If you’re living with myeloma or another type of neuropathy, you may need to wear a stoma support belt. Some people choose to wear their stoma belt constantly as a precautionary measure against unexpected bowel movements; others only wear it when they know they’ll be going out in public and want the extra assurance that everything will stay where it’s supposed to. Whatever your reasons for wearing a stoma belt, here’s everything you need to know about putting it on and taking it off for stoma protection.
Before You Remove The Belt
Don’t ever remove the belt without first making sure that the stoma is completely blocked off with a liner. Your body heals from the inside in, so any leakage anywhere is a serious liability. The stoma support belt isn’t a regular belt. It needs to be handled with the utmost care.
First, line up the belt’s tabs with the pouch’s tabs, then use Velcro to fasten the belt onto your hips.
Taking it Off
There should be about an inch or two of Velcro at the top and bottom of the stoma support pouch when you put it on properly. That way, you’ll be able to take it off with as little difficulty as possible – one quick pull will do the trick.
Remember that you may need to pull the belt tighter than usual if your stoma is bigger than normal. You should be able to feel the belt snug up against your body when you’re putting it on the right.
Keeping The Belt in Position
While you’re out and about, you’ll want to make sure your belt stays where it’s supposed to be. Hold the belt in one hand, and keep it positioned against your abdomen with the Velcro tabs facing inwards.
Polish the pouch seam where it runs along the top of your stoma pouch so that when you pull on this seam, everything stays snug against you. This keeps everything from shifting around when you do things like sit or bend over. Your stoma support belt should stay with you at all times. It’s not optional unless your pouch is not properly blocked off.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
If you’re unsure about how to clean and sanitize it, read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly before putting it into use. Always follow these instructions closely so that you get the most out of your belt. You’ll need to change your liner every three days or so and probably need to replace it with a new one whenever your pouch becomes excessively large. You probably won’t need to do this more often than once or twice a month.
As always, you should never share hygiene products with someone else, especially if they are not familiar with them. If you find that your belt seems to have stretched out a little bit, it could be time to get a new one. This is especially important if you’re suffering from extreme stiffness or soreness in your abdomen. And you’ve tried everything from adjusting the fit to washing it in hot soapy water.
Why Should You Use an Ostomy Belt?
Ostomy belts are a type of pouch enclosure that fits securely around the wearer’s waist and protects their ostomy appliance from leaks. They are best used throughout the day when the ostomy pouch is not being changed, as they do not provide protection for these times.
An ostomy belt is designed to prevent leaks around the edge of your stoma (typically where you’ve had surgery). This provides extra assurance in areas where you have trouble with leakage, such as when bending over or standing up.
These belts are made from neoprene, a type of spandex-like material that is highly breathable and flexible. They typically come with a pouch closure system that can fit on a wide variety of ostomy pouches.
Ostomy belts feature hook and loop closures to hold the belt around your waist securely. A Velcro-like adhesive backing also helps keep the belt securely in place. The structure allows you to adjust the fit of the belt so that it is not too tight or too loose.
Because of the Velcro system, you can use it with several different pouches and sizes. It is not difficult to switch it to another pouch once you take off your first one in the morning.
Ostomy belts give users extra confidence when they wear them as they feel more protected from leakage.