After ostomy surgery, patients will find that they may have to adjust their activity level. Having an ostomy device and bag with them at all times will complicate the way they go about their physical activities as long as they have them. With the right planning, however, ostomy patients can still enjoy most or all of their favorite activities, just with a few adjustments.
Here, we’ll discuss what an ostomy is, the risks involved with physical activity with an ostomy, and how to properly secure the bag and device.
What is an ostomy?
An ostomy is an opening created in surgery to reroute urine or stool away from its normal path. Patients tend to have these surgeries due to serious issues with their GI tract or bladder. The ostomy creates a way for urine or stool to pass comfortably and safely into a bag.
In ostomy surgery, a stoma will be created, or an opening where the ostomy bag and device will be attached. Securing an ostomy bag or device is essential to clean passing of urine or stool. Physical activity such as fitness classes, hiking, biking, or swimming can be risky with an ostomy, but proper securing of the bag or device make these activities safer from unsanitary conditions.
Risks involved with activities featuring an ostomy
The number one risk in regards to ostomies and physical activity is leakage. The ostomy bag needs to be secured well to the stoma in order to ensure that no leakage occurs. Depending on the activity, it may be difficult to guarantee that the ostomy bag won’t be bumped or tugged.
The best option for those with ostomy bags who wish to stay active is to use proper barriers and adhesives. A thick barrier applied over the entire stoma helps ensure that liquids pass properly into the bag. Adhesive tapes like Hy-Tape provide a secure hold that is leak-proof while also flexible.
Tips for reducing the risk of leakage during physical activity
There are many steps that can be taken to reduce or eliminate the chances of ostomy leakage issues during fitness activities or exercise. Consider these tips to keep your activities safe and sanitary:
- Reinforce the edges of your ostomy bag and device with high-grade barriers and waterproof tape, such as Hy-Tape.
- Secure your bag or device with an ostomy belt or wrap to help defend against bumps or hits to the bag.
- Know where the nearest bathroom facilities are located in case you need to change bags or make adjustments.
- Bring extra bags, barriers, and tape so you can remove waste and put in a new bag when needed.
- Wear ostomy protective guards over the bag or device during especially physical activities, such as swimming or contact sports.
Taking any of these precautions greatly reduces the chances of an accident when engaging in physical activity with an ostomy. Any of these tips will help protect against accidents.
Properly securing an ostomy for physical activity
Securing an ostomy bag properly is crucial to having a good experience during physical activity. Using the right barriers and adhesives, you can secure your ostomy properly and enjoy physical activity as if the bag isn’t even there.
Barriers are a common part of ostomy bags. They provide a defense layer between the stoma and the bag, helping to ensure that any leakage falls upon the barrier. Barriers must be cut to the exact shape and size of the stoma to be properly fit and adhered. When applied correctly, barriers can do their job well.
While barriers are important, proper adhesive is essential to securing an ostomy bag or device. A high-quality tape will provide a waterproof seal to keep liquids in, even if they contact the barrier. Proper tape will also allow for easy physical movement, not pinching or chafing the skin while walking, running, jumping, or swimming.
Hy-Tape can make ostomy securing much easier and safer. Its waterproof material helps ensure that no leakage will pass through. Its strong adhesive ensures that the tape will stay in place, even during physical activity. Hy-Tape is designed for flexibility, moving with the body easily and not cutting into the skin or loosening during activities. The zinc-oxide in the tape also helps protect the skin from damage during taping and removal.
Managing an active lifestyle with an ostomy can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying your activities. With the right planning and securing of your ostomy bag or device, you can continue engaging in your favorite sports and workout routines. Using Hy-Tape to secure your ostomy bag is the best way to ensure a waterproof seal, a tight hold, and the flexibility you need.