This page will be my personal reviews and ratings of some of the products available for ostomates  - these will obviously be focused on ileostomy products although some may be relevant for all ostomates.


Oakmed Microskin Drainable Pouches
I heard about these bags from the Ostomy Athletes Forum on Facebook. The microskin flange is very like clingfilm and sticks to the skin far more effectively than the more common hydrocolloid bags. They will last more than one day and survive a high level of activity. The biggest problem with these bags was that the very thin flange made it very difficult to get a good seal. If there are any creases in the flange when putting it on then output will seap under the flange. I was also allergic to them.. and I have heard that this is not uncommon.
I really wanted to like these bags.. I could see their potential to make a difference to my lifestyle but they did make my skin very sore and I found them very difficult to put on correctly despite following the instructions given in the box and watching a You Tube video.

B Braun Softima Active (Rollup Drainable) Pouches
This was another bag I was recommended to try on the Ostomy Athletes Forum on Facebook. It followed a conversation on a post I put about the Microskin pouches. These pouches were much easier to use than the Microskin pouches BUT it was still hard to get the stick crease free. They did last well, and I wasn't allergic to them. They responded well to exercise and didn't lose stick or become itchy after wear. Again this really impressed me. Unfortunately the creases tended to lead to leaks. After a day and a half I could either see the leak forming or there was massive leakage!
So it would again seem that I am still on the look out for a new exercise and shower friendly bag. The B Braun bag is good - but again not for me.

Coloplast Sensura 1 piece drainable pouches
I ordered samples of these when I was searching Coloplast's site for the new Mio pouches. At the time when I was searching the Mio wasn't available in the UK so I ordered samples of these instead. These proved to be a good pouch - much better than the hydrocolloid based bags. The edges of the flange didn't disintegrate or come loose in the same way that my other bags had done. I found I was able to wear the Sensura bags for more than one day and do exercise sessions, including swimming without feeling that I needed to change the bag everyday. These were the first bags I had tried and used since my ileostomy that enabled to feel confident in leaving the bag on for more than one day. I first used these properly on a two week holiday to Kos where we were swimming  everyday and it was extremely hot. The bags survived both the swimming and all our trips out exploring the ruins. 
These became my bag of choice for about 6 months. They were far superior to any bags I had tried previously and were very reliable. As with all bags I had a few leaks but in general they were very reliable and coped with the pressures that my sport and active lifestyle placed on them.

Coloplast Sensura Mio One Piece Drainable pouches
The Sensura Mio range of products are Coloplast's newest addition to their stoma care range. To quote their website "SenSura Mio is a new range of ostomy products that fits individual body shapes due to the elastic adhesive and stays discreet due to the neutral-grey textile material"
I had been waiting several months for the product to be released in the UK and put on the drug tariff - meaning it could be ordered as an NHS prescription item. I finally got my sample of Mio drainable pouches at the end of January 2015. I gave the first trial pouch a typical weekend workout - 2 longish dog walks, a gym session including weights and a 4km row, two showers, a takeaway curry and a 5km run. Having put the pouch on on Friday night I decided to change it on Sunday night. When I went to change it there was no disintegration of the flange as is common, particularly with hydrocolloid based pouches, it was still firmly stuck and felt the same as it did when I put it on. As I wore it I barely noticed that I had it on - even at night, when my pouches tend to fill both with output and air it did not balloon in the same way that other pouches had done. It definitely moulded to the shape of my body and felt less plasticky and crinkly than other pouches.
I am now a firm convert to the Sensura Mio pouch. For me it is the best combination of all the other pouches I have recently tried. I love the silky feel of the grey cover and the fact that it feels less like a plastic bag. It works for me and it  lasts and survives whatever I put it through. The flange does not disintegrate and my skin does not become itchy if I keep it on for more than a day or two. I also appreciate the quick drying texture of the cover and the fact that it does not go transluscent when its wet. Even when wet the Mio remains opaque and you can not see what is inside!
For me this is an awesome product and it does exactly what I need it to do. I rarely now have to change every day - every other day is the norm sometimes it will go longer. 
Like all pouches some work for some people and not for others - it is worth trying a range of pouches and systems... you will eventually find something that works for you. Keep a look out for new systems too ... the technology is developing all the time. Many of the bags I have tried in the last year are new on the market and weren't around even 3 years ago.


Coloplast Brava Lubricating Deodorant
This is a product that I would not normally have used however I was asked to do a review on it by Coloplast. The lady who asked me to do a review had read one of my blog posts and had contacted me direct to enquire as to whether I would be interested in reviewing this product. 

The link below takes you to the review I posted on my blog:
Product Testing

I now use the deodorant most of the time. It does reduce odour and it does seem to help lubricate output so that it flushes easily. It is a luxury item in my kit but at the moment I can still get it on my prescription although this may change in the future. It can also be bought but overall it's another good product from Coloplast.

Vanilla Blush Hernia Support Garments

I have taken advantage of the NHS prescription underwear since my original stoma operation (6 pairs of Bridget Jones Knickers once a year). Around Christmas I was contacted by Vanilla Blush saying I was entitled to 3 pairs of support garments. I also use a support belt for when I go to the gym, but I thought it would be good to at least try these garments.
I asked for 2 pairs of the briefs (1 black, 1 white) and 1 pair of the boxers (black). When they arrived and I took them out of the packing they took the concept of large knickers to a whole new level. However I did try them. They are tight fitting - obviously to give extra support, but the high waist does not slip down. Once on they are very comfortable and I do feel that they give extra support to my stomach. I use the boxers (more like cycling shorts) to run in .... I have never liked running wearing a support belt because I find it rubs and moves as I run however it was much more comfortable to run wearing these. I felt they gave my stomach support but didn't affect my movement. I have also used them down the gym for cardio and core work - again they provide support without affecting movement.
These are definitely my bonus item of the year. At £30 each if I were to buy them they are expensive, but they do make a difference when I am active and doing the sports that I enjoy. If they stop being available on the NHS then I would consider buying a pair ... although 3 pairs is probably excessive especially as you can wear normal underwear underneath.