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Stomatic hernia

We share critical information about stomatic hernias.

What is a stomatic hernia and how can it be treated?

A stomatic hernia is when a piece of your intestine is pushed through the weakened abdominal wall around your stoma. Your stoma is attached by muscles to the abdominal wall. But these can detach or weaken over time and lead to a hernia. We investigate the symptoms of a stomatic hernia and what your treatment for a stomatic hernia could involve. 

The causes of a stomatic hernia are varied. Engaging in heavy lifting, such as in the gym, in your workplace, or at home, can increase the risk of developing a stomatic hernia. Here, it is important to comply with situational instructions and making sure you take it easy when engaging in these risky activities.

Long-term, chronic, or heavy coughs can shock your intestine into pushing through this already weakened area of muscle, causing the hernia to progressively develop.

Prolonged constipation can cause stomatic hernias to develop. This straining, as with other hernia conditions, causes the weakness behind the stoma to be exploited. This pushes a piece of the intestine between the muscles and tendons which attach the stoma to the abdominal wall, and therefore creates a hernia.

Nutritional deficiencies can create the conditions for a stomatic hernia to develop. This chronic condition can further weaken the muscles that hold the stoma firmly in place on the abdominal wall. This allows a piece of intestine to push through the gap created and develop into a hernia. Your clinician or pharmacist can further advise on which vitamins, minerals, or nutrients need replenishing in order to counter this risk.

Obesity can heighten the risk of stomatic hernias. Due to the increased abdominal pressure from the build-up of fat around and above the stoma, it can force the intestine out around the weakened muscles that attach the stoma to the abdominal wall. A further danger of obesity is that it can cause a detachment of the muscles that join the stoma to the abdominal wall. This is because of the overstretching force of the excessive fat has on the stoma. Paired with the above malnutrition, as obesity is often a side effect of malnutrition, this can be a serious cause of stomatic hernias.

When the stoma is created in surgery, sometimes an infection may develop which weakens the muscles around the stoma. This infection will either erode the muscles to the point where a hernia develops conventionally, or the muscles are moved away from behind the stoma, making space for the hernia to develop.

Likewise, as time progresses, a stoma will progressively get worn out. This also means that the muscles behind the stoma will weaken. This could be made worse by the aforementioned sports and work-related activities, meaning that a hernia is more likely to develop. 

The symptoms of this hernia vary. Mostly, the hernia causes discomfort and can be seen to be swelling around the stoma.

This can be made worse by the filling of the ostomy bag, which can pull down on the stoma and therefore on the hernia itself.

The hernia can also make keeping the ostomy bag in place and the barrier properly sealed. This is a matter of concern, as it may increase leakages.

Therefore, you would see your doctor about the development of a stomatic hernia.

A stomatic hernia can be generally treated by hernia repair surgery, either in open surgery or with key-hole surgery (laparoscopically). Generally, surgeons prefer key-hole surgery as it is quicker, less invasive, and means you can recover quicker. The time between diagnosis and private hernia surgery is often less than a month, ensuring you receive rapid and world-class treatment.

Our laparoscopic surgery requires a few small incisions around the stoma using a machine controlled by experienced and highly skilled clinicians. You will be placed under general anaesthetic for the procedure. The surgeons will remove previous scar tissue and clear any debris build-up.

Then, using a lightweight, synthetic mesh, our surgeons push the incisional hernia back into the abdominal cavity, reinforce the incision with a lightweight synthetic mesh which strengthens the abdominal wall, preventing the hernia from popping out again. This technique is referred to as an umbrella hernia repair.

Previous patients who have received this treatment with the mesh have recommended it rather than a manual pulling of the muscles together to heal the weakness, which can be more intrusive.

This less invasive surgery takes 45 minutes from start to finish, and is a day-care case, meaning you can arrive and leave on the day of the surgery.

Surgeons may also choose to either reattach or create another stoma, depending on the damage caused by the hernia to the previous stoma. This will be discussed with you before surgery by your clinician. 

Otherwise, they may choose to reinforce your stoma by reattaching the tendons which hold the stoma in place, reversing the damage caused by your hernia. This can be aided by careful application of the aforementioned meshes and applicator glues.

All of this is done to ensure that you can soon return to your normal life as soon as possible.

A consultation with an experienced Consultant is often the quickest and simplest way to diagnose and treat your hernia.

They will be able to talk with you about the best treatment options for your specific situation.

Book an appointment online today.

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