Exercises for post-reversal stomach recovery?


I had a reversal about a year ago. Wondering if there are any exercises I can do to get my stomach back to the way it was before. I have a small amount of pain like a pulled muscle pain. Dr. said it will just take time to get back to normal. Just don't like the feeling like something is wrong all the time because of the pulled feeling. Thanks in advance, Jim.

Hello eunpark.  We need to be very careful when exercising after surgery as we do not know which muscles have been made weak by the procedures. Usually things like swimming are a good start as the water supports the weight whilst you are moving your body.  I don't go swimming so I do similar exercises before arising from my bed in the mornings as this also helps me wake up and it helps with stiffness from rheumatism.

I think the first principle of exercise is to be careful and only do it to the point just before it hurts! If in doubt, consult a physiotherapist who has some experience of your condition.  

Best wishes

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There's been a lot of research in recent years in the UK on stomach exercises. Most doctors and ostomy nurses say it's good for you and helps prevent hernias. They even show you how to do sit-ups. But like Bill says, start off slowly and check with your doctor or physiotherapist if you're worried about it. I have an ostomy and have been doing sit-ups for over 20 years and never had a hernia or any problems from stomach muscles. I don't know if I'm just very lucky or if sit-ups have helped prevent problems.


Eupark, one aspect to consider is your level of fitness prior to your surgery, your age, and your present level of fitness. Work gradually to increase your general fitness... i.e., light cardio and light calisthenics with or without light weights.

Targeting only your abdominals probably isn't the best way to achieve overall fitness. Sit-ups only target a specific group of abdominal muscles, and one should include a number of different core exercises to strengthen your midsection overall. (Crunches, planks, oblique sit-ups, etc., will all help to strengthen the entire area of concern)

Yoga is an excellent form of exercise that can improve the body and the mind.

Seek assistance if you are new to these forms of fitness as a little instruction will ensure good form and help prevent injury.

It took me a few years to get my conditioning back on track after surgery, so be patient and use common sense in starting any new exercise regimen.

Good luck )


Do you do just "normal" situps? I want to get back stomach strength. I lost it all after the ostomy surgery (I have a colostomy since May 12), but I am afraid of the hernia stories. I am already working my ankles, as all strength was lost!! but want to work the abdominal muscles. Thanks for the advice.

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I just do normal sit-ups lying on the floor with my knees bent. Your surgery is still quite recent, so take it easy and listen to your body when it tells you to stop.


Hi eunpark,
Interesting subject, one I should look into myself as one can never have a strong enough body as we grow older by the minute. So, needless to say I googled sit-ups and found a short but well-written article you might like to read titled: Easier, Safer Ways To Get Strong Abs Instead of Doing Sit-Ups
Here's the link, hope you find it useful, I have.



First thing is walking, walking while holding your core in builds it.

I do full sit-ups, CrossFit, and Olympic weightlifting.

I have an internal stoma with a continent ileostomy.

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