Swimming with an Ostomy
Can You Swim With an Ostomy?
Yes! Swimming with an ostomy may seem intimidating at first, but with the right ostomy support belt, you can have confidence and security in all settings - especially in the water.
It starts with the right fabric. After testing a number of different fabrics we've found that the best option was a Nylon-Lyrca mixture that is commonly found in swimsuits and high performance athletic wear. Nylon-Lycra is stretchy, comfortable, supportive, and dries quickly after getting wet, making it an ideal solution for use in the water.
For casual, recreational swimming the Original ComfortBelt Wrap works very well. It fully encloses the ostomy pouch providing concealment and support.
For more serious swimming such as long lap workouts, swim and races or triathlon,, we suggest the Stealth Belt Pro from our sister company Stealth Belt, Inc.
And for intense water sports such as water skiing, wake boarding, or surfing, we recommend the Stealth Belt Neoprene.
Below is more information on the Stealth Belt products.
The Flange Size
Keeping the flange secured against your body while swimming with an ostomy. is important. In order to accomplish this, Stealth Belt's custom flange hole is designed so that when the ostomy belt is tightened down, an even pressure would is applied to the wafer and around the appliance. We've found that having a flange hole that is within 1/2” the diameter of the appliance flange provides maximum support for an ostomy while swimming.
The Double Adjustable Closure
Another important objective is to make sure that the ostomy appliance will not come off when jumping or diving into the water. To address this, Stealth Belt’s unique double locking velcro closure system was created. Adding an additional elastic velcro attachment to the closure of the belt erables you to tighten the ostomy belt more securely, so it will not come unhooked while diving into the water.
The Neoprene Extreme
Stealth Belt's founder Richard O'Hamill, wanted to be able to wake board and surf with his ostomy. The Stealth Belt Pro was a great option for everything he had tried up until this point, but he found that when he fell in the water at such high speeds, the stretchy Nylon-Lycra was simply not enough for him to feel completely supported. Thus, the Neoprene Extreme Stealth Belt was born!
Neoprene is the material found in surfing and diving wetsuits, and while stretchy and comfortable, it is much thicker and more robust. Creating a Stealth Belt out of Neoprene allowed for the belt to be tightened down around the body with much more security. Using this fabric, Richard was able to successfully fall time after time while wake boarding and surfing without his ostomy appliance coming loose.
Horizontal vs. Vertical
A common question about Stealth Belt is concerning the horizontal versus vertical style belt. When it comes to use in the water, it is our recommendation to use a horizontal style belt. Wearing the ostomy bag held to the side will keep it more supported, especially when moving through the water.
With that being said, the Vertical Style belts are also made of water-friendly material and work very well for swimming. Every body is different and will have different needs. Stealth Belts are custom made to suit the individuals who use them. If you prefer to keep your ostomy bag worn vertically, please consider Stealth Belt's Vertical Pro belt.