Pancaking stoma bag - Trio Healthcare

Pancaking explained.

Pancaking is another problem that happens to ostomates from time to time, especially people living with a colostomy. Here’s all you need to know about how to combat this annoying issue.

What is pancaking?

We’ve all heard the expression ‘flat as a pancake’ and that’s probably the best way to describe how your bag looks if pancaking occurs. It happens when the insides of the stoma bag stick together and stops output from falling down as it should. Instead, stool ends up sticking around the stoma and under the appliance, causing sore skin.

What causes pancaking?

Pancaking is caused when air isn’t present in the bag. This could be due to the stoma pulling air out of the bag or the filter on the bag letting air out quicker than air is getting into the bag. This creates a vacuum inside the bag which makes the stool compact around the stoma. Pancaking can also be caused by the food and drink you have consumed and also your type of stoma. Your diet might be making the stool too sticky or hard to pass through the stoma. People with colostomies are also more likely to experience pancaking because their stool is thicker.

How to prevent pancaking

If you think diet is causing the problem, you should drink lots of water and eat a high fibre diet, including wholegrains, fruits and vegetables. Some stoma nurses recommend putting a wet tissue into the stoma bag before applying it or greasing the inside of the bag with olive oil. Just make sure this doesn’t affect your seal or decrease wear-time.

A modern stoma bag will have an effective filter that should help to regulate the airflow inside. It might be worth trying a new bag if yours is an older style appliance.