Swimming with an ileostomy

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Chron'sFighter4Life
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/3/2011 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I have an ileostomy bag and have had it since October 5 of last year. Since summer is right around the corner.. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for swimming with ileostomies. ie. swim suit , special bags, etc.
I know that using a small bag is a good idea, but I am also concerned about the wafer part that sticks to the skin. Will it come loose? Is there any product I can buy to cover it?
 
Thank you for your time! :)

Chron'sFighter4Life
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/3/2011 7:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Also is taking Immodium a good idea?

summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 5/3/2011 8:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Don't bother with a smaller bag you will just have to empty more. Immodium is fine I usually take 2 before going and then 2 a few hours later. Don't try to stop output by not eating that will just give you gas. There are these things called sureseals the go over your wafer they are like saranwrap they will keep it dry.
I don't know if you are male or female I may have missed it somewhere but I'm. Girl and I have some tankinis I got 1 at kohls 2 at jcpenneys and 1 at wings. I actually had one before surgery and still wear it. I just tuck he bag into the underwear part and the skirt covers it
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

Blueheron
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 720
   Posted 5/3/2011 9:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I had surgery in November, and I just went swimming at our city indoor pool for the first time yesterday. As Summerstorm said, not sure of your gender... but I am a female, and bought some board shorts at the local Eddie Bauer outlet and then 2 tankini tops and a pair of Nike swim shorts (sort of like boy short bottoms, but longer and a little baggier) at Kohls. Both the board shorts and swim short still showed the top of my pouch, so I wore my ostomy briefs from Comfizz under my swimsuit bottoms, which are made of a nylon wicking material. This covered up the top of my pouch just in case my tankini top rode up. I just ordered a swim wrap from Ostomy Secrets for this role too, but I haven't received it in the mail yet.

I plan to try some Sure Seals, but I am sampling all sorts of appliances right now, so I am not sure what size to get. Even without Sure Seals, I had absolutely no problem with my wafer coming loose, and I was in the pool for an hour and the hot tub for 20 minutes. In fact, it was my appliance changing day yesterday too, and when I went to remove my wafer it was still stuck on like glue... maybe even more than usual because the heat of the hot tub seemed to have made the Durahesive part of the Convatec wafer I was using fuse to my skin. Not sure how other brands will fare, but the Convatec is definitely pool/swim worthy.

I was going to swap out to a smaller closed-end pouch too, but after getting advice on this site, decided to skip that. My normal drainable one worked great. I was actually glad I didn't try the closed-end, as I emptied when I woke up and 30 minutes later when I arrived at the pool for my early morning swim, I already had to empty again (I always have a lot of output in the morning). It would have been a pain to have to swap out a pouch in that short amount of time when it really isn't necessary.

I am going to go to the pool again on Thursday and this time I am trying the water slides:)

Happy swimming!
-39 years old
-Officially diagnosed with UC in 2006, though had symptoms since 1999.
-Had mild/moderate symptoms continuously until severe flare in autumn 2010 which required 2-week hospital stay
-Took Asacol, Rowasa, Canasa and Prednisone to manage flares but meds stopped working
-Tried 1 dose of Remicade but had excruciating joint pain and discontinued
-Had permanent ileostomy surgery 11/8/201

Chron'sFighter4Life
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/25/2011 6:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the advice! :)
(p.s. I am female)

I bought a Tankini and went to the pool today! I was going to use a smaller bag but decided against it b/c it was a closed-pouch system and I just thought it would be too complicated .. so I just took my regular sized bag and rolled it up under my bathing suit with a bobby pin. Overall it went well , but after being in the pool for about 30 minutes the part of my wafer that tapes the bag on my skin became loose. I think that next time I will order the Sure Seals to make me more comfortable.. also I usually wear a belt with my bag to give me more support.. Is there any kind of plastic belt I can order that can get wet? ( I use Conva Tech supplies)

andorable
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 981
   Posted 5/26/2011 8:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I use hydrocoil strips made my salts they also go over the base plate and I am able to go into the surf with no problems at all. My wafer never comes loose, its such an awsome feeling being able to go to the beach and not worry. I too wear a tankini and just tuck the bottom of my pouch into the pants and no one can see it at all, I don't bother with bobby pinning it up or pinning the top of the tankini to the bottoms. I am at a really happy place with my pouch now so I don't really give a darn if anyone happens to see something, for all they know it could be a bandage on my tummy. But truely its well covered anyway. I'm in Australia and we are going into winter so I wont be heading to the beach again for a swim until it warms up again. Enjoy! Let us know how you go, have a great time
Doreen

