Ostomy Protector Seat Belt Cover: REVIEW

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Some ostomates have concerns about wearing a seat belt, while other ostomates have had problems while trying. The Ostomy Protector aims to help with this problem by providing a unique solution to protecting your stoma.

The nice people at Ostomy Protector were kind enough to send me this product for a review, and I’ve used it for over nine weeks (as of Nov 2016) to get a better understanding of how it would work in my daily life.

Video

About the Ostomy Protector

Product name: Ostomy Protector
Manufacturer: Aleta Wilkerson
Product #: n/a
Dimensions: Total packed size is approx. 9cm (3.54″) wide x 13cm (5.12″) tall x 6cm (2.36″) thick.
Quantity per package: 1 Seal Belt Guard
ostomy-protector-overview
The Ostomy Protector is made of two halves that are joined together to help with making easy adjustments.

The Ostomy Protector is made up of two foam blocks that are covered with fabric; the company refers to these as “pillows”.

These blocks are approx. 9cm (3.54″) wide by 13cm (5.12″) tall and are firm but not hard; these blocks are also 3cm (1.18″) thick.

Each block is joined by a strip of fabric that’s approximately 14cm (5.51″) in length; this helps to keep the blocks from separating too far from each other.

These blocks also have a Velcro loop on one side which allows them to be attached to a seat belt easily.

Because the blocks aren’t fixed to one another, you can easily spread them to fit properly over just about any shape and size of ostomy appliance; this even works if you wear your bag horizontally.

You can remove each foam block from the sleeve they are in (so you can easily wash the product).

ostomy-protector-foam-blocks
The foam “pillows” can be removed if needed (for cleaning)

The main function of the Ostomy Protector is to protect your stoma from seat belts. It does this by creating a buffer between your seat belt and stoma, but it does not protect your stoma directly (like a stoma guard would).

The advantage of this is that you don’t have to wear it wherever you go and you can keep it in your vehicle all the time.

Another advantage is that it does not interfere with the flow of your output like stoma guards can. This can be especially helpful if you’ve got thicker output and avoid stoma guards because of that.

If you travel, you can also bring it along to use on planes, taxis, or other vehicles with seat belts.

Why Even Use This?

It’s a fact that over 50% of people who’ve died in a motor vehicle accident in the United States were not wearing a seat belt (SOURCE).

I’m willing to bet that the percentage of ostomates who do not wear seat belts is even higher than the general public for several reasons:

  • The belt may interfere with the appliance, making it uncomfortable to wear.
  • The belt may go over the stoma, causing it to bleed or become damaged.
  • Many ostomates experience leaks because their belt crushes their bag.

I would never want any of you to avoid wearing a seat belt because of these potential problems.

That’s why I use and recommend seat belt protectors like the Ostomy Protector.

Using the Ostomy Protector

To use it, you simply open the Velcro fasteners on the back of each block, place the blocks against your seat belt, then close the Velcro fasteners. You are free to adjust it after it’s on the belt.

ostomy-protector-installation
Installing and removing the Ostomy Protector only takes a few seconds.

Removing it is just as easy as you simply follow the instructions in reverse.

Alternatively, you can hang it off your pant belt to act as a stoma guard.  I gave this a try a few times but found it to be quite clumsy and very bulky compared to using a regular stoma guard, so I wouldn’t recommend that this product be used solely for that purpose.

My Experience

There’s no doubt that the Ostomy Protector does what it’s supposed to do.

I feel confident that my stoma is sufficiently protected, and it’s been able to accommodate my appliance regardless if I’m wearing it vertically or horizontally; tucked under my clothing or hanging out.

My biggest challenge is that Ostomy Protector is bulky.

I can live with the bulk for the most part, but I also like to leave it attached to my seat belt when I’m not driving, and it does get in the way when my wife is using the car.

Another concern is that when I’m wearing more than just a t-shirt, the bulk becomes even more obvious. This can be a problem because it makes using the product a bit uncomfortable.

In the winter time, especially here in Canada, coats are a must. Because of that, I would not recommend that you use this product over your coat as it may impact the usefulness of your seat belt.

Unfortunately, wearing it under a coat (at least a short coat where the seat belt goes under it) is impractical because of the bulk it creates.  In this scenario you either drive without your coat on or skip using this product altogether (probably ok if your coat is providing enough “padding”).

This “coat problem” may exist with or without the product in place, and it’s been advised that bulky/puffy coats be taken off when wearing a seat belt.

Who Needs This and Who Doesn’t

This is definitely one of those products that can either help you or do absolutely nothing for you.

If you already wear a stoma guard, then you likely won’t need this at all. But if your seat belt rests over your stoma (and it bothers you), then the Ostomy Protector will certainly make things more comfortable for you while driving.

Your stoma placement, whether it protrudes much or not, your height/weight, as well as the type of clothing you wear are all factors to be considered when determining whether this product might be right for you.

I personally find seat belt protectors, such as the Ostomy Protector, to be more useful than not.

Conclusion

At the time of this writing (Nov 2016), the Ostomy Protector sells for US$29.95 plus shipping & handling.  This is more expensive than other similar products, but it’s less expensive than most of the hard plastic stoma guards on the market.

