Swimming with an Ostomy: Tips and Gear Recommendations?

Feb 11, 2011 9:21 pm

I haven't attempted swimming with my ostomy yet. I've seen special bathing suits and various kinds of equipment such as belts, etc. Can anyone give me tips/suggestions on what to get? I want to start swimming for exercise and I also love to travel so I'm thinking about swimming and sunbathing for leisure as well.

Feb 11, 2011 10:44 pm

I think it's great you want to go swimming - I am still trying to master taking a shower.
I actually use plastic pants to shower so my bag doesn't get wet. I did buy a product to wear
during showering, but it takes too long to put on, so I find it easier to just put on the plastic
pants. They actually keep my bag dry for the five-minute shower. I do miss not swimming and also am looking for something that I can wear and also keep my bag dry. Let us know if you find something that works. Butterfly48

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Feb 11, 2011 11:15 pm

This may not answer your question directly, but it might be useful information to others considering a swim in the ocean. I went swimming last summer where there was reasonably heavy surf. I wore my normal swim trunks over the bag without any other support. No problem whatsoever. I acknowledge baggy trunks, which are popular with men, helped. What I found out was that when you swim is more important than what you wear. Swim only at those times when your stoma is quiet. You can even get smaller bags for the occasion. My flange stayed put even with several days of swimming, sunbathing, and showering. Nothing came loose despite the heavy surf, which occasionally threw me into the shore. Dive in. The water's great.

Feb 12, 2011 5:08 am
I loved to swim! When I first had my operation, I let it go. I wouldn't go near water in fear the flange would come loose and float off into the wild blue yonder. I did find a few tricks that worked for me.

First, I use the Skin Prep wipes and spread it around the band-aid part of the flange that helps with a barrier on it. I also use surgical tape along the edges for added security. As for the bag getting wet, I wear Hollister 2 piece that has a felt-type covering on it. After I finish my swimming, I just take a towel and rub the felt part and even use a hairdryer to dry it up in no time. I often can go a few days swimming several times a day with no problems. Of course, I also do the "I'm due for a change tonight so I'm staying in the water allll day" thing too.

When I'm at a friend's cottage and in the lake swimming, I really couldn't care should anything fall off....but when I am at a public pool, I basically stick to just wading in and out, no fancy dives or that sort of thing. I go swimming in my ex's building pool with my boys quite a lot, and that is a saltwater pool and still things stay intact.

Remember, YOU are the boss, not your stoma or your appliances...ya got to SHOW that appliance who the boss is!! GO FOR IT...DIVE IN!!! (pun intended!)
Feb 12, 2011 11:04 pm

Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement. I'll be getting in the water soon!

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Feb 14, 2011 3:22 pm

I go to the swimming pool 3/4 times a week. I do the aquafit exercises to help make me fitter (not working very well!) and for pleasure.
I use a standard swimsuit and use the disabled rooms for changing. No one knows unless I tell them. Go and enjoy!
Regards from Marcella.

Feb 14, 2011 5:37 pm

I love to swim, but have not in the past 7 months since surgery. I do shower with the bag on and off. The person who covers the bag in the shower - I do not think you need to, it will dry in a little bit. I am going to try the tape idea before swimming to hold the wafer to my body. I do have an elastic belt that holds the bag (two piece) to the flange and seems to make things feel really secure. Thanks everyone for the advice.