CLOTHING

An Ostomates Clothing

Once the operation is behind you, it will not be long before you begin to wonder how you are going to look and what you are going to wear. Any fears that your slim-fitting clothes will be unsuitable must be quickly dispelled. Appliances are so unobtrusive that no-one will detect their presence. Ostomates who take part in fashion parades can display formal or leisure wear without problems! You may not wish to be a model, of course, but be assured that you will not need to buy a whole new wardrobe. Many ostomates find that with the return of good health they easily put on too much weight, but this is not the exclusive problem of ostomates!

Low waisted swim wear is not for you, of course, but all other styles can be worn with confidence; most ostomates prefer to wear high-waisted underpants which can be comfortably pulled up over the appliance and provide a degree of support for the pouch during normal daily activities.

You will find that increasing activity will gradually bring tone back to slack muscles and gentle exercise, recommended by your doctor, will reduce any abdominal bulge. It may be difficult at first to walk upright, but good posture will return.

For Men

As a rule men have little difficulty with clothing. A very few may have to wear an elastic binder for the abdominal muscles and this is prescribed by the surgeon when necessary. Slacks and trousers that have a little pleat at the waistline have enough fullness to make the appliance unnoticeable. Most men find that it is better to wear their singlet outside their “Jockeys” for easy management of the bag. Some may find it helpful to use braces for trouser support.

For Women

It is perfectly possible to look just as smart as you did before surgery, in fact with returning good health you will probably feel inspired to go out and about more frequently and enjoy wearing the latest fashions.

Do not be afraid to wear reasonably tight fitting garments over the hips - you will not prevent the stoma from working.

If, before your operation you were more comfortable when wearing a girdle, try your oldest, most comfortable one first. The position of any fastening can be adjusted to make the management of your ostomy easier. Others find a firm pantie and pantie hose all they need. For easy dressing foundation garments should have a hole for the stoma, with hooks and eyes above the hole in the garment, so the bag does not have to be pulled through the hole. The garment adjusted like this wraps around the appliance.