Okay, so this device does look a bit strange! I’ve had comments of intrigue and confusion after posting photos trying it out. I’ve used it 5 or 6 times now, so it’s time I elaborated and put an end to the mystery of the Stomydo!
First of all, a bit of background…. Stomydo is a company based in the Netherlands, and the designers behind the Stomydo stomashower and wafer heater. They approached me after seeing a video I shared of changing my ileostomy bag asking if I’d be interested in trying it and sharing my experience. I had lots of questions at first too, unsure exactly what it was for and why I’d need such a thing! I was still undecided, but figured it was worth a try!
What exactly is it?
Essentially, just as the product name suggests, it is a shower for stomas. It connects to the tap over your bathroom sink so you can wash around your stoma at the sink without having to have a full shower.
Who would use it?
Anyone with an ostomy who has leakage or peristomal skin issues, or if you prefer to shower with your bag on.
Is it easy to use?
Short answer, yes! It’s very easy to use and surprisingly mess free.
Once you have the connection for your tap sorted (it will depend what country you’re in as to if/what sort of connection you’ll need), it’s easy to take the stoma shower on and off whenever you want to use it. Stomydo sent me a few different tap connectors, which you’d also find cheaply at a local hardware store. The one off fit for the connector to the tap was simple, and the tap still works as normal for everything else.
One hose from the Stomydo screws straight onto the tap, and another drains the water through directly into the sink. You place the outside cup onto your skin around your stoma (which acts a little bit like a vacuum or suction cap), and adjust the water temperature and pressure to create a nice little shower straight onto your stoma. The hose disconnects just as easily, you give it a quick rinse and dry and store it away for next time. It’s relatively compact and comes in a nice little plastic case for easy storage.
What’s the point? Why not just take a normal shower without your bag on?
Yes, true! It’s probably more cost effective and easier to shower without your bag, but not everyone likes to shower sans bag.
I’ve tried showering without my appliance a few times, but I personally prefer to shower with my bag on. This means the skin around my stoma very rarely gets properly “washed” or showered with water.
When I have showered without a bag, I found it difficult to move around and dry myself without making a mess everywhere. With the stoma shower, you are already dry, and even if your stoma is active whilst you’re using it, it is all contained in the sink, so it’s much easier to manage and you don’t have to contend with pooping whilst trying to dry yourself!!
If you prefer to shower with your bag like me, using the ostomy shower means your stoma and skin get a good wash (rather than just using wipes). However, if you happily shower without a bag, and don’t have any leakage or skin issues, then the stoma shower probably isn’t for you.
What are the benefits?
Irrespective of whether you shower with or without your bag, the stoma shower is also beneficial for people who get a lot of leaks and/or have skin problems.
I am lucky that I rarely get leaks and my skin is quite healthy, but many ostomates do have problems with these things, which can be painful and frustrating.
If you get a lot of leaks and don’t want to have to jump in the shower every time to clean yourself up, the Stomydo might be a quicker and easier option (for example if you have a leak in the middle of the night). Plus it’s possibly more environmentally friendly as it uses less water!
I can’t say I’ve seen any noticeable difference to my skin since using the stoma shower, however I have only used it a handful of times, and as I said, my skin was already quite healthy to start with. Stomydo did advise me that a trial with 75 people reported great results with their skin, and that cleaning with lukewarm water was very good for the peristomal skin condition (and I can see how this could be the case). Stomydo noted that the combination of lukewarm water and the vacuum brings about good skin condition and recovery of irritated peristomal skin, and that the skin condition is improved because of the stimulated blood flow.
Using the Stomydo stoma shower does feel nice on the skin. I felt like I was pampering myself and giving my stoma some special TLC (tender loving care). We give our skin facials and our nails manis and pedicures, so why not give our stoma and peristomal skin the same treatment?!
Although it does give your stoma a good wash, I still needed adhesive remover wipes to get rid of some of the more stubborn gluey bits from the old bag and seal that stick to your skin, as these didn’t come off during the stoma shower.
The Stomydo stoma shower certainly won’t be for everyone. It’s a personal preference and I’m still unsure how much use I will get out of it. Given that I shower with my bag on, it does feel nice to give my stoma a good thorough wash and some ‘pampering’ every now and then. It definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I can see how it would benefit someone with very bad leakage or skin issues too.
Overall an interesting (but nice!) experience, and a product that you could say brings about a positive feeling towards stomas as well 🙂 Plus it’s a definite bonus that I can now choose to shower my stoma without having to stand in my own poop!
How much does it cost and where do I get one?
The shower on its own is quite pricey, but remember it is a one off investment with no ongoing costs. Stomydo also ship for FREE, including to Australia!
There is a discounted combo price if you purchase the stoma shower and wafer heater together. That said, I wasn’t overly impressed with the wafer heater and didn’t find it terribly effective (I prefer using my hairdryer to help with adhesion). I have since been advised that people using convex or material with a thicker wafer have reported this problem, and Stomydo are looking into ways to improve this (including extending the heating time and raising the temperature).
Stomydo sent me these to try free of charge. You can find more information including prices on their website www.stomydo.com/
Stomydo is distributed by Wegimed GmbH for Germany, Austria and Luxembourg. For other countries, you can order via their webshop online, fill in the contact form on their website, or contact Nena directly via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy showering! 🛀 🚿