The My Hip T: a great product for ostomy pouch coverage

I have always been a bit of a gear junkie. I like having just the right backpack, sleeping bag or outdoor clothing for the specific adventure I am embarking on. This plethora of outdoor gear often comes at the expense of other things. For instance, our home furnishings are a hodge-podge of hand-me-downs. Living room color scheme—what’s that? New couch or climbing gear? The climbing gear wins every time.

I have found that just as I like the right piece of outdoor gear for a given objective, so do I like to have specific ostomy products for different circumstances. I love my Ostomy Secrets swim wrap for trips to the pool. My Vanilla Blush undies are really comfy under my jeans for everyday wear. Comfizz boxers are my favorite item for holding my ostomy pouch and hernia belt in place when I rock climb. Each of these products is unique, and I wouldn’t want to be without any of them. I always promised myself after surgery that I would not hold back on getting the ostomy items I needed to make me feel comfortable and confident—even if it meant cutting other things out of the budget.

Recently, I had the opportunity to try a product that has a very unique niche in my wardrobe and has become one of my favorite ostomy-related clothing items: the My Hip-T.  I had never heard of this product before, but last summer the designers of the My Hip-T sent me a few samples at no cost to test out and provide feedback. They have customers who wear the My Hip-T to cover ostomy pouches as well as diabetic insulin pumps and wanted my thoughts and feedback on the product. After testing the garment out, I loved it so much that I have wanted to write a blog post about it for some time. A deluge of difficult news lately put a damper on wanting to write about much of anything, but I am feeling more at peace with all the things that are happening and am ready to blog about all my favorite ostomy subjects.

Showing off the grey colored My Hip-t.
Showing off the grey colored My Hip-T.

As ostomates, we often hear about many of the products that are designed specifically for life with a stoma. However, there are many mainstream items out there that are very helpful too. The My Hip-T is a stretchy cotton wrap that is actually designed to help conceal the bum exposure and muffin top that so often occurs with lower-rise jeans. The tube-top-like garment goes over the upper portion of your pants and ends up looking like a nice layer when worn under a shirt.

Since surgery, many of my favorite shirts have ended up at the back of my dresser drawer because they are just a little too short length-wise and expose the part of my ostomy pouch that sticks out above the waistband of my pants. The My Hip-T has allowed me to re-introduce so many of these much-loved items back into my wardrobe.

I generally do not have good luck with the regular ostomy wraps that are designed to wear under jeans, skirts and trousers. My stoma is located lower on my belly, and the bottom of my ostomy pouch extends past the bend in my leg. When I try to wear an ostomy wrap to cover my entire pouch from top to bottom, it always rolls up near that crease in my leg. As it rolls up, it cuts off the flow to the bottom half of my pouch. The My Hip-T is different. Because it is designed to be worn over the top of your jeans, it clings very well to the fabric and stays in place. The My Hip-T fits snugly around my hips without being too confining and does not block the flow of output from reaching the bottom of my pouch.

Ostomy-specific wraps that are designed to be worn under my pants often cut off the flow in my pouch due to the crease in my leg.
Regular ostomy-specific wraps that are designed to be worn under my pants often cut off the flow to the bottom of my pouch when they roll up at the crease in my leg.

When I want to be absolutely sure my ostomy pouch won’t show when I reach for something and my t-shirt rides up, or if I am wearing something form-fitting, I usually wear higher-waisted ostomy underwear. They do a great job at hiding my pouch without rolling up, and I wouldn’t want to be without them in my clothing quiver. However, sometimes it is nice to wear my comfy non-ostomy undies and just let my ostomy pouch flop over them. The problem with this is that it leaves the top of my ostomy pouch exposed above my pant’s waistband. The Hip-T has given me another option for smoothing out and concealing my pouch when I don’t feel like wearing ostomy-specific underwear. It is so easy to throw one on at the last minute and have confident coverage. If I am traveling, I automatically put one into my luggage. I know that no matter which jeans or shirts I packed, my pouch will be easily concealed with the My Hip-T.

When I wear t-shirts with shorter hem lines, my pouch often shows above my jean waistband.
When I wear t-shirts with shorter hem lines, my pouch often shows above my jean waistband.
Th My Hip-T provides coverage for my pouch.
The My Hip-T provides great coverage for my pouch.
When worn under shirt, the My Hip-T looks just like a layering piece without all the extra bulk.
When worn under a shirt, the My Hip-T looks just like a layering piece without all the extra bulk or warmth.

