Backpacking with a Bag After Bladder/Prostate Surgery: Tips for Hip Belt Fit?

Oct 11, 2022 2:53 pm

Going to have my bladder/prostate removed in a few days and wondering how people wear backpacks with a bag. Trying to plan a hike up Pikes Peak next year but worried about how the hip belt will fit.

Oct 11, 2022 3:07 pm

You could always wear a stoma guard to protect your stoma from the belt. I wear one if I'm doing something that has me hitting/bumping my stoma, which for me is wearing chest waders and backpacking duck decoys into where I'm hunting. The one I use is from StomaGear but there are other brands/styles. If the belt doesn't actually lay right on your stoma, I don't see much of an issue.

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Oct 11, 2022 7:27 pm

I would suggest that you have a serious discussion with the surgeon about the placement of your stoma.  I have seen way too many examples of people on this site who have stomas placed too high.  I'm sure everyone will have an opinion, but I like it a couple inches below the navel and on one side.  In this manner, one avoids problems with belt line and, I would suspect, such things as backpack hip belts.  I hiked the AT with no stoma issues.  Now, the constant rain, that was something else...  

Oct 11, 2022 7:52 pm

Yeah. You want to talk to your surgeon about this. I backpack with a stoma which was done under emergency conditions. The hip belt covers the stoma and can compromise the seal if I'm not careful. Fortunately, I have what ileo/colostomates refer to as an innie. The stoma is close to flush with my skin and I wear a convex barrier so the belt doesn't rub or irritate my stoma. I would think the same would be true for a urostomy. Again, your surgeon should be able to answer.

Oct 11, 2022 10:13 pm

Too often, surgeons performing ostomies have no idea of the potential issues associated with a poorly placed stoma.  You're lucky if you get to address the matter beforehand.  Most of us didn't.

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Oct 12, 2022 3:37 am
Reply to HenryM

Here in Australia, my first stoma site was drawn on my belly by the stoma nurse a few days before surgery. It was great! She made me sit, bend, and measure where my waistband sat. That way, the stoma would not interfere with my natural creases.

Unfortunately, it was resited to the opposite side during a tricky repair surgery a few years ago. Now it's a pain as it sits right where my undies waistband sits.

Oct 12, 2022 3:46 am
Reply to OldCrohnie

My ostomy nurse did the same thing.

ron in mich
Oct 12, 2022 1:30 pm

Hi all, my nurse did the same as Alex and old chronie in marking my stomach. Then the surgeon came in and checked it out with the same routine of sitting, standing, bending, and then asking what I did for a living. It made me feel confident he knew what he was doing.

Oct 12, 2022 7:19 pm

10 years ago, I had that operation. I have a backpack that has both a chest and tummy belt. I leave the tummy strap somewhat loose. No problems so far, and my stoma is very close to my belt line. So close that I have to always wear a T-shirt so my pants don't pull down on my stoma and rip it off, so to speak.


Mar 10, 2024 2:44 pm
Reply to HenryM

Yes, discussions about very specific stoma placement - certainly understanding a varied number of specific placement options - all in detail with your surgeon/s so as to have maybe six placements [reducing odds according to lesions and blood supply and possible puncture/repairs during the process] .....

I have managed to maintain the best position so far [albeit having changed sides] to allow for a flying harness.


So yes - have the discussion - PLANNING IS ALL - also get involved - become the best team player one can - within your own solution - your surgeons - if they are good - will welcome input and be prepared to discuss details for any planned interventions.