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Beating Bowel Cancer Community

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Posts in this section can only be replied to by the Beating Bowel Cancer nurses. If you wish other users to respond to your question you will need to post it in another topic on the forum as well.


Support Belts

When my husband had his ileostomy, he had a support belt (wide type - not the wee skinny ones) that he used when on his bicycle, motorbike or when working in the garden. It meant that his bag was much more secure when doing these activities and he could be quite confident that they wouldn't cause the bag seal to come away.

After his latest operation, he now has a permanent colostomy. When speaking to the stoma nurse, we mentioned that he was thinking of getting another belt. However, she surprised us when she said that they don't recommend them as they can cause hernias. This took us by surprise - so much so that we didn't think to ask why they would cause a hernia. It has us puzzled especially when these belts are typically used by folks who already have hernias?!? My husband's next appointment to see the nurse is not for a few week, and we'll ask her why this is their thinking, but I was wondering if this is well known theory and what other health professionals opinions were on this matter?


I am sure the nurses will come up with an answer @Ev. But I was advised a support belt by my surgeon and stoma care nurse after my ileostomy (developed a hernia almost instantly) Since my reversal, I have continued to use it for active jobs, because I am more likely to get an ache or even pain, if I don't use it. Logic tells me my muscles are shot to pieces and need as much help as they can get.


That's certainly a strange thing for a nurse to say, I had a Hernia prior to me using a belt, support underwear etc and I'm 100% convinced that had I used a belt earlier I would not have developed a Hernia in the first place. I too had an Ileostomy and now have a Colostomy, I use support underwear every day and use a Belt when I know I'm going to be doing anything more strenuous and it certainly seems to work for me.

Tony M


Hi @Lizalou and @tonym , Thanks for your help. Like you, we thought that the belt would be a good thing. He's due to have an appointment with his surgeon in a few weeks too, so I think we'll pick his brains about it as well. We just couldn't understand the logic behind what she said.

Charlotte Nurse Advisor

Dear @Ev,

Thank you for your question and apologies for the delayed reply. Thank you to others for your responses.

When I was a stoma care nurse we certainly recommended the use of support belts but as it has been a little while since I worked in stoma care I have checked on the relevant websites such as the colostomy association and they certainly seem to still recommend the use of support belts / garments to help prevent or manage a parastomal hernia.

I also did a little research into the incidence of parastomal hernias, causes of and treatment but many of the articles are quite old (early 2000's) and don't mention belts being the cause of a hernia developing.

I would recommend contacting the stoma care nurse and just explain you are a little confused about this and asking for a little more explanation.

With kind regards,



Hi @Charlotte Nurse Advisor , thank you for getting back to me and for looking into things for me - it's much appreciated. We will definitely ask her to clarify things when my husband sees her in a couple of weeks