Now my poor wife has got a Hernia. Any advice

Hi everyone.

As some on here already know, my wife had her surgeries for her bowel and liver cancers in March. She hasn't had the best of experiences and isn't really coping at all. Anyway, we went up to see the stoma nurse on Thursday and she said that she now has a hernia just where her stoma is. My wife had been getting some pain there, especially when she coughed and the nurse said that she will probably need an operation which, she added, hasn't got a great success rate . In the mean time she will refer her to another nurse so that she can get special pants and a belt. So, has anyone else had a similar problem re the hernia and what advice can you give me as my wife is so depressed with everything. I've asked to speak to someone but she refuses point blank so I'm trying to see what I can do.


  • Hi,

    Unfortunately I think it is very common . If you use the search function you will see other posts . I will pop it back up to the top as it’s a busy day .

    My mum had a massive hernia after surgery . You could see it through her clothes . However on the CT scan it had some fluid in it . Over the years I have to say it has reduced somewhat . I can no longer see it at all through her clothes . She did not have a stoma so can’t say how it impacts that but I will link in the stoma group so you can ask there .

    Also I would be more inclined to speak to the surgeon about success rates as they would know what they are able to achieve in terms of location . My understanding is not every hernia is the same .

    I am So sorry your wife has had a tough time . You are doing an amazing support job but it is not easy at times .

    Take care ,


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  • Hi Mr. Mac, sorry to hear of your wife's problems, especially with the hernia. I had a 'temporary' ileostomy for a year and almost immediately developed a hernia by the stoma which gradually became the size of half a small grapefruit when standing but always subsided when lying down.  It was repaired when I had the reversal. So, is your wife likely to have a reversal? The success rate then is good but not so good while you still have the stoma for obvious reasons.

    I was measured for and given a support belt on prescription from a company called SupportX. It did give some confidence but I found that if it was too tight it could mean that the output didn't pass easily down the pouch. I used it when I was doing anything that I thought needed extra support. Mine was caused by coughing and I got used to holding myself on that area if I coughed or sneezed. I also tried to do the core exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles.

    I didn't get any pain from it and just got used to it but if she is in pain then she needs to mention it to the nurses. Can she press it back in easily?

    I am afraid that I haven't offered you much help, just my own experience. I believe that the statistic of stoma hernia sufferers is quite high. I hope that your wife gets help in dealing with it, it must be worrying for you both. 

    All the best to you both, John

  • Hi John. Thanks for getting back to me. Unfortunately my wife's stoma is irreversible so maybe that's why her stoma nurse said the operation hasn't a good success rate. She is also worried about how the belt or tight pants would inhibit her output (as you have mentioned yourself) and hopefully she will get some advice on that from the nurse. She now has to see the lung specialist as her cancer has spread to there as well so, she's not having the best of times and understandably feels so low. It's definitely taking its toll on the both of us and I am now finding it hard to maintain her spirits as well as my own. 

    Take Care John   

  • Hi Mr Mac

    Im sorry your wife’s having such a rotten time. 
    I didn’t develop a hernia ,but I did have concerns about tight clothing restricting my output so I took measures to reassure myself in the early days. Now I can wear most things as the swelling has reduced 

    I wore shift dresses through the summer after my op. It was just easy having the pouch and layers were too much fuss. I also experimented with large pants. Getting them to not drag the top of the pouch was a challenge 

    This could be the answer if the nurses pants and belt are too uncomfortable 

    Ive heard lots wear Sloggi support knickers. I wear M&S so there will be lots of options. 

    To be honest I found I needed to buy some nice undies as it made me feel more like myself. 

    I hope that your wife has a positive appointment with the nurses I have found then very supportive and understanding 

    Take care 

    Best Wishes

    Artsie Ann 

  • Thanks for that information Artsie. Take Care

  • Adding to Artsies post.sloggi do ordinary knickers as well as support ones the maxi ones are really comfy and support the stoma bag without cutting into it.


  • Hi!

    My husband had an operation back in January for bowel cancer he too has a hernia on the site of his stoma but refused the support belts although the stoma nurse asked if he wanted it. The hernia was there before he got his stoma operation last July but looks bigger now after the op and like your wife Mr Mac you can see it through his clothes. I have managed to get him high waist trousers though and these cover it and his stoma bag without it being uncomfortable. Hope you wife is ok.

    Best Wishes

  • Thanks for your reply Patty. She tried a tight pair of pants to see if it would help however,  it inhibited her output so I think it might be worthwhile waiting until she gets measured for her special pants and belt and take it from there. Hopefully they will help but, like your husband, it might be the case that she has to look at alternative measures .

    Take Care