Living well with bowel cancer

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Recommendations for best pads to absorb rectal mucus discharge

Since my Dad's Hartmann's procedure with a permanent stoma about 7 weeks ago he's been getting mucus discharge from his anus. I understand this is normal, because the anus doesn't realise that there's no waste material to be helped out. However, he's finding it difficult to manage. He's very old (91) and has - because of years of senna tablets and an anal stricture - no muscle control in his anus, so he's unable to sit on the loo in the morning and try to push it out as the stoma nurse suggested. Consequently, it just plops out when it gets to a certain volume. He's been using Tena pants for men, but they're designed for urine leaks, not mucus, and the mucus just sits on the top instead of being absorbed by the pants, so he lines them with toilet paper. Would period pads work any better? If so, any recommendations, please? Thanks.


Difficult as the mucous may not be easily absorbed into a pad. Is lining with toilet paper causing a problem for him? A thin sanitary panty liner could be easier to deal with perhaps? I hesitate to suggest a tampon but if he is afrad of leaks when going out, could that be a solution?


Good morning @Scrabble96, I am so sorry to hear about these difficulties that you father is experiencing. I think you/he needs to go back to the stoma nurse and explain that their suggestion isn’t working and why.

There are specifically designed products such as anal plugs available (as opposed to vaginal tampons), but I would suggest that these should only be tried following discussions again with the stoma nurse and of course your father. One such plug is described in the link below:

Please take care and let us know how your father gets on, Kim :x::x:


You may find a "maternity" pad useful. They are longer than regular menstrual pads and designed to absorb heavy flow after childbirth. I sourced them on the internet and they helped me post op.


Contact your community bladder and bowel nurse they should be able to help you :x:


Thank you, @Cruella, @Lirio345, @colourmesurprised and @debs247. I have sent an email to our local community bladder and bowel team to see what they suggest. I don't think there's enough discharge to use an anal plug (although he could have done with them before his op, as his incontinence was dreadful and very distressing for him). I'll have a look at the maternity pads. The lightweight Lil-lets ones look about right.