How Do Parastomal Hernias Develop?

There are various types of hernias which occur in different places in our body. One type you may have heard of is an incisional hernia located at the site of a previous surgery. In fact, a parastomal hernia is the most common complication of an ostomy surgery. Let us explain. How do parastomal hernias develop?

Woman holding her abdomen in pain

Ostomy Surgery

Up to 50% of ostomy surgeries will eventually develop a parastomal hernia. The greatest risk  will occur usually within the first few years, but one can develop a hernia even after decades. Ostomy surgery changes the way urine or stool leaves the body. Bodily waste is rerouted from its normal path because of an issue with the urinary or digestive system.

During ostomy surgery an opening is created called a stoma, and it is placed on the abdomen with a pouch worn over the stoma. This pouch or ostomy bag collects the stool or urine.

A patient may need an ostomy surgery due to birth defects, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, incontinence, or other medical conditions.

Parastomal Hernia

Para comes from the Greek meaning: at, or to one side of. 

With a parastomal hernia intestinal contents protrude through the wall and a defect in the stoma causing the hernia accompanied with pain and leakage. The stoma itself is a defect created by the surgery.

Increased risk factors for a parastomal hernia include the following:

  • Older age
  • Obesity, especially weight around the stomach area
  • Chronic coughing
  • Cancer
  • Smoking
  • Crohn’s disease

Patients with a stoma should avoid heavy lifting or weight gain. It is beneficial to wear a support belt.

Should A Parastomal Hernia Be Repaired?

A small minority of patients can manage a parastomal hernia, but most of these hernias should be repaired. Sometimes Michigan Hernia Surgery will want to move the location of the stoma. Other times synthetic mesh is used to strengthen the site and decrease the risk of recurrence.

If the intestine becomes trapped or twisted in the hernia, it can lead to loss of blood supply and strangulation of the hernia. This is extremely painful and a medical emergency.

Call to Request an Appointment Today

Contact Michigan Hernia Surgery at 248-551-9090 if you have a stoma and are feeling pain or noticing leakage. We can repair any damage.

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