My Stoma Hernia Repair Operation And Recovery

Michelle Williams Parastomal Hernia Blog

I was a bit apprehensive about my stoma hernia repair operation

Recently, I went into hospital for yet another stoma hernia repair operation.

I was a bit apprehensive to say the least – I’ve had problems with anaesthetics and controlling pain previously. To add to that, I now also have daily chronic pain from nerve damage so I was really concerned about recovery, particularly coming around after surgery because that’s when I have experienced horrendous pain before and been unable to communicate it.

Communication with your surgeon and anaesthetist is key

But, this time, I had the most amazing anaesthetist. When she came round, before the op, to talk to me, she actually listened to me. She understood my unique situation perfectly. Although I was apprehensive when a spinal block was suggested (because I’ve had epidurals before and they’ve never worked), I trusted her enough to go with her advice. As soon as she administered it, I could tell that it was not only different this time but that it was going to work perfectly.

So my take-home message for you is that it’s so important not to just rush through the conversations you have with your surgeon and anaesthetist, when you are waiting to be taken down to theatre. Nerves can get the better of you at this time and your mind goes blank. But really listening and taking time to ask them all your questions then make informed choices can make a huge difference to your surgery experience. This time, I wrote all my concerns down on a piece of paper and kept it on the table by my bed to help me think clearly.

I had a small incision but it is healing well

All the treatment combined worked amazingly and I was able to go home within 24 hours of coming back from surgery. Despite having the majority done by keyhole surgery, I did need a small 3-4inch incision next to my stoma, due to a previous stoma hernia repair. I was worried about how this incision would heal because it sits underneath the adhesive part of the flange. However, it’s healing fine. I was already using a convex bag, which I think must be helping. A normal flat flange might have leaked.

"It’s so important not to rush through the conversations you have with your surgeon" - Michelle

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by Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

About the author

My name is Michelle; I live in Kent with my husband and son. I have a permanent ileostomy as a result of Ulcerative Colitis. You can follow me on twitter.

Recent Comments

  • Mary Mc Creath

    Brave lady and very strong, I worked with you and your intelligence always came through

  • Catherine

    You managed so well. I've had my stoma for four months, after having a hernia that perforated my Bowie. Was an emergency operation, although I was told I would have a stoma, it's been hard to get used to. I'm 61 just lost my husband. I did have bowel cancer 16 years ago, had a stoma for nine months but it was reversed this one can't be. It's just find it odd that where my stoma is my belly sticks out a lot, does anyone think this is normal.

  • susan Rimmington

    Hi I'm sue.ive had a stomach since 2006.i have a lump like you say you have got it's a peristomal hernia I've had mine a while now I think it's time I was getting something done with it I've read it's done by keyhole surgery and your in for a full day.i was in 3 weeks when I had my stoma op.i had things go wrong that's why I'm not in a hurry to have it done.
    I'm 63 I had diverticulitis ,that's why I ended up with a stoma.
    Hope your not worrying too much.im here if you need to talk
    Sue.x

  • Dave

    Hi Anyone, I have had my stoma from 2006. It was on my left side but because it had a hernia they moved it to my right hand side, but I had major complications with that operation. After 8 months of daily nurse visits, it has now healed but now I have another hernia on my right hand side. I hate it and feel so self conscious about it. The surgeon I last saw said they wouldn't operate on it to close the hernia, so I would just have to "live with it". I don't know what to do now. I had a nurse specialist out during the week to show me a belt that I could use, but I just want to get rid of the hernia. I must admit that the belt did feel good (and when you take it off you really feel the hernia pop back out --- it's a weird feeling). So I am going to try the belt to see how I get on, but I still feel let down by my consultant.

  • Ros

    I had a operation this year and have a stoma + Now have a hernia a bit large is it dangerous I’m a bit worried about it surgeon says he won’t remove it is that normal.

  • Albertus Robbetze

    I must go for a hernia operation the surgeon said they going to use mache to repair it,I want to know if it is safe to put it in.

  • SecuriCare_Team

    Hello all, you may find this information about parastomal hernias helpful: www.clinimed.co.uk/stoma-care/stoma-problems/hernia
    CliniMed are our sister company and they also have a pouch designed specifically for hernias - the Aura Profile.

