A bulge around the stoma may indicate a parastomal hernia. A parastomal hernia is where part of the bowel pushes through the abdominal muscle to create a swelling under the skin of the stoma and can cause discomfort or pain. A hernia can form at any time during and after surgery. Stoma hernias can develop over time, as the stoma stretches or becomes weaker, and can be caused by a range of contributing factors. These factors include repetitive coughing, being above a healthy weight or developing an infection when the stoma is made.
Products to help with living with a parastomal hernia
Because 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 for herniated stomas. If you want extra security, hydrocolloid flange extenders like HydroFrame or UltraFrame can be used to ‘picture-frame’ the flange to aid adhesion.
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. Your Stoma Care Nurse may also recommend that you 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. Stoma hernia support garments (also known as support wear) 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.
Stoma Hernia Prevention
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 risk of forming one, including wearing support garments, and exercises that strengthen the abdominal muscles. They will also be able to advise you specifically on how to manage or reduce the stoma hernia pain or discomfort you may be facing.
You may find this video, which demonstrates core exercise techniques for parastomal hernia prevention, helpful: