Pantyhose and Ostomy Pain: Seeking Advice

Dec 23, 2018 11:10 am

Hello there fellow pantyhose wearers! I need some advice. In the winter months, I have no option but to wear tights or hosiery under dresses and it's causing me a lot of pain. I haven't had anything burst because I empty it a lot more frequently, but I definitely wear dresses for special occasions only due to the discomfort. Thigh highs aren't really an option because my legs aren't toned and they fall down. Does anyone have experience with this problem as well? I wear a size up and I used to be able to find lower rise hose with a wide band, but it seems I either have hose that fall down my legs or crotch, or wear some sort of control top. Anything very tight around my surgical sites, even after years, still hurts. Suggestions, solutions, or commiseration are all welcomed!

Thanks, Katie

Dec 23, 2018 12:04 pm

Hello bubbles2010.. I do wear pantyhose from time to time. I also wear high-rise Jockey panties, which help with wearing pantyhose. I say that because I put the panties on after the pantyhose. I used to wear Spanx, but after my surgery, it was too tight on my stoma. But the high-waisted panties tend to hold you in and help with wearing pantyhose. Now that works for me, it might work for you too. Have you tried stockings with a garter belt? I do hope you find a solution. Hope this helped!


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Dec 23, 2018 11:28 pm

Thank you! My ostomy is below my belly button after much begging from my surgeon. I have amazing panties I exclusively wear from Soma. They are great. I wear the Vanishing Tummy Retro Brief for dresses and skirts since it's higher and the Vanishing Tummy Modern Brief the rest of the time. They really help add a tiny bit of support to prevent the dreaded pouch crotch drop. They are expensive, but I buy them on clearance and hand wash them. They also are seamless with 5+ silicone strips to hold them in place.

I need to find the pantyhose that I used to have that came to my belly button with a comfort band.

Dec 23, 2018 11:29 pm

I just wish pantyhose in general weren't uncomfortable.

Dec 24, 2018 6:29 am

Hello Bubbles. I don't think we call it pantyhose in the UK. The term here is usually 'tights' and this label  more or less sums up the problem. Many years ago when I was fit enough to climb mountains, we used to wear tights as a lightweight undergarment to keep us warm. If I recall correctly, we did as Angelicamarie suggested and wore pants over the top, which kept them from slipping down.  In those days, I also worked for a firm which manufactured nylons - so we were able to make odd small batches of tights to suit our needs. (usually higher than 30 denier)  I just wondered, if you have a design in mind for ostomates, whether one of the manfacturers might be willing to try a batch to market specifically for people with stomas. You never know, they are always looking for new markets. Also, you might like to look on websites such as the US equivalent of 'UK tights', which appear to have a whole range of pantyhose. (Far more variety than the basic stuff we used to make)

I hope you eventually find something to suit your needs.

Besr wishes


Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Dec 28, 2018 5:24 am

Can you use maternity pantyhose? I wanted to wear jeans but where my ileostomy is placed, it is where the band would go. One of the ladies on here told me to try maternity jeans. I tried them and they work perfectly! The stretchy part cradles the bag just great!

Jan 02, 2019 5:43 am

That's my next stop. I also only have one pair of jeans because as a 31-year-old, I really want to be somewhat stylish.

Maternity jeans are expensive, but I'm going to go to one of the nice stores that is usually fairly empty so I can explain my situation and get personalized service.

Where did you get your jeans and can you describe them? I am of normal weight, but I have some tummy flab after 7 abdominal surgeries and I often get bloating and always unbutton my jeans in the car. Sometimes I even use the hair band trick!

Jan 02, 2019 8:06 am

I got my jeans at the Goodwill thrift shop. Like anything pregnancy, the clothing is only slightly worn and in good shape. They were only 5 dollars and after washing, looked great!

Newbie Dana
Jan 07, 2019 10:23 pm

As a woman, I find gathered skirts with an elastic band to be most comfortable, and I wear sandals in the summer (no hose) and longer skirts with socks in the winter (also no hose). At age 62, I basically made a decision that my comfort was more important to me than uncomfortable fashion. I also have a large peristomal hernia, which is doubly hard to wear hose with.

I wonder, though, if you might find a garter belt and regular hose rather than pantyhose to be your answer. There are several garter belts which are narrower and won't extend down to the point where it would be uncomfortable against your stoma. Look in some of the "intimate shops" like Cirilla's; they should have what you need.

I used to wear thigh-high stockings with a very wide comfort band at the top, but found them very difficult to find some time ago.

Jan 07, 2019 10:38 pm

I'm a guy, so take my comments with a grain of salt. However, I am a marketing researcher and my clients have included both Playtex and Hanes hosiery. Additionally, the challenge of tight underwear over one's stoma is not gender specific.

First, you should check out the offerings at They specialize in solutions that make people not give up on fashion.

Second, I have developed my own workarounds where I try to keep the bag outside of my underwear (being covered by my underwear always seems to smoosh things up too much). Current fashion trends with the shirt untucked really help, and I also do a version where I wear briefs below the stoma line and then baggy shorts or boxers, with the elastic above the stoma line. People often associate control top with pantyhose. However, if you give up on that idea and instead pull them up, and then roll the elastic down to just below the stoma line, you might be able to get the pantyhose to stay up while not interfering with surgical site areas. If you wear a dress, or a skirt with the waist above the stoma, the bag can hang free underneath and not be seen. That's what I do virtually all the time with my untucked shirt. The pouch is covered by my shirt, and it never shows. Once in a while I have to think about it, like putting luggage in the overhead bin, but it's not a big deal. If you are concerned about the pouch not being secure if it is outside of your underwear, there are lots of great wraps available, both at ostomysecrets and other places.

Jan 08, 2019 7:11 am

Hi Bubbles2010.....I always wear stockings....I used to have to dress for work and always wore form-fitting clothes. I wanted to try "smooth out" everything. Now I still wear them and pull them up and find where my stoma is and cut a hole in the stockings and pull my bag through. I almost always wear a tank top to hold the bag in place (more to make me feel secure so the bag doesn't flop around). Hope this helps.

Jul 26, 2023 1:43 pm
Reply to Bill

This is an excellent understanding, comment Bill.
And with global trading now - a possibly feasible scale-up product for manufacture.
IMHexperience, the bikini brief rather than the high leg thong type brief works best in conjunction with a soft-waisted pair of tights .....
That said, I feel sure a bespoke and 'affordable' double garment could be manufactured under license as a universal product - i.e., not only for ostomates, as the falling, i.e., slow slippage of tights is an issue for many women - and especially for those on a budget, as it is usually the more expensive brands that result in a good wear time without as much - if any - "slippage".
Also, for all girls of any age, we can wear a sexy under and over brief so as to not detract from our 'appeal' when in a state of intermediate clothing.
Viz ..... we all NEED to FEEL GOOD!
So Administration, please tag under 'feelgood' factor as well as female clothing.
Hope this may help in a constructive way ....
Historically, the States seemed to be more bite the bullet and suck it and see - than the UK ..... but, with more global marketing and targeting - especially with augmented intelligent software such issues will become addressed WORLDWIDE ..... and soon.
Best Wishes to All