Dealing with bulges

Understanding how a bulge can form after the ostomy surgery and what to do when it appears allows you to react on time.

What causes a bulge to occur?

When your ostomy is formed, the end of your intestine is brought out through an opening in the abdominal wall. This can weaken the muscle of the wall, allowing the bowel to push forward and form a bulge. The size of the bulge varies from person to person, but when a bulge first appears it is often the size of a lime. A bulge can also occur if a segment of the intestine used to create the ostomy, loops under skin. This is called a sliding hernia.

When a loop of intestine pushes through the hole in the abdominal wall and embeds under the skin to form an additional bulge, it is known as a true hernia. If you suspect you have a true hernia, you should contact your Stomal Therapy Nurse immediately as there is a risk of the bowel being squeezed between the muscle layers.

When to call ostomy nurse

What do I do? When should I contact my nurse?

If the area around your stoma changes, it's always a good idea to seek advice from your Stomal Therapy Nurse. If you have stomach pain it is crucial that you do so immediately.

Remember to use the BodyCheck

Using our BodyCheck regularly will help you make sure that you are using the appliance that fits you best. Take me to the BodyCheck.

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