Our endo unit doesn't have a "fart or you stay" policy, but we strongly encourage our pts to let it go if they feel the urge, only because the air can travel backward up the colon and really start hurting in your chest, shoulder, etc. A few of my pts have said they had no urge to pass the air, and never did, and they felt fine. Most rip huge ones which still makes me giggle every time I hear it (I have 4 sons - God knew what he was doing when he made me a boy mom AND a GI nurse, haha). We have a lot of fun with our patients where this is concerned. We put their minds at ease and tell them we are proud of them when they fart.
A few things:
One time I told a patient who was worried about "blow-by" (passing stool with air) that it was totally okay and the pad would take care of it, and I would get her a damp cloth to clean up if she needed it. I came in later to DC the IV and she was wiping her bottom with CAVI WIPES!!!!!!! We used to keep a container of them in the rooms but we don't any more.
One time I had a 40ish man who was hurting horribly and nothing we did would help. He couldn't pass air and I knew that's all it was. We gave him Levsin (twice), we had him lie on his left side, knees to chest, walk around, use the toilet, nothing. Then I told him to get into the sleeping baby position (butt up) and he absolutely exploded!! He was laughing and doing these enormous farts and everyone on the unit started laughing. The great thing was, he wasn't a bit embarrassed because the relief was so huge.
We do use the flatus bags on occasion and I have had some really good results with them. I put the pt on their left side knees to chest, lube the tip really well, and insert about 2 inches. Usually that does it, but if not, I advance another inch or so and that usually does it. They're easy to use, they're not particularly uncomfortable for the pt, and they tend to work pretty well.