From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook March 1999:

Gas in Your Pouch

from Metro Maryland

Q. My pouch sometimes fills up with air like a balloon. Someone told me I could put a pinhole in it. Would this help?

A. The air or gas in your pouch is normal. Some foods you eat may cause this more than others. Beans, onions, cabbage and cauliflower can frequently cause an increase in gas. This doesn't mean you can't eat them, but it is helpful to know which foods cause more gas so you will have more control.

As for the pinhole, it's not a good idea. Manufacturers spend thousands of dollars on research to produce plastic pouches that are odor-proof. By letting the gas out you also release the odor. If gas is a problem, there are other ways to release it:

  1. If you are wearing a drainable pouch, check and empty the gas, if necessary when you go into the bathroom.

  2. If you have a 2-piece system, you can separate the pouch from the flange when you are in the bathroom and deflate any gas which has collected in the bag.

  3. There are many pouches now that have a gas-release valve with a built-in charcoal filter so there is no odor as the gas passes from the bag.

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Content last revised 1999-03-12