Your Guide to Parastomal Hernia & Physical Activity Ostomy Care

How to Reduce Your Risk of Developing A Parastomal Hernia

Living with an Ostomy

Parastomal Hernia Illustration

You may have heard about a complication known as a parastomal hernia

A parastomal hernia (PSH) is a bulge around the stoma where extra loops of bowel have come through the abdominal wall next to the stoma and lie between the muscle and the skin.

There is little conclusive research about parastomal hernias, and no-one knows for sure why some people develop one and others don’t.

Parastomal hernias are quite common. Around 50%-60% of people who have a stoma will eventually develop a parastomal hernia.1,2

What causes a parastomal hernia and what can I do about it?

It’s not fully understood why some people develop a PSH and other people don’t. Research is ongoing and doctors are trying to find out more about parastomal hernias, what causes them, and how to repair them effectively.

Based on the current evidence available and the clinical experience of specialists and clinicians involved in preparing this guide, there appears to be a range of factors that may increase your chances of developing a PSH or a hernia becoming larger.3

  • Being overweight/having a large waist circumference (over 100cm)4
  • Having had multiple abdominal surgeries
  • Previous history of other types of hernias
  • Surgical technique, size of stoma or having a loop stoma
  • Having had chemotherapy/steroid treatment
  • Having a colostomy (formed from the colon) rather than an ileostomy or urostomy
  • Smoking
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Being elderly or frail
  • Poor core stability or weak core/abdominal muscles
  • Being generally de-conditioned and unfit with low muscle mass
  • An acute episode or ongoing respiratory condition such as COPD, sinusitis, hayfever or asthma, particularly with an ongoing cough, sneezing or nose blowing
  • An acute episode of vomiting
  • Incorrect heavy lifting, or lifting with poor technique too soon after surgery
  • Any activity, job, hobby or sport that creates repeated excessive straining especially soon after surgery or without having done correct core muscle rehabilitation
Your Guide to Parastomal Hernia and Physical Activity

Your Guide to Parastomal Hernia and Physical Activity

Even if you already have a PSH, there are still things you can do to keep yourself as healthy as possible. You may find it helpful to concentrate on the lifestyle factors that you can influence.

You may not be able to change your medical treatments, surgeries and medical history, but you can change your lifestyle factors. This can help give you a sense of control and help you feel healthier and more positive. 
Some questions addressed in the Guide include:

  • How do I know if I have a parastomal hernia?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • Can I exercise if I already have a parastomal hernia?
  • What core exercises should I avoid?
  • How can I exercise and move safely?

To order a copy of Your Guide to Parastomal Hernia and Physical Activity, please contact our Customer Relations Center at 1-800-465-6302 (Monday-Friday, 8am to 6pm ET), or email at convatec.canada@convatec.com


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me+ Recovery May Be Right For You

The me+ Recovery series provides information and support about the importance of movement and physical activity after ostomy surgery.

Too many people are worried about harming themselves by doing physical activity, when in fact there are so many benefits to being active. To address this, we developed the me+ Recovery series, which is based on gentle movements, guiding users through their recovery after ostomy surgery and beyond.