Hernia in Ostomy: Symptoms, Prevention, and Personal Experiences - Share your stories!

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warrior
Aug 06, 2019 1:59 pm

I saw some reading how Ostomy folks are more likely to get a hernia than most non osties. Well, how do you know this? Pain? Bulging at the site? I do have something resembling a boob growing at the site. The right side is much larger than the left. It's not tender nor giving me pain but damn is it gonna happen? As a mechanic, I don't even think about hurting myself but am getting older, and perhaps reckless thinking it ain't gonna happen to me. Of those here experienced with a stoma and a hernia, do tell, how'd you know? What did you do to cause it? How'd you fix it? Thanks.

iMacG5
Aug 06, 2019 3:48 pm

Hi Warrior.  According to my surgeon, the longer we have an ostomy the more likely it is we'll get a hernia.  We mechanics get used to lifting, stretching, bending and whatever is needed to get the jobs done.  The advice from several experts is to avoid anything that causes us to GRUNT.  Some of us spent most of our working lives grunting and never gave it a thought.  Hernias suck.  Let's avoid them.

Mike

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warrior
Aug 06, 2019 4:08 pm

Hi Mike. Thanks. Just thinking I may have one already and don't know it.

Blazest
Aug 06, 2019 9:24 pm

Well hey there fellow warrior. Regarding hernias...

Technically, an ostomy is a hernia if you think about it: It's a hole in your gut through which part of your innards are poking through. The question is, will it get worse and if so, how bad will it get and why? Right? So some folks are lucky enough to have it pretty much stay as it is. But many get one started in a couple of different ways. Mine sounds like yours: A bulge around the stoma that appears to be getting worse. It did not help that I was given my stoma when I was 35 pounds lighter than I am now. Weight gain makes it worse. Plus, as has been mentioned in other comments, straining makes it worse too: We're not supposed to be picking anything up more than about 25 pounds. But if you have to, be sure to do what your mother would tell you anyway, which is LIFT WITH YOUR LEGS. Also, if you feel any pressure on your gut from lifting or anything else, that's going to make it worse too. I've invested in an ostomy hernia belt (you can get them online from Ostomy Secrets and others) which helps, but sometimes I use a second one to keep the stoma itself from squeezing out of the hole when I'm physically active. I also lay on the bed for 5 or 10 minutes and massage my gut to gently push the bulge back in before I put on the belt(s). ANYWAY, regarding the second belt, I can USUALLY tell when the stoma is active and then remove it so it doesn't obstruct the output. You can have it surgically reinforced, but they don't let you use the plastic mesh any longer, so they put in what they call "biologics" which dissolve and sometimes work and sometimes don't and dissolve after about 5 years anyway. There are alternative surgical techniques like one called the "Sugarbaker" too. The best cure is having your ostomy reversed if possible, or maybe a J pouch -- although as far as digestion is concerned, I've never had it so good and don't want to if I don't have to. Hope that helps; soldier on.

iMacG5
Aug 06, 2019 10:57 pm

I wear a custom-made hernia belt for about 24 hours after changing my appliance.  It fits in a way that enhances the seal and diminishes the possibility of leaks.  I got mine from NU HOPE LABS, 800-899-5017.  

I don't have a hernia, yet.

Mike

 
Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
warrior
Aug 06, 2019 10:58 pm

Thanks, Blazest.

Never thought of this that way. A hole actually being a hernia. But you're right 100%. I have to keep an eye on it. I am not a candidate for either J pouch or reversal. That would only bring more issues.

I am just concerned if the pain is like a bent-over fall-down kind of thing that happens after, say, lifting something. I used a wide ostomy belt. I have seen hernia belts. Wonder if those are covered under insurance.

Hm... the bulge is getting bigger, it seems. I am losing weight, so it does look bigger. Time will tell. Thanks again. Carry on.

warrior
Aug 06, 2019 11:02 pm


Thanks, Mike. Everything we do at this age makes us grunt, no? I have belts out there. Gunna see if they are covered by insurance. Hope that helps. Sweat my ass off as it is with ostomy belt. Course, it doesn't help the garage is like an oven.

Dutchy Knucklebuster
Aug 17, 2019 4:44 pm

Are hernia repair surgeries even safe for ileostomates, many of whom have autoimmune disease, with the use of polypropylene mesh & rejection? How can open abdominal surgery be performed on a person with a permanent appliance and serious infection be avoided? How can one find a surgeon knowledgeable in these areas?

warrior
Aug 19, 2019 3:28 pm

 Have I

I have no idea if they are safe. Some folks here have had them. Jury is still out if successful.