Several complications can occur with people who have a stoma. These complications may include a prolapsed and retracted stoma. In this article, we will discuss both these complications briefly.
A prolapsed colostomy is more like a stoma telescoping out of the body. The process of stoma prolapsing can be gradual or sudden. This problem is more common in people with a transverse colostomy. Such a stoma will take longer to fill a colostomy bag.
How common is this problem?
There is a rare chance of the stoma prolapsing. About 1 in 100 people has this problem during the first three weeks after colostomy surgery. This risk, however, increases in the long term. About one in every four people with transverse colostomy experiences the stoma prolapse. About 3 in every 100 people with end colostomy experience this issue.
Why does a prolapse occur?
A prolapse may occur for seemingly no reason. The most common reason for prolapse is the increased abdominal pressure.
Looking after a prolapsed stoma
It is crucial to seek an appointment with a stoma specialist nurse the first time you see your stoma prolapsing. During the meeting, the nurse will examine the stoma, the skin around it, and the type of ostomy appliance you are using. Most of the time, changing the appliance fixes the issue. If the prolapse is too long, you may need to use a larger bag to contain the stoma and feces. The nurse may recommend the use of a cold compress or sugar to manipulate the stoma back inside.
A colostomy below the level of the abdomen is known as a retracted colostomy. A colostomy should be raised above the abdominal skin by 10mm. This stoma size allows for the ideal placement of the colostomy bag and the use of other stoma care supplies.
According to a survey, about 14% of people with a colostomy get a retracted stoma during the first three weeks after surgery. It could mean 1 in every 8 people having a retracted colostomy. The chance of stoma retraction lessens further over time.
The most significant issue with a retracted stoma is the stools creeping under the skin barrier of the ostomy appliance. This seepage can result in complications in the skin around the stoma.
Why does a retraction occur?
The difficulty of forming a colostomy can result in tension on the stoma afterward, resulting in it being pulled back into the abdomen.
The development of problems soon after the operation is another reason for this retraction. These problems are not quite common, though. The skin and the stoma becoming detached is one of those problems. The stoma becoming dark or necrotic after the operation is another reason for a retraction. Some people start gaining weight after the operation, and it can be yet another reason for the retraction.
Looking after a retracted stoma
The best way to deal with a retracted stoma is to use a convex ostomy skin barrier. This barrier comes with an outward curve that goes against the skin around the stoma. This curve pushes the peristomal skin, making the stoma prolapse a bit. The inner edges of the opening in the skin barrier tend to settle at the base of the stoma to prevent any leakage.