A parastomal hernia forms only after a stoma has been created during ostomy surgery. A stoma is an opening in the abdomen that can be connected to the digestive or urinary system so waste can be redirected out of the body and into a bag. It is common to develop a parastomal hernia within a few years after ostomy surgery.
Why Someone Needs Ostomy Surgery
Ostomy surgery is needed if a patient has colon cancer, bladder cancer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, or an obstruction to the bladder or bowel.
A parastomal hernia is the most common complication in stomas. It can lead to a noticeable deformity near the stoma.
What Causes a Parastomal Hernia
A parastomal hernia is a type of incisional hernia which occurs when some tissue protrudes through the site of the stoma and pushes against the skin. This happens when the hole in the abdominal wall stretches over time. Consequently, up to half of patients with a stoma develop a parastomal hernia within two years.
The exact causes for a parastomal hernia include the following:
- Strain from coughing, lifting heavy items, and frequent constipation
- A weak spot in the abdominal wall where your surgeon created the surgical hole to form the stoma
- Infection at the surgical site
- General poor health
In extreme cases, it can cause a bowel incarceration or a strangulation which necessitates immediate surgery.
Issues With a Parastomal Hernia
When a patient has a parastomal hernia there may be pain or discomfort along with some leakage at the ostomy. It may be difficult to have the ostomy appliance stay in place. Surgeons always attempt to have a snug and tight fit, but the hernia can push the muscles causing a bulge. Skin irritation is another frustrating side effect.
Various Repair Treatments
Losing weight, stopping smoking, or wearing an abdominal support belt can help with uncomfortable symptoms, however, it’s important to see a hernia specialist like Michigan Hernia Surgery in Royal Oak to determine if and when you may need treatment.
Our surgeons offer several choices for surgical repair.