The lining of the bowel continuously produces mucus which acts as a lubricant to assist the passage of faeces. If the remainder of the bowel is left in place when a stoma is formed then, even though faeces will no longer pass through it, the redundant portion will still continue to produce mucus. A clear or putty-coloured mucus can leak out through the anus or build up inside the rectum where it dries up into a ball and causes pain.
If an ostomate has persistent problems with discharge or pain it is important they consult a stoma care nurse.
If a stoma was formed as an emergency and there was no time to clear out the bowel prior to the operation, in rare instances some faeces may remain in the redundant part of the bowel and be passed out through the anus - sometimes many months later.
With a loop stoma it is possible for faeces, instead of coming out through the stoma, to pass into the redundant part of the bowel and be passed out through the anus.
If an ostomate passes faeces or blood through the anus, it is important that this is reported to a doctor or stoma care nurse.
For more information click here to download our booklet 'Rectal Discharge' or contact us and we will post a copy out to you.