Why prevention is better than cure

Comfizz Ostomy Support Wear Vs. Hernia

Did you know that when an ostomy is formed you are highly susceptible to abdominal and parastomal herniation? And were you also aware that you, as an Ostomate, are entitled to 6 pairs of support wear if you have a permanent Stoma and an NHS Medical Exemption Card?(England only)

Level 1 Comfizz Support WearSadly, we are seeing more and more patients, new to the Ostomy world, being discharged from hospital with no to little awareness of the herniation risk.

When a stoma is formed the stomach muscle is cut to allow the bowel to be brought out to the surface of the skin and so it becomes a site of weakness.
The risk of developing a hernia after stoma formation rises to 30-50%, possibly even higher; it’s been noted that many hernias occur in the first few months after surgery.

A recent trial was held at King’s College Hospital in London to see if wearing Comfizz ostomy support wear prevented hernias occurring in Ostomates. Half of all patients that had undergone stoma formation were given Comfizz Ostomy Support wear to use for their first year with a stoma. The remaining half went about their usual daily routine without any support wear and then the figures were compared between the two groups.

The results were astounding; the clinical trial proved that using support wear really does make a huge difference and significantly reduces the chance of herniation. More details, results and in-depth information from the clinical trial can be seen upon request.

Using support wear not only has a positive impact on the patient, but on the NHS, too. Each year, its estimated that parastomal hernia repair surgery costs the NHS £171 million which is a massive amount considering the extremely poor success rate the procedure carries.

When I was given my ileostomy back in February 2014, my stoma nurse were excellent, however, the word ‘hernia’ was not mentioned to me once. I was left clueless, new to the world of Ostomy, hernia’s had never even crossed my mind and I had no idea it was even possible with a stoma.

When it came to discharge day, my surgeon half-heartedly touched on the subject, but to be honest it just went over my head. It was only once I was home and started interacting with other Ostomates online did I understand the true extent of how common and severe hernia’s really are.

Through my own research, I discovered the world of Comfizz Support Wear that is designed specifically to support the abdominal area and thus preventing hernia’s and protecting the stoma and pouch, too. Through the clinical study, Comfizz has proven that their support wear achieves great results in hernia prevention and so all levels and colours of Comfizz support wear are available on NHS prescription for both children and adults with permanent stomas (UK only, max 6 garments a year).

Here at Stomawise we are determined to raise awareness to all Ostomates, new and old, encourage Stoma nurses around the UK to discuss the risks of parastomal herniation with patients, and more importantly, provide each new Ostomate a Comfizz support garment upon discharge. We know that the prevention is better than the cure!

It’s important to understand that Ostomy Support Underwear and Ostomy Underwear are two very different things.

Ostomy Underwear alone will not offer protection like Support Underwear does. To those of you that don’t already wear Comfizz support garments, I bet your thinking “But wont the pressure cause me to have a leak“? Good question! Even I at first was apprehensive about using support wear for the very same reason and because many support wear garments have that ‘medical’ look about them and being a 26 year-old female, it really didn’t entice me to use/try support wear. That was, of course, until I discovered Comfizz and their trendy, colourful and comfortable range of support wear that is anything but ‘medical’ looking.

Here at Stomawise we have been trained by Comfizz and are certified to sell, advise, prescribe and distribute Comfizz Support Wear to all Ostomates.

We also offer this service to those of you located outside of the UK and are authorized to sell Comfizz Support Wear where you aren’t entited to support wear on prescription.

Below is a more in-depth description of the Comfizz products available. If you would like to place an order, have any queries answered or would simply like advice on support wear and hernia prevention please contact rachel@stomawise.co.uk to arrange a call-back.

Comfizz Support Wear is available at 3 Levels:

Level 1: Light support wear available in the form of vests, high waist briefs, standard waist briefs, unisex boxers in high and standard waists, unisex 10″ and 7″ waistbands for women.
And for Men we have support vests, high and standard waist unisex boxers and the 10″ and 7″ unisex waistbands. N.B Various sizes and colours between garments.

Level 2: Medium Support Wear comes in briefs for the women and unisex boxers for both men and women. Sizes available are S/M, M/L, L/XL, XL/2XL and 2XL/3XL.

Level 3: Firm Support Wear in the form of a girdle belt. If light or medium support are not sufficient for your needs then this firm level 3 belt should fit the bill. With built in stabilising ribs to prevent wrinkling you will experience consistent firm support, ideal for managing a hernia, during strenuous exercise or heavy lifting. Openings in stoma support wear are not a good idea as this wold replicate the weakness around the stoma here a hernia will often push through. However, in the Comfizz level 3 belt which could restrict the stoma without an opening, we have overcome this problem with an integral prolapse cover. Once the belt is in place with the pouch pulled through, the stretchy prolapse cover can then be pulled across to reinstate support over the stoma to a comfortable level. The belt height is 15cm with 60mm, 72mm or 85mm pouch aperture holes and in 6 lengths (M,L,XL,2XL,3XL,4XL). N.B: The belt is available in neutral colour only.

Juniors: A range of Level 1 Support Wear for children. Briefs in white, pink and black for the girls and boxers in white, black and blue for the boys. A girls vests in pink and white, and a boys vests in white and blue. A junior unisex waistband is available in white, black and neutral in sizes XS,S,M,L.