside the pouch to prevent the sides sticking together.
  • Small foam squares available on prescription, can be stuck on the inside of your stoma pouch to prevent the sides from sticking together.
  • Before removing the backing paper from the pouch adhesive, you may wish to lubricate the inside of your pouch with a pouch lubricant.
  • Stoma irrigation or flushing the bowel out with warm water is a form of stoma management suitable to some but not all people with a colostomy. Irrigation can help reduce the problems associated with pancaking.

Pancaking can be a difficult problem to solve. Sometimes waste can escape under the pouch adhesive causing odour, leakage and sore skin.

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