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Getting back to work after your stoma operation

You will need time to heal and recover before returning to work after your surgery.

Returning to work after stoma surgery

The type of work you do will determine the amount of time you need off, you should discuss this with your doctor before returning to work.

Going back to work is a major accomplishment and should be planned well in advance. It is best to discuss all options with your employer as soon as you can so you know where you stand. Your employer may be accommodating and offer you a range of alternatives such as part-time hours, reduced hours or lighter duties, if this is something that would be suitable for you.

Before starting back to work you may want to consider the following:

  • It is good to have a few trial runs as many people find that their daily routine and preparation to leave the house can take them longer than they expected.
  • You might be eating at different times of the day, you may need more structure than before.
  • You may need to think about clothing or your work uniform, if you have to wear one and how this may affect you. You may need a different size to what suited you before surgery.
  • You may also need to consider the changing facilities that you have in your work place to make sure you are prepared. It is advisable to have a small portable changing bag that you can take discreetly to the toilets.

It is completely up to you if you choose to tell your colleagues about your stoma and also how many of them you tell.  Whatever you feel comfortable with is best. However, it is advisable to tell at least one person in your workplace so that you have someone who may assist you if you have any issues, problems or need someone to talk to.

You should feel proud of yourself for going back to work, physically and emotionally you will likely feel tired but returning to work is a good way of getting back to a normal routine. Remember not to push yourself too hard when you start back to work, instead build up your workload gradually.