How can a Support Garment help me?


What is a Parastomal Hernia?

The term hernia describes any bulge or swelling around the stoma.

When a stoma is created an incision is made into the muscles of the abdominal wall, a hernia occurs when the edges of the stoma come away and can no longer be supported by the weakened muscles. This allows a section of bowel to protrude through and sit outside the abdomen but under the skin causing it to bulge.

Parastomal hernias can develop following any surgery to create a stoma and studies tell us that up to 70% of ostomates will go on to develop a hernia. Hernias usually occur gradually and can increase over time if not supported.

Many hernias are asymptomatic and cause no problems unless they get bigger.


What steps should I take to avoid a hernia?

The longer a stoma is present the greater the chance of a hernia developing.
Lifestyle changes can help to reduce the likelihood of a hernia occurring.

• Maintain a healthy weight
• Stop smoking
• Take regular exercise such as walking
or swimming
• Avoid activities that include heavy lifting
• Avoid coughing, sneezing and straining
• Support the stoma and wound
when straining
• Avoid constipation

Wearing a support garment can also help to reduce the risk of a hernia developing, a well fitted garment will give support to enable you to continue your daily activities but will still enable your stoma to function properly.


What are the risk factors in getting a hernia and how does it happen?

Some patients are more prone to hernias as a result of increased pressure in the abdomen pushing against weakened muscles.

High risk factors include:

• Obesity
• Chronic Respiratory Conditions
• Smoking
• Excessive coughing and sneezing
• Chronic constipation
• Extensive abdominal surgery

Certain factors during surgery can lead to an increased risk of developing a hernia such as emergency surgery or certain stoma sites. Unfortunately these factors are beyond control.

How can a Support Garment help me?

Increased pressure inside the abdomen causes a loop of bowel to push through the muscle wall alongside the stoma and form a hernia.

What should I do next?


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