A prolapsed stoma is when the intestine protrudes through the stomal opening more than it should. It means the stoma looks more extended than usual, varying from 2-3cm to more than 10cm. It may frighten you at first, but usually, it is not serious. Many times, this can be managed at home with conservative treatments. Stoma prolapse becomes problematic when blood flow is compromised, or blockages form in the stoma.
Stoma prolapse is a common complications after the ileostomy or colostomy surgery, and it may occur in as many as 16% of ostomy patients.
A stoma prolapse is more common after colostomies than ileostomies and more likely after a loop colostomy than an end colostomy. During a loop colostomy, the intestinal loop is pulled through the opening in the abdominal wall and then cut open and stitched to the skin to create a stoma. If the loop is not well secured inside the body, it can pop through the opening and stick out more. The most common causes of stoma prolapse include:
As long as the stoma functions normally, it is not too concerning if it remains a healthy reddish color. You also don’t have to worry if the prolapse naturally reduces in size when you are lying down or can be gently pushed back into place.
If you experience a prolapse, consult your doctor or stoma nurse for advice and support. They can explain how to care for your prolapsed stoma and recommend products to minimize discomfort. They can also tell you what you should look for that may require immediate medical attention.
A prolapsed stoma will require a few changes to your routine care, such as:
Here are some things you can try at home to fix a prolapsed stoma:
Surgical intervention may be necessary if conservative measures fail to fix stoma prolapse. Surgery is inevitable when the prolapsed stoma does not shrink, causes pain, hampers blood flow, impacts bowel or bladder activity, or makes it difficult to attach the pouch.
The surgeon will explain the potential risks and benefits of a stoma revision and whether this is an option for you.
The surgery is performed under local anesthesia. The surgeon will remove the prolapsed section of the bowel and either re-suture the stoma to your abdominal wall or move it to a new site.
Alternatively, the surgeon may perform stoma reversal surgery if that is possible.
Get immediate medical attention if:
Prevention is not always possible, but you can do the following things to minimize the risk of developing a prolapsed stoma:
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Sailaxmi Chennuru, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2017. A business management graduate, the study of anatomy has always been of interest to her.
After working as a medical transcriptionist for several years, she developed a keen interest ...
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