One of the issues that many ostomates face is that they’re often confronted with challenges when it comes to clothing and their new stoma. For some, having a pouch means they can’t wear their shirt tucked in comfortably or jeans are awkward to wear. For others, exercising or general activity is uncomfortable because of their “extra baggage”.
Many ostomates go YEARS without finding a solution and others try every accessory they get a hold of until the right one works. One solution that I’ve found is the Stealth Belt, which is a custom-made support belt, which offers a comfortable pocket to keep your ostomy pouch out of sight and secure.
The company offers several options, but I went with the Stealth Belt Pro. The Stealth Belt Pro seems to be the most popular and it’s fully customized, specifically to fit your flange and waist size. I got mine for $110 + $10 for the “noise mufflers” (which I haven’t used) plus $49 for shipping to Canada. Because each belt is handmade, it takes some time to receive after an order is placed. I ordered mine Sept 10, 2013 and received it Oct 8, 2013. A long wait, but it was well worth it.
Putting it on is pretty easy, your ostomy pouch fits into a pre-cut hole in the back of the bag and then it sits securely in a pocket inside the belt.
Here’s a “how-to” collage, courtesy of Stealth Belt.
Once the belt has been secured and your pouch is happily resting in the pocket, you are good to go and enjoy whatever activity you like – the company’s founder even water skis with his! I usually wear the belt when I go out, but if you work in an office or enjoy the security it offers, you can wear the belt all day.
Emptying your pouch while wearing the bag is easy enough since there is a zipper on the bottom, which gives you access without the need to remove the belt. Keep in mind that it can take some practice to empty your pouch while it horizontal. I often rotate the pouch vertically, empty it, then rotate it back – this is easy to do with most Coloplast 2pc systems.
If your 2-piece pouching system doesn’t allow for easy rotation, I do have a NICE TRICK that can help you.
I took a few photos so that you can see how it looks with different clothes on.
Here are a few PROS and CONS that I’ve found with the belt. I’m not being paid for this review, so these are my honest thoughts after using my belt for a few weeks.
While the Stealth Belt is an expensive accessory, I find that this investment will offer me years of comfort. US residents will pay less for shipping, so it’s a better value for those living Stateside. If your ostomy is temporary, then you’ll have to decide if the cost is worth the short time you’ll have your stoma.
I have yet to use my belt in the summer, and when I do, I’ll be updating this review as I’ll have a better idea of how the heat affects my comfort.
I did purchase two “noise mufflers” for the Stealth Belt, which can be used for stoma protection, but I find that they put too much pressure on my stoma when wearing them in the belt, so I don’t use them. If I were doing contact sports, I’d likely opt for a harder stoma protector (like the Ostomy Resolutions Stoma Guard, Stoma Shield, Ostomy Armor or Freedom Guard by Stomaplex).