Getting Back To Work

Depending on the type of stoma operation you have had, you will probably be fit to return to work 8 -12 weeks after surgery.

Adjusting back to your work schedule

Before you return to work, it is recommended to discuss with your employer the possibility of a ‘return to work scheme’. Depending on your employer, they may be very accommodating and offer you the option of working from home, part-time hours, phased return or a temporary role, which are less strenuous on your body.

Talking about your stoma

It is entirely up to you if you decide to inform your fellow colleagues about your stoma, depending on how comfortable you are with it. However, it might be helpful to inform your line manager or another close colleague who you can confide in, of your stoma care needs. We recommend you inform someone, so that you won’t feel rushed when you go to change your stoma bag during the working day.

Stoma Care Equipment

Ensuring that you have your supply of stoma and continence care equipment located in a secure location can be very useful when you return to work.

Work Uniform & Clothing

It’s important to think about the clothing/uniform, which you wear at work. Following on from your stoma surgery, you may need a different size which you may have worn prior to your surgery. It’s also advisable to take in a spare uniform/work clothing to work, incase an accident occurred with your stoma bag.

Adjusting Your Daily Routine

Building up a daily routine can be really helpful when returning to work after your stoma operation. Many people find that their everyday routine of getting ready for work, leaving the house and changing your bag at work can take longer, after a stoma operation. So, with this in mind, it’s a good idea to have a few trial runs, to help you adjust and feel comfortable in your everyday routine.

Workplace Changing Facilities & Toilets

Consider the changing facilities at your workplace. Before you return to work, it’s worth having a think about what facilities there are available to you - to ensure that you are always prepared. It is advisable that you have a changing travel bag, which you can discreetly take into the changing facilities/toilets within your workplace.

Additional Ostomy Support Wear

There is a range of stoma support belts, girdles and underwear that you may find useful when returning to work, particularly if your job may require any heavy lifting. For further advice or for a fitting, speak to your Stoma Care Nurse for guidance.

If you have any further questions about returning to work after your stoma surgery, the please contact us on our Freephone number 0800 626388 or email

Man on the phone to Medilink Customer Services

Need support or advice?

If you need any further support or advice, then please contact Medilink® today. You can call us Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 5pm, on Freephone 0800 626388.

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