Stoma recovery timeline - how long will it take? - GoldCare

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Stoma surgery recovery timeline – How long will my recovery take?

Please note: always consult with your healthcare professional for more detailed recovery information that takes your personal situation into account. The advice contained in this blog is only intended to provide a general outline of the average recovery times.

If you’re waiting for stoma surgery you might be wondering how long it will take to recover afterwards. Whilst it can, of course, vary from person to person, the average recovery post operation should look similar to this:

3 – 10 days – Hospital

Many people are able to leave the hospital just a few days after a successful surgery. Whilst in hospital it’s likely that you will be on a drip to keep you hydrated and provide necessary fluids. You may also have a catheter to drain urine and an oxygen mask to help you breathe.

During this time your stoma nurse will also show you how to care for your stoma, including changing and emptying your bag. You should also get advice on keeping the skin around your stoma clean and healthy, as well as preventative methods for infection.

6 – 8 weeks – Home on rest

Once you leave hospital you will be allowed home, however, it’s highly likely that you will be recommended to rest and recuperate. Avoid any strenuous activities that may put unnecessary pressure on your stoma whilst it’s healing.

It may be recommended that you do some light exercise during this time, such as taking short walks. During this time your stoma may be inflamed, but it should gradually begin to settle and heal and look a lot better towards the end of the 8 weeks.

After 8 weeks you should be able to resume many of your normal activities.

Approx 3 months – Full recovery

Whilst many activities can be resumed after 8 weeks it does take approximately 3 months for the abdominal muscles to completely heal. It’s often advisable to avoid any heavy lifting or over exerting yourself too much during this time.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid lifting anything heavier than a kettle full of water during this time. Anything too heavy could potentially result in a hernia and set back your recovery timescale.

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