StomaShield by StomaGear Inc. – REVIEW (w/ video)

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While many ostomates aren’t looking to protect their stoma from impact, a stoma guard can still be an extremely useful accessory when it comes to seat belts and clothing. I’ve worn the StomaShield guard for nearly two months, and I’m excited to bring you this review.

UPDATE: There’s an updated version of this guard available. It functions the same as the one in this review but features a better waist band and an optimized design. Photos below:


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StomaShield ostomy guard REVIEW
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About the StomaShield

StomaShield Ostomy Guard
StomaShield Gard profile

Made in the USA, by StomaGear, Inc., the StomaShield is a hard plastic guard that features padding which can be added to accommodate different stoma lengths and body shapes.

The pads come in three thicknesses (4mm, 8mm and 12mm) and stick to the guard using a Velcro fastener.

While the thickest pad is great for ostomates who have a protruding stoma, like I do, it also works great if you have thicker output.

StomaShield padding

There are currently three different size guards, which you can choose depending on the position of your stoma.

A small guard is used for stomas that are at or below the line; the medium guard is best suited to ostomates who have their stoma just above the belt line (like me), and the large guard is best used for stomas that are high above the belt line.

Each size is sold separately, but the company offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee in case you get one that isn’t perfect for you.

You can see the sizes with measurements below:

StomaShield Ostomy guards
Top: Large shield (6″ x 6.5″) Middle: Medium shield (5″ x 6.5″) Bottom: Small shield (4″ x 6.5″)

The guard is held in place using an elastic, non-slip belt, which is fully adjustable and will fit just about any size abdomen.

It can be trimmed, too, so there’s nothing dangling while you’re wearing it. The belt goes on using an easy-to-use buckle, and it can be fastened and unfastened quickly.

Depending on the thickness of the padding used, this guard can keep a fairly low profile.

StomaShield with 12mm padding
Top view. Notice the nice gap too accommodate my producing stoma and thick output? This is using the 12mm pads.

How I Use This Guard

Using the guard is pretty straight forward: I place it over my stoma, so the top edge is about an inch above my stoma. If I’m doing a lot of sitting, I’ll raise it up a bit more, so the bottom edge rests comfortably over my leg.

The belt that comes with it snaps together and holds its place quite comfortably. I don’t have to adjust the belt while it’s on, and it doesn’t slide on my skin. Because it’s narrow, it also makes wearing the guard quite cool and well ventilated.

While you technically could wear the guard and have your pouch over your pants, the real magic happens when you tuck the guard and pouch under your clothing.

Because the guard has a channel for output to drop freely, it allows you to wear pretty much any type of pants, even with a tight fit.

I had no trouble wearing several types of jeans, although the jeans that came up higher were the most comfortable.

I’m also able to wear my shirt tucked in, which is often a challenge, so that alone makes this guard a valuable tool in my ostomy accessory collection.

You’d never know it, but I wore this guard while zip-lining and cave exploring without any problem. In fact, I would have had a difficult time doing either without the guard!

And if the ability to wear the clothing you like isn’t enough, the StomaShield also works great in the car as a seat belt protector. This is especially handy if you find that your seat belt comes over your stoma, or if you’d like to protect your pouch from being “pinched off” while in a vehicle.

When it comes time to empty my ostomy pouch, I simply lift the guard up and empty, then set the guard back in place. It’s not necessary to remove the guard when you empty your appliance.

Geared up to go Zip lining
Yes, I had the StomaShield under that harness.
StomaShield guard with jeans
StomaShield guard with jeans
StomaShield ostomy guard with dress clothes
Gotta tuck in your shirt? No problem.

Does It Work?

Absolutely! You don’t have to play contact sports to appreciate the benefits that this guard has to offer. I found the ability to keep my pouch under my pants to be quite convenient, and it’s given me the opportunity to wear jeans or a tucked in shirt more often.

With winter fast approaching, I know I’ll be using this guard a lot.

For the sake of being thorough with this review, I’ve used the guard with the following appliances : Coloplast 2pc Xpro and 1pc Assura, Hollister New Image 2pc, and ConvaTec Natura 2pc systems, all with equal comfort. The guard did not impact the wear time of my appliances, nor did it create any issues with my wafer or skin – if anything, it’s provided more security to my pouch.

There are a few things that I’d like to mention, since there may be factors that will impact how comfortable and effective this guard is. Keep in mind that every ostomate has a different body shape and stool consistency, so these factors likely won’t apply for everyone using the guard.

  • Thick output and/or gas can be problematic when wearing the guard. This isn’t an issue reserved only for this guard, but it can pose a small challenge. When your output pancakes (collects near the stoma without dropping to the bottom of the pouch), it causes the guard to lift. Gas has the same effect, so it’s important to deal with those while you’re wearing the guard. Thick output can be dealt with using several methods, which I outline in THIS article, but gas can be tricky. It helps to use a pouch that has an effective filter, or even the Osto EZ-Vent.
  • You will lose some pouch capacity. Don’t expect to be able to fill your pouch to full capacity before needing to empty it (don’t ever let your pouch get that full!). The guard will give you less space to collect output, so you may find yourself emptying a few extra times a day. This isn’t a problem for me since I would normally empty my pouch before it’s 1/3 full, but it does means that I can’t sleep with the guard on. If your pouch is a “small” size (less than 12″ long), then you’ll probably notice this more.
  • Bending can be a bit of a challenge too. I find that bending (like to tie my shoes) is sometimes a bit awkward with my appliance, and it’s not any easier while wearing the guard. It’s more of a problem when the pouch is filling up, but being mindful of this potential situation can go a long way. I’ll often place the guard a bit higher up than I’d usually wear it, and bending becomes much easier. Keep in mind that the size of the guard you use might have an impact on this too.
  • As with bending, sitting can be a bit uncomfortable, but really only when my pouch fills up more than 1/3. I’ve been in a car for up to 6 hours a day and the guard remained quite comfortable, so it certainly depends on certain factors and is not a reflection on the guard itself.

