Here are answers to some of your questions about parastomal hernia.

What is a parastomal hernia?

A stoma is created when an intra-abdominal structure is intentionally brought through the abdominal wall muscles so that it can be accessible at the skin level. Examples include a gastrostomy (stomach brought to the skin, usually for feeding), an ileostomy (small intestine brought to the skin, usually for diversion of stool into a bag following colon surgery), and a colostomy (colon brought to the skin for collection of stool in a bag following colon or rectal surgery). A parastomal hernia develops gradually and will increase in size over time.


If not treated, what can happen?

Parastomal hernias are usually uncomfortable and can become extremely inconvenient. They may make it difficult to attach a bag properly and sometimes their sheer size is an embarrassment as they can be seen beneath clothes. Although a rare complication, the intestine can sometimes become trapped or kinked within the hernia and this in turn causes the intestine to become obstructed and lose its blood supply (strangulated hernia), which is a dangerous and life-threatening complication.


How will the physician know if I have parastomal hernia?

Parastomal hernias are visible upon examination.


How can this hernia be treated?

Surgical repair of parastomal hernias can improve the patient’s quality of life, prevent progressive enlargement of the hernia, and make it easier to manage the stoma. CT scans or MRI is used to diagnose or assess the extent of the parastomal hernia.

Two repair options are available:

  1. One technique moves the stoma to a new site on the abdomen through an opening created elsewhere. This surgical option is used when the original stoma site is unsatisfactory, or if the hernia is very large. The surgeon makes a new stoma through fresh, healthy tissue. Repositioning the stoma to the other side of the abdomen is a large operation, as it entails complete dissection of the stoma from the surrounding tissue and division of intra-abdominal adhesions. The hernia is repaired at the old site using a version of mesh repair.
  2. The other option is to try to repair the hernia around the stoma, leaving the stoma where it is using a version of mesh repair.


To make an appointment with one of our surgeons at the Beth Israel Hernia Center, please call 212.844.1555, or click here to fill out an appointment scheduling form. Staff will get back to you within
48 hours.

If you have questions about the Hernia Center and our doctors please email them to herniacenterny@chpnet.org.
We are glad to answer your questions but please do not send pictures of your hernia to the center.

For Appointment Call
212.844.1555


Questions
If you have questions
about the Hernia Center
and our doctors please email them to herniacenterny@chpnet.org

We are glad to answer your questions but please do not send pictures of your hernia to the center.