Contact and Team Sports With an Ostomy

If you prefer the action of a team or contact sport, don’t let minor concerns keep you from returning to it. Having a stoma will mean planning ahead, but you can still participate.

Contact and Team Sports with an Ostomy

Get guidance on playing team and contact sports after ostomy surgery.

If you enjoyed contact and team sports before your ostomy surgery, such as football (soccer), basketball, rugby or American football, you can still do them. Of course, you may be concerned about your stoma and worry that it might get damaged. As long as you take a few precautions, you can keep tackling life.

Give your ostomy time to fully heal. Contact your healthcare provider before engaging in any contact sports. It may take several weeks to months for your incision to heal and your stoma to decrease in size. Damage to your stoma is unlikely, but you should still be careful and protect it.

Keep your pouch intact and firmly in place. Another concern is that the pouch could be punctured or ripped off during team and contact sports. To avoid a damaged pouch, many people use firmly-fitted waistbands or girdles. These can help keep the pouch secure. Everyone has unique needs and preferences, so try and see what works best for you. Try different sports outfits, such as running tights or Lycra shorts, to find that “perfect fit.”

Build up to the proper level of fitness gradually. Competitive sports call for both skill and fitness. Keep that in mind before returning to a strenuous sport after your operation.

Empty your pouch before you play. If you have a colostomy and you wish to minimise the “flow” from your stoma, stick to a low-fibre diet.

Drink plenty of fluids before and after activities. Be sure to watch out for dehydration. If you have an ileostomy, bear in mind that you are more vulnerable to dehydration, especially when exercising in hot climates.