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Returning to work

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

Before returning to work, it is recommended to discuss with your employer the possibility of a ‘return to work programme’. Your employer may be very accommodating and offer you a range of alternatives such as part-time hours or lighter duties. It is completely up to you if you choose to tell your colleagues about your stoma. Whatever you feel comfortable with. 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.

Hints and Tips

  • Keep a supply of your stoma care equipment at work
  • Have a few trial runs. Many people find their daily routine and preparation to leave the house can take them longer than they expected
  • Think about clothing or your work uniform. If you have a uniform you may need a different size to the one that you wore before surgery
  • Consider changing facilities. Have a think about what facilities are available in your workplace to make sure you are prepared. It is advisable to have a changing bag that you can take discreetly to the toilets
  • If your job involves heavy lifting, consider wearing a support belt. This may help to prevent a hernia from developing around your stoma.

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