Swimming with a Stoma: Waterproof Solutions?

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Krlstl

Hi, I've got my first holiday since surgery six months ago booked - going to Florida in a month or so. Most of the trip is based around watersports.

Are there any products I can get, like waistbands, bag covers etc. that will keep my bag dry when swimming, or at least cover up my scars above the waistline of my shorts!?

Any feedback is welcome.

Cheers.

Penguins7

Hi Krlstl, I went to Mexico in May and went swimming in the sea and the pool every day. My advice is to put a new wafer on the night before and swim with it the next morning. A new wafer needs ample time to adhere. I bought a wrap with a pouch from Ostomy Secrets and it was able to accommodate the pouch and keep it stable inside my swim trunks while in the water. Good luck. Penguins7

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GraphX12

Hi Kristl, I bought a product called the Stealth Belt for my trip to Florida this past May. It really works! You have to order plenty of time before you will need it since each one is custom made. I paid the very high rush fee because I didn't find out about this product until shortly before our vacation. Beware though ... they are not cheap.

http://shop.stealthbelt.com/Stealth-Belt-Pro-Ostomy-Supportd-Belt/

sony34

Hello,

You can try Ostomy Secrets, they have a swim wrap for men and women. Also, Stealthbelt has a belt/wrap made for water sports. I use one of their other kinds when I travel by plane. It really, really helps...

Krlstl

Being from Britain, I can get hold of all the gear free from http://www.charterhealthcare.co.uk/#browse_products which is a massive help - just need to know what I'm looking for. Will definitely look into a stealth belt though. Cheers!

 
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bigal1579

Ostomy Secrets has great products, worth it even if you have to pay out of your own pocket. The chances of the adhesive letting loose because of being in the water are very slim, so that should not be a concern.

I think the only issue is if the pouch gets too full, because it can show and the contents can put pressure on the adhesive. Just try to stay ahead of it and empty it sooner rather than later. Try not to ever let it get more than a third full. There is really nothing you should not be able to do, except maybe taking a long boat ride on a boat with no facilities.

GraphX12

Bigal1579; Your point about not letting the bag get too full is an important point, which reminds me of something I overlooked stating in my previous post about the Stealth Belt. The Stealth Belt requires a smaller ostomy bag/pouch than I normally use and the pouch should be turned sideways (horizontally) to fit in the zippered "holder compartment". Since the ostomy pouch is smaller, it tended to fill quicker. It didn't seem to be a big issue with me though. So keep this in mind if you go this route. I had no problems whatsoever with the wafer adhesive coming loose. I was concerned what the salt water would do to the adhesive but I had no problems.

Casey & George

I live in Florida and have used the Stealth Belt. It uses a regular-sized bag. It does require you to put it on sideways, which isn't a problem if you use a 2-piece system with a mechanical (click) coupling. You could just wear a t-shirt, even while swimming. The sun is intense, so you should be covered to protect yourself from burning/skin cancer. The big problem is usually gas/ballooning. I use Osto-EZ-Vents.

life lover

People I've met that have pouches either leave on a tank-shirt and wear a wafer belt to prevent the pouch from coming loose/leaking or just let the top of the pouch show. Who cares? It's a medical necessity that none of us should be ashamed of; on the contrary, should be proud of. Like a badge of honor! We all are strong people that have survived and fought against the toughest odds and came out alive and living life like everyone else (or at least, trying to) and may (or may not have) become more spiritual and appreciative of our lives (even the little things) in general! We are lucky to be alive and should be proud of ourselves for surviving so much. They made us superheroes (against our ego-wills of course). No reason to feel ashamed and cover it up just because 'society' labels our pouches 'ugly'. It is a travesty how our Western Cultures in general can be so narrow-minded to not accept the fact that everyone is different and health devices that some people must wear (prosthetics, oxygen tanks, back braces, wheelchairs, etc.) is just a part of who we are now. My sisters are so immature that they call me a 'freak' because of it. No, they're not 12, although you'd think so. These are grown 50+ aged women; my siblings. Next time someone even looks at us 'funny', think of all the insecurities they might have within themselves. Instead of us reacting by feeling 'different' due to their reactions, have pity on them that they lack the emotional maturity and compassion that keep them in their superficial, insecure little worlds. Thank you for letting me state my point of view. Even though I mentioned my 2-piece swimsuit design in another forum that hides the bulge for women, I don't think the bulge is that much of an issue for men, in my opinion.

Past Member

Bravo! I totally agree! I'm only two weeks post-op, however, I am proud of the journey I've been on and how much stronger I am thanks to my struggles. As I look ahead to going back to work, I won't be worried that my "bump" is showing or making noises. It is what it is and it saved my life.

Fortunately, I am surrounded by supportive friends and family. That can make all the difference. But as I told my surgeon when he asked about my recovery, "It's 90% mental". You can choose to feel sorry for yourself or you can choose to stay positive. Reality is, everyone has something they'd like to change about their appearance. Most folks are so insecure and their issues that no one is looking at me or my ostomy. And if they did, I'd tell them the story of Lola the stoma and how she saved my life.

Past Member

I go through Edgepark for supplies and they have a waterproof tape; it is called Original Pink Tape 2" x 5', is how it comes. I put it around my ostomy pouch, it works pretty well, but it is a bummer to apply. Good luck! There is also Ostomysecrets.com. They have a swimming pouch like thing you can get for under your bathing suit. I use them both.

Shash

I have had no difficulty swimming. I wear a tankini with a skirted bottom. The panty part of the skirt bottom holds the pouch snugly (I fold it up) while the skirt itself adds extra coverage. The tankini top comes down long enough so that the top of the pouch is covered as well.

janada

Go for it, Life Lover!!!

We did it!!! We survived! Loved the swimsuit idea... Hope it works out for you.

For Krlstl, Coloplast has Brava strips that I use. We have a pool and live in Florida. I didn't use them all the time because actually I find the wafer stays on pretty well, but then I decided to be practical... Better safe than sorry and I use the strips as a security blanket....

If you hurry, you can get free samples of these types of things from the different manufacturers. They usually arrive in just a couple of weeks.

Have fun in Florida!!!! I do!

GraphX12

Janada,

We returned from a trip to Orlando a couple of weeks ago and while there the heat and humidity were extremely high. Ever since, I've had some skin irritation under the adhesive of my flange (2 piece Hollister), even some blistering. I am blaming it on the humidity and all my sweating (I could be wrong on this). I have never had any skin issues in the 2 years since my ileostomy surgery until this trip.

Just wondering if you experience any skin irritation since you live in Florida? Thanks!

Mrs.A

Sure Seal rings are waterproof and apply around your wafer too. Here's a link if you would like to look into them.

http://www.alpglobal.com/Sure-Seal-TM-Rings.html

7afin

It might have been suggested already but check out the Stealth Belt website. www.stealthbelt.com

They have a couple models but one model is neoprene and made for water sports. They're definitely not cheap. Maybe you'd want to call them and ask them some more questions.

I have the Stealth Belt Pro and I like it. Great for the gym, and just general wearing around.

A

spyder

I have had good luck with the Sure Seal rings, although my stoma is too close to my belly button and that is always the point of failure.

MARYLANDGAL

For women, I wear a two-piece bathing suit, but with a longer top that covers my stomach. I have lots of scars. I wear a Maidenform undergarment that comes up over my waist. Like the ones you would wear under a dress for smoothness. This holds the bag and distributes the content and is not just a big bulge like you would get wearing the Stealth Belt. I tried that, I didn't like how bulky it was.

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