Stoma Noise, Bleeding Stomas and Rectal Discharge After Ostomy Surgery

Stoma Noise

There is no way to stop your ostomy from expelling gas. Ileostomies and colostomies will emit gas, which may or may not be audible to others. Stoma noises often sound the same as a rumbling stomach. Since the sound is coming from the front of your body, people often assume it’s just your stomach.

Here are some ideas to help with stoma noise:

  • Keep your abdominal muscles relaxed, this helps gas pass more easily through the stoma.
  • Try wearing snug-fitting clothing like Spanx to muffle the sound.
  • When you feel a build-up of gas, try pressing your hand or forearm against your stoma. Hint: wear a jacket with pockets to discretely do this.
  • Ambient noise makes most stoma noises inaudible – coughing or zipping your purse.
  • Consider cutting down on or eliminating gas-producing food or drink if this is embarrassing you. For more information, refer to Diet & Nutrition section of our website.
  • Speak to your doctor about anti-gas medication, like GasX or Beano.

Products designed to suppress ostomy noise include:

Bleeding Stomas

Stomas will bleed if cleaned too roughly, if the appliance is improperly applied, or if you accidentally scratch them with fingernails or cloth. It is normal and looks like spotting. It should stop soon if you dab the spots with tissue. Some stomas will bleed more easily than others, and certain medications (such as aspirin or blood thinners) can increase the likelihood of bleeding. Prolonged bleeding, increased amount of bleeding or very easy bleeding may indicate other problems and should be reported. If bleeding is coming from the peristomal skin area, you should see your Ostomy Nurse (NSCOW) at once.

Rectal Discharge after Surgery

Rectal discharge occurs when all or part of the large intestine is surgically bypassed, and stool no longer passes through it. People with these particular stoma types may pass mucus through their anus while they have their stoma, which includes:
  • Loop stoma (an ileostomy or colostomy with two openings), or
  • Hartmann’s Procedure (a type of colostomy)
When the colon is bypassed, the bowel’s lining will continue to secrete mucus. It is a natural function of the intestine to help stool pass through more easily. When mucus builds up, you may feel like you need to pass stool through the anus. The frequency and amount of mucus drainage are individual, ranging from several times per day to once a month to no mucus drainage at all. Mucus is usually clear or putty-colored, and sometimes it can be brown. Most people deal with the mucus drainage by sitting on the toilet when they feel the urge and gently bearing down as if to have a bowel movement. If the amount of discharge is bothersome, please talk to your NSWOC or physician.
Source: A Handbook for New Ostomy Patients. Used with permission from Debra Rooney, Vancouver Ostomy Chapter.
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