Blueheron
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 720
   Posted 5/26/2011 8:31 AM (GMT -6)   
I have now been swimming weekly with no issues with my wafer sticking. I swim for about 45 minutes followed by 20 minutes in the hot tub and then a few runs down the water slide:) I use Convatec with an Eakin ring, and though the outer tape does peel up in a few spots after swimming (still waiting for my Sure Seal sample to come in the mail), the middle Durahesive portion sticks like glue. I just tape the loose outer portion of the wafer back down with some 3M Medipore tape and it seems to stay fine until my next change.
-39 years old
-Officially diagnosed with UC in 2006, though had symptoms since 1999.
-Had mild/moderate symptoms continuously until severe flare in autumn 2010 which required 2-week hospital stay
-Took Asacol, Rowasa, Canasa and Prednisone to manage flares but meds stopped working
-Tried 1 dose of Remicade but had excruciating joint pain and discontinued
-Had permanent ileostomy surgery 11/8/2010

CrohnsPatient
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 5/26/2011 9:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I actually didnt swim for about 6 years because I was to nervous to swim having an ostomy, this past summer was first time I swam since getting illiostomy. I dont know what a sure seal or any of those covers are and Ive never seen them or heard of them. For me I just change my appliance that day or the day before, if its a new seal then you will have no problem swimming, granted the seal might not last as long since it got wet, but Im used to using it for 2 or 3 swims before I get to nervous to try it again, even though it might not be showing any signs of loosening. How long do your wagers usually last when your not swimming? I know people are all different and some can last no time what so ever but some people can get their to last more then a week which I can a lot of the time. I dont notice any change in swimming having to change my wafer any earlieri mean its just like being wet in the shower anyway.

Also you all say you just tuck it in your shorts or your bathing suit I dont quite understand this....how low on your abdomin is your wafer placed? for me its much to high to be covered up like any of the ways your saying, so for me I have to wear a 'tube top' like a women wears you know around their boobs, (I'm a male I wear it around my waste and it keeps the bag held close to my body so even if i have gas or anything then there is no bump or anything like that to draw attention to look like something is under my shirt. So I wear a tubetop around the waste covering it and then I alsoo wear a t-shirt when I swim too, because for me I'm just not comfortable to be out in the outdoors with my ostomy showing, thats what I dont get how are you hiding it how do you make it so people cant see, you cant go so low on your abdomin to hide it, plus you have to place it according to your wasteband on your pants you wear.

flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 5/27/2011 5:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I live in Florida where it's summer 6+ months out of the year, so I swim a lot. What works for me is the Coloplast Assura Extended Wear Wafer and a one piece bathing suit with a skirt. It doesn't show at all, and the wafer holds really well. I'm so excited, because my husband finally agreed that we can get a pool! turn
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at age 28. Proctocolectomy and permanent ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free and medicine-free since surgery and very thankful to be healthy again.

summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 5/27/2011 11:02 PM (GMT -6)   
womens stomas are usually placed lower than mens. i cant understand how people say they let their bag hang out over their pants, i would have to have my pants pulled half way down, lol.
what we are saying is that we turn the tail up under the bottom part of the tankini, which is sort of like underwear. my stoma is below my belly button and to the right.

i have noticed for some reason my bag gets so much wetter in the shower for 15 minutes then for hours in the pool or hottub.

the only reason i pin my suit together, is cause i don't want to flash everyone! i was in the pool, luckily at home, and when i jumped in, my top totally flew up, and my cookies came right out! there were some close friends there, but i have known them for a while, so it wasn't that bad, lol.
But i got to thinking that, esp on a water slide, the same thing could happen, and i so don't want to show everyone in the world!
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 5/28/2011 8:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't do anything different than my 'usual' stuff! But my 'usual' include a Sure Seal that I wouldn't go without:)

I do wear a two piece tankini style suit and the bottoms have a skirt...but I wore that BEFORE my ileo, too!

You can change pouch sizes while you swim but I just do what summerstorm explained...fold up the bottom of my pouch to fit in my suit...not the flashing cookies!!lol
formally known as OHIO76 ~ honoring my daughter's passion!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!

