A challenge that many ostomates face is how to comfortably wear an ostomy bag under clothing.
Today I’ll be looking at the StomaTuck, an ostomy accessory that’ll have you throwing away your stoma guard – or will it?
Disclosure: The StomaTuck I’ve been using was graciously provided free of charge by the company for this review. They played no role in shaping the content of this review.
A video review for this product is coming soon! If you’d like to be notified about when it’s available, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date.
About the StomaTuck
The StomaTuck is a plastic accessory that clips to the waistband of your trousers.
Unlike with most stoma guards, there is no belt, extra padding or pieces that need to be adjusted. The design is minimalist and will be appreciated by most users, however, the lack of adjustability may be limiting for other users.
While being a “one-size-fits-all” product, it’s not as large as some stoma guards I’ve used, but it’s also not the smallest.
One problem that the StomaTuck aims to solve is wearing an ostomy appliance under clothing.
Typically, many ostomates find that their belt or waistband pinches their ostomy bag, causing stool to have nowhere to go but out (in the form of a leak!). The StomaTuck addresses this problem by offering a buffer between the ostomy bag and waistband or belt.
A second concern that some ostomates have is wearing a seatbelt or protecting their stoma from general impact. While the manufacturer doesn’t make any specific claims regarding the use of the StomaTuck for this purpose, it can offer some protection at least from seat belts that pinch off flow into the bag.
While I do make a few comparisons between the StomaTuck and stoma guards in this review, I have to be clear that the StomaTuck is not designed to cover your stoma, so I would not use it as a substitute for a stoma guard.
Currently, the StomaTuck is available in either black or brown. The black one has been used for this review.
Using this Product
The design of the StomaTuck makes it easy to use with both medium and large ostomy bags and will not work with something small like a stoma cap.
You can feed your empty ostomy bag through the top, or you can open up the Stoma Tuck and slide it in sideways. This is done while your ostomy bag is on you and the StomaTuck can be removed by sliding your ostomy bag out.
I’ve put together a video on how the StomaTuck goes on here:
When it comes time to empty your ostomy bag, you can either slide your bag out of the top of the StomaTuck or remove it by opening the front up.
If you are wearing the StomaTuck, you can either keep your shirt over your pants or somewhat tuck it into your pants (more on this below). Either way, your ostomy bag will be under your pants.
I’ve been wearing the StomaTuck for several months off and on, although I will admit that it only took a few days for me to realize that this product will not work well for me.
My biggest problem is that it introduces “pancaking” that requires my constant attention to manage.
This pancaking not only made my time wearing the StomaTuck physically uncomfortable, but it also brought way more attention to my stoma than I would like.
Questions like, “are you OK”, were asked by others as they noticed me trying desperately to force my output to go down past the StomaTuck before a leak or blowout happened.
Because my output is generally thick compared to other ileostomates, it compounds the problem even more. I would guess that someone with loose output may not have the same issue.
This problem may not be entirely due to the design of the StomaTuck, but it probably also has to do with the shape of my abdomen and the placement of my stoma. Maybe a stoma that’s lower would work better? Your guess is as good as mine.
Whether or not my abdomen or stoma is to blame, I prefer accessories that work for a wide variety of body shapes when used correctly.
A more practical concern is that the StomaTuck tends to limit my clothing options compared to using a stoma guard.
Because the StomaTuck hooks onto the waistband of our pants, it makes it awkward to tuck a shirt in. If you want to actually tuck your shirt in completely, forget about it unless you’re willing to make a few compromises.
I find the only way I can “tuck” my shirt in is to bunch it up over the top of the StomaTuck and then tuck the rest of my shirt around it. Not the best look if I’m being honest.
When it comes time to empty my ostomy bag, I fumbled a lot with the StomaTuck, often with it ending up on the ground.
Because the StomaTuck naturally wants to slide out when you’re removing your full or partially full ostomy bag, it created more stress for me when I typically have none when emptying my bag.
Under clothing, the StomaTuck isn’t any more noticeable than your ostomy bag normally would be.
I do find that because of how it holds my ostomy bag, the top of my bag tends to droop down a little more often when wearing the StomaTuck, which makes it more visible under your clothing. This is not always a problem, but it happens too often for me to ignore.
Problematic when wearing it with a shirt “tucked in” is when you lift your arms up. Doing so exposes more than if your shirt was fully tucked in.
At the time of this writing (October 2018), the StomaTuck is being sold for US$49.95 from the manufacturer’s website.
Shipping within the USA is free (when purchased through the manufacturer), although no explicit terms are listed for shipping outside of the United States.
As with many ostomy accessories, this one will likely not be covered by your health insurance provider, but you may want to inquire with them just in case.
I would like to point out that StomaTuck does offer an “unconditional, 60-day return policy”, which can be helpful if you’re undecided about whether this product will work for you. You’ll want to check out the StomaTuck website for more details.
I love the idea of the StomaTuck, and it may work quite well for some people, but I suspect that many will experience the same issues that I did.
If you have a flat stomach, stand all day, and have loose output, then it may function as intended.
But the pancaking issues it created for me were distracting and uncomfortable, and I can only presume that other ostomates with thicker output will experience the same.
Lastly, the haphazard way in which I have to “tuck” in a shirt leaves a lot to be desired from a product with the name “tuck” in it.