In 1988 at the age of 52, I contracted bowel cancer. Fortunately, I was cured by surgery but the result was a permanent colostomy. Four years later I developed a hernia around the stoma (parastonal hernia) and the surgeon recommended a support belt, otherwise he said the hernia would gradually enlarge and require surgery.


I was, and still am, a very active person who enjoys sport and physically demanding hobbies such as DIY and so on. After investigating the market thoroughly and trying various support garments I was dismayed to find nothing that suited my life style and requirements.


I needed firm support in the stoma region and not a cumbersome garment that would inhibit movement or roll upward. The only option left to me was to make a belt that would meet my needs – as a surveyor this was not a job requirement included in my professional capacity!


The fore runner of the “SASH” (Surgical Appliance for Stomas Hernias) was made from a plastic flower pot and a two-inch fabric suitcase security belt!


When I realised that the design was comfortable, easy to wear and supported the hernia through all my activities, I then consulted with my stoma care nurse and surgeon for their opinion and comments as to the device’s effectiveness and, of course, the personal safety of the belt.


“Sound Design”


Although the materials I had used were viewed with some amusement, they agreed that the design principle was sound and they wanted to carry out trials on patients with similar problems. These trials were carried out in 1994 with amazing success, and I was encouraged by the medical staff to manufacture the belt properly.  In their opinion not only was “SASH” medically effective, it also appeared to fill a “gap in the market” for anyone with an ostomy who was seeking an appliance that was easy to fit and gave them total flexibility of movement.


In 1994 I was given the opportunity by Spectrum a (Convatec sponsored magazine) to introduce SASH to a wider public by attending a Road show. My design was received with a great deal of interest and I was once again encouraged by various stoma care nurses to apply to the NHS (UK National Health Service) for the belt to be included on the UK Drug Tariff List which would then make the belt free to all UK citizens.


“Interesting Survey Results”


So, this is what I did in November 1994 and at the request of the NHS I carried out a survey of the first 100 SASH users during the following year. This revealed a range of interesting facts:

* Some ostomists were finding relief from pain and dull aches around the stoma region when wearing the “SASH”.

* Previous leakage problems were being eliminated by the belt keeping the adhesive section of the pouch pressed firmly against the body at all times.


* The weight of a full bag was being supported by the belt without fear of the pouch detaching itself from the body.

* With the firm support of a SASH belt and periodic consultations with their surgeon some ostomists were delaying, maybe permanently, the need for hernia surgery.




It was apparent that “SASH” had more than one use and that “spin-off” benefits were helping a lot of people.

In November 1996 “SASH” was included on the Drug Tariff List. I am delighted that the belt has helped so many people as well as myself.  My surgeon assures me that but for the support given by this appliance, a further operation would have been necessary.


I have received many letters of appreciation from people but my favourite is from an ostomist whose surgeon said “SASH, although basic, probably does a better job than I could do with a needle and thread”!


Dennis Hammond.





Freephone (UK only):-  0800 389 3111



Email:- sash.dennis@virgin.net


Post in UK:- (this is a Royal Mail Freepost Name account so please do not write anything else on the envelope)



Post outside UK please contact us by email for postal address 


USEFUL CONTACTS (Correct at date of posting)



Telephone No. 0118 939 1537……....website:- www.ColostomyUK.org......Email:- info@colostomyuk.org



Telephone No. 0800 018 4724……….website:- www.iasupport.org............Email:- info@iasupport.org



Tele No. 01386 430 140…….website:- www.urostomyassociation.org.uk...Email:- info@urostomyassociation.org.uk


The three charitable association above are primarily run by volunteer ostomists.

In addition to the head offices the associations have branches throughout the UK which are staffed by dedicated people who give help and counselling whenever requested.

Each association publishes 3 or 4 issues of  their magazine / journal per year which is full of useful articles and good tips from fellow ostomates.

….………Must-have reading material and much appreciated by all ostomists………….



Telephone No. 02072 503222…………………………website:- www.radar-shop.org.uk

A National scheme with over 7000 disabled locked toilets. As ostomists we are eligible for a key that can be purchased for £4.50.

……….………..…No need to be caught out and end up in a tiny toilet!.............................




website:- www.living-with-a-stoma.co.uk

Comprehensive information on stoma lifestyle issues - at home, on holiday and out & about. Additional sections for acessories, diet, suppliers and support organisations.

Contact is Jean email jean@living-with-a-stoma.co.uk



Website: www.mitrofanoffsupport.co.uk

This excellent website has been set up by Mrs. Kyla Rogers to support and reassure anyone about to have or who already has a Mitrofanoff. It is a comprehensive guide covering the operation and care afterwards.  There are helpful links, a forum and FAQ to help you or your loved one.

Contact Kyla on kyla@mitrofanoffsupport.co.uk