Welcome to the Mayo Clinic Ostomy Surgery Page. An ostomy is a surgically created opening in your abdomen that allows waste or urine to leave your body. It takes time to become comfortable with an ostomy. Our goal is to connect you with others and provide you with information and support.

Follow the Ostomy page to learn about ostomy care, read experiences of others and find resources for all your ostomy needs. Post a comment and share your thoughts.

Apr 16, 2019

Cleanliness and Odor Control

By Candy-CWOCN RN, @candywocrn


written by J. Morris RN, MSN, CWOCN

Cleanliness and Odor Control

One of the biggest concerns for new Ostomates is the fear of odor from their new ostomy.  Whether you have a urostomy, ileostomy or colostomy, this can be a legitimate concern.  But there is great news: ostomy products are odor-proof when worn correctly!  The only time there should ever be an odor is when you are emptying /changing your pouch.

Remember certain foods may cause an increase in odors.  But only when emptying!

Here are some quick guidelines to keep you and your pouch clean:

  • For drainable pouches, keep the bottom couple inches free of stool
    • After emptying use a damp paper towel or toilet paper to wipe out the bottom of the pouch.
    • This prevents stool from getting on the outside of the pouch when closing it
  • For 2 piece systems, always check the connection between the flange and the pouch, these should be tightly sealed.
    • This prevents stool/urine from getting on the wafer or outside of pouch.
    • Keeping the outside of your pouch clean is essential.
  • Consider using a liquid deodorant such as Adapt lubricating deodorant in your pouch. There are also deodorants that can be taken by mouth. Your Ostomy RN can speak with you about these options.
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