I’m a big fan of stoma guards, because they can come in handy in so many situations, but their design often creates a few challenges.
In this review, I’ll be looking at a unique stoma guard called the StomaDome.
I was contacted by company Stoma Lite LLC, who sent me one StomaDome, and Velcro Crescent stickers that go with it for this review.
If you’d like to watch the video review, check it out below:
The StomaDome is made in the USA by SomaLite LLC., and it’s been created with the aim of addressing some of the common concerns you tend to find with other stoma guards, namely their size and comfort.
Unlike most other stoma guards on the market, the StomaDome does not rely on a belt or band to keep it secure, instead it attaches to a velcro sticker placed on the front of your ostomy bag. This concept can work for and against the StomaDome, but I find that it depends on how you use it. I’ll explain this later in the review.
As I mentioned, the StomaDome doesn’t need a belt or band to keep it in place, but it does need a velcro sticker, which can be ordered together with the guard or as a separate item (there are 52 in a pack).
Each velcro sticker is meant to be affixed to your pouch for a long as you wear your pouch. This is a good thing if you use the same pouch for many days, however, it can become inconvenient and expensive if you change your bag once (or more that once) a day.
Aligning the guard can be tricky, and I’ve had a few instances where the guard was applied a bit on an angle, so I’d suggest using a mirror. If you do manage to get it off-center, you won’t be able to re-apply the velcro sticker, and the guard will be less effective at protecting your stoma from impact.
One issue I have with the StomaDome, is that it slides around your bag, rather than stay put. This becomes even more of a challenge if your bag has a cloth fabric. When I do wear opaque pouches with this guard, I’ll cut part of the cloth away and place the StomaDome directly onto the plastic in order to minimize this movement.
While I’ve used this guard on several different two-piece appliances, the “sliding” described above does make me worried about using it on a one-piece, since the plastic flange of a two-piece creates a safe clearance for the StomaDome to move around on.
While I have been able to use this guard in situations where my stoma was being hit often and hard (i.e. on amusement park rides), I feel like I wouldn’t have the same protection from hits that were in a sliding motion (i.e. rock climbing). This is mostly due to the fact that because the guard isn’t being held in place, it easily shifts around (as I mentioned above).
Most guards work best when your pouch is completely empty, mainly because they reduce your pouches capacity. This guard is no exception to that rule, but while it doesn’t reduce the capacity of your pouch, it does sag and/or lift as your pouch fills, and that reduces it’s ability to work as a guard quite substantially.
Based on the very compact design of this product, you’d expect it to keep a low profile under clothing, but I found that the opposite is true some of the time. Because the guard isn’t being held down by a band or belt, it can sometimes stick out further than a thicker guard that is being held in place. This can be worse when you have a cloth-covered, opaque pouch, but with that said, you can get a much lower profile by wearing an ostomy wrap or specialty garment, like the Stealth Belt, together with the guard.
Speaking of the Stealth Belt, I’m happy to report that the StomaDome is compatible with the Stealth Belt Pro that I use, and it’s one of the only guards I’ve seen that works with it. Using it with the Stealth Belt also keeps the guard in place better (and avoids much of the shifting I referred to earlier).
Another great feature is the fact that this is the only guard I’ve seen that works well under most pouch covers. I often wear the StomaDome on a clear pouch with a pouch cover over it without any trouble. That’s a nice bonus!
If you’re an ostomate who prefers to wear guards on occasion, the StomaDome is small enough that you can keep it in your ostomy travel kit or purse for use when you need it.
As you can see from the comparison below, it’s by far the smallest guard I’ve reviewed thus far.
My stoma rests high above my trowsers belt line, and since the StomaDome is really small, I can’t offer much feedback on how it works with clothing. If you’ve got a low stoma, then this guard may help you to wear a belt more comfortably; I prefer to wear larger guards that protect my bag from pinching if I’m wearing it under clothes.
On a special note, I would like to say that I’ve been able to use this guard on well over 100 rides varying from large roller coasters, to aggressively fast rides, to the drop tower, and even rides that spray you with water, and I’ve had no trouble. In fact, because of the low profile of this guard, the harnesses on these rides were quite comfortable
At the time of this writing (July 2015), the StomaDome can be purchased for US$49.95, and you’ll get 52 Velcro stickers to go with it. As I mentioned earlier, your mileage will vary on those stickers depending on how often you replace your pouch, but the StomaDome itself will last many years.
This product ships internationally, and the shipping rates are pretty reasonable: approx. US$2.50 within the US, or around US$10 to ship to Canada. Shipping rates are calculated online, and it’ll vary depending on where you live.
Like other guards (and accessories in general), you likely won’t be able to claim this with your insurance company.
This guard has a lot of things going for it that you simply don’t find in other guards, but at the same time I can think of a lot of situations where this wouldn’t be my first choice for protection. If I had to classify it, I’d call it a “lite-duty” guard that works best in low-risk situations. While I’ll continue to take this guard out to the amusement park, I would hesitate to use it during contact sports.