Fashion Tips for Women following Ostomy Surgery
Author, Stephanie Crane, Dancer and Dance Teacher
When I was first out of surgery, I found that wearing dresses and flowy tops made me feel most confident and comfortable because everything was still a bit swollen. Once the swelling went down, I realized I could pretty much dress normally.
The biggest adjustment I've made is wearing high-waisted underwear so I can tuck my pouch in and feel more concealed and supported. Ostomysecrets® makes great options with a pocket for your pouch, but if you want something different, many regular clothing companies offer high-waisted underwear as well. I sometimes add my own pocket on the inside of other underwear that I like. Once I began wearing high-waisted underwear, I felt like I could wear just about anything and my pouch was not an issue.
My ostomy does not stop me from wearing much of anything. I teach dance, and I wear leggings just about every day. I make sure to empty my ostomy pouch often. Just in case I can't, I bring a sweater to tie around my waist if I need it.
The biggest thing that I have learned throughout the years is that you may feel your ostomy is noticeable to others, but it really isn't. Everyone is worried more about their own body than they are about yours. Even coworkers who know I have an ostomy can't figure out where (or what) it is and that always surprises me.
I also take ballet classes and wear leotard and tights with my ostomy. Again, I make sure I empty my pouch right before class, but it is generally not much of an issue. Again, no one is looking for it. They are worried more about themselves or what is going on in their life.
Confidence is the most important thing you can wear. Everyone has struggles with their body, and usually the last thing they are looking for is your ostomy. Go out and enjoy your life!