Sometimes, when you get a stoma, you have to adjust to the changes. This of course, may be obstacles does happen when you’re starting this because it is something new.  You may of course not know what the most common stoma complications are, and if they happen.  Here, we’ll go over the most common complications associated with having a stoma, and of course what you may need to do if these said problems do happen. 

The Most Common Complications 

The most common complications are usually the following: 

  • Irritations and skin problems 
  • Stoma leaks 
  • Bleeding 
  • Retracted or a prolapsed stoma 
  • Parastomal hernia 
  • Blockages and bowel obstructions 

Here, we’ll go over the most common ones in a bit of detail, and of course, when it’s both normal, and when it’s not. 

Skin Problems 

Skin problems around the stoma is the most common complication out there. not only is having it something that’s uncomfortable, but it does also affect how it attaches to your skin, causing leaks and furthering the damage to the skin. 

Typically, these happen for a few different reasons. 

First is there’s fecal contact with the skin, and if that’s happening, it can be corrosive, breaking down when there’s contact, so make sure you wear it in a way that doesn’t affect skin contact.

You also may want to ensure that you have a proper-fitting stoma, or else the gaps will cause skin irritation as well. 

Finally, it may happen due to products, so you should make sure that if it does happen, you talk to the ostomy nurse to see if there are alternatives. 


Leakage happens from ill-fitting stoma bags and ostomates who put it wrong. 

While leaks are usually nothing to worry about if it’s a rare thing, if it happens a lot, it may cause stress. 

You can prevent this by making sure there aren’t gaps. If you do have a retracted or flat soma, make sure that the nurse offers a convex wafer, and only use those. 

Stoma Bleeding 

Stoma bleeding is another common thing since there are blood vessels located at the top, and they bleed easily. If it is happening, it’s usually due to irritation, and if there is bleeding around the edges. 

If it’s from the inside though, talk to a nurse, since that of course is a sign of internal bleeding possibly, and if there is certain issues, they can help. 

Retracted and prolapsed stomas 

In some cases, the stoma may retract in. in that case, a convex wafter or pressing the stoma forward with an ostomy belt can help.  The surgeon may also re-sit the stoma if it’s uncomfortable 

If the stoma is prolapsed, that means it protrudes out way too far, and usually this happens with weight gain, weak abdominals, surgical techniques, pregnancy, and sudden pressures. 

How to prevent it? Well, you might want to make sure that you get the right medical advice you need in the event it does overly protract out. 

Parastomal hernia 

This is when the loops bulge through a weakened stoma, typically looking bulkier. This usually causes issues with stoma inheritance and the like, and may cause pain, vomiting and the like. It’s important to see your doctor in this case. 

If you have major problems in the stoma that usually aren’t caused by normal adjustments, you should most definitely talk to the doctor about it. 

A bowel obstruction might happen too, but usually that is rare. But these are the most common complications that happen when you have a stoma, and what can happen as well.