There are a number of different ways to empty a drainable ostomy pouch; in the end it just comes down to personal preference and what works for you.
Ways to empty an ostomy pouch:
- Empty sitting down facing away from the toilet (as if you were peeing). Open the drainable bottom of your pouch, and aim it between your legs to empty it into the toilet. If you use a clip, you can fold back the bottom part (turtlenecking it) so that poop doesn’t touch the whole length of the end of the pouch. If you use a Velcro, you squeeze either side to get the opening to open and then let the contents fall out. (This is what I do most often).
- Empty sitting down facing the toilet (like you’re straddling it). Open the drainable bottom of the pouch and aim it between your legs to empty into the toilet. Same process for clip and Velcro.
- Stand facing the toilet, like you’re a guy peeing. Open the drainable bottom of your pouch and empty it into the toilet. Same process for clip and Velcro.
- Kneel on the ground leaning up against the toilet (maybe this is best at home where you know your toilet is clean). Open the drainable bottom of your pouch and aim it into the toilet. Same notes about splashing and clip vs Velcro processes.
Cleaning your ostomy pouch before closing it back up:
- You can use toilet paper to wipe out the bottom-most part of the inside of your pouch.
- You can get a little water bottle, like the kind you can squeeze and water comes out, and squirt the water into the bottom portion of the pouch to get excess poop off, then use toilet paper to wipe out the bottom-most part of the inside of your pouch.
- If you’re worried about splashing, put down a square or two of toilet paper in the toilet and aim the poop to land on it. The toilet paper dampens the impact so there’s less splash.
- It’s good to wipe out the bottom-most part of your pouch so you don’t have poop remnants living in a place where they have contact with air, you could start to smell like poop if there’s stuff on the outskirts of your pouch.
- Many nurses and ostomates say you shouldn’t put water in your pouch to where it hits your stoma as it could theoretically breakdown the wafer barrier a little bit faster. There are other ostomates who swear by this and don’t like a speck of poop anywhere, but for me, it’s function is to hold poop and I don’t have time or patience to spend washing it trying to get every last bit out. Especially because I know it’s just going to fill up right away.
- Try not to let the end of your ostomy pouch touch the toilet, as it can transfer bacteria to your stoma. This is especially important for urostomies, who can end up with a urinary tract infection from this.
So far as I’ve heard, these are the 4 main methods of emptying. Of course, I’m sure people are creative and have found other ways that work for them. The key is comfort, find the most comfortable method for you and stick with it!