My Hip-Ts are made out of a thick spandex cotton fabric. It is soft and looks just like a layering t-shirt or tank under my shirt but without the added bulk or warmth of a whole second layer. The product comes in basic colors, prints or an option with lace on the bottom. The one with lace looks pretty with some of my dressier shirts.

The My Hip-t comes in a version with lace on the bottom edge.
The My Hip-T comes in a version with lace on the bottom edge.

As soon as I discovered how handy My Hip-Ts were for everyday wear, I decided to give them a try for active outdoor sports. I wore one over my running tights on a trail run and was pleased with it. It held my hernia prevention belt in place well and kept my pouch from flopping around. It concealed my pouch well with my running tights and tank.

I always wear a Nu-Hope hernia prevention belt when I run.
I always wear a Nu-Hope hernia prevention belt when I run.
The My Hip-t held my hernia prevention belt in place well and helped conceal it-- even in form-fitting running clothing.
The My Hip-t held my hernia prevention belt in place well and helped conceal it — even in form-fitting running clothing.

Overall, I am impressed by this piece of clothing. At $19.95 each, the price of the My Hip-T may seem a little high at first glance, but the quality is great and mine have held up well through multiple washes. It is also made in the USA. The product can be purchased in a two-pack which reduces the cost per item. My Hip-Ts can be found at: www.shophip-t.com.

Thanks to the My Hip-T, I won’t have to part with some of my favorite t-shirts and blouses that had hemlines that didn’t work well with my ostomy.  However, that doesn’t mean a trip to Goodwill still isn’t in order. Hmmm–maybe it is time to get rid of that dress that I sewed to wear at my friend’s wedding back in the late 1990s!

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17 thoughts on “The My Hip T: a great product for ostomy pouch coverage

  1. Hi Heidi,
    I am a week in to having my ileostomy and am just now trying to figure out how to wear normal clothes. I have always been very active (Crossfit, running, yoga, snowboarding, etc) and I’m having a tough time figuring out how to wear my lululemon yoga pants and other tight fitting workout clothes. Do you wear your bag at an angle? What type of appliance (and size) do you use?
    I’m 5’2″ and around 100 lbs so I don’t know if being thin is adding to my issues of hiding the bag?
    Any helpful hints you can give would be so very much appreciated! I’m dying to get back to yoga.
    Thank you! 🙂

    1. Hi Mari,

      Sorry it took so long to respond. It has been a hectic week. I don’t wear my bag at an angle and prefer to wear it hanging straight down. The way my stoma is placed, when the bag starts to get 1/4 to 1/3 full, the fullest part seems to sit just at the crook in my leg which sort of conceals it. I am 5’8″- I don’t know if that gives me a bit more room between my belly button and the bend in my legs for my pouch. I can’t see how being thin would make a difference though.

      Part of it may just be that your abdomen is swollen. You are very fresh out of surgery so give things a chance. Even though I was a bit underweight after being sick and having surgery, it took about 8 weeks for my clothing to fit right because of subtle swelling.

      Once you are healed, my favorite garment for wearing under tighter yoga pants are the Comfizz High-waisted Ladies Level 1 boxers.

      http://www.comfizz.com/products/ostomy/level1/ladies/boxer-highwaist-black.html

      They hold my pouch really close to my body and the legs are more of a boy short style so they don’t show panty lines (though sometimes you can sort of see the outline of the bottom of the shorts under really tight running tights). If you are still sore from surgery, the Comfizz undergarments may be a little too tight, but I was able to wear them after 8 weeks. They are from the UK, but the company ships overseas and they are pretty reasonably priced.

      I wear a two-piece appliance: the Convatec Sur-fit Natura Durahesive cut-to fit wafers (number 413167) with their opaque plastic pouch that has a Velcro tail (number 413335). I like it because the wafer and pouch attach to each other very securely, but it sits pretty flush against my abdomen. It doesn’t need a locking mechanism like Coloplast and has no floating flange like Hollister (which seemed to stick out on top of my belly like a saucer). The Convatec stick to me the best through any activities too. I have never had one peel up and leak- even on very hot days and while swimming. I make my pouch shorter by folding the tail up into the white plastic backing on the backside of the pouch. I am not sure it is designed to be worn like that, but it works like a charm (sometimes I do have to reinforce the sides of the white fabric backing with a piece of tape though so that it is strong enough to do this). Convatec also has some cool new pouches with a feature called the “Lock-it pocket”. The tail flips into a pocket on these to make it shorter. I don’t use them because they are fabric and I like how the opaque plastic ones dry so fast after swimming. If you call the Convatec hotline they are really good at sending out samples of whatever you want to try.

