Stoma Surgery and Stoma Guards
After 8 years of successfully living with an ileostomy, I started to run into an issue. The past few months I had been dealing with repeated blockages behind my stoma. It was painful and debilitating. Already a tall and skinny guy, I still managed to lose 30 pounds over the last few months. After consulting with 4 different surgeons and gathering their opinions, I decided to get a laparoscopic stoma revision surgery .
The 1st week after surgery was tough, but quickly got better each day. Using the StomaShield that I created was quite uncomfortable (for the first week) when used for long stretches. So I only used it as needed, and definitely came in handy on the car ride home from the hospital. However, as the swelling and tenderness subsided over week 2 and 3, I was able to use the StomaShield more and more. Over the weekend (at 3 weeks post surgery) I was able to drive my family 3 hours to see my parents. While I was there, I participated in a woodworking class (traditional hand tool techniques). There is no way I could have safely performed my woodworking without my stoma guard. Although I was a little tired, I enjoyed learning something new and refining my skills.
The StomaShield, along with modern surgery techniques, allowed me to get back on my feet quickly and enjoy life to the fullest.
- Brian Hakel
Stoma Guard Tips and Tricks
The stoma guard made by StomaGear is extremely useful for anyone living with an ostomy. We have 1000's of customers around the world who believe the StomaShield stoma guard is indispensable to them for living with an ostomy. See their Testimonials here. Out of all the stoma guards in the market, the StomaShield has the most features. Some may not be immediately obvious. Here are a few tips and tricks to help improve your quality of life with an ostomy:
Ever had your shirt get in the way while draining or changing your bag? Tired of holding your shirt under your chin? With the StomaShield's elastic belt, simply scoot the belt and shield above your appliance and tuck in your shirt under the belt while you drain or change your bag. Finally, hands (and chin) free!
Tired of that ruffling noise your bag makes while walking around? Fold down top of bag under StomaShield for more discreetness under shirt.
Ever been driving, had your bag fill up above your seat belt and find yourself shuffling around trying to push your output down and under it? If you were to suddenly stop while driving, what would happen to you stoma unprotected? Whether your on a short trip or long road journeys the StomaShield stoma guard made by StomaGear solves a number of these issues (seat belt protection, drainage under clothes and seat belt, etc). Be free to do what you want, when you want. My wife and I went on a 2 week, 4,000 mile road trip in Spring of 2016 without any issues to my stoma, thanks to the StomaShield.
Plan on flying with an Ostomy bag? Worried about the seat belt? The StomaShield is impact resistant plastic, not metal like other stoma guards on the market. Which only sets of the metal detectors at airports and other venues with metal detectors (sporting events, concerts, government buildings, etc). Flying is not difficult at all, even with the TSA. I use to fly every week for months in a previous job, with an ostomy bag! First thing to do if you can is drain your bag in the restroom before getting in the security line. The x-ray machine picks up liquids and only raises more questions. But don't worry if you can't. Right before you step into the x-ray machine at an airport, tell the TSA agent that you have an ostomy bag. They say no problem, just proceed with an x-ray and get your fingers wiped and analyzed. They sometimes ask just to quickly pat down your bag (while your clothed) to make sure you're not hiding anything in there. It's quick and painless and not embarrassing in my opinion. From my experience, it only takes about 1 minute longer than normal. The key is to be open and transparent with the TSA agent. They will guide you along. They seem to be much better trained about ostomy bags than they were 5+ years ago. So get out and fly, whether for business or pleasure!
Around kids or pets? Find yourself covering your stoma with one hand, and wrestling a pet or child in the other? Free your hands with the StomaShield stoma guard and play like with kids or pets just like you did before your ostomy. Our stoma guard protects your stoma from any impact big or small. Keep both hands free and don't worry about your stoma anymore.
You asked, we listened. New and improved belt for the StomaShield is here!
One of the biggest requests we hear at StomaGear is asking if we have a wider belt. I've actually been on the hunt since late 2015 to solve this very issue. After tons of research and testing existing materials, I learned there is nothing commercially available (off the shelf) that has all the characteristics I would want. So it had to be custom made for our application. What I thought I was asking for was simple: elastic, soft, adjustable with velcro, silicone grip strip, latex free, then sewn through a simple triglide ring. After talking with several medical grade manufacturers, I found one that could do it all. That was 7-8 months ago. That's how long it took to get here. Getting a large manufacturer's attention requires a large, no huge, minimum order. These kind of decisions can be quite risky for a small business. However, I was confident that this is what I want, and more importantly what the customer wants. I've been testing prototypes of this very belt for several months now. I'm really excited to bring this to our past and future customers. Yep, you heard that right, this will work perfectly with nearly all previous generations of the StomaShield going back almost 3 years. As long as it has a 2" wide belt slots in the shield, this new belt will work great and be a tremendous upgrade. We start shipping the new belt with all new orders immediately. So we hope you check it out and give it a try. We still stand by our 30 day money back guarantee.
For new customers, check it out at www.stomagear.com
For returning customers wanting to upgrade, check it out here: https://www.stomagear.com/products/optional-accessories-extra-belt-for-stomashield-belt-only
Ostomy adventures - Reason # 1,316 why you need a stoma guard
When wearing a stoma guard like the StomaShield everyday, you can be spontaneous. Spontaneous adventures are usually hard to do with an ostomy, otherwise. Earlier in the year (late April) my wife and I took a long road trip across the southwest. From Texas to New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and back home. An amazing journey that we have been dreaming about since we were married in 2012. We camped nearly every night along the way not just to save money, but get out and enjoy nature at it's finest. Car rides, or even road trips like this are so comfortable with the StomaShield stoma guard.
While we were in Zion National Park, Utah, my wife said, "I would love to go horseback riding". A quick search found they have horseback rides in Zion. We made a reservation for the next morning. Our campsite was just outside the park, to avoid the crowds. The next morning we were scrambling to get up the mountain to Zion....
- Brian Hakel
Helping US Military Veterans with an Ostomy
Here at StomaGear, we are proud of all of our US Military Veterans. Once we found out that we could help those Veterans who have an ostomy, we immediately registered our company with all the appropriate entities to do be able to do business with the federal government. We have already helped many Veterans who benefited from the StomaShield.
The process starts with the Veteran contacting their ostomy/wound care nurse through their VAMC hospital and tell them that you need the StomaShield made by StomaGear! Don't forget to look up which size StomaShield you need and mention whether you have a left/right side stoma. We will need that info in the order form that the VA sends to us. If approved by the nurse and all other parties involved, the VA will pay for the StomaShield and then we will ship it directly to you!
The VA can cover the FULL COST of the StomaShield under most conditions. If you are a Veteran, or know a Veteran who has an ostomy, pass the word on. Recommend the StomaShield product to the VA nurses and surgeons so they can recommend this to other Veterans. We want to improve the quality of life to as many of those as possible.
To all of our US Military Veterans, thank YOU for your service!
As seen in the Phoenix Magazine...
It's been quite a journey. I decided to share my personal story with the Phoenix Magazine and they put it on the front cover. What an honor!
If you are a subscriber, check out the March 2015 issue or online at http://www.phoenixuoaa.org/
Don't let an ostomy get you down. You can do anything with an ostomy. Make today better than yesterday. Tomorrow will be even better.