If you recently had colostomy surgery and have symptoms such as burning or stabbing pain around your colostomy site, you might wonder why this pain is happening and what can be done to make it stop. Consulting an experienced nerve specialist can help you understand the various causes of colostomy site pain and if nerve reconstruction surgery is an option to treat it.
Causes of Colostomy Site Pain
A colostomy is an opening made on the abdominal wall that connects the colon to an external collection bag. The purpose of a colostomy is to allow waste products to pass out of the body without having to go through the large intestine. This procedure is life-saving for many patients and, in some cases, can be reversed over time.
Some patients report severe debilitating pain around the site of their colostomy. This pain is often due to intercostal nerves caught in scar tissue or even stitched when the surgeon closes the site. This can lead to irritation and inflammation that produces a burning or stabbing sensation in the area of the colostomy site. Most people experience radiating pain from the abdominal wall to the side.
Another possible cause of burning pain is post-operative inflammation due to stitches or sutures used during the procedure. As these begin to heal, they put pressure on nearby nerves, inflaming them and creating great discomfort.
Consulting an Experienced Peripheral Nerve Surgeon
Without question, burning pain near the site of the stoma is uncomfortable, inconvenient, and disruptive to daily life. Fortunately, there are treatments for debilitating nerve pain. A peripheral nerve surgeon who specializes in pain treatment can determine the root cause of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.
For example, a nerve block may be administered to rule out other potential conditions, such as a hernia. If the nerve block provides relief from the pain, then entrapment of the intercostal nerves may be to blame.
Nerve reconstruction surgery is one type of procedure Dr. Williams performs to relieve pain at the colostomy site. It involves removing the sensory nerves stuck in scar tissue and relocating them to a surgical site far from the previous one so it doesn’t occur again or form a painful neuroma. One of Dr. Williams’ patients reported up to 95 percent relief of his pain—so much so, he was able to get off all narcotic and neuropathic medications, and now only uses an over-the-counter pain reliever occasionally.
If Dr. Williams determines you’re a candidate for nerve reconstruction surgery to relieve colostomy site pain, he’ll outline the risks associated with the procedure and the results you can expect. He’ll also provide thorough answers to your questions so you can make an informed decision about your next steps.
Don't Live With Burning Colostomy Site Pain
Life after colostomy surgery shouldn’t involve burning or stabbing pain. To learn about effective treatments that can make a difference for you, reach out to Dr. Williams for an evaluation—call our Baltimore office at 410-709-3868 or contact us online.