One of the ugly truths that may not be mentioned when a patient first learns they will need to have a colostomy, is that at some point down the line a stoma revision may need to be performed as well. It is not something every patient will have to undergo but various stoma or colostomy related problems may occur that may prompt your surgeon to advise a stoma revision. The key to a healthy life after colostomy surgery is to have a healthy stoma that does not interfere with the workings of the patients colostomy supplies.
Revising the stoma site may involve; making the stoma larger or smaller, strengthening the stoma with mesh in cases of hernia or injury, redoing the attachment of the stoma to the outside of the abdomen, or widening the site to help with blood flow or pinching problems, just to name a few.
It may be unpleasant, worrisome and downright scary to have to undergo another surgery, but a properly functioning stoma and stoma site is the corner stone of safe, hassle-free colostomy care. More than likely the patient will have to be put under general anesthesia, with local anesthesia being an option for usually only the smallest and simplest of revisions. After surgery a stay in the hospital may be seen.
Possible Reasons for Stoma Revision Surgery
Malformed Stoma: A stoma that has settled into an odd shape can make it hard for colostomy appliances to enact a snug fit. If this happens possible leakage and/or stoma irritation might occur.
Hernia: The most common type of complication seen by colostomy patients, a hernia may cause some pain and bulging at the stoma site. Non-severe cases may need stoma revision whereas more severe cases may involve stoma relocation, creating a new stoma on a different site on the abdomen.
Ulcers, bleeding, excessive skin irritation: Continual skin problems at the stoma site may require stoma revision surgery to fix any causes for leakage and skin issues occuring around the stoma.
Stoma prolapse or retracted stoma: These two types of stoma problems deal with a stoma that either protrudes too much from the abdomen or one that does not protrude enough. This can lead to problems with stoma appliances being able to fit properly and cause leakages. A stoma revision may be recommended in these instances.
Blockages: Any type of blockage, especially where there are multiple instances, stoma revision may be needed. Obstructions can be serious, so revision or relocation surgery may be advised should a patient develop a problem with constant blockages.
Patients often shutter when they hear that they may need to have another surgery. This is usually replaced with relief once successful stoma revision surgery is performed. Stoma problems can be rather distressing for patients so correcting a malfunctioning stoma can be quite rewarding. A healthy, properly functioning stoma is crucial to overall well-being of colostomy patients. Stoma revision may be a necessary course of action for some patients after their initial colostomy surgery, but fixing a problematic stoma will ensure colostomy supplies will fit and function as intended which in turn will help the patient live a more worry free and healthier life going forward.