Wearing a Belt with an Ileostomy: Need Advice!

Jul 18, 2017 7:40 am


I'm new to having an ileostomy (surgery on 17/3/17) and I'm a bit concerned about how I would go about wearing clothes with a belt. I don't see how I can wear a belt without constricting the bag and either causing issues or causing me to have to be in and out of the loo all of the time to prevent it from over-filling above the waistline. I've already had an issue with a pair of shorts that fitted me perfectly fine before I had an ostomy, but once the bag filled a little bit, they were too restrictive and nothing fell below the waistline of the shorts. Luckily this was at home so I was able to just let the bag hang outside of my shorts, but in the case of wearing anything involving tucking in a shirt, I don't see how it would be possible. Every time I've worn jeans since my surgery I have just worn an untucked shirt so I don't have to wear a belt. I've read some things about support bands/belts, but after a very brief Google search I have found them to be quite expensive, especially for an 18-year-old uni student.

How do you recommend going about wearing something like a suit or anything involving a tucked-in shirt with a belt without causing any issues with the bag? If a support belt is the best option, what's the best one for price? I live in Australia so it would need to either be an Australian company or one that posts here.

Thanks very much for your suggestions,


NJ Bain
Jul 18, 2017 2:45 pm


I guess it depends on a lot of factors. For instance, if your stoma is located above or below the waistline and how much output you have. I have a permanent ileostomy and my stoma is about an inch above the waistline. I use a one-piece drainable pouch and I wear belts all the time. I prefer the pouch to be inside my underwear.

And you're 4 months post-op now which is still pretty new so you probably pass food/liquids pretty fast. If waste starts filling up in the upper portion of my pouch, I kind of slide it down with my fingers until I can get to the restroom. You probably have a lot of output now but your body will adjust and you will be able to time from when you eat to the time your stoma starts working. It takes about 5 hours for food to go through me now depending on what I eat.

I've never had an issue with a suit or tux and I tuck my shirts in all the time. I know you might be worried about the pouch ballooning but you can always go to the restroom and either drain it or burp the gas out.

I'm sure other members will chime in here. Please feel free to ask any other questions.


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Jul 21, 2017 3:18 am

I have used suspenders since I would have a problem with a belt cutting off my bag at the waistline. I have some nice rainbow ones that hold my pants up nicely. My other ones come undone when I sit down and I have to reclip them. Only problem, girls like to snap them.

Jul 21, 2017 11:31 am

This might be mainly a guy issue, but many women attempt to wear belts, with some success. We are more used to wearing underwear that hugs the belly and flattens the pouch against the skin. Because of that, we probably empty the pouch more often. I sort of lost my waistline during the various surgeries, so I no longer have a defined waist area. My midriff (or muffin top) is where my waist should be. But I was married to a man who had an ileostomy. His revision was well placed just under the waistline, so he was able to wear a belt... just not too tight, or it would cut into the top of the wafer and dislodge the seal. Over the years, he experimented with different sizes and textures, and even gave wearing the wide belts of the 60's a try. Eventually, he settled on a thin, soft leather type... The comfort level depends on the placement of the stoma and the fit of the pouch. If the waistband works for you, it's a good investment. Best of luck to you. Marsha

Jul 22, 2017 2:35 am

Hello everyone,

Sorry for such a late reply, I've had a bit going on in the past couple of days with uni starting this coming Monday.

I haven't tried wearing a belt yet as there has been no need, but when I do I will need to get a new one anyway as all of my current belts can't be loose enough to accommodate the bag. My ileostomy is slightly below and to the right (my right) of my belly button, and so it is above my waistline. I've thought about wearing braces, but they aren't particularly fashionable in this day and age, particularly for an 18-year-old guy. No offense if any of you wear braces. Therein lies the problem. Do I wear a belt and either empty more often or risk problems with the bag being cut off, or do I wear braces which would cause fewer issues but wouldn't suit me. I'd be fine with wearing braces if they were "in style", but I'm not the sort of person that likes being different and standing out. I'm not saying that I'm stylish at all, far from it, but I'd rather not look visually different if possible.

