Dealing with pancaking

Common Problems

Clinical Advisor

From A Bigger Life

You may have come across the word pancaking from either your Stoma Nurse or your own research and wondering what this is.

What does pancaking mean?

Pancaking is one of the most common problems that people with a colostomy will complain about. It is caused when output stays on top of the stoma, and does not move down into the bottom of the pouch. It dries out and sticks around the stoma, instead of falling to the bottom of the pouch.

Hints and tips to help you with pancaking

  • Make sure you are drinking enough throughout the day, it is recommended to drink about 2 litres in 24 hours. That should help to soften the bowel motion.
  • Something else that has worked for some people with a colostomy would be to drink cool boiled water with a dash of lemon first thing in the morning. This also helps to soften the bowel motion.
  • If none of the above work you could try putting a small amount of lubricating gel or vaseline into your pouch. This means when the bowel motion hits it, it slides down to the bottom of your pouch.
  • Before you put your new pouch on, put a little bit of tissue paper into the bottom of the pouch so that’s it’s not causing a vacuum when you seal it.


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