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Swimming with a colostomy

jjaj133's picture
Posts: 863
Joined: Mar 2011

On the slim chance my sister is going to be able to visit me in May I need to know if she can go swimming.
How do you do that with a colostomy bag? Any information will be appreciated.
Thanks so much,

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

I have done it a hand full of times since getting my "pouch" in December.
I haven't gone into any hot tub yet, as i have a bad skin rash from Erbitux.
but, as for swimming... if she "trusts" her "pouch/bag" then she'll know if she can go into the water.

i have purchased some water proof tape from the pharmacy that i go to.
it is a pinkesh color and i add the waterproof tape over the edges of the colostomy bag.
I also wear a "sun shirt" whenver i swim.

If someone is on any chemo, most likely they shouldn't be getting any sun or sun burns.
the chemo pulls the UV protection from your skin, as I've been told the skin grows fast and chemo likes to attach all fast growing cells.

so, if the uv shirt is somewhat tight and i buy them with long sleeves... then it holds the bag into place. Likewise, i've wore ski vest while canoeing or while on jet ski and there are any problems.

and, for the last thing... if the bag falls off while swimming in a lake or ocean or pond... who cares!!!!

but if she's going in a pool it is obviously more critical.
so, plan ahead and i would definately where a sun/swim shirt over my swim suite.
it's 'added protection' should something go wrong.

If she showers or bathes with the bag on, she'll know what level of water she can be in.
I use a hair dryer to dry my bag after shower or swimming and it works pretty well.
low heat, longer to dry works best. Take your time when using a dryer. No need to dry it real fast.

so, i this has helped.

my best


jjaj133's picture
Posts: 863
Joined: Mar 2011

Thank you so much for responding. I will relay the info to her. We will ask the dr. about the hot tub. No chemo, finishing radiation of spine.
Thanks again,Judy

rlridings's picture
Posts: 42
Joined: Nov 2011

i have jumped into lake minnetonka dozens of times and never a problme

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3270
Joined: Jan 2010

Swimming is ok with the 'bag'. Using in a water proof tape to picture frame the flange offers more protection.

Here is a list of tips I found on the net:

8 Tips On How to Wear A Colostomy Bag To Swim

1.To make the colostomy bag a bit more discreet, it's better to fit the bag horizontally. Placing the colostomy bag vertically may make the bag 'hang' if there is a substantial amount of faeces expelled into it. When placed horizontally, the swimsuits spandex will help add extra hold to the colostomy bag.

2.Male colostomy patients that intend to swim can wear the more fitted swimming trunks underneath the boxer type swim trunks. The snug fitting trunks will hold the waterproof colostomy bag firmly in place, making it discreet.

3.Lady swimmers with ostomies look great in swimsuits with the skirted bottoms. They are great vintage inspired pieces just as the swimwear with ruches.

4.Swimwear with heavy patterning or detailing is always good to conceal an ostomy bag.

5.Swimming suits with a panel detail across the abdomen offers additional support to a stoma bag.

6.Tying a sarong while walking on the beach or pier is a chic way of concealing a colostomy bag.

7.Women can swim in pretty boxer type swim shorts, with a separate top. Wearing swimming bottoms made of lycra material under the shorts will hold the stoma bag firmly in position.

8.After swimming, its good to replace the colostomy pouch with the spare supply, which must be on hand at all times.

Hope she gets to visit and go for that swim!


Marie who loves kitties

jjaj133's picture
Posts: 863
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks so much Marie. I sure hope so too. She is determined to make this trip. Love her attitude.
Hugs back atcha. Judy

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

i did lots of laps when i had ileostomy bag.
had lots of accidents, at night, in the day. often i would just be finishing off the swim and the bag was just hanging on their.

so be prepared for a bag change after the swim.

having a rash shirt will keep any little leak concealed, a dark coloured rashy is best.

now i just realised how embarrased i was back then with it, now days i would not hide it at all.

some kid, or dad could ask me about my front *** and i would tell the 30 second be healthy, eat well, sleep well, exercise and be well. and also to get checked. i still do this but
the bag is a symbol of what colorectal is all about.

now i wish i did not through away all those unused bags, they would be great props for any public speaking situations.


jjaj133's picture
Posts: 863
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks Pete. It is amazing how our attitudes change. I remember being embarrassed when I was first diagnosed. Like it was my fault, duh. Now i tell everyone and harass them to get a scope. anyway thanks for the advice. I doubt if Mary will be doing laps, she is more likely a wader at this point.

dmj101's picture
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2011

checj out osto secrets they make a product that you were under your bathing suit to hold the bag and i believe it is waterproof.

jjaj133's picture
Posts: 863
Joined: Mar 2011

Thank you dmj, i will check it out.

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I have been swimming many times with my colostomy -- in ocean and pool. Also in hot tubs (well, not swimming so much as luxuriating!). No problems. I wear a one-piece drainable pouch. I wear a regular swimsuit (no extra devices for swimming) -- with a pattern and some rouching to 'disguise' the pouch. Good point someone made about being careful about sun exposure.

Good luck to your sis! Hope she has a great time


jjaj133's picture
Posts: 863
Joined: Mar 2011

Thank you for you help Tara. I will let her know. Would love for her to experience the hot tub. I promised her a relaxing time and that sure would help.

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2012

I have had my colostomy now for 3 1/2 yrs i have swam the last 2 yrs as long as she don't have any problems such as leaks she will be fine. I have a 2 piece i don't use any extra products to hold in place. God bless

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