After an individual goes through ileostomy, urostomy, or a colostomy, they may need an ostomy belt. However, this is dependent on their unique current status conditions. You may need one if your ostomy bag leaks or doesn’t adhere to your abdomen. Other times it might be for comfort and security. Also, if you are sweaty, engaged in sports, vigorous activities, or sleeping, you’ll find an ostomy belt helpful.
An ostomy belt is an accessory. Therefore, it’s at your discretion to use one or not. However, if you get a colostomy band support belt or the other varieties of ostomy belts, you should at least have background information about what to look for when buying one, their benefits, and maintenance.
Factors To Consider When Buying An Ostomy Belt
When you are buying an ostomy belt, you must ensure it is comfortable. Making a choice can quickly turn into a daunting task, considering the many brands in the market. So, which factors should you single out?
- An ostomy belt that is made of breathable material is comfortable. It allows your body sweat to evaporate, making your skin soft; thus, you can wear it for an extended period.
- Ostomy belts come in large, medium, and small sizes. Choose a comfortable size. If you don’t know your size, test a few samples by fixing the ostomy belt to one tab and pulling it around the back of your waist. If the next check is roughly 2 inches away, you have the right size. Moving two fingers beneath the belt helps you confirm it’s comfortable enough.
- Ensure you purchase an elastic ostomy belt. Flexibility allows the belt to mold to your body. Also, it adjusts as the ostomy bag fills up.
- Confirm that the belt’s diameter has several holes so that it can fit on your ostomy appliance system perfectly.
- A discrete belt is ideal for all types of clothing. It allows you to walk freely without the fear of anyone noticing the ostomy bag.
- The belt should have holes placed strategically at the center, right and left side.
The bottom line is to purchase a belt that is comfortable and allows you to live a healthy and active life.
Benefits Of An Ostomy Belt
The users of ostomy belts have attested that the straps have incredible benefits. They no longer have to be uncomfortable in their daily activities. Their efficiency and ease of use have impacted the lives of ostomates positively because:
- The belt holds your ostomy or colostomy bag, thus securing it against your body, which then ensures the bag is not detached from the stoma, and it is well protected.
- It is discrete; an ostomy belt allows you to live a healthy life. You can enjoy running, jumping, swimming, hiking, and dancing, among other activities.
- The belt reduces the probability of the waste leaking from the porch. Thus, your clothes remain without stain and smell, making you more comfortable
- It makes your skin less irritable and reduces the chances of mold growing around the stoma areas.
- The ostomy belt cancels the noise produced by the ostomy bag.
- The belt maximizes the amount of waste released from the ostomy bag, giving you maximum comfort.
Overall, the benefits of an ostomy belt increase your confidence and self-esteem. It helps you live with colostomy, urostomy, and ileostomy.
Maintenance Of Ostomy Belt
Just like any other commodity, an ostomy belt wears and tears with time. However, you can enhance its durability through proper maintenance. Here are a few practices you should put in mind if you have one.
- Instead of dry cleaning, hand wash your belt and hang it to dry.
- Avoid strong detergents. Instead, use a mild soap and cold water to wash it.
- Replace the belt quarterly. With time, an ostomy belt loses its elasticity, making it less effective. A replacement ensures your ostomy bag is always secured and comfortable.
- Make it a habit of walking around with an extra piece. In case of emergencies or any eventualities, you have a backup.
- Avoid using dryers for a quick fix. It reduces the elasticity of the belt.
- A tight ostomy belt is a recipe for further complications as you may develop ulcers beneath the plastic tabs or develop skin irritation. At all times, ensure you can comfortably move your two fingers between your skin and the ostomy belt.
Ostomy surgery can be frightening. However, with a successful operation, you can experience a healthy life. Whether it’s an ileostomy, urostomy or colostomy, an ostomy belt will enhance your lifestyle, enabling you to go about your business like you used to. Consider this a worthy investment for ostomates.