CateLiz
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/30/2011 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
ostomy.org has bathing suit material..its great

80sChick
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1054
   Posted 5/30/2011 6:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I am a sewer so I did the following:

-bought a one-piece swimsuit that was cheap and cut it off just below the boobs.
-sewed a piece of elastic inside the hem I sewed at the top, which made it "bikini bottom" that went all the way up to my ribs, to hide my whole pouch
-bought a fun tankini top that has pretty ruffles on it :)

Now it looks like I have a tankini, and I essentially do, but I have no worries of my pouch showing.

i'm actually doing a flash mob at a Disney water park this weekend and it should be really fun! Can't wait to show off my new suit! (my body, that's another story! lol)
Stephanie, 29 years old

March 2000-Diagnosed Crohn's Colitis
(Tried every drug imaginable, but lived 10 years with daily diarrhea)
March 18, 2010-Total Proctocolectomy and Permanent Ileostomy! :)
(Now med free, 4 subsequent procedures to correct blockages at stoma site)

Stoma named Zoe...She's my best bud!! :)

flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 5/31/2011 5:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Cool idea, Stephanie! I went swimming in my brother's pool yesterday and had no problems with the wafer holding its seal. It was the first time I had gone swimming just a few hours after putting on a new wafer, so I wasn't sure if it was going to hold, but it did. I brought a wafer change, just in case, and was glad I didn't have to use it.

Our pool installation is coming along swimmingly. My husband and I promised each other that we wouldn't pee while in it, but I said I couldn't promise that I wouldn't poo while in it. smilewinkgrin
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at age 28. Proctocolectomy and permanent ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free and medicine-free since surgery and very thankful to be healthy again.

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 5/31/2011 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh, flchurchlady you are soooooooo LUCKY!!!

Stephanie, I wish I could sew...I like your idea:)
formally known as OHIO76 ~ honoring my daughter's passion!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!

Chron'sFighter4Life
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 6/2/2011 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   
What website would I go to to order a Sure Seal? I tried searching Conva Tech's site with no luck..

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 6/2/2011 4:57 PM (GMT -6)   
you can request a free sample from:

www.alpglobal.com

You can order them through your supplier, too. You can also find them at www.medicalmega.com for the lowest price I've found so far:)
formally known as OHIO76 ~ honoring my daughter's passion!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!

80sChick
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1054
   Posted 6/3/2011 6:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Even if you can't sew you could easily take that to a tailor and they could do it for cheap. Maybe $15.
Stephanie, 29 years old

March 2000-Diagnosed Crohn's Colitis
(Tried every drug imaginable, but lived 10 years with daily diarrhea)
March 18, 2010-Total Proctocolectomy and Permanent Ileostomy! :)
(Now med free, 4 subsequent procedures to correct blockages at stoma site)

Stoma named Zoe...She's my best bud!! :)

Another UC wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 6/3/2011 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Stephanie give us the link for the flash mob event so we can see it. It will probably be on you tube if not on a Disney link.

Clever idea on the swimsuit.

Maybe this weekend me and hubby can go to the pool and give it a whirl and see how it goes.
Wife of 64 yr old male suffered with UC & in May 06 had a severe flare & hospitalized 6 days...various prednisone treatments leading to steroid dependence and osteopenia, 12 asacol, 200 mg Imuran, failed remicade infusions Jan-May 2010 Dependence on pain meds. Made decision 6/10 to have surgery which was on 12/17/10 (total proctocolectomy & ileostomy - unable to have the j-pouch) & now pain free

Tigergirl10
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 6/3/2011 11:04 AM (GMT -6)   
I am glad my reversal was May 18th. I love swimming with a passion. but when I had my ostomy, it would start coming off everytime I took a shower. usually by that night, I would have to change it so would never have the confidence to swim with the bag. My ostomy was in the fall and winter. and early spring. so swimming never became an issue because it was too cool all the months I had my ostomy. plus I hate 1 pieces. I am a bikini type girl and haven't had a one piece in years. or even a tankini. that is just me though. My mother in law has a permanent ileostomy. And she wears tankinis and you can't see the bag at all. She swims in both the pool and the ocean. And never has an issue. She just does a bag change when she is done swimming. And she has stayed swimming for hours with us at the beach before.
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