Possible Parastomal Hernia?

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Kyan4

I might be over analyzing but I think I have a hernia but every CT scan I have says it doesn't detect one. I've had 3.... Is it possible that the scan missed it? I have a slight bulge near my stoma and some discomfort especially when sitting. Please help... Thanks

Bill

Hello Kyan4. 

As far as the medics are concerned, there is a very specific definition of what a hernia is. THe dictionary definition is:'protrusion of part of an organ through the wall of the body cavity containing it'.  We we have operations and end up with stomas, this could be described as a herniain itself becasue it fits the definition. However, because they have done it deliberately and labelled it as a stoma, the definition of hernia is no longer relevant. The problem arises when the medics view the sounding  tissue and muscle as all part of what they would expect to be displaced as a result of that type of surgery. In this case, any scan would simply show them what they are expecting to see and would be labelled as part of the stoma and not a hernia. It does not mean it is not there in practical terms, just in the definition. 

You may be suffering from  a fairly common condition called 'semantics', where different people see the same thing and call it by a different name. It happens all the time in other facets of human existance, so I cannot see why it would not happen in these circumstances as well.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes

Bill 

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Kyan4

Thanks, Bill. I understand and really appreciate your input. How do most people, like the ones on this site I've been reading about, get diagnosed with having a hernia? Presumably, a CT scan for verification?

Bill

Hello Kyan4. 

It's a very interesting question you ask about how people are diagnosed with having a hernia I will admit that I have no idea, other than my own situation - so I hope others will join this thread and enlighten us. 

In my own case, I was discussing the swelling and the pain with the stoma nurse and she had no hestition in telling me I had a hernia (as if she was expecting it!) She offered to refer me back to the surgeon for a repair but warned that they were not very successful. I'm not sure whether she was referring to the operation or to the skill of the surgeon who might do it. Either way, I declined and said that I would live with it until it became unbearable.

She recommended hernia belts to stop it getting worse and I've modified their ideas to cater specifically for my own needs as their belts were practically useless. 

I also have a hiatus hernia, which they diagnosed by putting a camera down my throat and having a proper look. This seemed like a much more practical and valid way of diagnosing something like this but it didn't help much because they did nothing further to aleviate the symptoms.  

I hope this helps in your deliberating on what to do next

Best wishes

Bill

veejay

Just so happens I had an appointment with a colorectal surgeon last Thursday to ask him what the bulge behind my stoma was. I suspected it was a parastomal hernia and he confirmed that it was. He just knew looking at it and some exaggerated coughing from me. No need for scans etc. He knows his stuff....actually a professor.

It doesn't bother me, no pain at all but it is noticeable in summer when I only have a shirt on.

My doctor also said he could not guarantee a successful outcome if he operated. Better to just monitor it as it may get bigger.

My advice Kyan4 is to see a specialist and voice your concerns.

All the best.

V.J.

 
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Kyan4

Thank you so much. You have no idea how much your comment means. If you don't mind me asking ... was constipation a symptom?

Bill

Hello Kyan4.

Constipation is not necessarily a symptom of a hernia but it should be addressed because it can be a symptom or what is called a 'strangulated hernia' -where the gut gest bent and twisted on itself, which does not allow the faeces to be pushed through. This can be a serious condition and should not be left to sort itself out. There are several remedies for constipation so if this is one of your symptoms, it would be as well to find one that suits you. 

Best wishes

Bill

veejay

Don't want to alarm you, Kyan4, but if you are experiencing constipation and pain, you really need to see a specialist. You could have other problems.

My parastomal hernia doesn't cause me any pain at all, but it does interfere with the irrigation process, which means I irrigate every 12 hours. It only takes half an hour, then shower. (The best).

Keep us informed.

V.J.

Kyan4

Thanks so much for the information. They did a CT scan and a physical examination and they didn't detect any hernia. It could be the narcotics I've been taking for back pain? But no hernia, so now I am befuddled as to what the culprit is. Thanks again.

Kyan4

Thanks so much. Turns out it wasn't a hernia. It was the narcotics I'd been taking for pain.

Bill

Hello Kyan4.

Thanks for lettng us know the outcome. I find that once I know for sure what a problem is, then it can usually either be dealt with or managed much more effectively.

Best wishes

Bill

veejay

That's good news Kyan4.

All the best.

V.J.