Managing your recovery from stoma surgey - Trio Healthcare

Useful references for managing your recovery.

After your stoma surgery, your healthcare team will want to get you up and about as soon as possible but try not to do too much too soon. Gentle, daily walks in the first few weeks is enough to start building up your strength.

You’ll probably have lots of questions about how much exercise you can do and if there are any activities that are off-limits. So, here are a few pointers to get you off on the right foot.

How soon can I go running again?

 For any strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting, it’s better to wait until the surgical site and abdominal muscles are fully healed – this can take up to 12 weeks. Your consultant will discuss this with you at your first outpatient appointment. When you do decide to venture out, make sure you have a well-fitting stoma bag and keep well hydrated with plenty of water. An ostomy belt or support garments can help to keep your pouch in place and reduce the chance of rubbing.


Can I still go swimming?

 Yes! There is no reason you can’t continue doing an activity you love, like swimming.  Most stoma bags are designed to be water-resistant and have excellent seals, so you won’t need to worry about leaks in the water. Try to empty your pouch shortly before you get in and make sure your flange has had time to properly stick to your skin before you get it wet. If your pouch has a filter, you can use special filter stickers to prevent it getting wet.


What about weightlifting and stretching?

 After your stoma surgery it does makes sense to check with your consultant before attempting any weight bearing exercises or workouts that concentrate on your abdominal area. Whilst strengthening your stomach muscles is important, to help prevent common problems after surgery such as a hernia or prolapse, the key is to take it slowly and gradually build up.


What should I take with me?

 You don’t need any special equipment apart from a spare stoma bag and whatever your need to change it e.g., wipes, seals, scissors.  Just make sure you’re wearing the right clothes and take a water bottle with you. After a few months you will no doubt be back exercising as normal. We know plenty of ostomates who enjoy all sorts of activities from rock climbing to yoga and basketball, without any problems.

Yoga, pilates, swimming, and walking are all good exercises for you to do. Your stoma care nurse should provide an exercise leaflet and guidance.