A person with an ostomy can lead a normal life. However, there may be a need to think or do some activities differently. Work with your healthcare team to identify ways you can make any needed adjustments in areas such as the following:
- Work: It is possible to resume normal work activities. People with ostomies are from all walks of life including professional athletes, teachers, and lawyers.
- Recreation: People with ostomies generally continue to do the activities they enjoyed before surgery including exercising, biking, swimming, and hiking.
- Diet: Individuals with an ostomy quickly learn about the best foods for them as well as about the foods that cause discomfort or other problems.
- Medications: Inform your pharmacist if you have an ostomy. There are certain medications that can cause difficulties with a colostomy or urostomy.
- Clothing: The same clothing can typically be worn as before surgery. Loose clothing may feel more comfortable over the pouch. However, many survivors with an ostomy wear bathing suits or other close-fitting clothes without difficulty. The best rule is to wear clothes that feel comfortable.
- Bathing: An ostomy is like the tissue in found in the mouth or anus. Water will not hurt it. Bathing, showering and swimming are okay. The skin around the ostomy needs to be cleansed and dried. The healthcare team should be informed if redness or special care is needed for the skin under the pouch.