What is an Incisional Hernia?

An incisional hernia develops as a result of your ostomy surgery. It consists in part of the intestine lodging inside the incision. It occurs when the intestine finds its way through an incision that was not fully closed (right after surgery) or that was not properly sealed leaving a defect (an opening). An ostomy patient may develop an incisional hernia at any point in time: soon after or years after the surgery.

Symptoms of an Incisional Hernia:

The main symptom of an incisional hernia is a bulge in the abdominal area. Aside from a disturbing appearance, it is painless while at rest or under no exertion. If you are physically active or make use of your abdominal muscles, pain will normally surface. Once at rest pain vanishes. If the bulge hurts, or if there is vomiting, stomy blockage, or no secretions, you must contact your ostomy health professional immediately.

Treatment of an Incisional hernia:

Your ostomy surgeon will determine a course of action that may include the following:

-Pressing on the bulge that conforms the hernia. Watch and monitor if the hernia goes back into the defect (it recurs).
-Prescribing you permanent use of a parastomal hernia belt to  dislodge or keep the hernia in check.
-Conducting a surgery. If the ostomy professional determines that there is an incarcerated incisional hernia (a strangulated hernia), or if he feels your symptoms are enough evidence, he will perform the procedure. The surgeon will opt for either an Open surgery or a Keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. It is important to consider that neither option is full proof. There will always be a chance of hernia recurrance, so you will need to take all possible precautionary mesures.

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