Driving itself is not an issue after ostomy surgery. The two factors my doctors suggested using when deciding when to start driving again were:

  1. Be off all prescription pain meds. Accidents while on prescription pain meds can be a DUI.
  2. Be comfortable slamming on your breaks to avoid hitting a kid or squirrel that jolts in front of you at the last minute without causing any pain to yourself.

Once you meet those two recommendations, or the ones your doctors shared with you, there shouldn’t be anything ostomy-related stopping you from getting behind the wheel.

The one thing some ostomates sometimes have trouble with, is seatbelts. It’s really important to wear them. They save lives. But my goodness can they be uncomfortable if they land right on your ostomy. This can be especially true when you’re still a little sore from surgery, even when you’re not in the driver’s seat. Here are a few ways I’ve seen which allow you to combat seatbelt issues:

  • Use a headrest around your stoma, under the seatbelt, with the opening facing down (so output can still travel to the bottom of your pouch without being blocked). This is kind of bulky, but it can provide some relief.
  • Take a towel, your jacket, or some other flexible but somewhat thick item to place between your seatbelt and your body, giving your ostomy some room to breathe.
  • Place a clothespin near the retraction slot to relieve tension on the belt (suggested by UOAA)
  • There’s an accessory made specifically for this purpose.

I’m not sure if these seatbelt adjustments are legal, so please drive at your own risk if you choose to modify your seatbelt.