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Strategies for Driving with an Ostomy

Posted by Fortis Medical Products  on August 28, 2023

What are the practical implications for driving with an ostomy? This is one of several things new ostomy patients might encounter following their surgery. Since many individuals continue an active lifestyle after the procedure, it helps to know how to handle various scenarios and potential obstacles. This article will deal with the driving aspects.

The gist of driving with an ostomy, like many other matters, boils down to caution and simple preparedness. Fortunately, unless you have specific conditions that prevent doing so, it’s perfectly safe for someone with an ostomy to drive again.

Here are a few tips to remember when you get back to driving for the first time, post-ostomy surgery.

  • Make sure you follow the doctor’s advice and refrain from driving until you’ve finished any recovery protocols involving drowsy pain medications.
  • Even if uncomfortable, don’t neglect wearing a seatbelt. This makes an enormous difference if an accident occurs.
  • You can, however, make adjustments to your pouch system to account for seat belt discomfort. This could take some experimentation, but some patients find relief by padding around the stoma area with extra cloth (like a towel or thin pillow). It may also help to use a pouch clamp or clothespin to create some extra space between the extraction slot and where it would contact the seat belt.
  • Be ready for normal driving circumstances, including all the times you would need to hit the brakes to make a fast stop. Those are the situations that will create discomfort around the stoma.

Other Lifestyle Issues Affected by Ostomy

Don’t forget that once you’ve undergone a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy, there are plenty of other adjustments you’ll have to make. So, if you’re still preparing to have your surgery, then consider some of these other lifestyle issues, and think about how you’ll approach them.

  • Dietary Changes - This involves what you can/cannot eat, along with some of the “maybe” items you’ll have to moderate.
  • Exercise/Swimming/Working/Intimate Activity - All the physical things are still possible for many ostomates, barring other disabilities. Many of them require clothing adjustments and patience when you resume them.
  • Traveling - You’ll also want to check some of our travel tips if you’re preparing to board an airplane or drive across the country for a road trip with an ostomy.

Fortis Medical Products - On Your Side for Ostomy Support

None of those lifestyle factors require you to “go it alone” without help. After an ostomy procedure, you’ll have access to your doctor, nurses, dietitians, friends, and family for assistance. Plus, we’re always here to help as well.

If you’d like to know more about ostomy supplies and other important strategies, then continue to follow Fortis Medical Products for updates. We’re a Sarasota-based medical product supplier with a mission to support hospitals and patients alike with anything related to ostomy care. Contact us any time to learn more by calling 855-550-2600.

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