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Parastomal Hernia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Parastomal Hernia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Akanksha Nigam

What is a parastomal hernia?

Parastomal hernia is among the most common complications after an ostomy. It is a bulge or swelling around the stoma which causes discomfort and pain and makes it difficult to wear an ostomy appliance. A parastomal hernia usually happens within the first two years of surgery but can also occur later.

It happens when your intestine protrudes through a weak spot in your muscle; in this case, the weak spot is your stoma. When a stoma is created, the surgeon brings a part of your intestine out of the abdomen. Because of this incision, the surrounding muscles become weak, giving way to the intestine to occupy more space by pushing through the weak muscle and leading to a parastomal hernia. 

Parastomal Hernia Causes

  • Smoking
  • Malnutrition
  • Being overweight
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Muscles get weaker with age
  • Strenuous activities like gardening
  • Infection at the stoma site or abdominal wound
  • Pressure due to excessive coughing and sneezing

How do you know if you have a Parastomal Hernia?

Parastomal hernias develop and grow gradually. Symptoms of a parastomal hernia include:

  • Pain during strenuous activity
  • Bulging or swelling around the stoma
  • Pain or discomfort around your stoma
  • The problem in keeping your ostomy appliance in place

The swelling may disappear when you lie down and reappear when standing or sitting. There are rare chances that your intestine may become trapped or twisted, leading to blood loss. This is known as a strangulated hernia.

Impacts of Peristomal Hernia

Some people may complain about dull pain around the hernia after activity. The shape of the stoma may also change with the size of the hernia, which causes difficulty attaching an ostomy wafer and pouch, leading to leakage.

The surrounding skin may also become tight and fragile, making it susceptible to breaking or tearing while removing the pouch. A peristomal hernia may also affect stoma irrigation. If the hernia increases in size, it may become visible under clothing.

How is a parastomal hernia treated?

  • Lifestyle changes: Changes in lifestyle choices may help in treating parastomal hernia. If you are overweight or obese, weight loss is the first step toward treating the hernia. Your doctor may recommend diet and exercises to help you burn calories and lose extra fat. Your doctor might also ask you to quit smoking. Smoking cessation programs can also help.
  • Orthopedic Support Belts: Another option is to wear hernia belts or abdominal supports, which support abdominal muscles, secure the stoma, and keep the ostomy appliance from detaching or falling. They provide mild compression and relieve pressure from the weight of the appliance. Additionally, the hernia belts also help with a prolapsed stoma and prevent recurrence after surgery.
  • Surgery: Some parastomal hernias, such as a strangulated hernia, may require surgery. 

HPFY carries a wide range of high-quality support belts for a parastomal hernia. Some of our top sellers are:

1. Nu-Hope Nu-Form 6 Inches Cool Comfort Elastic Ostomy Support Belt

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved Made in USA Made In USA

A comfortable binder that supports the hernia around and adjacent to the stoma. It also protects against abdominal hernia repairs and prevents recurrence. It is made of a polyester and elastic blend and features a durable plastic ring that offers 360 degrees of support to the pouch and wafer. 

Features of Nu-Hope Nu-Form 6 Inches Cool Comfort Elastic Ostomy Support Belt

  • The 4” wide Nu-Hope belt conforms to the bulges and body shape naturally
  • It improves appearance and comfort
  • A sturdy design prevents the belt from losing its shape
  • Protects ostomy device from falling due to stretching of the skin
Nu-Hope Nu-Form 6 Inches Cool Comfort Elastic Ostomy Support Belt



2. Coloplast Brava Ostomy Support Belt

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Relieves the heavy sensation of hernias and may also prevent hernia development postoperatively. It is made of a 4-way stretchable material that fits body contours and comes with a pocket closure which is simple to use for easy fit, adjustment, and removal.

Features of Coloplast Brava Ostomy Support Belt

  • The belt is quite large in width and covers a large area 
  • Comfortable and breathable fabric
  • Silicone grip prevents sliding and rolling
  • Panel material can be cut for appliance placement
Coloplast Brava Ostomy Support Belt



3. Safe N Simple Security Hernia Support Belt 6 Inch with Pouch Opening

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Provides adequate support to hernias, bulges, and ostomy appliances. It offers a great combination of comfort and support. Its anti-roll functionality prevents the belt from rolling due to pressure. 

Features of Safe N Simple Security Hernia Support Belt 6 Inch with Pouch Opening

  • The 2-way stretch material of the belt allows continued activity while supporting the abdominal area
  • The 3" diameter covers large areas and offers comfort for long-term periods.
  • Breathable material allows air to pass to the skin.
  • Unique glove design makes wearing and removal convenient.
Safe N Simple Security Hernia/Ostomy Support Belt 6 Inch With Pouch Opening



Other Options For Parastomal Hernia Repair

1. Closing the stoma

Although this is the best option for treating a peristomal hernia, this is only available to those who still have enough healthy bowel left to reattach the open end of the stoma.

2. Repairing the hernia

A small hernia can be repaired by surgery in which a surgeon opens the abdominal wall to sew muscle and other tissues together in order to narrow or close the hernia.

3. Relocating the stoma

Sometimes, the existing herniated stoma is closed, and a new stoma is created on a different site. However, a peristomal hernia may develop there as well.

4. Mesh inserts

The most common type of peristomal repair. There are two options for mesh – synthetic and biological. Biological mesh is comfortable but expensive. In this parastomal hernia surgery, the hernia is repaired in the usual manner. Then, the mesh is placed either over the repaired stoma or below the abdominal wall. Over time, the mesh incorporates into the tissue around it to create a strong area in the abdomen and prevent hernia recurrence.  

Parastomal hernias are painful and may become complicated when they cause trouble attaching an ostomy pouch, causing a messy situation and could also result in skin breakdown. Consult your doctor if you observe any of the above-mentioned symptoms or notice unusual reactions on your skin.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Akanksha Nigam

Akanksha Nigam

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Akanksha Nigam has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. With a Masters Degree in Finance, she began her Marketing career in the banking industry. However, her interest in human ...

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