Figuring out what to wear with a new ostomy can be a challenge. A big factor is stoma placement. For stomas below the waistline, dressing is a little less of a challenge. A stoma above the waistline requires more attention.
Initially, after surgery, your belly will be distended and tender. Most are wearing loose, lounging-type clothes for the first few weeks. As the swelling resolves, you will likely find you have lost a little weight. The average weight loss with major surgery is about 10 lbs. Your body is working overtime and utilizing calories for healing. After 3-4 weeks, you will settle and gain the weight back.
Don’t discard clothing in your closet right away. Give yourself time to heal and feel comfortable with your new ostomy. You may find many clothes you have can be modified to work with your ostomy.
This is the number one concern of every ostomate. Remember, looking down at your abdomen, you will see the ostomy pouch bulge, but those looking at you see things from a very different angle. Here are a few tips:
Wearing dark colors will help conceal the pouch bulge. Dark clothing is slimming
Patterns will make the pouch less noticeable, like camouflage
Loose shirts or T-shirts do not fit snugly on the belly
High-waisted slacks/pants/shorts/skirts draw attention to above the stoma
Pleated trousers/slacks offer more room for the pouch to fill.
Empty the pouch as needed (when 1/3 to ½ full). If wearing tight-fitting clothing, empty more frequently
A-line dresses or dresses that fit on top but flare at the waist are a good option
Christine Kijek is a colorectal nurse at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, CT. She has a wealth of knowledge in this field as well as personal experience. HPFY is thrilled that she has been an active participant in the Ostomy Support Group. She has experience working as a coordinator for cancer patients, post-operative care, and home health care for disabled children and adults. And guess what! Christine is also the recipient of the Nurse Exemplar Award. Christine lives in Bethel, CT with her husband Ed. Her children are married and live nearby. She has 4 grandchildren and is known as GiGi. Christine enjoys riding motorcycles and spends many hours gardening. She can often be found onboard a Carnival Cruise ship lounging by the pool.
Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.
Christine Kijek, RN, BSN, WON
Christine Kijek is a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She has completed courses for wound and ostomy specialty and has 20 years of experience. She has ...
When traditional oral intake is not feasible, enteral feeding comes into play. It supports nutritional needs of individuals recovering from an injury or surgery. Dive into this informative article and learn what, when, why, and how of enteral feeding and ensure optimal patient care.
Looking for a non-invasive option to manage carpal tunnel symptoms? Experience relief from constant tingling and pain with this Carpal Solution Wrist Support. Read this article to know about the unique features and benefits of this wrist support brace designed to deal with CTS and find why it is one of the most reliable wrist braces available on the market.
Need an effective and affordable nebulizer? Look no further, in this article we offer 5 of our best reviewed nebulizers that are loved by our customers. Click to read more and find the perfect nebulizer for all your respiratory needs.
Neck pain can wreak havoc on your otherwise healthy life. Traction device improves your cervical health and overall well-being. Read more to find our best cervical traction devices designed to curb the stiffness and discomfort of cervical muscles.