Welcome to the Mayo Clinic Ostomy Surgery Page. An ostomy is a surgically created opening in your abdomen that allows waste or urine to leave your body. It takes time to become comfortable with an ostomy. Our goal is to connect you with others and provide you with information and support.

Follow the Ostomy page to learn about ostomy care, read experiences of others and find resources for all your ostomy needs. Post a comment and share your thoughts.

Apr 30, 2019

REDUCING RISK OF COMPLICATIONS: Recovering after surgery

By Candy-CWOCN RN, @candywocrn


written by Mary Famorca MAN, RN, COCN

REDUCING RISK OF COMPLICATIONS: Recovering after surgery

After a major surgery, it is necessary to recognize that each individual have different levels of energy and strength to meet the physical demands of their job, school or life in general. It is important for a person to listen to their own body and be guided by how you feel. It is important to be patient and don’t expect too much of yourself too soon. However there are a few gentle activities that you can do to aid in your own recovery.

Appropriate gentle activities to do in the early phase of your recovery might include:

  • Walking – adopt a more upright posture and think about “standing tall”
  • Gentle core and abdominal movements – breathing & relaxation and pelvic floor muscle exercise
  • Mobility, balance and coordination exercise

The suggested activities need to be balance with appropriate amounts of sleep and rest in order to recover. Remember to always consult with your provider when you can start increasing your activities and exercise. For further information please go to the United Ostomy Association of America or you can also look up the Me+ program by ConvaTec.


Parastomal hernia is an abnormal bulge around the stoma. This is technically an extra loop of bowel that squeezes through between the stoma and abdominal wall and sits between the skin and the muscle of the abdominal wall. There are things that you can do to reduce your risk:

  • Speak to your surgeon about parastomal hernia prevention
  • Stop smoking
  • Wear a light support garment
  • Manage your weight
  • Strengthen your abdominal muscles
  • Stay active
  • Maintain strong arm muscles to help you lift and move more safely
  • Try to “breathe out” as you lift and make sure to hold the object close to your body
  • Be cautious when you push, twist or pull any objects or doing any kind of physical housework and gardening-it is better to avoid this type of activities for a first few weeks until you feel you are ready
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