Living with a stoma can be a life-changing experience, and finding the right support wear is crucial for comfort, confidence, and overall well-being. Whether you have a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy, selecting the optimal stoma support wear can significantly enhance your quality of life. In this blog, we will explore the key factors to consider when choosing stoma support wear, along with example case studies that illustrate the benefits it can provide.
Understanding Stoma Support Wear:
Stoma support wear refers to specialized undergarments and accessories designed to support and protect the stoma, while also providing comfort and discretion. The right support wear can help prevent leakage, reduce the risk of skin irritation, reduce the risk of developing a hernia and help promote an active and fulfilling lifestyle.
The case studies below are for demonstrative purposes to help you understand what to consider, depending on your specific needs.
Case Study 1:
A 45-year-old woman with an ileostomy, struggled to find comfortable support wear that allowed her to engage in her favourite activities, which were swimming and yoga. However, after discovering a selection of high-quality stoma support wear in different levels of support with moisture-wicking properties, she was able to find a garment that fit well she experienced a newfound sense of confidence and freedom. The support wear she found offered enough support without restricting movement. It provided a secure and discreet fit, enabling her to fully embrace her active lifestyle without worrying about leakage or discomfort.
Factors to Consider:
- Comfort: Opt for support wear that is made from soft, breathable materials to minimize irritation and promote airflow. Look for mostly seamless garments where possible with no irritating labels
- Wicking: this is the term used to describe how well a fabric ‘wicks’ moisture away from the skin which is really important for skin health, especially in warmer weather or when exercising.
- Security and Protection: Look for support wear with enough coverage to securely hold ostomy bags in place. Adequate coverage can help to prevent leaks and accidents, it also enhances protection from developing a hernia
- Discretion and Appearance: Choose support wear that is discreet and seamless under clothing, allowing you to maintain your preferred style and wardrobe choices. Support wear that look non medical is really important for helping you feel more confident and not different. Neutral colours and minimalistic designs can help ensure a natural and inconspicuous look if that is important to you.
Case Study 2:
A 62-year-old man with a colostomy, often faced challenges in finding stoma support wear that didn't compromise his professional appearance. However, he discovered stretch high waist support boxers and waistbands that offered a sleek and streamlined silhouette, making them virtually undetectable under his formal attire. This boost in confidence allowed him to feel confident at work without the worry of his stoma being noticeable to others.
- Functionality: Consider the specific activities you engage in regularly. If you lead an active lifestyle or participate in sports, choose support wear that offers flexibility, moisture-wicking properties, and sufficient support to prevent discomfort and potential leaks during physical activities. It is also important to get a firmer level of support when exercising to give the abdominal muscles around the stoma extra support to prevent a hernia forming
- Skin-Friendly Materials: Look for support wear made from soft, moisture-wicking fabrics that are gentle on the skin and help maintain a healthy stoma environment. Moisture control and breathability are essential to prevent skin irritation and promote healing.
Case Study 3:
A 30-year-old woman with a urostomy, found herself struggling with frequent skin irritation due to moisture build-up. After switching to support wear that incorporated moisture-wicking technology, she experienced a significant reduction in irritation and improved skin health. The breathable fabric allowed moisture to evaporate, keeping her skin dry and comfortable throughout the day.
Case Study 4.
A 50-year old man with a parastomal hernia found living with the hernia even more problematic than living with the stoma. He found the constant aching pain from the hernia effected his quality of life considerably. The shape of the hernia was also creating problems with leaks as he found it difficult to get his stoma bag to adhere properly. He was ready to accept needing further surgery to repair the hernia until he found some medium firm support wear that was comfortable enough to wear all day. This support wear reduced the aching feelings from his hernia and also helped toward holding the bag on better. With his new found comfort he felt ready to get more active and used a firm belt during physical activities to further support his hernia. He also found with the help of his stoma nurse a specifically shaped stoma bag to fit better over his hernia.
Now he’s able to live a better life without the need for further surgery
When it comes to choosing the right stoma support wear, considering these factors is essential...
- support level
By taking the time to explore various options and finding support wear that meets your specific needs, you can enhance your comfort, confidence, and overall well-being. The case studies mentioned above highlight how the right stoma support wear can make a tangible difference to your life.