Q. Who should I tell? What should I say about my surgery?
A. You should tell those who need to know, such as healthcare providers, your spouse or significant others and people who are involved in your recuperative care. You need not feel you have to explain your surgery to everyone who asks. Those who are just curious need to know only that you had abdominal surgery or that you had part or all of your colon or bladder removed
Q. Will I be able to continue my daily activities once I recover from surgery?
A. As your strength returns, you can go back to your regular activities. Most people can return to their previous line of work. An ostomy should not limit your participation in sports or any social activities.
Q. What can I eat? Will I need to change my diet?
A. People after colostomy and ileostomy surgery should return to their normal diets after a period of adjustment. Reintroduce foods into your diet a little at a time and monitor the effect of each food on the ostomy function. Chew, chew, chew your food well and drink plenty of fluids. There is no ostomy diet.
Q. Will I be able to wear the same clothes as before?
A. Whatever you wore before surgery, you can wear afterward with very few exceptions. Most pouching systems made today are virtually unnoticeable, even when wearing the most stylish form-fitting clothing for men or for women.
Q. Will I smell?
A. Modern pouching systems are completely odorless.
Q. What about sex and intimacy? Can women get pregnant and have children after surgery?
A. Sexual functioning should not be impaired after a normal period of recovery. Women with ostomies become pregnant and have babies all the time.