A patient with a stoma may develop a hernia adjacent to the stoma. The risk of this happening can be reduced by taking steps to identify and reduce contributory factors.


Risk factors for a parastomal hernia:

(1) obesity

(2) failing to place the stoma within the rectus abdominis muscle

(3) oversized opening in the abdominal wall when making the stoma

(4) strenuous exercise soon after surgery, prior to wound healing

(5) chronic, forceful cough

(6) advanced age


Interventions that can reduce the risk:

(1) exercises to strengthen the abdominal wall muscles prior to surgery

(2) use of mesh during surgery to strengthen the surgical site

(3) reducing body weight if obese

(4) wearing an abdominal support belt when doing heavy lifting or work


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