Ostomy belts are classified as “accessories” for ostomy solutions. A belt might be an essential component for your treatment, or it could be entirely unneeded. When deciding whether or not you need an ostomy belt, there are numerous things to consider.
Belts may help your pouching system achieve a variety of goals, like improved adhesion, emphasizing a convex system, and creating a feeling of security. The safety of your pouching system may be affected by the design of your stoma (how it was formed and how it protrudes from your skin) and the features of the skin surrounding your stoma. Some indicators, like early flange border lift, frequent edge/crease leakage, or a method that shifts with your everyday activities, may suggest the need for a belt. A belt can assist bring the pouching system closer to your abdomen, reducing lifts and leakage.
A convex pouching system may be necessary depending on stoma and skin features. Belts may assist in pulling the system further into the belly by raising the pressure of the flange on the skin. The joint pressure of the convexity and the belt may assist to flat skin wrinkles, tilt stomas up (allowing more feces to flow into the bag), and avoid stool leakage beneath the flange. Preventing leakage and finding expected wear-times for your pouching system must be among your care goals; belts may assist you in achieving these objectives.
Many people don’t need a belt to maintain a consistent wear time or to avoid leakage; they just want a better feeling of safety. Belts may provide greater support for people who frequently play sports, like soaks in baths or hot spas, or sweat profusely, especially if the tack of the pouch is a concern. Due to the obvious frequent changes in direction and bag movement, some people prefer to sleep with belts on.
A belt will not fit in all pouching systems. If you need to wear a belt for your treatment, the sort of pouching system you may employ may be limited. The 3 and 9 o’clock positions either on a bag or the flange have tabs, which are ear-like structures. There may be symbols on the packaging of your goods that indicate the existence of belt tabs. The position of the tabs varies by Product Company: Hollister and ConvaTec insert the tabs on the bag, whilst Coloplast inserts the tabs on the flange.
If you use closed-end bags that are replaced one or more times daily, belt tabs on the flange will be much more efficient than tabs on the bag itself. Likewise, not every product from each business will provide belt tabs as a choice, so talk to your ET or business customer service personnel about your best alternatives.
The belt looks best when worn in the same direction as the belt tabs: straight across at 3 and 9 o’clock. It’s possible that this isn’t following your waist. Stop getting the belt “ride up” into your waist if your actual waist is larger than the positioning of the belt tabs and pouch. As a result, instead of the belt pushing the pouching system towards your belly, a higher or improper belt will simply pull the bag up, lowering safety and perhaps creating leakage. If you have successfully fitted your belt, you may notice that it shifts with regular movement. Simply adjust the belt throughout your washroom visits, returning it to its optimal position.
Belts are flexible, and with time and with continuous usage, they will extend out. Hand-washing, gentle soap, cold water, and drip drying are recommended procedures for adding durability. Despite proper maintenance, the belts will have to be adjusted regularly to maintain their performance, usually twice a year. Latex-free belts are available for more comfort.
When wearing a belt, it must be fit but not too tight. They come in three different size ranges: small, medium, and large. Connect the belt to one of the belt tabs and pull the belt all-around back of your waist to establish the right size. The end of the belt must be approximately 1½-2 inches (3.8-5cm) far from the next belt tab when not expanded. You must be able to easily slip a couple of fingers beneath the belt once it’s connected. Pressure points may form underneath the hard plastic tabs, or discomfort may happen where the tab lies on the skin if belts are worn excessively tightly. When belts are excessively tight, some 2-piece pouching systems deform, leading bags to pop off the flange.