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What are the signs of problems after colostomy surgery?

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Quick Answer

Signs of problems following colostomy surgery include bulges in the skin, weeping skin, diarrhea and blockage, according to the American Cancer Society. If these problems occur, patients are urged to contact a doctor.

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Full Answer

Bulging around the stoma may indicate a hernia that may need to be surgically removed, explains the American Cancer Society. The hernia is caused by an organ or tissue coming through the muscles in the abdomen. Skin issues, such as weeping skin, may also be concerning for patients who have recently had colostomy surgery. These areas of skin may be wet, red and sore, and make it difficult for a patient to get a good seal around the stoma.

Diarrhea is also cause for concern when a patient has recently gone through colostomy surgery, states the American Cancer Society. Diarrhea is different than stools that are loose, and it is defined as watery, frequent bowel movements that occur in greater amounts than usual. Diarrhea may indicate a partial blockage and may be accompanied by cramps, odorous discharge and noise coming from an individual's stoma. A full obstruction is also very problematic. Individuals who notice cramping, pain, swelling around the belly, vomiting or gas should contact a doctor as soon as possible. If the blockage has continued for more than 2 hours, emergency medical attention is necessary.

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