All your pancaking advice

21 February, 2023

We asked you for all your advice on tackling Pancaking and you did not disappoint! Thank you so much for everyone who shared, liked and commented throughout social media. Pancaking is certainly not the most pleasant part of life, but it is a reality for many ostomates. We hope that you have picked up some new tricks and techniques. Here are all the comments below…

“My experience with pancaking very much depends on the consistency of the stoma output which varies with my diet.”

“Increasing your daily intake of water seems to be the number one home remedy for pancaking.”

“Increase your fibre intake, this can also help alter the consistency of the stool.”

“Really you need to keep the consistency of the faeces softer by increasing the fluid and perhaps fibre.”

“You can also grease the inside of your bag with oil (olive oil or baby oil ). This helps the stool to slide down inside the bag. Alternatively, try using a lubricating deodorant.”

“Just as you apply your bag blow a little bit of air into it to prevent it from being completely flat. Towards the top of the appliance there is a filter,which allows the gas to escape. Sometimes the filter works too well and causes the bag to suck together it is worth placing a filter cover over this (they are the little stickers that come in the box with your bags) This allows the gas to create a bit more space for the stool to move down in the bag.”

“I cover the filter on the pouch with the little plaster like stickers that come in the box. By covering the filter any gas is trapped inside the pouch and usually preceding every bowel motion is a little wind, which inflates the pouch slightly allowing the motion to pass freely into the pouch (especially if it is oiled inside). This also has the dual benefit of giving you total control over odour.”

“I have dealt with it by lifting the plastic at the front of the bag, lower down than the stoma and then pushing down on the pancake with the plastic to get it away from the stoma. This seems to do the trick and allows further emissions to drop into the bag more easily.”

“I have a colostomy and use adapt lubricant deodorant which helps but I put the bag inside my underwear so yes it does pancake so I empty it often and so far only had a couple of issues.”

“I use stoma bridges, little sponge squares that stick inside the bag so it stays a little open. They are available from your stoma suppliers along with your normal prescription. Since discovering them I have not had any pancaking problems . If anyone wants to know more about them I can find the order reference number.”

“Leave a little air in the bag/stick a ball of tissue in their to allow space for output and reduce pancaking! Also make sure skin is nice and healthy! Any soreness will cause issues so use barrier sprays/creams or speak to your stoma nurse!”

“I use stoma bridges available from my supplier and I don’t have any problems with pancaking any more.”

“A little squirt of baby oil eases all my pancake worries.”

“A little bit of baby oil in the pouch.”

“I definitely don’t miss pancaking since I’ve been reversed I do remember I used to eat a curry and it would sort it out!”

“Keeping stool soft, drink 2 litres water daily, otherwise use Lactulose to soften faeces. Wear a light convex flange,wear a belt. It’s very difficult to overcome pancaking but try to keep faeces soft and don’t get constipated.”

“Drink plenty but not just plain water, alternate with cordial and fruit juices to keep output softer. Some people find convexed bags help but you have to see a stoma nurse before you use them as they can cause problems if you don’t need them.”

“I have increased my fluid intake, oil the bag, blow air in the bag and I still pancake 🤪 might try the fibre option though.”

“Drinking plenty of fluid tea coffee water and fruit juice helps with the pancaking. Also try some baby oil in the top of your bag as this will help your output slide down.”

“If pancaking is just stool sitting around stoma, then just one of those things, especially if like me you need to wear strong support pants and a Lycra wrap belt for hernias. If it leaks out under the flange then that is horrid. I hardly ever a leak – I say with fingers crossed 🤞 – using Sensura Mio Convex. So just change and clean up whenever necessary. Decided pancaking on stoma is unavoidable whatever I eat or drink.”

“My tip is that I blow some air into the bag before putting it on and also put baby oil in, now comes the fun bit – when I have the bag on and have it stuck on most of the way round, I leave a tiny gap at the top above the stoma. I then get a long straw and blow more air in. (I have the filters covered as this would otherwise let air out.) Then stick down the top of the bag.”

“I stand facing the toilet with the seat up. Remove bag & bend over slightly in case more stool come out. Aim my stoma down. Then with toilet paper remove all caked stool around the stoma & in the top of bag. I repeat this every 30-60 min as I feel myself go & keep emptying it. Can’t let it build up as the pressure will cause leaks on the side of bag.”

“I was given some Ostomy bag lubricant/deodoriser. Each small bottle cost the NHS about £7 . After it had all gone I thought, what else can I use without putting more on my order !?? Antibacterial Hand Gel! I get Big bottles from the £1 shop and put into a smaller bottle in my changing bag. It does the same job.”

“For a natural alternative, you can mix essential oil drops such as peppermint or eucalyptus into a neutral carrier oil like vegetable oil and put a drop of the mix in the bag. Lubricates as well as deodorises!”

“I also find warm drinks help soften my tummy after a pancaking episode, and if you are brave, going bagless in the privacy of home. I’ve sat on the loo several times massaging my tummy and it helps output a lot.”

Thanks so much for everyone who sent in advice, ofcourse if pancaking is a persistent problem contact your stoma care nurse.



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