Freedom to Work

Whether you study, work, or do both, once you are comfortable with your stoma routine, heading back to study and / or work should pose no problem.

Work & Study

When going to back to work or study, it is important that you are ready. The following steps can be used as a checklist:

  • Step one: being able to handle your appliance without assistance.
  • Step two: being able to change your appliance without too much difficulty.
  • Step three: make sure you have enough energy to do a day's study or work.
  • Step four: make sure you feel comfortable travelling to study or work.
  • Step five: making sure you know what to do if your appliance leaks and needs to be replaced.

Going back to work following stoma surgery

There are one or two other precautions you can take at first which will help with your peace of mind. Always carry a change of appliance with you, in the car or in your handbag and keep a change of appliance in your desk drawer or locker at school. It is not a bad idea to have a change of underclothes and top clothes as well, just in case you do have a leak. Have soap, towel and tissues available too.

Some people worry about whether their stoma will interfere with their work and study. If you do a job that involves sitting down at a desk all day, your stoma and appliance will present you with no problems, although some stoma patients have rather sore or tender bottoms for a good while after their operation. The solution here is simple, make sure you have a comfortable chair or a cushion to sit on. However, avoid a donut cushion as this will split your buttocks apart, placing tension on the suture line causing more discomfort.

As far as jobs which involve a lot of bending and stretching are concerned, two useful things can help. Wear an appliance that can be attached to a stoma belt while you are working. This gives added security. Wear loose fitting clothing. At work, avoid belts and tight trousers, with the exception of a stoma belt.  

If your job is a fairly active one or you live in a humid climate you may need to change your appliance more frequently. 

Contact your Stomal Therapy Nurse or your product manufacturer, who can often help.