    Best wishes,

    SecuriCare Team.

  • Laur

    Got a Stoma? Hernia seems to be almost inevitable eventually.
    Mine was observable in hospital the day after Colostomy 4 years ago. (Small bulge)
    Talked to Surgeon , they didn't want to repair untill it is almost life threatening
    because the probability of probems (reoccurance).

    Wear a belt (of some kind) almost all the time. (like Nu-Comfort , something with more support than a Stealthbelt,
    Mine has hardly increased in size , I believe we should be issued a belt at surgery.
    The side benefit is that Flanges stay attached a LOT longer .

  • Carol chinn

    Hi all, I have two hernias, one in my upper stomach and a stoma hernia. Since having the stoma hernia, I've had many occasions when bags have leaked. This is despite seeing a stoma nurse and given different bags. I do wish I was told when having the opp, that there was a great chance, I believe it's 75%, of getting an hernia there. I too strongly believe we should be told and given a belt before discharge after surgery. I'm really gratefully to be alive, after bladder cancer.
    But this can be prevented. I look like I have aliens inside me ready to hatch. It's worse having the hernias than the stoma it's self. I think we should all speak to our stoma nurses and tell them. People need to be more informed after surgery. Also hernia belts need to be given as part of a home package. Im truly gratefull to the NHS and my brilliant surgeon Mr Rowe at Southmead Hospital. So don't want to whinge too much. Best wishes

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hi Carol, sorry to hear your hernia is causing so many problems. If you haven't done so already, please take a look at CliniMed's Aura Profile - a pouch designed to mould around the contours of a parastomal hernia and provide a leak-free fit. You can order a free sample at https://lead.clinimed.co.uk/aura-profile.

  • Elaine

    I’ve had hernia surgery to my stoma 8 weeks ago but recently it’s been very painful do you think the hernia is back , how would I know x

  • Valerie

    Hi I've had a stoma respite and hernia repair how would I know if my repaired hernia is coming back i do have aching feelings alot and in my groin

  • patrick anderson

    I had an emergency operation 13 weeks ago. Yes, I now have a parastomal hernia which has put my recovery back, and knocked my confidence. At 76, with bowel and liver cancer, another operation is frowned upon by my medical team.
    I have been measured for a support belt, which can take 4-6 weeks to be delivered. As part of that fitting, I wore the belt for about 40 minutes, it was marvellous, I could move about without pain, my tummy didn't have that embarrassing bulge. I felt human again. I can see myself being able to go out and about again with the belt.
    Why isn't a belt offered to all stoma patients? I am sure I would not have developed this hernia if my stomach had been supported by a belt. I had no idea that so many of us stoma patients developed this condition.

  • chuck may

    I have a hernia a round my stoma the bag is reversal when the small leak in my bowel is sealed. stage 1 cancer operation my doctor wont fix my hernia what can I do.

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hi Chuck, you can speak with your Stoma Care Nurse about the options available to you, if surgery is not an option there may be alternative products to help.

  • Cheryl Fraser

    Can you live with a parastomal hernia without complications. If you have surgery to reduce the hernia can you have the colostomy repaired at the same time? I wear a belt everyday. Thank you.

  • MELINDA

    I have a Colostomy bag. Thank GOD

  • Darla s

    I have had a reversal in April 2019 I have a small bulge where the bag used to be it's above the stoma site it hurts a little but not severe. I want to know if I should worry about it it's small about the size of small chicken egg.

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hi Darla,

      This is something you should speak to your Stoma Care Nurse or surgeon about. If you are no longer in contact, please speak with your GP.

  • Betty

    I'm 70 and had a stoma operation 1 year ago due to severe infections from Diverticulitis. It has herniated to the size of a grapefruit when standing. Flattens down when I lay down. Can they reconnect the stoma AND fix the hernia in the same operation? Or will it be two separate operations?

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hi Betty,

      This is something you should speak to your Stoma Care Nurse or surgeon about.

  • Philip Wray

    Hi I had a hernia repair surgery three weeks ago next to my stoma but think hernia has come back what are my options now ?

