When you’ve got an ostomy bag hanging off your abdomen, you want it to be comfortable and feel as if it isn’t there.
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As your bag fills, it’ll start to pull and feel heavy, so many ostomates use accessory belts for added support.
I’ve been a fan of those little 1″ wide belts, but they had a few shortcomings.
The company Nu-Hope aims to change that, and has created a refreshing new type of belt, which they call the Nu-Comfort belt.
About the Nu-Comfort Belt
Product name: Nu-Comfort Belt
Manufacturer: Nu-Hope Laboratories, Inc.
Product #: Many, depending on size: BG2620-F, BG2620-A, BG2620-C, BG2622-F, BG2622-A, BG2622-C, BG2624-F, BG2624-A, BG2624-C, BG2626-F, BG2626-A, BG2626-C
Dimensions: My belt is approx. 9.5cm x 11.5cm (3 3/4″ x 4.5″) for the plastic ring plate, and 5cm x 95cm (2″ x 37.5″) for the belt (Large size)
Quantity per package: 1 (reusable, washable)
Made by Nu-Hope Laboratories, Inc. (a company known for their hernia support belts), the Nu-Comfort Belt is a welcome change to the small accessory belts we’ve seen in the past.
The Nu-Comfort Belt is an accessory belt that’s been designed to provide equal pressure around your entire flange. Unlike traditional accessory belts, the Nu-Comfort Belt doesn’t need to hook or clip onto your appliance, and it can be used with many appliance brands.
Problems I’ve found with traditional belts include:
- They apply pressure in very specific points (often the side of the flange/pouch). This can create pressure in those points and can make wearing the belts uncomfortable.
- In certain appliances that do not lock, those accessory belts can sometimes cause the flange to loosen and leak!
- I’ve had accessory belts unhook from my appliance when bending, which can be really annoying.
- Accessory belts tend to made for specific brands, and while you can get them to work with other brands (i.e. using a Hollister belt with a Coloplast appliance), it’s not a perfect fit and the hooks can sometimes come off.
- The small size of the bands typically cause them to slide and not give adequate support.
The hard, plastic ring(called the Ring Plate) can be ordered in different sizes to accommodate various flange sizes. This provides a really nice fit, but may be problematic if you decide to switch brands or flange size.
The elastic belt part of this product can also be ordered to fit all kinds of waist sizes, and it has Velcro on both ends, which makes for easy adjustments.
One selling feature with this product is that the band is extra wide compared to the traditional bands you’re likely to see sold by Hollister or Coloplast (2″ vs 1″), so it does feel better when you’re wearing it.
How I Use This Product
Putting the Nu-Comfort Belt on is pretty easy.
- Feed your pouch through the ring plate.
- Align the ring plate so that it’s over your flange (don’t put it under your floating flange or you’ll defeat the purpose of this product).
- Adjust the belt band to be as tight or loose as you like (don’t over tighten or it’ll be uncomfortable).
To remove it, you just do the same in reverse.
It’s pretty easy, and it sure as hell beats fumbling with the hooks on traditional accessory belts.
It should be noted that this belt works best with two-piece appliances that have mechanical flanges (not adhesive couplings).
The reason why it works better with systems that have a mechanical flange is that the ring plate is secured by the flange, and it won’t slip around.
Unfortunately, some two-piece systems work better than others, and if you’re using an appliance with locking mechanisms (like the Coloplast Sensura Click), then it could make things a bit uncomfortable for you.
That said, appliances with locks shouldn’t require an accessory belt, and you’re better off using a support garment instead. I find that this belt works great with the Hollister New Image system.
Nu-Hope does say that it can be used on some one-piece systems, but it’s best to inquire with them about your specific appliance.
It’s important to keep in mind that support belts like this are used primarily to keep your pouch and wafer from coming off (which happens).
Since this isn’t a big risk on one-piece appliances, should you want extra support, go for a support garment or ostomy wrap instead (I’ve reviewed plenty of them HERE).
How Does It Hold Up? (No Pun Intended)
It does a great job, actually!
The support it offers is miles ahead of the standard 1″ bands I’ve used, and you don’t realize just how amazing the support is until you remove the belt.
Even when my pouch gets full, it doesn’t actually feel full, which is just what you want; no tugging, no pulling, just support.
I’ve been able to wear this belt 24 hours a day without any real trouble.
As a bonus, this belt will keep your pouch from sticking out under your clothes, since it’s helping to keep your appliance closer to your skin.
My main complaints about this product are the fact that it makes wearing a pouch cover difficult (frustratingly so), and it adds a slight amount of bulk.
These are minor to non-issues for many ostomates, but they are points I want to make.
At the time of this writing (Sept 2015), the Nu-Comfort Belt can be purchased for approx. CDN$25 or more depending on the size you get and where you purchase it from.
This is about double what you’d pay for a 1″ accessory belt, but I feel that it’s worth it.
Now, I live in Ontario, and when I purchased mine I could only find this belt at a Home Health Store Inc. in Edmonton, Alberta, so you may have to contact Nu-Hope to see who carries this belt in your province/state/country, or check online with your supplier.
Because this is an accessory belt, my insurance provider (Green Shield Canada) covered it less the cost of shipping.
This is good, because if I do change my appliance brand, I’ll be able to get another one that’s fitted appropriately.
- Provides excellent support around the entire wafer, not just the sides like traditional belt systems.
- Available in many sizes that are compatible with just about all flange rings.
- Has an adjustable elastic belt that can be purchased in sizes from small (28″) to X-Large (46″).
- Solid construction and high-quality band material.
- Reasonable cost / covered by insurance.
- The wide belt is more comfortable compared with small 1″ belts
- Offers some support for smaller peristomal hernias (says Nu-Hope)
- Doesn’t work well with appliances that use locking mechanisms on their flange (B. Braun Flexima 3S, Coloplast Sensura Click, etc.).
- Not as easy to find for purchase as other accessory belts.
- Doesn’t work that well in combination with ostomy pouch covers.
- Doesn’t work with all one-piece appliances.
- Adds some bulk, but it’s minimal
If you’re looking for pouch support, and don’t want to go with a support garment or wrap, I’d recommend the Nu-Comfort Belt over traditional belts any day of the week.
This is assuming, of course, that you have an appliance that works with it (2-pc, no locking mechanism, plastic flange, etc.).