Tests and treatments

Stoma hernia repair

Types of treatment

Types of treatment

Years have been spent on the search for a good method to repair stoma hernias. To achieve a good, long-term result, a mesh must be placed for reinforcement.

Currently, the best method for repairing a stoma hernia is keyhole surgery(laparoscopy). For this procedure, we place a large prosthesis over the hernia and the stoma. The 'Modified Sugarbaker’ technique was first described by our department in Belgium. We also collaborated on an international study at European centres of expertise to demonstrate the effectiveness of this technique.

What are the potential complications of a stoma hernia repair?

What are the potential complications of a stoma hernia repair?

Stomach hernia surgery is generally a safe operation.

Serious complications are rare. The list of complications below is not exhaustive, but includes the most frequent complications:

  • bruises, wound infection and wounds opening up
  • bleeding of the abdomen or abdominal wall; this sometimes requires another operation
  • infection of the prosthesis
  • injury to the intestine or another abdominal organ
  • change from keyhole surgery to an open procedure
  • Complications that are not directly caused by the surgery: pneumonia, bladder infection, heart rhythm disorders, etcetera
  • complications associated with general or epidural anaesthesia
  • in the long term, the surgical area will remain painful for some patients

Side effects

Some side effects occur very frequently but are no reason for concern:

After the operation, a swelling often remains for a few weeks where the umbilical hernia was located. This fluid accumulation (also termed seroma) is not usually painful. However, it often causes anxiety for the patient. This swelling is a normal side effect of the surgery and will slowly disappear on its own. If, in exceptional cases, the fluid accumulation causes pain, the surgeon may decide to drain it.

Another common side effect is bruising around the wounds. These are also no cause for concern. They will disappear spontaneously in the weeks following the operation. In case of doubt or concern, feel free to contact your GP or our department.

Can a stoma hernia recur?

A mesh placement reduces the risk of a stoma hernia coming back (recurrence).

An international study conducted by European centres of expertise, which we collaborated on, found a recurrent stoma hernia in 6.6% of the patients after follow-up of twenty-six months on average.



For a stoma hernia repair, you should anticipate a hospital stay of two to five days.

The first few days after surgery may be quite painful due to the staples used to secure the prosthesis to the abdominal wall. These may cause a sharp pain, especially when sneezing, coughing or pushing. Good pain relief is necessary after the procedure.

It is important that you are active and move around a lot as soon as possible after the operation.

To be avoided for three weeks:

  • lifting heavy loads
  • intensive sports practice.

After discharge from hospital:

  • Visit your GP ten days after surgery for a check-up of your wound and to have sutures removed. In case of problems, you (or your GP) can of course always contact our department.

After the check-up with the surgeon, three weeks after the operation, you will be able to resume all activities again including lifting and sports.

A relatively high number of patients with a colostomy irrigate their colon through their stoma. We recommend waiting until six weeks after the surgery to resume this.

How much does a stoma hernia repair cost?

How much does a stoma hernia repair cost?

The Maria Middelares Hernia Centre in Ghent charges the official RIZIV prices. The invoice will be sent to you by post after a period of approximately three months. In addition to the surgeon's and anaesthesiologist's fee, this will display the general charges for hospital admission and the use of materials such as the mesh. A supplement will also be charged if a single room is chosen.

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Centres and specialist areas

Centres and specialist areas

Latest publication date: 16/05/2024