4-Point Checklist for Returning to Work After Ostomy Surgery

Returning to work after ostomy surgery should not be rushed. Check off these 4 necessities before getting back on the job, and get other workplace tips.

4 Point Checklist for Returning to Work

Find out if you’re ready to return to work after ostomy surgery.

If you’ll be going back to work after your ostomy surgery, you’ll need to be sure you’re ready. Every body is different, and recovery varies by person. The severity of your disease or injury, your recovery time, your age, and the type of job you do…these can all affect how long it will take you to get back to work.

If possible, don’t rush it. Take your time. Returning before you are ready may cause more problems in the long run.

Below is a simple four-point checklist you can use to decide if you’re ready to work again:

If you’re still not sure whether you should return to work, ask your healthcare team for guidance.

Practical tips for getting back to work after ostomy surgery

Here are a few more things that can give you peace of mind in the workplace:

  • Carry a change of supplies with you in your bag. Don’t leave your products in the car – extreme heat or cold could melt them or cause them not to work properly.
  • Keep a change of supplies at your workplace – in your desk drawer or in a locker
  • If possible, return to work gradually. You might feel low on energy during the day, even months after the operation. It may be best to work part-time before going back full-time, if financially feasible.


If you feel like your employer is not working in good faith to accommodate your new ostomy needs, your country may have employee discrimination laws that may help you. Do some research and contact your country’s government agency. In Canada review Canadian Human Rights Commission.


Download the full pdf booklet:Living with an Ostomy: Home & Work Life