Newsletter February 2020



Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group

December/January Newsletter


A 501 (C) (3) nonprofit organization, (tax-deductible donations)

President: Jerry Downs………….941-629-7568…. . fldowns@embarqmail,com

Vice President: Ken Aukett……609-315-8155

Secretary: Lovelle Meester….941-637-8167

Treasurer: Lorelie Godbout….. 603-474-9063

Directors: Janice Creutzman….910-382-1509

David Sandora….941-828-107

Newsletter: Lorelie Godbout

Programs & Education: Jerry Downs,

Gloria Patmore, RN (retired)……..941-627-9077,

Nancy Frank, RN, BSN, CWOCN ……………….941-629-5118,

Marie Michel RN, CWCA, CHRN, OMS……. 941-626-260T

Visitation: Nancy Frank, RN, BSN, CWOCN

Library: Lorelie Godbout, RN (retired)

Professional Advisors: John P. Rioux, MD, F.A.C.S.

Nancy Frank, RN, BSN, CWOCN

Marie Michel, RN, CWCA, CHRN, OMS

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone

We know that Valentine’s day got its name from Saint Valentine, but who was he?  Who is St Valentine?

Saint Valentine. Saint Valentine (Italian: San Valentino, Latin: Valentinus), officially Saint Valentine of Rome, was a widely recognized 3rd-century Roman saint commemorated on February 14 and since the High Middle Ages is associated with a tradition of courtly love. The Emperor of Rome at the time banned marriages, because he thought single men made better soldiers. St Valentine performed marriages in secret so couples could still celebrate their love. The Emperor found out and had Valentine imprisoned, sentencing him to death for his crime.

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Our speaker at our January meeting was Dr. John Rioux. His topic was all about hernias and mesh.

Hernias: A common problem for ostomates. Many (maybe 50%) of reported hernias need to be repaired. The way to repair them is by using mesh. Dr. Rioux suspects there are over 100 kinds of mesh. It can either come from biological–an animal or human skin, it can be synthetic, or from propylene.

Biological mesh: Human skin, usually from the back. It can come from a person who has donated their body to science after death. This mesh will be absorbed by the body that receives the donation. The mesh is put into a solution of antigens to reduce the chance of rejection.

Synthetic Mesh: It is mesh made by many companies such as Johnson & Johnson. This can be ver expensive as there is much competition. There is also a very fine weave of titanium steel available.

Propylene: This is sewn into the tissue. New tissue grows within the mesh making it very strong.

Dr. Rioux talked about how hard it is to treat an infection involving the mesh. The mesh would have to be removed.

He also discussed the different types of hernias, causes and different types of treatments available.

I hope you enjoy this article I found.

What is a parastomal hernia?

Parastomal hernias happen when part of your intestines stick out through a stoma. A stoma is a surgically made opening in your stomach, small bowel, or colon that allows you to pass waste into a bag. This is sometimes needed when patients have gastrointestinal problems that prevent them from having normal bowel movements.

Up to 78 percent of people develop a parastomal hernia after surgery to create a stoma, usually within two years of surgery.

What are the symptoms?

Parastomal hernias usually develop and grow gradually. As it develops, you may notice:

pain or discomfort around your stoma

trouble keeping your stoma appliance in place

bulging around your stoma, especially when you cough

What causes it?

Having a stoma sometimes weakens your abdominal muscles, causing them to pull away from the stoma. This process can lead to a parastomal hernia. Several other factors can contribute to the development of a parastomal hernia, including:



chronic coughing

chronic constipation

corticosteroid use

infection after stoma surgery


Who gets parastomal hernias?

Some people have a higher risk of developing a parastomal hernia. Common risk factors include:

older age

obesity, especially if you carry weight around your waist, stomach, or hip area



high blood pressure

respiratory diseases

Your risk also increases if you’ve previously had an abdominal wall hernia.

How is it repaired?

In many cases, parastomal hernias are treatable with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking. Wearing an abdominal support belt can also help ease symptoms.

However, about 20 percent of parastomal hernias are severe enough to need surgical repair.

There are several surgical repair options for a parastomal hernia, including:

Closing the stoma. This is the best option for repairing a parastomal hernia. It’s only an option for a small group of people who have enough healthy bowel left to reattach the end that forms the stoma.

Repairing the hernia. In this type of surgery, a surgeon opens the abdominal wall over the hernia and sews the muscle and other tissues together to narrow or close the hernia. This surgery is most successful when the hernia is small.

Relocating the stoma. In some cases, a stoma with a parastomal hernia can be closed and a new stoma can be opened on another part of the abdomen. However, a new parastomal hernia can form around the new stoma.