These minor points don’t diminish the benefits of the guard. If you have a high-output stoma, you may need to make a few adjustments, in addition to keeping your pouch as empty as possible.


Conclusion

At the time of this writing (Jan 2022), a StomaShield guard can be purchased for US149.99 + shipping. That price includes one guard in the size of your choice, three pads (one in each thickness) and the belt.

You can order extra belts or pads if they ever become damaged, but they seem pretty durable.
The StomaShield can also be shipped internationally, however, you’ll have to check with your insurance company to see if they’ll cover this type of accessory.

Even paying for the guard out of pocket is a small investment compared to the freedom and protection it offers.

Pros:

  • Protects your stoma from impact.
  • Allows you to wear clothes that would normally be difficult to wear.
  • Lifetime warranty (on the guard).
  • Offers many options to accommodate different stoma lengths.
  • The adjustable, non-slip, elastic belt is comfortable.
  • Keeps a low profile under clothing.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Durable construction.
  • Doesn’t restrict the flow of output.
  • Works great as a seat belt protector.
  • 30 day satisfaction guarantee.
  • Ships internationally.
  • Fits over just about every ostomy appliance.
  • Doesn’t interfere with the filter on your pouch.
  • Can be worn for extended periods of time without causing discomfort.

Cons:

  • Can reduce the capacity of your ostomy pouch.
  • Thick output and/or gas can cause the guard to lift.
  • Bending can be restricted when your pouch fills up.
  • On the expensive side (use to be US$89).

Highly Recommended

For more info, please visit the StomaGear, Inc. website at www.stomagear.com


I want to thank Brian Hakel, the inventor of the StomaShield and President of StomaGear, Inc. for sending the guards for review. We’ve exchanged many emails, and he’s a wonderful person who cares deeply about improving the lives of ostomates. Brian is an ileostomate due to Ulcerative Colitis, and he’s built a wonderful reputation among the ostomate community.

Question: Do you use this guard? What has your experience been like?

26 thoughts on “StomaShield by StomaGear Inc. – REVIEW (w/ video)”

  1. I don’t see how they justify the price. It’s basically a piece of plastic, foam padding and an elastic strip.
    Probably about a buck to manufacture.

    Reply
    • Hey Stan,

      I don’t know how much it actually costs to manufacturer, but it’s hard to find a decent alternative at a lower price point. I’ve had mine for years, and it continues to serve me well.

      Some stoma guards sell for HUNDREDS of dollars, and the people who use them say it’s well worth the investment.

      If you don’t need a stoma guard, then any price will seem like too much :)

      Reply
    • I made my own from some thermoplastic I got on Amazon.  I cut and formed with a blow torch, total cost was less that $10. Perfectly doable if you’re handy.  I thought I’d posted it once, bout couldn’t find it, so here it is again to get an idea of how easy it is to do. Link to video
       

      Reply
  2. Posted by: @spence

    i find that the cover fits fine but my belt, as in dress belt, cuts off the middle portion of my bag, so i have no room for the unine to go.

    Hey Spence. I know this is a suggestion that I’ve heard others make (although, I haven’t done it myself), but do you have the option to wear suspenders? Even just to try at home for a few days to get a feel of how they might help? 

    Belts are one of the reasons why I tend to wear my bag horizontally when I’m dressed up – literally to avoid my bag coming in contact with it. 

    Reply
  3. Hi Everyone! After almost a month in the mail, I finally received my box from Stomashield. However, hoping I am doing something wrong as it does not seem to work for me. I have tried all 3 sizes with the same problem to one degree or another. So suggestions are more than welcome, as i am within the 30 days of sending back to get my money back. I wanted the shield for the car for one but also as I will normally wear dress shirts and dress pants to work, and cant have my bag just hanging out (named Oscar the Pouch), so it has to be tucked in. My stoma is located at the same level as my belly button but about 2 inches to the right. I also have, like a lot of people, a bit of a stomach, not too bad, but a stomach. My dress belt comes across about 2 inches or so below my stoma. When i put on the Medium or the large, i find that the cover fits fine but my belt, as in dress belt, cuts off the middle portion of my bag, so i have no room for the unine to go. I would have to draining every 20 minutes or so. I can live with the fact that when the shield is on and all tight that the top of the shield is pushed out. Loosen shirt and it is almost not noticeable. So the dress belt crosses across the lower third, of my shield, the large one, and presses down on the bag and leaves little room for any urine to go. About the only thing i can think of is to double up the pads inside the cover and hope that there is a little more room for the bag to expand. I will try with the double pads, but not sure that is going to help I use a Hollister bag. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Any different products out there that might be better suited? I know i can call the company but not sure that they will be able to help, but will call them and see. Thanks!

    Reply

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