Do you have hernia

What is a hernia?

Having a stoma formed, means a section of your bowel has been brought out through an incision (cut) in your abdominal wall to create the stoma. For some people, this opening causes a potential weakness in the area around the stoma, this leads to the abdominal muscles being able to bulge out forming a lump or swelling immediately around/next to the stoma. This is very common and is called a parastomal hernia.

For most, a parastomal hernia will not cause any symptoms, some will experience a discomfort or dragging feeling particularly at the end of the day when your abdominal muscles get tired. The size or shape of the hernia varies in everyone, from a golf ball size to a grapefruit or larger, depending on the extent of the weakness around the stoma.

Are you worried you may have a hernia?

If you are concerned you may have developed a parastomal hernia, your stoma nurse will be able to assess the area and advise accordingly. The development of a hernia often changes the shape of your abdomen and the stoma, so the possibility of sore skin or leakages occurring as a result of the changes is likely – therefore, a review by a Stoma Nurse will be beneficial to talk through your stoma care routine and offer any alternative stoma bag options and check the template size of your stoma.

Please be reassured having a hernia around your stoma does not mean you will require further surgery. Surgery really would not only be indicated unless you are experiencing other stoma related issues for example: persistent stoma management issues due to the size of the stoma. If you have symptoms of severe pain, feel sick and your stoma changes colour or stops working, you should immediately seek medical advice from your GP or local A&E department.

reduce symptoms of hernia

What you can do - and why it matters

There are several actions, big and small, you can take to reduce the impact the hernia has on your life. As mentioned earlier it is not uncommon to experience a discomfort/dragging feeling at the end of the day, however, making key life-style changes such as exercising more regularly or following a balanced diet to help manage your weight will have a significant and long-lasting effect.

Daily exercise and undertaking core exercises will contribute to strengthening your abdominal muscles as well as weight management to reduce undue pressure and strain around your stoma.

hernia action plan

If you want to make sure, that you do what you can do to reduce the impact of having a hernia, you can download the Hernia Action Plan. The Hernia Action Plan includes exercises from the Core 4 programme, which you can read more about in the article listed below.

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