Regarding the waistband, I've read some things online that it can help give the bag a bit of support and structural integrity, which helps to stop it from being compressed too much in one spot. I've never tried one myself, so I don't know how well this works and spending up to $100 on something that I haven't tried and may not work is a bit expensive.

I might try getting a belt that is a bit bigger so that I can wear it looser than my current belts. Thanks for the input everyone. Great to see that there is hope. It's all part of the experience of life, I suppose.

Thanks again,


Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Jul 23, 2017 6:17 am

Hello again,

Quick update: I decided to just give it a try today when I went to the cinema with some friends. I wore jeans and a belt for the first time in months. It worked out fine, I managed to get the belt just loose enough so it served its purpose as well as not constricting the bag. I suppose I just need to worry less about some things and just do it. Thanks for the suggestions, it was a nice little victory.


Jul 24, 2017 7:06 pm

Another option is to wear the bag horizontally. When I use a Stealth Belt ostomy belt, that's how I wear the bag. I irrigate, so I don't wear a bag often.

Jul 24, 2017 7:08 pm

Hi, Hungry Hamster,

I find that with a belt line stoma one needs to use a plate. I use the Stoma Shield which is American but it costs a fair bit to pay duties besides the price. Another alternative is the built-in plate in Comfizz belt. There will be other plates and belts on the market and maybe some specific to whereabouts you are.

Your plate covers your stoma with usually a belt attached to the plate. It protects it, including against the pressure of a belt or waist on jeans, etc. One can then wear a suit or jeans or pretty much anything. It also protects in cars, etc. I use this system when going out except just locally when one can wear say a tracksuit type bottom trouser.

There's a reservation; the belt will need to be shifted around a bit at times in terms of the fit to the waist. A belt with the capacity to easily relocate the waistline by shifting the belt buckle tongue into different holes is best - like the Intaglio (belts with leather braid, etc). There are other types that might work.

I also put the bag in a wrap like those by either Comfizz or Ostomy Secrets. More usually in daytime I use Ostomy Secrets. These are usable with the Stoma Shield and its elastic belt over the wrap but not with the thicker elastic support belts (e.g. Comffizz); that's because with the support belts the bag goes through the hole and the waist is too big and cuts against the compartment in the wrap.

I think Comfizz has a new cheaper plate and square on the market.

Bear in mind this is the UK I am in; I am using these with Dansac products.

This may help but check out the Stoma Shield advert and be prepared to be hammered for costs perhaps if ordering from the US (check this out just in case).


Jul 25, 2017 3:55 pm


I have an ileostomy which is below my belt line. I still wear a belt as I need it to keep my pants up. I am constantly checking to see if my bag is bulging or if it shows. More often than not, it doesn't show even when I look in the mirror. It is more about me being self-conscious than anything else. However, I do wear sports coats, vests, or sweaters at certain times of the year which hide any bulging caused by my bag.

I have tried to wear suspenders but I don't like the look as I am particular about my dress and the way I look.

The only time a belt seems to be a hindrance is if I spend long periods of time sitting at work. The belt seems to cut off the flow of body fluids due to the sitting position. Therefore, I will periodically stand up and pretend to stretch to allow the fluid to disperse downward.

You are new to your ileostomy so you will develop little tricks of your own to help you when wearing a belt. It is just part of the game you play when having an ileostomy. At times, I laugh to myself as I think of my ileostomy and the little tricks I come up with that no one knows but me, neither my co-workers nor my friends. You will do the same once you become acquainted with your ileostomy.

Best of luck

Tom Schneider

Jul 27, 2017 6:28 am


Cinema with friends and belt and it all worked out? Great job, Hamish! I asked this question long ago with no answer but how do guys wear clothes to cover a bag? I guess you just watch the belt and adjust as needed?

I find that diet affected me a lot. If you go for an all-you-can-eat pasta dinner, you really increase your likelihood of a huge volcanic bag blowout. Bread, pasta, really come out as--bread and pasta! A little too realistically for my comfort! And a major bag stress. So I avoid them now.

As you're ileostomy, I would imagine that every calorie counts. Watch what you eat, pay attention to your digestive patterns, and you'll 'get it', and soon you'll have at least a semblance of control over your ostomy output. THEN you can program and control dietary input for outfits to suit.

My colostomy is right on my beltline. I can never wear jeans again! Poo!