These are also available for international delivery, which is a bonus if you can’t find a product like it in your country.

Like other accessories, this product will likely not be covered by insurance, but it’s an investment that should last you many years.

Pros
  • Helps to prevent seat belts from crushing your stoma.
  • May help to prevent leaks caused by pressure from your seat belt.
  • Can be used on various belts, not just ones in cars.
  • Fully adjustable.
  • Durable fabric.
  • Avoids the need to wear a stoma guard while traveling.
  • Ships internationally.
  • Made in the USA.
Cons
  • Bulky, especially when compared to smaller seat belt guards.
  • Moves around and often needs to be repositioned before placing it over your stoma.
  • Can be quite inconvenient for those who share a vehicle with you.
  • More expensive than similar products.
  • Does not replace a stoma guard for protection against direct impact.
Recommended for some

The Ostomy Protector can be a valuable addition to an ostomate’s accessory kit, but it’s not for everyone.  If your stoma or appliance is often in the way of wearing your seat belt, then this would be worth checking out.

I can’t recommend it as a regular stoma guard (over your pants) because it’s too bulky and doesn’t offer direct protection from impact.

For more information on the Ostomy Protector, please visit https://ostomyprotectorseatbelt.com/
Question: Have you used this product? How did it work for you?
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dogtalkerer
6 months ago

I looked at my seat belt this morning.  though I have a colostomy, on the other side, the General Motors vehicles seat belt only “sits” across my waist, it applies no downward pressure or pulls down on the stoma area.   possibly a little snug in summer, though I’ve never noticed?  but anytime in colder weather, I see clothing providing sufficient buffering.  your not strapping yourself in as a suitcase on the roof of the car.vegan did you actually experience flow problems with a seat belt or since you were concerned enough to ask the doctor,  did you just start out using the guard?  or maybe its the vehicle type?

JTVT
6 months ago

Some initial thoughts. I just purchased this product and so far so good. As someone with a protuberant stoma it provides good protection. In fact, I wouldn’t be able to use something with any less padding and if I used this one directly on skin or over thin T-shirt I would likely need more padding to fully protect. We’ll see how it works once summer arrives. Regarding the issue of use in climates requiring bulky clothing. What I tend to do is unzip the bottom of my parka and position the guard over my sweater, etc. This eliminates the bulk factor but allows me to keep my much needed coat on. This may not be a readily available option for men as not all coats have the bidirectional zippers but you can also just unzip/unbutton your coat completely to reveal enough space to position the belt. I found this worked ok. The guard does require some repositioning each time as it twists when you get out and the seatbelt is retracted, but I think the minute of extra effort is worth it as I feel secure once it is in place.  

LK
6 months ago
Reply to  JTVT

@jtvtHello, Linda here….I am 5’6″ and like you mentioned lacking in fat in other places as well as my hands. My stoma falls out to a good 1 1/2 – 2 inches on average all the time. My first seat belt experience was not pleasant! My stoma is right at my usual waste band of all my clothing and seat belts, and,  because it is hard to find pants with the 18 inch rise from center crotch, to just above my pouch.  I have learned to carry a tape measure and will not even try pants on unless they have that 18 inch rise to below the waist band, this allows for shrinkage.  I call then my chin up pants! lol. But I also found a good alterations handy for proper butt fix.  I am already badly anemic and any little bump or rub, my stoma  bleeds. It’s okay that you asked your own questions and nice you tried to find answers first, but we are here for you too and everyone has a different way of wording  their  own questions so go ahead and ask away.  I know for myself  I may forget to mention something  in one forum but remember in another.With limited funds,  I had made my own seatbelt stoma protector.   I cut a section off a pool noodle and then cut that  in half length wise.  I then glued each half to a kitchen sponge with a bit of over hang to soften the edges of the noodle, later trimming as need be.   To secure the noodle to sponge, I applied a white glue and then over night I weighted it down with heavy books till it dried.  I made a tube from material I had and secured the sponges in that at the appropriate distance to keep the seat belt and the material off  of  and away from my stoma.  Next I made another tube for a sleeve, wider, to allow for velcro and to fold over the width of a seat belt to secure it to the seat belt.  Some hand sewing was involved to keep the material off my stoma and make the bridge between sponges I find this works well for me. I just leave it in the car and find no need to protect my stoma much at home. I have two little  dogs now and that requires lots of bending and picking up, one is a puppy being house and now outdoor trained. I also garden and do all my own housework, most of the time. This was a cheap and easy fix for me.   If you don’t sew you could always find a person who does Alterations. They are usually crafty people and like to solve problems too.  Fix up your sponges ahead of time and go with a plan and perhaps some measurements. She/he should be able to work with you from there.If you don’t have material I would certainly use a pair of longer mens wool/ (or¿)  work socks to accomplish the tubes. Hot glue is a handy thing and you can buy a strip of velcro at a sewing material store.  Also, the only change I might make is in finding a piece of hardish plastic to make the deck for  the bridge above my stoma.

