How can I tell if I have a parastomal hernia?
A bulge around the stoma may indicate a hernia. This is a common complication where part of the bowel pushes through the abdominal muscle to create a swelling under the skin of the stoma. It can form at any time during and after surgery. If you are waiting for surgery, or have recently had surgery, ask your Stoma Care Nurse for information about parastomal hernias and how to minimise your chances of forming one, including exercises that strengthen the abdominal muscles.
You may find this video, which demonstrates core exercise techniques for parastomal hernia prevention, helpful:
Products to help with hernias
Because parastomal hernias can be all different sizes and shapes, it can be difficult to get a good seal between the skin and the stoma bag flange. Stoma bags such as Aura Profile colostomy, ileostomy and urostomy bags, with their soft and flexible invertible flange, mould to the shape of your peristomal area to help ensure a leak-free fit. FreeStyle Oval, with its oval adhesive, might also be an option. If you want extra security, hydrocolloid flange extenders like HydroFrame can be used to ‘picture-frame’ the flange.
Skin around a hernia can also be more delicate. You may want to consider using a two-piece system, where the base flange is removed fewer times than in the one-piece systems. You can also protect your skin using no-sting products like silicone based barrier film, LBF, and medical adhesive remover, Appeel.
Hernia support belts are available on prescription for when you need to do heavy work or lifting, or be particularly active. Discuss with your Stoma Care Nurse if you would like to request one of these, or if you want to wear these belts generally for comfort and support. They can help if you are feeling discomfort or a dragging sensation around the stoma. Support garments are also available.
Our CliniMed Careline team are available on 0808 159 6017 for advice on all aspects of stoma care, including all brands of products and problems you might be experiencing.