What is an Ostomy Wrap?
Ostomy wraps, which are often called ostomy bands, are a popular accessory that can be used to both support and conceal an ostomy appliance.
They are worn around a person’s abdomen and feature one or two inner pockets to place an ostomy appliance into. Wraps that have two pockets can be used by people who have two ostomies but can also be used without any trouble by people who have a single ostomy (of any type).
- Ostomy wraps can provide concealment of an ostomy appliance.
- They can offer support and stability during physical activities or when the bag fills up.
- Can be used in conjunction with some stoma guards.
- Wraps come in many styles and patterns, which can suit any situation.
- In the event of an appliance leak, ostomy wraps buffer your clothes or bedsheets from being soiled.
- Ostomates with two bags can wear wraps that have two inner pockets.
- Easy to put on and wear.
- Offers an extra layer of warmth during the cold winter months (I find this to be a great thing!)
- Wraps that are too tight may restrict the flow of output and lead to leaks or pancaking.
- Some people find that they get too hot or sweat more while wearing a wrap.
- Wraps may slide or bunch up, making them uncomfortable to wear.
- Not ideal when tucking your ostomy appliance underneath your pants.
How Ostomy Wraps are Typically Sold
Most manufacturers will offer various sizes for their wraps. It’s important to make sure that you get one that won’t be too tight or too loose or it may cause you trouble when using it. Each manufacturer should have instructions on how to properly measure yourself for the right size.
Please note that many wraps sold for ladies will have a taper to them along the sides, which helps to accommodate a woman’s figure better than the straight sides of a men’s wrap.
The nice thing about ostomy wraps is that they are often available in many different patterns, which you could use to your benefit if you need to coordinate them with your outfit.
If you plan to use your wrap near water, consider a swim wrap, which is shorter than traditional wraps and are made of a material more suited for getting wet.
Prices for ostomy wraps are usually in the $30 – $40 range depending on the style and brand.
If you are looking to buy an ostomy wrap, I have a list of manufacturers who make and sell them all over the world on THIS page.
Purchase on Amazon
How to Use an Ostomy Wrap
Putting on an ostomy wrap is pretty easy.
Because it’s tubular and has no fasteners, you can either slip it on over your head or step into it like you were putting on a pair of bottoms. While putting the wrap on, pay attention to make sure that the inner pocket opening is pointing up or else it won’t hold your bag.
Once it’s around your waist, you’ll want to make sure that your ostomy bag fits comfortably into the inner pocket of the wrap.
From there, you can smoothen out the wrap and go on about your day!
When it comes time to empty your appliance, you can keep the wrap on and simply remove your appliance from the inner pocket.
Tips on Using Ostomy Wraps
Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful when using wraps.
- Because ostomy wraps tend to slip, I suggest looking for ones that have a rubber/silicone band along the top.
- If you find yourself sweating a lot under your wrap, sprinkle a bit of baby powder underneath it to help keep things dry.
- Keep an eye out when using an ostomy wrap to make sure it’s not too tight around your bag. I find that wearing a wrap a little lower tends to help prevent this.
- You can fold the top and bottom of the wrap to make it more compact (see photo below). This works great for intimate moments.
Alternatives to Ostomy Wraps
The most common alternative to ostomy wraps are maternity bands or “belly bands”. These work the same way as an ostomy wrap, but they do not have a special pocket to keep your ostomy appliance secure. Because of that, the bottom of the bag may hang down below the maternity band, defeating the purpose of concealment and support.
Support garments may be an option, especially if support is your primary concern. Stay tuned for a guide on support garments soon!
You can also find my reviews on several different ostomy wraps HERE.