Parastomal Hernia: What You Need To Know

Fifty to seventy-eight percent of patients who have a colostomy or ileostomy have a complication known as a parastomal hernia. Let’s investigate what a parastomal hernia is and what you need to know if you develop one.

Similar To An Incisional Hernia

Whereas most incisional hernias occur at the site of a former surgery which has not healed properly, a parastomal hernia allows part of the intestines to bulge out at the site of a stoma.

A stoma is an intentional opening created during a colostomy or ileostomy, and it is either in your abdomen, colon, or small bowel. The opening is for a bag to collect waste, like stool or urine.

When you have a stoma, it can weaken your abdominal muscles causing them to pull away from the stoma. In many cases, these hernias are asymptomatic and grow quite slowly or only cause slight discomfort. Lifestyle changes can help to manage any symptoms.young woman on sofa suffering from abdominal pain

Common Risk Factors For Developing A Parastomal Hernia

You have a higher risk of getting a parastomal hernia if you are older, obese, have cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, or have respiratory diseases.

Additional causes include the following:

  • Smoking
  • Chronic coughing
  • Chronic constipation
  • Steroid use
  • Malnutrition
  • An infection after stoma surgery

How Is A Parastomal Hernia Treated?

If you have symptoms like discomfort or a bulge, you can make some lifestyle changes, like stopping smoking and losing weight. You can also wear an abdominal support belt as a remedy.

If Michigan Hernia Surgery suggests surgical repair, there are several alternatives.

Closing the stoma is an option. It can only be achieved if there is enough healthy bowel left.

Repairing the hernia includes opening the abdominal wall over the hernia and sewing the muscles together to close the hernia. This option works best if the hernia is small.

Moving the stoma is another treatment. A new stoma can be created in another part of the abdomen while the original stoma is closed.

Using mesh inserts is the most common and effective type of repair. The hernia is repaired using the same technique as other hernia surgeries. The mesh is then placed over the stoma or under the abdominal wall to create a strong area of tissue to prevent another hernia.

Successful surgery will prevent enlargement of the hernia and make the stoma easier to manage.

Contact Michigan Hernia Surgery at (248) 551-9090 if you are experiencing difficulty with a stoma and suspect you may have a parastomal hernia.

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