      I also try to find slightly longer workout tops (though the Hip-Ts help a lot when I can’t) so that they cover the area where my pouch sits (I also wear a 4-inch Nu-Hope Cool-Comfort hernia prevention belt while doing yoga and longer tanks conceal this). Emptying right before my yoga class helps too. Remember also that you are a lot more sensitive to noticing your pouch than others are. People generally don’t go around staring at other people’s bellies:)

      Hope this helps a little. Hang in there- you will find nice yoga clothes that will work with your ostomy. Best wishes as you heal up!

      Cheers,
      Heidi

      1. Thank you so much for all the info! I’ll definitely be looking into all of it. Your website has been so helpful and has kept me really optimistic while I’ve been adjusting to life with an ileostomy- so thank you! You’re inspiring 🙂

    2. hi Mari, did you ever start crossfiting again? do you do hot yoga?

      ive had my ileostomy for a month and Im dying to move!

      1. Hi Elissa,

        Yes! I got right back into yoga, Crossfit, spinning and running. It took some initial getting used to but ended up not being that big of a deal. I bought some wraps from Ostomy Secrets and these high waisted boxer short things from Comfizz that I wear under my yoga/workout pants.
        It took me probably 2-3 months before I was able to get back into everything but I eased my way in with long walks, etc.
        Good luck to you!! I’m sure you’ll be back doing everything you were before very soon 🙂

  2. Hey! I would like to try the Hip T, however I have a question about this and other products like it in general. I have a lot of trouble with wearing anything over my pouch, even a tank top! The output just stays up top and does not go to the bottom of the bag, and this ends up causing the output to go under my eakin seal and leak under the wafer. :/ I’ve read that products like Ostomy Secrets actually are supposed to make the pouch “even out” and not cut off flow, but I am aprehensive to try it, seeing how I’ve done with regular snug fitting clothes like skirts and tanks that go over my pouch. This is really beginning to be a problem for me as I am 9 months out of surgery now and want to live my life and go places! Just yesterday I was at an award ceremony for my son and we were sitting for awhile. When I went to the bathroom, I had leaked! Ugh! Had to do a complete pouch change. Very discouraging feeling like if it is my time of day to be heavy on output that I am confined to the house. Maybe my output is just too thick?

    1. Hi Rennie,

      It is hard to say if wraps would work for you without trying them. Usually they do even out the flow, but if a tank top or t-shirt cuts off your output, a wrap might too. At least in my experience, a long tank top is way looser than any of my wraps. I have a few different wraps. My Comfizz brand one is the tightest. I also have an Ostomy Secrets swim wrap that is fairly snug, but a little looser than the Comfizz. The Hip-T is the loosest of the three because it is designed to go over the top of your jeans. I have heard of people getting maternity bands or tube tops from Target and using those. Perhaps that would be the cheapest option to test out? I love the Hip-T for wearing on top of my jeans, but one of my favorite ostomy undergarments for wearing under clothing are my Comfizz brand ladies high-waisted boxers which serve the same function as an ostomy wrap but have legs so they don’t roll up.

      My ileostomy output tends to be on the more liquid side so it goes to the bottom of my pouch. Plus my stoma is about 1.5″ long and flops towards the bottom of my pouch. This naturally sends the stool in that direction. Still, on occasion with certain thickening foods my output has “pancaked” near the top of my pouch– never enough to cause a leak but enough to bug me. Do you use pouches with filters? One reason I ask is that filters will let all the gas out of your pouch (well until they clog at least) and sometimes having a little bit of air in the pouch actually prevents pancaking for me. It creates some space in the bag for the output to slide down. Of course I don’t want a huge blimp on my belly, but the slightest bit of air in my pouch doesn’t really show under my clothes. I buy filter-less pouches and install a product called an Osto-EZ Vent so I can manually control the gas release from my pouch.

