Protecting your stoma from impact is a real concern for any ostomate. Playing sports, doing office work, even interacting with the family dog can be risky business if we aren’t careful, but being worried about it isn’t something we should be doing 24 hours a day!
Enter the Ostomy Resolutions Stoma Guard by Sure Guard Inc.
This review is based on guards that were sent to me by Sure Guard Inc. in order to give them feedback.
About the Ostomy Resolutions Stoma Guards
The Ostomy Resolutions Stoma Guard is a hard, plastic guard that’s meant to be worn over your stoma to prevent injury from impact.
Each package includes three adapters that are sized to fit nearly all 1pc and 2pc appliances.
The guard has two belt hook openings on the front which allow you to use a traditional ostomy accessory belt to secure the guard in place. If you wear a support band or ostomy wrap then it’s possible to use this guard without the accessory belt since the support band will hold it in place.
The front of the guard is open on the bottom half to allow your ostomy bag to dangle freely.
Currently, you have an option of the original guard or a flat guard. The flat guard is meant for people who have flush stomas, and the original guard works well for people with protruded stomas or stomas that output thicker stool.
From the moment I saw the video introduction of the Ostomy Resolutions Stoma Guard on YouTube, I knew it would something special and I took immediate interest in the product.
Having used the original guard for both strenuous yard work and indoor home renovations, I’ve never felt that it was obtrusive or interfered with what I was doing.
It also allowed me to carry things that I’d normally avoid out of fear that they’d smash into my stoma.
Things like large boxes, laundry baskets, wood, and tools were no match for the guard’s hard surface (and I got dinged a few times!).
Since I’ve started using a standing desk, it also means that my stoma (which is perfectly aligned to the table edge) is protected at all times.
This assurance makes my day-to-day living far less stressful.
When it comes to emptying my ostomy pouch, I leave the guard in place and it doesn’t interfere.
I actually find emptying my pouch easier when I have the guard on, likely because the output collects at the bottom of the pouch better.
Sitting, bending and moving weren’t a problem with the guard on. I should note that if you plan on wearing your guard to bed, do so only if your stoma tends to be less active at night.
I found that if my pouch got too full or ballooned, the guard would start to lift. Of course, it’s never advisable to allow your pouch to fill up that much during the day, but I thought I’d mention it.
During my time with the guard, I’ve tried several different ostomy appliances, from the new Coloplast Sensura Mio to both filtered and filterless Coloplast Sensura Click pouches and also the Hollister New Image pouches.
Thanks to the various adapters which come with the guard, I can easily find one that fit each of these pouching systems.
I did find that the uniquely large filter on the Sensura Mio made things feel a bit tight, and that specific product’s filter also seems to cause pancaking even without the guard.
If you use a Sensura Mio product, go for the filterless version.
The locking mechanism on the Sensura Click wasn’t a problem, and the Hollister New Image pouches, even with Hollister’s “floating-flange” was easily accommodated.
I was even able to wear the guard while I had the Osto Ez-Vent attached to my pouch, and it was unnoticeable.
The instructions for the guard state that removing the belt tabs from your ostomy appliance will improve comfort, but I’ve worn the guard with and without those belt tabs and it feels comfortable either way.
If you still want to use your accessory belt when you aren’t wearing the guard, leave those tabs on your pouch or flange.
Putting the guard on is easy. As you can see in the images below, you slide the adapter ring over your pouch, then slide the guard so that it snaps into the adapter then attach an accessory belt (or let a wrap/tight clothes keep it in place) and you’re done.
I usually put the adapter and guard on at the same time to cut down on a step.
As a benefit to using the guard, I’ve been able to wear certain articles of clothing in a way that I couldn’t before.
Because my stoma is close to my pant’s belt line, I often keep my belt just below the wafer, which causes friction. Putting my pants above my wafer was troublesome as there was always a risk of the pants sliding down on top of my stoma. The guard allowed me to wear my pants higher without any of those risks or challenges.
The Ostomy Resolutions website offers other suggestions on what to wear for both men and women.
One concern I brought up with Donna, the inventor this stoma guard, was whether there might be any chance of developing pressure sores from using the guard for long periods of time.
This is a concern that even ostomates who use convex appliances should be aware of, but to my relief, she explained that the design of the adapters prevent the pressure that would lead to skin problems; after wearing the guard for extended periods of time, I can agree that there is no real concern.
If I had to make one complaint, it would be that some people might find that the original guard sticks out too much.
I have a stoma that protrudes a bit, so the extra clearance (approx. 1-1/4″) is actually a good thing for me, but if you have a stoma that is flush with your skin, you might feel that there is too much clearance.
Fortunately, there is an option to go with the flat guard, and you can see just how much lower the profile is.
In the photo’s below, you can see what the original guard looks like. I don’t think the size is a big deal and the clothes you wear can make a world of difference.
At the time of this writing (Jan 2017), the Ostomy Resolutions Stoma Guard can be purchased for US$74.99 through the Ostomy Resolutions website, and that includes three different adapters to fit your specific flange size. You can also purchase additional adapters for US$8.50 each.
This product is available to international ostomates too!
Unfortunately, I don’t know of any insurance providers who cover stoma guards, so this will likely be an out-of-pocket expense. But even with that in mind, it’s a heck of a lot more affordable than some other stoma guards selling for $200+.
If you don’t already have one, I recommend picking up an ostomy appliance belt (those 1″ wide belts you can find at your local ostomy supplies dealer) for greater security and additional wearing options. Ostomy belts are usually sold for under $20 and most insurance would cover them, just be sure that you get one that works with your specific appliance too.
I can’t express how much I love this product.
It’s given me a confidence that I didn’t know was missing, and it’s taken a burden off my mind from always feeling the need to protect my stoma.
Regardless if you are at home, playing with the kids, doing sports or just want to go out with some assurance that your stoma is safe from impacts, the Ostomy Resolutions Stoma Guard should be something to consider.
Original Review: Jun 12, 2014
Extensive Updated: Jan 24, 2017