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hi Philip, please speak to your Stoma Care Nurse about your options. You can also take a look at the information available on our sister company's website: www.clinimed.co.uk/stoma-care/stoma-problems/hernia

  • Louise

    I have a mittrofanoff stoma created 2 years ago I have had to get dilation however for past 7 months I noticed lump at stoma and found it difficult to Isc after ultrasound confirmed a hernia my urology surgeon dilated it 2 weeks ago however after leaving catheter in stoma 2wekks when she took it out we were unable to Isc she eventually got size 10 in for another week general surgeon might repair hernia with mesh but will this affect my stoma site?

  • Rachel Fisher

    I had a stoma reversal and a hernia fixed at the same time on the 21st of February this year but I'm waking every day early in the morning with bad pain it feels like I need to pass wind but I go toilet and it's very wet but the pain is terrible please help

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hi Rachel, please contact your healthcare provider to discuss this. If you are unable to, then you are welcome to call S.T.A.R.S. (SecuriCare Telephone Advice and Response Service) for telephone access to stoma support. We can arrange for you to speak to one of our Stoma Care Nurses within one working day of your call. Call 0808 301 2414, Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm.

  • Iona Blake.

    Hi I have a colostomy now and been diagnosed with hernia. It’s painfull als I get a lot. Off constipation iam hoping to get the operation soon because. Off the corona virus I’m scared to go near the hospital I don’t want to keep being in pain

  • Janice

    In June 2019 I had a reversal operation on a colon stoma and repair on a parastomal hernia where the surgeon inserted mesh, I have seen recently on the media that mesh can have its problems. Since the operation I have had a lump just above where the stoma was, although this is not exactly painful it is very uncomfortable and embarrassing.

  • MS Lisa M Gibbins

    I had an Ileostomy last Sept & all woz well apart from severe leakage as the bag adhesive strips couldn`t cope, now I have been great for a good 8 months as I finally found massive, very sticky adhesive strips, I had Chemotherpay ystrdy for kidney cancer (spread from Bowels), I was fine until I decided to do sum de-cluttering my flat today & was bending a lot, I sat down for a break & had strong pain next to my Stoma Right hand side) I couldn`t move for the intense pain, is it a Hernia & wot should I do as if strangulates it will cut the blood supply to my stoma, I did have a heavy coughin spree for about 30 secs right before it...?...Thankyou...

    • SecuriCare_Team

      Hello Lisa, it is vital that you speak to your Stoma Care Nurse or another member of your healthcare team about this. They will be able to diagnose and advise you. Best wishes.

  • Victor Watkins

    I had emergency surgery in April 2019 for diverticulitis. As a result i developed a hernia but the surgery to reverse the colostomy will include hernia repair. It will be a high risk surgery and I'm confident it will be successful. It had been put off due to covid-19 but now we are on track to get the surgery done by the end of the year.. No pain at all from the hernia and no reoccurring issues since the surgery for diverticulitis.

  • Vaughan Smith

    Hi Victor,

    I had the same as you but in September 2018. I'm also waiting for a reversal and my football sized hernia to be fixed. I'm 47 and can't wait to fell normal again, I've got used to life with Sally (the stoma) but it's the hernia that's the problem as you can see it through my t shirts. Please let me know Victor how you get on and good luck as it will give me an insight to what lies ahead for me.

  • Tracey cope

    Hi I was diagnosed with bowel cancer 14th February 2020 had surgery 4th March ended up with stoma fitted ... I now have a hernia that is a embracing mess .. I have allergies to the glue on the pouchs and the flange have leak quite often.. get ulcers regularly I got what they call a wet stoma I lose a lot of mucus from the back passage but on the plus side I'm on the waiting list for the reversal plus hernia repair

  • Sherea Walters

    I have an Ileostomy and have a hernia that is quite large. I’m waiting to get reversal surgery but now I can’t walk very well. I have no muscle control in my abdomen so it makes it very difficult to carry things or walk. I feel like a Rolly Polly. . Is this normal? To make things worse I have to get knee surgery to repair or do a complete knee replacement. I’m 55 raising my 6 year old grandson. He deserves a parent who can play with him. It’s so hard to want to play when you’re in constant pain and can’t walk. I feel like there’s a disconnect between my brain and my legs. Has anyone out there had this happen?

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