Patients who need to have an ostomy put in place may be intimidated by the impact it will have on their personal lives. However, it’s important for Los Angeles County patients to understand that they will be able to establish a new routine and sense of normalcy that allows them to live comfortably with their ostomy.
While a few slight lifestyle changes may be necessary, most people in Glendora find that they are able to easily adjust to their new normal with the help of their general surgeon.
How Can I Go About Living with an Ostomy?
You may have to make adjustments to your diet. Immediately following the operation, you will begin a liquid diet and gradually transition to solid foods during the first 6 weeks of your recovery. You may want to avoid certain foods in the future, such as eggs, cabbage, nuts and raisins. You should avoid drinking alcohol after the ostomy.
You likely will not need to invest in a new wardrobe. You can wear whatever you feel comfortable with after your surgery, but some people prefer to wear clothing that covers the ostomy pouch. Your surgeon can provide you with recommendations for how to do this.
You will have to work with your health care provider in order to choose medicines that are most effective for you. Some medications are absorbed by a portion of the intestine that is removed during the surgery. Liquid medications are the best option after an ostomy.
Unless your job requires you to perform heavy lifting, you will likely be able to return to work after your recovery is complete. Your doctor will be able to provide you with specific restrictions related to work prior to your operation.
Your sexual life will not be changed because you have an ostomy. Women can even become pregnant after this procedure is performed. It is important to know that sexual experiences and intimate encounters will not hurt, damage or impact your ostomy. You can resume your sexual activities as soon as you feel well enough after your operation.
After your recovery is complete, you will not be limited when it comes to most sports or physical activities. General restrictions include prohibiting patients from driving for at least 3 weeks after their surgery and placing patients on weight restrictions where they should lift no more than 10 pounds for the first six weeks after the operation.
After this recovery period is complete, and you feel well enough, you can enjoy many of the physical activities you did prior to the operation, such as hiking, swimming and biking. Talk with your surgeon before starting rigorous exercise programs and contact sports after the operation.
If you are going to have an ostomy performed, talk with your general surgeon about the implications it may have on your own personal situation. Each patient is different and will have various adjustments to make after the operation, but a general surgery expert can help guide you along the way.