Thursday, March 21, 2013

HockeyGear: Stomaplex Freedom-Guard GTX

In 2009, I traded Rectal Cancer for a Resection and Permanent Colostomy, and 4 months later I was back playing hockey.  

I was naturally concerned about herniating, 
and about stoma-damage by rubbing or impacts.

Hockey is a rough game.  The best hockey players are big, strong, fast, aggressive, and mean.  I only have the ‘fast’, and some players are double my weight.

I have always worn the best protective equipment to reduce injuries, and continually experiment with new equipment ... always looking for improvements.  

Normal hockey gear is easy to find.  Finding specialty gear to protect my colostomy and stoma is more challenging. 
      I need  ...
  •  protection from rubbing on my stoma 
  •  protection from impacts (pucks, sticks, and hits)
  •  support to avoid herniating
  •  flexibility of movement
  •  no stresses on flange adhesive, which could cause flange-failure

After experimenting with 4 different protective guards, I thought I had the best available.  But Bob Zurowski of Stomaplex has made a quantum leap with the new Freedom-Guard GTX.  The GTX's outer shield is strong enough to take hockey impacts, but can be bent to fit the abdominal contour. The belt is comfortable on my skin, and gives good hernia protection without restricting flexibility or mobility.  The shape and padding holds the GTX in place without slipping, while the 'bubble' protects my stoma.  

LOW PROFILE differentiates the new GTX  

My hockey-pants-belt fits over the top of the GTX, and stays snugly above the 'bubble'.  This superior design  keeps the GTX in place, with no shifting or sliding, even with the hockey pants moving as I stretch, bend, and rotate.  The low-profiled GTX has virtually no bulge, so is easier to hide than other protective guards ... not so important with hockey pants, but for other sports I could see GTX-wearers being very comfortable with it's low-profile appearance.

With the GTX, I feel confident it will stay securely in place 
I feel supported for hernia protection
And I know I am safe from impacts

Now the real game-day testimonials. It has been said that I play bigger than my size ("he’s only 150 pounds, but plays like he’s 180"). I think the comment is intended to be complimentary, but that style is hard on my body.  I made a quick count of injuries during 57 years of hockey ... 3 concussions requiring hospitalization, 12 broken bones, 3 shoulder separations, 2 missing teeth, and 1 torn knee.  A colostomy hasn’t changed that style. 

I have taken hits, crashed into the boards, fallen on the ice, blocked shots, and been speared with sticks ... all while sporting a colostomy.  

Sometimes I hurt.  But my stoma has never been hurt. 

It is a real testament to the Stomaplex GTX that I can continue to play that style with warranted confidence.

The GTX performs as a superior product under the extreme conditions of hockey.  For myself (and others), I can see many more sporting activities for the GTX ... whenever we need protection from impacts or rubbing or hernias. 

I receive no financial benefit for sharing this experience, testimonial and product review.
You can learn more about the Freedom-Guard GTX at Stomaplex  




  1. I missed out some years of field hockey, must get this. thanks

  2. I notice that you are wearing more "solid" belt to hold the Stomaplex GTX. Please let me know where you sourced this belt.

    Thank you !!

    1. The Stomaplex GTX and the belt both come from Stomaplex at