Parastomal hernias are unique and only form at the site of a stoma. 78% of patients with a stoma will develop a hernia within just a few years, and unfortunately many will have a recurrence. Keep reading if you or someone you love has a stoma and find out when should a parastomal hernia be repaired.
Purpose of a Stoma
Anyone who has had a colon, intestinal or urologic surgery will have a stoma. The stoma is the site where the inner intestine connects to the colostomy bag, the ileostomy bag, or the urostomy bag outside the body. Any kind of ostomy surgery is performed to open up the abdominal wall to allow the intestines or ureter to reach the outside bag. This allows a patient to eliminate waste into a bag.
The very nature of these surgeries creates a weakness in the abdominal wall, making it prone for a hernia to form with any type of strenuous activity like lifting something heavy or pushing too hard during a bowel movement.
Who Is Most Susceptible to Developing a Parastomal Hernia?
Patients with the following risk factors are more likely to develop a parastomal hernia:
- Anyone who has had previous abdominal surgery is more susceptible. Tissue around the stoma may be weaker than normal.
- Being overweight or obese creates more pressure on the abdominal wall.
- If someone already has weak abdominal muscles.
- Anyone who has a chronic cough is more at risk like from smoking, asthma, and COPD.
- A larger than average stoma can make someone more likely to develop a hernia.
- Chronic constipation.
When Should a Parastomal Hernia Be Repaired?
Some parastomal hernias can be treated by making lifestyle changes. Losing some weight, stopping smoking and wearing an abdominal support belt can help to reduce symptoms. Be sure to talk with a specialist who has exceptional skills repairing parastomal hernias like Michigan Hernia Surgery in Royal Oak, MI.
Although these types of hernias are not necessarily dangerous, there are some situations where repair should be a priority like with pain and the inability to keep the ostomy appliance in the proper place.
In addition, other issues can occur:
- Leakage and skin irritation can occur. The hernia can become trapped and it will become difficult to push it back into place leading to incarceration that would require repair.
- Hernia strangulation reduces blood flow to the intestines and its contents can leak into the abdomen cavity-causing several complications like gangrene, peritonitis, or sepsis.
- Parastomal hernias can cause fistulas that form between the intestines and the skin around the stoma which can lead to infection and other complications.
- The hernia can cause the stoma to become blocked which affects bowel movements.
Don’t wait for these complications to occur before you talk with a specialist about a repair. Contact Michigan Hernia Surgery at (248) 551-9090 today.