Saturday, November 2, 2013

Awestomy Wrap Review

About a month and a half ago I got a new wrap from Awestomy, a new company that makes ostomy undergarments, and I have been meaning to write a review since then.

Beyond a review, I also wanted to talk a bit about what the deal is with wraps. I'm usually pretty amazed that so far none of my GI docs have ever seen a patient wearing one before, and no ostomy nurses I've encountered have had any idea such a thing existed! No wonder there are so many folks out there stressing out about what to do with their pouch as they go about life! No, you don't have to have it flopping about, or hanging outside of your clothing, as I've seen many a question on facebook groups and message boards. Tucking it in to a wrap helps keep you discrete and helps smooth out any contents. I'm honestly not sure how I'd function if I didn't have wraps to keep the pouch secure, and I can gaurantee that my wear time would be less due to the weight of the bag pulling on the adhesive. This is one of those product types (like Skin-Tac) that was a game changer for me, when I found the ostomysecrets.com website years ago.

These ostomy specific wraps are different than a simple tube top, which you could wear around your waist just as easily, in that they have two inside pockets on the right and left side. This keeps your bag from resting against your skin, where the edges can be irritating and in warmer weather the plastic makes for a sweaty time. The pockets are on both sides so as to work for folks with an ostomy in either (or both!) location.


Personally, I'm a minimalist. I don't like having to fiddle with zippers, or velcro or other elaborate contraptions to empty, and I hate wearing any more clothing than I need to (no wonder I love cycling!). I also don't like the constricting effect of standard, old fashioned, elastic ostomy straps. I like wraps for their simplicity and freedom of movement, as well as low profile under a t-shirt or dress shirt. In the past I've had wraps from ostomysecrets.com, and those are still the majority of my collection.

Pros: 
1. The wraps from Awestomy.com are different in that the top is a bit higher and they have a silicon band around the top seam so it will not scoot itself down during activity such as running, biking, etc. For activity this is super nice, since repositioning a wrap mid-run is always a bit awkward.

2. The silicon band and higher waist ensure that the top crest of the pouch doesn't peak out over the top of the wrap, which was ever so slightly the case with the ostomysecrets.com wraps. This is a nice features if I know I'll be changing in public (not that I care either way or have ever been shy!), running around topless, swimming, etc.

3. They come in more colors than white and black! I'm a fan of the grey and argyle.

4. The material is soft enough to be comfortable all day long, and the seams don't rub.

5. Customer service is awesome. I custom ordered a 27 inch waist size, and they were happy to oblige, despite that not being one of the standard sizes available. And, the size seems to be pretty spot on (note, I did order it a hair big due to my anticipated issue with the band, in case you were looking at the photo and thinking "that doesn't look tight at all"). Nice work, guys.

Cons: 
1.  I will confess that the silicon band does make it slightly harder to access the pouch and empty it - a very minor inconvenience, and I suppose I'm just fussy or lazy.

2. The band does make you aware that you are wearing something around your waist, not uncomfortable but aware, much in the same way that a loose elastic band on your wrist feels present but not uncomfortable. Again, maybe I'm just inordinately fussy, especially for somebody who spends a lot of time wearing spandex.

3. Finally, why no neon colors, guys?! Don't you know pink is the new blue for men in 2013?! Yet, these are all minor complaints, very minor complaints.


The verdict: Awestomy is awesome. The pros of having a wrap with a higher top and a silicon band to keep it in place outweigh the cons, and you can't have one without the other for this feature. Hot pink, or maybe some electric green (?), would make my day. Zebra print would also be sufficiently loud. But, I'll settle for ordering another grey one for now! Thanks for making such great products, Awestomy! I'm not sure what I'd do without such creative folks out there looking out for their fellow ostomates!







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