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