      You are exactly correct that your output may just be thick. Are you drinking enough fluids? I notice I often get thick output when I am slightly dehydrated. I drink 3-4 liters of fluids a day which helps keep my output more watery. My favorite beverage is a mix of 3/4 parts water to 1/4 part of my favorite fruit juice. The fruit juice gives the water just a splash of flavor, and I notice it helps me to drink more because of this. Some people have really good luck with grape juice loosening things up a bit too. Maybe experimenting with some different foods and beverages would be helpful.

      Hope this helps a little and that you can find a solution. Did you ask your stoma nurse for any help? They often know some great tricks because they have talked to so many patients with ostomies.

      Take Care,
      Heidi

  3. YOU are an inspiration! So love your blog. I am 56 and really enjoyed doing my yoga before my illness and have wondered how to fit it back in and feel normal. Still worried about doing some of the poses. But your notes are so helpful. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Sheila,

      Thanks! I like doing yoga too and just recently started up again after taking a break from it while I was training for Rainier. I waited about a year after surgery to start doing yoga, but I probably wouldn’t have had to be that conservative. I was just busy doing other things. I do always wear a Nu-Hope hernia prevention belt (I like the 4-inch wide one for yoga since it allows me to bend better). The belt supports my abs when doing planks and just makes me feel more secure. The only poses that ever give me trouble are those involving back bends or poses like cobra. My incision area just doesn’t like stretching in that way. I can do a really gentle cobra though. Just listen to your body. The nice thing about yoga is that there are so many variations. Best wishes!

      -Heidi

  4. Hi would you be able to point me in the right direction on buying lace wraps/lace belts As I am really scared about having my Stoma/Colostomy bag Please could you send me info with regards this matter to jacquibriggs1964@gmail.com
    As like a few other people I know we do not feel like real women and we find it hard to go out in public wearing shorts and 2 piece swim wear As we feel ugly and in attractive to our partners
    Many thanks Jacqui

    1. Hi Jacqui,

      Thanks for writing. I would be happy to send you some info on wraps that I have heard good things about. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I have been ill with a rather nasty respiratory bug the past week and haven’t had energy to do much of anything. I will email you as soon as I am able.

      Take Care,
      Heidi

      1. Hi
        I am sorry to hear that you have been unwell Hope you are feeling much better now
        I have MS and that is why I am having a colostomy as my bowels do not work any more
        I am so frightened about how I will look let alone how I feel
        I know you must get asked questions all the time
        but do you have a pattern I could make my own wraps I would be so grateful
        Hope you hqwve a really good week and so much more
        Many Thank
        Jacqui Briggs

    1. Hi Jojo,

      Thanks for the question. I don’t find that the Hip-T causes pancaking. However, as I mentioned in the post, it is a little different in that I wear it over my jeans so it doesn’t really press on my pouch all that much (my jeans are doing most of the pressing… and I really haven’t had issues with pancaking from that either.) My stoma is low so wearing regular wraps under my clothes has never worked. The wraps have to sit too close to to the bend in my leg in order to cover my whole pouch and the lower half of the wrap ends up rolling up whenever I move my legs. What I like about the Hip-T is that I wear it on the outside of my pants and it is made out of a nice stretchy t-shirt type fabric that isn’t too tight. When I do wear them, I can definitely keep it on all day with no issues.

      I do love the Hip-Ts, but I don’t wear one everyday. I tend to mix things up. If I have a long sweater that is going to cover that area any way, I skip the Hip-T. Sometimes I wear long tank tops under things and tuck those into my jeans to cover the top of my pouch instead of a Hip-T. I tend to like the Hip-T the most if I am wearing lower-rise jeans and a t-shirt that is a little on the shorter side where my pouch could be exposed. They are nice in hot weather too, when a bunch of layers of things would feel cumbersome. One other thing I love for concealing the top of my pouch are Comfizz High-Waisted Boxers. They are ostomy underwear with a boy-short style leg. They hold my pouch close to my body under clothes as well… a bit like a wrap would… but I don’t have to worry about them rolling up as the legs hold them in place:) The Comfizz boxers are snug, but I have no problem with them causing pancaking either. http://www.comfizz.com/products/ostomy/level1/ladies/boxer-highwaist-pink.html

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Heidi

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