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Hernia: Causes and treatment

Clinical Advisor


From A Bigger Life

What is a hernia?

You have probably heard of the the risk of developing a hernia when you have a stoma but not understand what that means. Whenever the surgeon has formed your stoma he has brought it through a layer of muscle, in doing that there is then a defect in your abdominal wall. Because of that you are then at risk of developing a hernia. A hernia is where the actual bowel pushes through the defect in your abdominal wall and you would see it then as a swelling on the outside of your skin, around the stoma. A lot of people who are living with a hernia live active lives without it really interfering with their day to day life.

How to prevent a hernia

  • Try and avoid any heavy lifting in the first three months after surgery, lifting nothing heavier than a cup of tea.
  • If you have been interested in sporting activities before surgery and keen to get at them again, if they are vigorous activities it is important to wear a support belt to protect your abdominal muscles. It is not recommended to wear a support belt 24 hours a day because you want your own abdominal muscles to do the job that they are supposed to do, that is to protect your internal organs.
  • If you are going walking in the early days try and not wear a support belt, however if you find your are experiencing a dragging sensation in your abdomen, wear a support belt when you are out and about doing that. Do take the support belt off when you are back at home.
  • Prevention really is better than cure. If you do have a hernia and the surgeon feels that it needs to be operated on, you need to be aware that their is a greater risk of you developing another hernia after that first surgery.

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