Rella Goodson
Rella Goodson
6 months ago

I want to buy a protector for my husband where can I do this

LK
1 year ago

I read it here Norm, thank you.  Glad to help.  It is a hard adjustment regardless of our age. I was about 50 when I rec’d my stoma (now 61)  and learned to love it quickly over what I had been going thru. It just takes time to adjust to all the changes. Maybe if she has questions or just needs encouragement, she or you, could say so here on a new forum. We all rise above the strange intrusion of our new little friend, and most eventually name it (mine is Rose…and not her first name by any means!), it actually helped me accept it better. No question is stupid or call for encouragement unnecessary. We are here for you both.

john68
1 year ago

Hi Norman, A private message should show up in blue when you log in. Click to view and reply.Or go to members click on the person you want to contact and you will see message in blue 👍

LK
1 year ago

Eric,  this looks like a nice design.  It is very similar to the one I made a few years back…before I ever thought I should find you and other info. on the computer.  It’s a long story.  I have said it before…you ARE a God send!  Everything we did not know we needed in one swift easy to access place and videos full of information and experience.  Thank you again!

Awc19
1 year ago

I have a small soft throw pillow that I keep in my car and put it in front of me and buckle the seatbelt around me and the pillow and it keeps just enough cushion to keep it the seatbelt from pushing onto my stoma. I now keep one in my husband’s car so I have one at all times. Am flying for the first time next weekend and the weekend after that and plan to carry the pillow in my backpack for the seatbelt on the planes. 

Norman
1 year ago

Thanks for your prompt reply. I cannot find the manufacturers web site, are you able to let me know. Kind regards Norman

Norman
1 year ago
Reply to  VeganOstomy

Many thanks will contact them and let you know how I get on

Norman
1 year ago
Reply to  VeganOstomy

Hi I have ordered direct with international shipping so should see it very soon and will report on it’s usefulness. I don’t know how to contact Linda (LK) for her message and advice. My wife was very touched by her kindness and hopefully now a lot more positive about her future and new life. Best wishes to you all. Norman .

Norman Hoskins
1 year ago

Hi my wife has recently had a ileostomy and as she is the only licensed driver she finds the seat beat across her abdomen very uncomfortable and reluctant to drive anywhere. Is this available in the UK or can anyone tell me where I can order. Thanks Norman

Kathleen
Kathleen
1 year ago

I love this product.
I purchased one for each vehicle of our 2 vehicles. I have them attached to the passengar side lap belt of the vehicle my husband drives and to the drivers lap belt in my vehicle.

I actually read all the reviews from your site and settled on this product.
My stoma is right where the lap belt hits and even with convex barrier suggested by the ostomy nurse, I was concerned about it digging in as it was just hitting the area slightly and hurting, so I got this.
I see how you can keep them spread apart but what i have done since I got them is to push the 2 pieces of foam together and works wonderfully for me.
I do have to put some extra velcro on the 2 pieces of foam as I want them tighter fit on the lap belt and prevent them from flipping over so foam is away from my body.
Thanks for your wonderful site.

Dan Cooper
2 years ago

Ostomy Seat Belt Protector
I travel a lot and have found seatbelts, especially on airplanes, to be very uncomfortable because they press on my stoma. After viewing your review, I thought the solution might be the Ostomy Protector.

The Protector does make using a seatbelt in a car or on a plane more comfortable, but as you point out in your review, it is bulky. And it isn’t always convenient to use.

In the car, I left it attached to my seat belt when I’m not driving, and this was a problem when my wife used the car. It also takes a bit of time and finagling to switch it from the driver’s side to the passenger side when I’m a passenger and my wife is driving. Now, I just use it on the passenger side and it works quite well there and relieves the pressure on the stoma. However, the other problem with leaving it on the seatbelt on the passenger side is that when you get out and close the door, the protector often gets in the way of the door closing.

In the winter time, I find that my bulky winter coat provides more than enough padding to make the seatbelt comfortable, so I didn’t use it as much this past winter.

I’ve taken the Ostomy Protector on several long flights, and it is comfortable. However, on my first flight, I attached it to the seatbelt and then forgot it on the plane when I left. Fortunately, I was able to reboard while the cleaning crew was still there and they handed it to me. On subsequent flights, I attached the protector to my pants belt and it was then impossible to forget it. It did draw some funny looks, however, when I went to the washroom. But it does work well to relieve the pressure of the seatbelt.

If you already wear a stoma guard, then you likely won’t need this at all. But if your seat belt rests over your stoma (and it bothers you), then the Ostomy Protector will certainly make things more comfortable for you while driving. I find it much more comfortable that a hard plastic stoma guard, which digs into my skin.

In the end, I would recommend the protector for flights as long as you have a good memory and don’t leave it on the plane. I would also recommend it for a car, especially on the passenger’s side.

SqueakyandLiza
6 months ago
Reply to  VeganOstomy

Posted by: @VeganOstomy Has anyone else had problems with their seat belt?

Eric, I guess there is one advantage of having a recessed stoma – my body is a built-in stoma protector.  🤣 Gotta look at the bright side.