On the Job With an Ostomy

Your stoma is probably not going to be an issue at work. But, there are a few things to consider, depending on the type of work you do.

On the Job with an Ostomy

Feel comfortable on the job with an ostomy.

Are you worried that your stoma may interfere with your work? In most cases, it shouldn’t have much of an impact. But it depends mainly on the kind of work you do and the movements involved.

Desk jobs and sitting

If you sit at a desk, working on a computer or doing paperwork, your stoma and pouch shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you’ve had rectal surgery, you may find sitting for long stretches difficult. Find a comfortable chair or a use a cushion. Any tenderness with the perineal wound usually disappears within a few months. If the discomfort does not improve, talk to your healthcare team.

Bending and stretching

If you have a job with a lot of bending and stretching, two things can help. First, wear a pouch that can be attached to a stoma belt for added security. Second, wear loose-fitting clothing and avoid constrictive belts and tight trousers.

Highly physical activity

If you’re physically active at work, you may perspire where the pouch is attached to your skin. This can be frustrating because sweaty and oily skin may weaken the adhesive holding your pouch in place. You may need to change your pouch more often. You can also try using a skin barrier that works better with perspiration or consider skin barrier extenders that may help increase your pouch wear time. Your stoma care nurse or your ostomy products supplier can provide recommendations.

If you’re patient, determined and realistic, you can manage your stoma at work easily. With a positive attitude and a few precautions, you’ll continue with business as usual at your workplace.

Download the full pdf: Living with an Ostomy: Home & Work Life