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What if you get ballooning?

What is ballooning?

Ballooning happens when the wind from your stoma collects inside your pouch causing it to inflate or balloon.

What can cause ballooning?

  1. A blocked pouch filter.
  2. A wet pouch filter.
  3. Dietary issues.

Hints and tips

  • Ballooning is uncomfortable. It causes your pouch to bulge underneath your clothing, and can lead to leakage and odour. This wind needs to be released. If you are using a 1-piece closed pouch, you will need to change your pouch. If you are using a drainable pouch it will need emptying.
  • Different pouch manufacturers use different filters. Try different pouches until you find the filter that best suits your needs.
  • To avoid the pouch filter getting wet and therefore inactive, cover it with one of the adhesive tabs supplied with your box of pouches before you have a bath, shower or go swimming. Don’t forget to remove the tab when you have finished.
  • Some food and drinks can give you excessive wind and you may want to eliminate the ones that affect you.
  • 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 ballooning.

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