Recurring hernias around stoma site - seeking advice on surgery


I've had my stoma for many years now, and it has changed my life for the better as not having to rush to the toilet and having accidents, which were extremely embarrassing. I feel more in control and the Crohn's is under control. The only problem I've had is recurring hernias around the stoma site. I've had three repair operations but a couple of months later they're back and get very large, to the state others notice them, so I just make a joke and say not bad for only six months. I just wish I knew who the father is! But joking aside, I'm due to have more surgery next month, June. But this time I'm having the stoma moved to the other side of my tummy and then try to repair the hernia. I just want to know if anyone has had a similar operation, as I'm extremely anxious that after having the surgery another hernia will occur around the new stoma site and where my old stoma was a hernia will also appear. Any advice would be great, as I get a lot of inspiration from you guys and what you've been through. - rythamoflove


I went through the same scenario and had several parastomal hernias repaired. F
Finally, I had the site changed of my stoma. I have not had any problems since. I have a continent ostomy, but the same thing happened to me. Changing the stoma site seems to be the answer. Best of luck to you.

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Hi, I'm actually having my parastomal hernia done today at 9am this morning. Just saw this post and had to reply.
My surgeon is hoping to retain the original stoma. If you've had a few surgeries like I have (7 to be precise), he said there's a possibility of further short bowel problems like dehydration and absorption issues. So, he does not want to create a new stoma, and to be honest, I'd rather he repair it at the original site.
I'm nervous as hell tonight, hence this late post. I'm told it's only a 7-day stay if things go to plan.
I'll update you on what to expect.

Hello Boothwink,
Just seen your post so I'm guessing you are in the hospital now.
Hope the operation goes well for you and all works as it should afterwards.
I had a parastomal hernia in 2005. My surgeon had to re-site my stoma to the other side.
She didn't remove all the spare fatty skin that my hernia had made, which meant my stomach is uneven and makes a lot of skin folds where the flange sits. So good luck.
Let us know when you are feeling better, how things are.

I have had a hernia from the beginning. It is unsightly and bulges out the size of a softball...but it causes me no pain and no problems with my wafer staying I guess I am lucky. When do you decide to have surgery repair? What kinds of problems do you have to want to have repair surgery? I am curious to know that to look for?

Thank you if you reply.


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Hello Tim,
For me, it was the fact that my appliance kept leaking due to the uneven stomach where the hernia was close to my stoma. Now, this could be a lady thing, I don't know, but I was getting very down as my clothes were showing the big lump it was making.
I couldn't wear the skirts, etc. I was fitting into okay before I was aware of the lump coming on. Couldn't do the skirt bands up or zips, but the worst was the leaking that got more often as the months went on.
So, I decided I wanted the surgeon to remove and repair the hernia site.
Touch wood, it seems to be holding alright since the op. in 2005. I try to watch how heavy an item is before I lift it up.
Now, looking back, I wonder if the hernia came about after me being knocked down by a car in December 2003, and I also recall a really powerful sneeze, the type that makes you jump, one night in bed. At that time, I felt a funny sensation feeling, like pulling inside my stomach.
This happened at the worst moment as I was turning over, so no time to brace myself. So, any of these two things may have been another reason why I got the hernia. Who knows?
Mine gave me no pain that I recall, apart from a type of pinched feeling around my stoma.
Yours sounds as though you can manage it fine, it's until the bag starts playing up that it becomes an issue, I think.
Texas Girl

Well, I know this has been a couple of months ago, but I too have a big hernia and I am a woman. I can't wear any clothes that I used to. My hernia is very big. I also have a conduit. I have to catheterize every 3 to 4 hours. So my left side is my colostomy/hernia, and the right side is my urostomy. So the doctors say that they don't have anywhere to move it to if they were to repair my hernia. I am in Texas and the oncologist here will not do the surgery if you smoke. And I am a smoker. My hernia does not hurt or bother me, except I look and feel like a pregnant cow...LOL Gee07, can I ask what kind of clothes did you wear with the hernia?

Hello Texas Girl, really sorry but haven't been on the site for a while and have only just seen your post.
I do sympathize with you having no spare place for the doctor to remove the hernia and re-site it. You say the doctors will not operate if you smoke but if you didn't, would they do it then?
For them to say they can't do it for the reason there is no room to re-site your stoma isn't good enough.
They must be able to give you help in some other way.
As for my clothes, jeans were out but I did still manage to wear my skirts as most did not have button waistbands, elastic in other words.
You must be feeling really lost as to what you can do.
My stoma nurse first told me that they wouldn't operate, to which I took no notice of her and went to my local doctor we call G.P.'s here and got her to refer me to see a surgeon at the hospital.
I really wish you well and please get back to me and let me know how you get on.
If they cannot help you, then perhaps you may have to change your style of clothing.
Can you try to pack the smoking in, to the point they may rethink about doing the hernia?
How is your appliance working with the hernia being so big?

Well, I am 1 week post-op of my ileostomy reversal and they repaired 3 hernias that were a surprise. I knew I had one, but definitely not 3! I was only in the hospital for 4 1/2 days, so good luck!


Please let me know what you find out as I am in the same situation myself. Rick

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