Signs & Symptoms of a Parastomal Hernia

Updated March 23, 2017

Parastomal hernias are difficult to diagnosis because there is no "uniform definition" of the condition, according to a 2005 report by Swedish surgeon Leif Israelsson. Evidence suggests that these hernias are common, difficult to treat and often reoccur.

Common Definition

Parastomal hernias are most commonly defined as a weakness or tear in the abdominal tissues or walls of the patient, often in the bowels, resulting in a protrusion of the abdominal tissues, states the Salisbury NHS Foundation.


General discomfort and swelling of the abdomen are the most common symptoms experienced by patients. These symptoms are often worse when the stomach muscles are strained or being used during physical activity or simply by coughing or sneezing.


Being overweight, obesity, coughing and infection(s) are common causes of hernias, states The British Hernia Centre.


A doctor needs to be seen to confirm the diagnosis of an existing hernia. X-rays are often used to determine the exact nature of your condition along with possible treatment options.


Surgery is required to treat severe cases. Mild to moderate cases may not require treatment or they may benefit from the use of a "wide, firm stoma belt", according to the Salisbury NHS Foundation.


The use of "prophylactic prosthetic mesh" as the most successful treatment of parastomal hernias, according to Israelsson. Consult with your doctor to review all treatment options and decide on the best course of action.

bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

With over 15 years writing experience, Lee's published work includes company newsletters, direct mail, articles, press releases, ghostwriting and website copy. As a communications / marketing consultant, Lee has worked on everything from marketing to communications, and executive presence to presentation skills. Lee has a M.A. from University of Illinois.