Looking for Ostomate Swimsuit in England

Apr 27, 2011 5:06 pm
Hi people, I've had Eric, my ileostomy, nearly a year now and am so happy with him and the life he's given back to me!
I love my summer holidays and swimming and diving, and I don't plan on letting Eric ruin that for me. So last week, I went to water aerobics, just in case I changed my base plate before going and even ran some ostofix tape around the edge of it. But after about 30 mins in the water, it didn't feel right, so I discreetly checked (under my one-piece swimsuit) and Eric had undressed himself!!!! Luckily, nothing escaped, and I was able to run to the changing rooms, sort him out, and get back into the water after about 10 mins. But by the end of the session (an hour in total), it was all coming unstuck again!
I have some hydrocolloid flange extenders to try, but hubby has offered to buy me something that will secure Eric firmly... i.e. an ostomate swimsuit! I've looked around and refuse to pay out that kind of money for a swimsuit I don't even like the look of!! Between £50 and £80 for something that looks like it came from the 70s? No thanks! I like the look of some of the two-piece suits, but they aren't practical as I'm a rather large on top lady, so aqua aerobics is out in a two-piece!
I've searched the net and found a great Dutch site that gives really good advice and also passed me on to a German site that does Neoprene belts with pockets! This would be ideal as not only could I use it for water sports (it'll make putting a wetsuit on over Eric a bit easier), but I could also wear it for other activities! The only problem is I can only find them in Germany, and they are €75 each! Not a big problem as once again, hubby is willing to pay out, but do any of you know where I could maybe get one in England and if anyone has any input on what they're like! Any other advice will be greatly received as I can't seem to find anyone else that has had this problem in water! Could it just be the activity I was doing?
Here's a link to show you what they are....

Thank you for reading this! Hope you're all having a good week! x x
Past Member
Apr 27, 2011 6:36 pm

Before you spend any money, get a few samples of different makes of bags and see if they leak. I don't go swimming anymore, but when I did, I used Coloplast and never had any problems.

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Apr 27, 2011 9:05 pm

Hi, I also use Coloplast and don't have problems swimming or in the hot tub. I feel very lucky after reading some of the posts on this site. I hope my luck continues.

Apr 28, 2011 1:49 am


You mentioned something, that is, you changed your wafer just before going into the water. I have found that there is a critical period of time that your wafer must be in contact with your body in order for a good, tight bond to form. Obviously, your body heat softens up the wafer so that it form fits more appropriately. I think this was your mistake. You can accelerate the process a bit by using a hair dryer to warm the wafer before applying it. Next time, if you plan on changing the wafer before swimming, you should do so with several hours lead time. Try it. I think it will prove helpful.


Past Member
Apr 28, 2011 6:43 am

Swimming is my next major hurdle. I have not been in a pool or otherwise in a very long time. So now that I am 26 months post-op, I might as well make sure I cover all my bases before I take the plunge.

Depending on when I put on my gear, I might not change at all.

But I am looking forward to when I next get wet.

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Apr 28, 2011 7:19 am

Even though I have now been reversed, I have to agree totally with Xerxes. Before I had my reversal, I was swimming and surfing on my board and I had no problems if my bag (for want of a better word) was in place for a period of time. It needs time to meld with your body.

I rode my surfboard and swam and still found my pouch (that's better) adhered very well.

Apr 28, 2011 7:58 am
Hi, I agree with the others. I'd be hesitant about going into the water with a "fresh" wafer on. I feel it needs a few hours to "set". But with that said, I use a 2-piece Convatec, with a moldable wafer, and get a good seal. I shower daily and swim regularly and still get about 7 days wear. When I'm in a hot tub for an extended amount of time, I may need to change sooner, more for the feeling of security. I do use tape (Scanpoor) around the edges of the wafer, especially if I am swimming. I also wear a one-piece suit with a lower belly support...an extra piece of stretch fabric... meant more for fashion, but for me, serves a double purpose. Previously, I'd wear a pair of stretch undies under my suit, but no need for it with the proper suit.

Good luck.
Apr 28, 2011 11:15 am

Being able to swim was the first question I asked my surgeon prior to my ileostomy.
3 years on, I swim every day and have never had a problem. Like to swim! Do it without hesitation.

Apr 28, 2011 12:54 pm

Thank you everyone for your advice, I will try leaving it on longer next time before I get in the water!
I use Coloplast 2 piece which has never been a problem before. I shower and bathe in it with no problem hence the confusion when it came off!
@ KennyT......it's so good to hear that you were able to surf with it on! I too spoke to lots of different people about my active life in water and no one could say yes or no to diving so I spoke to a dive instructor who said he would be happy to take me down and test it with me next time I'm in Cyprus but I assume if you could surf without problems with the bag then I sure can dive, eh??
@ Immarsh...Scanpoor? I've never heard of it! Whereabouts are you, Hunni, and do you know if they do it in the UK?

P.S. I love this site, thank you all for your advice. I forget sometimes that I'm still relatively new to the world of stomas and worry myself when something (like this) goes wrong! This is the start of my life, not the end of it, and I hope I can do everything I've dreamed of doing in the last 20 years. Not that it held me back too much, but I've always had to be aware of food, places, and activities that my body couldn't handle. Now I don't have to be scared, and I have you lot to guide me when I get a bit directionally challenged!! x x

Apr 28, 2011 3:46 pm

Hello there
I think part of your problem is that you are not letting your appliance (set up) before going in the water. Once you put on a new flange, you should wait at least 4-6 hours before going swimming. This gives the appliance time to adhere to your body. The shall I call it glue that is used on the skin side of the flange needs time to set up. Give this a try. Also, I use a hernia belt over the appliance to help hold it into position. You can purchase these from any medical supply that sells ostomy products. This will give you a much more comfortable level when swimming. Using tape around the edge is a good idea as well. I swim and use my hot tub several times a week and have never had a problem.
Good luck with this sticky situation!!!

May 02, 2011 5:44 pm

I too had concerns about swimming and was very hesitant to get in the water. I overcame that by doing a couple of things. First, I never go swimming within the first 1-2 days of putting a new bag on. I want to make sure it is on there good and secure. Second, I put surgical tape around the flange material part and along the edges of all 4 sides to make sure it is even more secure. Third, after I swim, I pat everything dry with a towel and sometimes use a hair dryer to make sure it is fully dry. I will usually have to change the thing 1-2 days after that, but that's okay because I'm due to change it anyway.

california nurse
May 03, 2011 5:33 am

Glad you're ready to swim. My husband swims regularly - wears a two-piece appliance with a belt. He doesn't do anything special to accommodate swimming, other than emptying his pouch before going in the water. But the first time he attempted diving, his appliance sheared right off, and he's never tried diving again. He's also found that getting his winter-weight wetsuit on and off is really difficult.