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.

Jul 11, 2019

Swimming with an Ostomy

By Candy-CWOCN RN, @candywocrn

swimming pic

written by Charlene Germer, RN, C.W.C.N

There are people who enjoy swimming but feel as though having an ostomy prevents them from continuing to enjoy this activity. At first it may seem that swimming is no longer acceptable because of having to wear an ostomy pouch and fear that people may believe or think that someone with an ostomy should not be allowed in a pool, lake or even a cruise.  But the truth is you can swim with an ostomy and should not give up the activities that you enjoy.

The pouching system is water resistant and designed to not leak if properly sealed. Water will not harm nor enter your stoma. Always make sure the seal is secure. Empty your pouch before and make sure the wafer has been on for an hour prior to getting wet. If you are concerned about the output especially an Ileostomy eat a few hours before swimming. Use a filter cover stick on your deodorizing filter which prevents water from entering the pouch. Once you are dry you may remove the filter cover stick.  Always carry extra supplies with you. If you are still unsure about swimming fill your bathtub with water, put your bathing suit on and sit in the tub for half an hour and when you see that there is no leakage your will feel more confident and you also get to see how you swimming suit looks with an ostomy pouch.

What to wear is always a question especially when it comes to swimming. Wear what makes you feel comfortable and swimming with an ostomy should be fun and stress free-no worries.


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