You may become constipated or have diarrhea, just as you did before surgery. If you become constipated, try eating more fiber (vegetables, fruits, and brans)and drinking more water. It is okay to take a mild laxative; however, check with your doctor first. If constipation becomes a problem, talk to your doctor or WOC Nurse.
If you become ill with a stomach virus, this can give you diarrhea. Treat it the same as before you had surgery, and remember to drink plenty of fluids – you might try a“sports” drink to replace fluids and electrolytes.
Bathing and Showering
You may choose to bathe or shower with your pouch on or off. If you shower with your pouch off, choose a soap that is oil- and residue-free. These types of soaps will not interfere with the adhesion of the barrier.
Exercise and Sports
Exercise is good for everyone, including people with a colostomy. Once your strength returns, you can enjoy exercise and activities as you did before the operation. Check with your doctor before exercising or playing contact sports. Special small pouches can be used when swimming and playing sports, if desired.
You should speak with your surgeon regarding any effects your surgery may have on sexual function. Your ostomy does not limit or prohibit sexual activity. Intimacy can play an important role as you take steps to resume the life you had before surgery. Note: there are special products and accessory choices available for intimate moments
Travel should not be restricted due to your colostomy. Remember to pack all of your supplies for the journey, and make sure you have more than enough supplies for the duration of your trip. Keep your supplies where you can easily get to them. If you are flying, take supplies in a “carryon” bag, in case you become separated from your checked luggage.
Supply Check list
- barriers - if using a two-piece system
- soft paper towels
- strip paste
- powder or other accessories
- scissors (if using a cut-to-fit system)
- stoma guide
- plastic bag (to discard pouch, if necessary)