What is a parastomal hernia?

The term parastomal hernia is used to describe a bulge or swelling around/under the stoma that leads to problems with stoma function and appliance security. This usually occurs gradually and the hernia may increase in size over time.

When a stoma is created, the surgeon generally brings the end of the intestine out through the abdominal muscles, which provide support for the stoma. By making an incision in the muscle, a potential weakness is created. A parastomal hernia can occur when the edges of the stoma come away from the muscle, allowing abdominal contents (usually a section of bowel) to bulge out.

Further information about parastomal hernias can be found in the booklets and article below.  You can also call our free 24 hour helpline and speak to one of our volunteers who can support and advise.

What causes a parastomal hernia?

There are many factors that contribute to the development of a parastomal hernia including:

  • coughing and sneezing;
  • straining: this can happen when lifting heavy objects or during strenuous activities such as gardening;
  • infection at the site of the stoma or abdominal wound;
  • muscles becoming weaker with age;
  • being overweight;
  • poor siting of the stoma;
  • emergency surgery.

If you have a parastomal hernia and would like to speak to someone please call our free 24 hour helpline on 0800 328 4257. The below booklets and articles can also provide information and guidance.

Stay in touch