Hernia Surgery Concerns: Ostomy Placement & Recovery


I just came from the surgeon's office. I have 2 hernias, one on my left side near my ostomy and one on my right side. I saw the surgeon in Aug. 2016. He said he would recommend me losing 35 lb if I could. Well, I lost 41 lb. and he said he can fix them now. I'm scared to death because he may have to move my ostomy site. I asked him where he would move it to. He said a little higher or possibly to the right side. I have faith in this doctor and he fixed both hernias in 2014, and it took two years before they came back. He has to remove the mesh from the last time and can't tell me exactly where the stoma will be moved to until he gets inside. I'm worried that it will be in the way of my clothes. What is the best place for the ostomy? My ostomy can't be reversed because my rectal colon cancer was too low. I've had my ostomy since April of 2011, and if I wasn't in so much pain, I would say forget it, but I don't think I can wait any longer.


I would say you are worried about nothing. I would say your surgeon is a smart guy. Most guys' pants are below your navel. Unless your name is Herkel. As long as it is even with your navel or a hair above, I would think you will be good to go. Hang in there, I have had 6 hernias with 4 operations. Have faith in your higher power first and then your doc. You will be okay. Andy

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Thanks, Andy. I do tend to worry about everything. I know that the Lord has me in His hands. He hasn't let me down yet. In 2010, I was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer that had spread to my liver. In April of 2011, I was operated on and that's when I received my ostomy. I guess I'm just a big baby when I have to face surgery. I'm just scared of the unknown. I feel a little better since you reassured me. By the way, my operation is set for April 11th, the day before my birthday. What a bummer. If I didn't take that date, I would have to wait until the end of the month and I was afraid I would chicken out.

NJ Bain


If the surgery was a new one, I would say normally the ET nurse would mark a location on your abdomen where the stoma would fit best. My ET nurse had me sit down and she used a needle to scratch an "X" for the best spot my stoma would be.

Everyone is different but according to her, the best placement for a stoma is 2 inches above your belt line. I know some people prefer it below the belt line, but this has worked best for me and I've been lucky to have never had to have my stoma location moved since my surgery in '95.

And I don't care how tough a man or woman is on the outside, we are all big babies on the inside when it comes to surgery. My girlfriend at the time and my family were there in pre-op and I was doing my best to be strong for them as they sobbed away. Of course, the tears just started flowing and I was scared to death. But once I was wheeled into the operating room and they injected the good stuff in my IV, I didn't care about shxt...lol

Just do as you've been doing, keep the faith and God will watch over you. Keep us informed on how the surgery goes.



Good luck,

I would certainly focus on the fact that you will be pain-free! That, in itself, will be wonderful! You will get used to wherever the surgeon is able to relocate, and it always works out! Easy for me to say, right!

Prayers for the best outcome!


Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

I had my surgery on April 11th. I don't know whether to be happy or sad. Once the surgeon went in laparoscopically to look around, he said there wasn't enough room to move the ostomy, so it's still in the same place. The only thing he did was stretch the mesh and close a hole in the mesh that was causing my pain, but he said it's only as strong as the stitches. He didn't take out the old mesh or do anything with the other hernia. He said he was sorry, but he just couldn't do all that to me because he said it would be too much for me to take. I've had too many surgeries, and there is only so much that can be done. I'm not in any pain, just sore and having trouble getting up from the bed. Now I'm just waiting for my ostomy to work properly.



So glad your pain has lessened and now you just need some time to heal from the surgery! I would have thought that while he was in there, he would do what he could to repair things! I saw where you posted about swimming! What they don't know won't hurt them! I would swim where I felt like it and it is none of their business. I have a pool in my backyard and am in it every day for hours in the summer. I have never had a pouch fall off! I also cruise and just got back today from one. I use the hot tub and the pool and have never had any problems. There are additional supplies you can use for your comfort zone like barrier strips around your pouch flange. It secures the pouch and most importantly, gives you peace of mind! Go for it! You will be glad you did!


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