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What Is Ostomy Underwear?

By Christina Edwards
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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After an ostomy procedure, a patient will usually have a bag to collect waste. Ostomy underwear is a type of underwear designed to hide a patient's ostomy bag, and it is usually made from very stretchy fabric. Wraps and belts are common types of ostomy underwear, but some ostomy underwear also strongly resembles regular underwear. Attractive ostomy underwear is also available for intimate moments.

An ostomy is a surgical procedure that is done to connect an internal organ to the outside of the body, so that wastes can drain from the body. This is usually done after a disease or injury of certain internal organs. A colostomy, for instance, is a procedure in which part of the colon is removed or operated on, and the healthy end is made to protrude out of the abdominal wall. This section on the abdominal wall is called a stoma, and the pouch that is inserted an ostomy pouch is used as a waste-collection device.

Underwear for ostomy patients is used to help hide and support an ostomy pouch. An ostomy wrap is a piece of fabric that wraps around a patient's torso. Most ostomy wraps have pockets, either on the inside or the outside, of the wrap. Patients who have stomas on their upper abdomen will usually benefit from ostomy belts.

Patients with stomas in their lower abdominal regions will usually benefit more from an ostomy belt. These are similar to ostomy wraps, but they typically fit around a patient's hips and lower abdomen. Like the wraps, though, these types of underwear often have pockets to hold ostomy pouches.

Some types of ostomy underwear also resemble regular underwear. Like other types of ostomy apparel, this underwear usually has a pocket to hold an ostomy pouch. Discreet ostomy underwear is available for both men and women.

Men who have undergone ostomy procedures can choose from briefs, boxers, or boxer briefs. Women can also choose from a variety of types of discreet ostomy underwear. Women who have undergone ostomy procedures can often choose from regular cotton panties, briefs, or even thongs.

A woman may also wish to wear attractive or alluring ostomy underwear. These types of underwear are often a good choice for intimate moments with a significant other. Some manufacturers make lacy underwear for ostomy patients, for instance.

When wearing ostomy underwear, it is important to choose the right size. Underwear that is too small, or tight, can constrict the ostomy pouch, while underwear that is too loose may not support the bag well enough. Experts typically advise patients to measure themselves before choosing the right size, since many companies may not accept returns.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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