What is a prolapsed stoma?

Sometimes the bowel can extend in length, similar to a telescope effect, and this is called a prolapsed stoma. Despite the prolapse, your colostomy should continue to be a healthy pink/red colour.and it should function in the usual manner. If things alter in any way and becomes darker it is important that you seek urgent medical advice.

If the stoma prolapses, it will invariably get bigger in size, so therefore it is important to check your template frequently as it may be necessary to use a larger stoma bag to accommodate the stoma. It would be helpful for you to check this with your Stoma Care Nurse


How can you get a prolapsed stoma?

A stoma can prolapse if the muscles supporting it are weak or it may happen as a result of straining the abdominal muscles i.e. through lifting.

Any activity that causes an increase in intra-abdominal pressure - such as coughing or sneezing can cause a stoma to prolapse, therefore if you are suffering with a nasty cough or cold, try to gently support your abdomen when your cough or sneeze by simply holding the area firmly.


Can a prolapsed stoma be painful?

A prolapsed stoma should not usually cause you any pain or effect the way your stoma functions, although it may cause issues when it comes to fitting your stoma bag correctly due to the size and weight of the prolapsed stoma.

The use of mouldable seals and barrier films can be helpful to protect this exposed skin:‚Äč

Salts Mouldable Seals with Aloe

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Salts Barrier Film Wipes

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Please note: If you are worried that you might have a prolapsed stoma, you should always seek advice from your Stoma Care Nurse.

How to help manage your prolapsed stoma

It is often advised that your template size should be cut 5mm larger if you experience stoma prolapse to try prevent rubbing against the aperture of your stoma bag or trauma to the bowel when the stoma prolapses.

Lying down may reduce the size of the prolapse, and may make it easier to apply your bag. In some cases the use of a support belt, applied whilst lying down, can be effective in managing the prolapse.

Your Stoma Care Nurse can advise you on the use of a support garment or ostomy belt.

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