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What are some examples of complications from colostomy?

Sometimes, after a person in Georgia has surgery on their colon because of colon cancer or other conditions, they are fitted with a colostomy bag. A colostomy bag collects the person's bodily waste, but there are a number of complications from colostomy a person could suffer.

One common complication from a colostomy is a hernia. Hernias are bulging piece of a person's organs, such as their colon, that pushes through the person's abdominal muscles. Some symptoms a person with an abdominal hernia include bulging near the stoma, trouble with irrigation, blockages and colon prolapse. And, serious abdominal hernias may require a surgical procedure.

In addition, if a person experiences skin problems in the area of the stoma, it could prevent the person from getting an adequate seal surrounding their stoma. Skin that is red in color, weeping and painful may require prescription medication to dry out and heal. If a person's ostomy belt is too tight, it could result in a deep pressure ulcer, which requires medical care.

Finally, over time, a person's stoma can sometimes narrow. This is known as stenosis, and it could lead to a blockage. Irrigation injuries or an insufficient blood supply immediately following surgery could cause stenosis. Stenosis often requires a surgical procedure to be fixed.

Unfortunately, even with proper care, complications from colostomy can occur. When they do, they could lead to disabilities. If a person's colostomy is preventing them from working for a year or more, that person may want to determine whether they can apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

Source: Cancer.org, "Avoiding and managing colostomy problems," accessed on April 2, 2017

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