Swimming with an ileostomy WITHOUT worrying!
- Hi there,
I am a retired teacher in Ontario who is lucky enough to live by a lake near Bancroft and vacation seaside in Florida for 5 months of the year. I've been a "water baby" my whole life and an ileostomy 4 years ago has not stopped me from swimming daily for periods of several hours to up to 5 -6 hours. I love to swim long distances in lakes, kayak and sail in the ocean, and socialize in the pool of my resort in Pompano Beach.
So what do I use??? 1.) I prepare my skin with AllKare wipes (Convatec) - although they sting a little, I find that they are stickier than the non - alcoholic ones; 2.) I use a Coloplast's long wear (Pro) white flange; 3.) I use an Eakin Cohesive Seal Ring on the flange; 4.) I use a Coloplast's Easi-Close (velcro-type) wide opening pouch. (On the pouch, I use an E-Z vent that is great for releasing gas -- and well worth the preparation time that it takes to attach it to the pouch). 5.) Finally, I either use: a.) SureSeal waterproof ring sealed over my flange or b.) I "picture frame" my flange with Hypafix tape. I alternate these 2 products every other week, because more than 1 week's use of the SureSeal makes the skin under it itchy. The above combination has never let me down! One finally trick that I use to prevent any kind of skin irritation: Once a week, say on a Saturday morning, I sit and read or chat on the phone in bed with nothing over my stoma (except a small Kleenex,) in order to " air out" my stoma area. I do this in the morning because my stoma is less active. I use a wonderful, "magic powder" -- Adapt's Stoma Powder -- in the area that is around the stoma. I sit like this for about 30-45 minutes to allow the sesitive area around my stoma to be exposed to air and the Adapt powder. This has prevented me from skin irritations. So how long is it before I need to change flanges and pouches?? Usually I go for 7 days, whether I am swimming daily or not. I start to get itchy after 7 days. With the SureSeal, I don't even bother to check to see if my flange is secure after swimming; but with the Hypafix, I always check and sometimes replace the tape after 2 or 3 days...but not usually the flange. The Hypafix does NOT make my skin itch....it's wonderful and lets your skin breath. The Sure Seal is more secure, and waterproof, but makes me itch after 6 -7 days. Best of luck! Happy swimming!