Mesh. Mesh inserts are currently the most common type of surgical parastomal hernia repair. Either synthetic or biological mesh can be used. Biological mesh is often considered more comfortable, but is much more expensive. In this type of repair, the hernia is repaired using the same technique as in other surgeries. Then, mesh is placed either over the repaired stoma or below the abdominal wall. Eventually, the mesh incorporates into the tissue around it. This creates a strong area in the abdomen and helps prevent the hernia from forming again.

Are there any complications?

In some rare cases, the intestines can become trapped or twisted in the hernia. This blocks the intestine and can lead to loss of blood supply. This is known as strangulation, which is a very painful condition. Strangulation requires emergency surgery to untwist the intestine and restore blood supply, so that the obstructed part of the intestine isn’t permanently damaged.

Living with a parastomal hernia

Parastomal hernias are a common complication of colostomies and ileostomies. In many cases, they are asymptomatic or only cause slight discomfort and can be managed effectively with lifestyle changes. In cases where surgery is necessary, hernia repair with mesh support is the most effective treatment.

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

Aquina CT, et al. (2014). Parastomal hernia: A growing problem with new solutions. DOI:

Care of stoma. (n.d.).

Conditions we treat: Parastomal hernia. (n.d.).

Gillern S, et al. (2014). Parastomal hernia repair and reinforcement: The role of biologic and synthetic materials. DOI:


Parastomal hernia. (n.d.).–procedures/parastomal-hernia.aspx

Sohn YJ, et al. (2012). Incidence and risk factors of parastomal hernia. DOI:


Stoma hernia. (n.d.).



Lovelle Meester sent me this link and I decided to add it to the newsletter. Forum Moderator Finishes Midwest Get Your Guts in Gear Ride

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Former Stoma Care Nurse braves hills, wind, rain, and cold in Illinois and Wisconsin, and blogs about his experiences along the way

Paris Purnell

This ride made me realize the strength of the human spirit,” said Purnell. “Some of the people I rode with had ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, and some were cancer survivors…”

Past News Releases


Libertyville, IL (PRWEB) November 11, 2009℠, a community website for people with ostomies, their caregivers, and loved ones supported Get Your Guts in Gear, Inc.’s inaugural Midwest bicycle ride which took place October 2-4, 2009. Former Stoma Care Nurse Paris Purnell, moderator of the ostomy website’s discussion forum, was one of several first-time participants in the three-day, 210-mile ride, and blogged about his experiences before, during, and after the event.

Get Your Guts in Gear (GYGIG) seeks to empower the ostomy, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis communities while raising money for nonprofit organizations that support patients and educate the public about inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, the collective term for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease). IBD affects at least 1.4 million people in the United States.

The Midwest GYGIG Ride kicked off in the early hours of Friday, October 2 with an opening ceremony at the headquarters of Hollister Incorporated, a leading manufacturer of ostomy products, located in Libertyville, Illinois. From there, Purnell and 32 other riders wound their way through the farmlands of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Rain, wind, hills, and chilly temperatures made every mile a challenge.

If I never live to see another hill, it will be too soon,” blogged Purnell. “But the GYGIG crew was amazing. They kept checking to see if we needed assistance and cheered us into camp at night.” The terrain and weather were better on the second day, as the riders passed through several picturesque Wisconsin towns. On the third day, they headed back to Libertyville for a closing ceremony and congratulatory barbecue at Adler Park.

This ride made me realize the strength of the human spirit,” said Purnell. “Some of the people I rode with had ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, and some were cancer survivors. Some had ostomies and some didn’t. It’s incredible to see how people do not let these illnesses define them. They show us how valuable life really is.”

Jay Pacitti, one of the founders of Get Your Guts in Gear, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 1999. “I’m so proud of Paris and all the riders and crew members,” said Pacitti. “They cared about the cause enough to support each other and pedal all those miles. Once again, our participants created an amazing community and made the ride a huge success.”

Since 2004, GYGIG participants have raised over $1.25 million to help fund IBD advocacy, research, awareness, and empowerment projects throughout the United States.

Get Your Guts in Gear, Inc. is a charitable organization created to raise awareness about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It raises funds for like-minded charities that support research, education, and patients who are living with inflammatory bowel disease or ostomies. Its mission also includes empowering individuals through participation in large-scale athletic events in a supportive, community atmosphere. is a website dedicated to helping people with ostomies live their lives to the fullest. It features information on lifestyle topics, stoma-related issues, products, news, events, and conditions like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Members can pose ostomy-related lifestyle and product questions to a panel of clinicians, share their thoughts within an interactive forum, and submit personal stories, photos and videos. is supported by Hollister Incorporated.

© 2009 Hollister Incorporated.


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