Patients want to hide their stoma. Basic function of stoma jewellery is to hide the stoma. I tried to make jewellery to be located in the middle of neck where stoma would be. So this stoma jewellery has short length.
Larynx is removed by laryngeal cancer surgery. Patients can’t make voice using voce box. Some people use medical device to make voice. H.M.E (Heat and Moisture Exchanger) includes a device that is called valve. But they should press the stoma with finger when they speak. So necklace could be soft not too hard like solid silver. That’s why I chose to knit thin silver wire to make jewellery.
Their stoma is exposed on the skin. That should be protected with soft material. After surgery, they can’t use the nose to breathe anymore, they have to breathe with their stoma. So the material could be well ventilated like cotton and thread. Many patients wear scarf when they go out and wear sticker and bibs in house. There is another reason to use textile material. Sometimes mucus comes from their stoma. So material that covers stoma has to be able to absorb the mucus. Thread also keeps moister. According to my research, H.M.E includes cotton inside to keep moisture.
Breathe – Patients breathe through the stoma on their neck. So the jewellery needs to keep the stoma safe and clean. Silver has anti-bacterial function. And Silver wire is soft but little bit hard. So they can take a role of shield. The jewellery shouldn’t block the stoma from the air, and knitting method makes many holes in the jewellery so that patients can breathe through it. Silver is also easy to clean.
And when patients breathe, something on the neck like fabric, sticker goes up and down because of the air. It draws people’s attention on their neck not on their eyes. This jewellery can hide that.
Speak – Many patients use Tracheo oesophageal puncture – TEP method to speak. When they speak, they have to press their stoma with finger to block the air from lungs for generating the voice. So, jewellery has to be able to be pushed. It the jewellery is hard, it’s difficult to be pushed. And they can make scar on the skin. This knitting jewellery can be pushed when they speak.
Mucus – Sometimes, mucus comes from inside. So, Jewellery has to be easy to clean or exchangeable. This jewellery has cotton or wool made cover in it, and it is changeable.
Combine with other device – it can be easily combined with other devices like HME, sticker, tube, pedi-tie etc.
Beauty – They want to hide stoma. This looks like normal jewellery, not stoma jewellery. But it hides stoma and decorates their neck while protecting it.