Successful Inguinal Hernia Repair story.

Successful Inguinal Hernia Repair story.

Posted in the Hernia Forum

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uberaus

Melbourne, Australia

#1 May 24, 2012
Hello everyone, It is coming up to 6 months post surgery for my inguinal hernia and I promised myself that I would share my outcome post-surgery.

I put off my inguinal hernia repair for 2 years because of terrifying stories of mesh recalls, chronic pain and botched surgeries. In that time the lump got much larger (about the size of a golf ball), and very uncomfortable. I was sick of constantly living with it pretty much and thought enough is enough.

I researched different ways to get it taken care of, and set out to find an experienced surgeon (which I did) and pay out of my own pocket instead of relying on the lucky dip that is the public system (I am in Australia). My thought was that by going with a specialist surgeon hopefully my chances of experiencing chronic post surgical pain would reduce. On the public system you really have no idea who your surgeon will be, and as the medical; community see's hernia repair as relatively 'minor' procedure, it was likely to be an inexperienced one.

I found a surgeon that specialises in open repair, using mesh. He had performed over 6000 repairs since the 1980's using this method and has used the same traditional polyprolene mesh throughout. The surgeon had a journal article that followed the incidence of chronic pain and it was suggested that 97% of patients are pain free 12 months post surgery. This was promising.

The procedure would be performed under local anaesthetic, along with some kind of calming agent that induces a sleep like state. This helped to reduce the cost of the surgery, while hopefully contributing to the lessening of chronic pain. In the end my decision was made and I was in hospital for a total of 4 hours before I was back home again. Before the surgery I was actually asked if the procedure could be filmed, which I agreed to thinking that at the very least it would make the surgical team more accountable !

I do have to stress that the pain immediately after surgery and the following 2 weeks was excruciating. I would not wish to go through that ever again. My only comfort was that the area around my scar was numb. After 2 weeks I could go on short walks, however it was probably 2 months before I was back to being comfortably mobile again. Feeling returned to the area around the scar, and today I would say that it is still slightly numb although not at all uncomfortable.

It is now 6 months and I can say that the surgery was a success. I am by no means an athlete however I can comfortably walk my dogs 2 hours a day, every day.. I have not returned to any high intensity exercise for fear of aggravating the repair, however I think I will start ramping things up slowly from now as I experience zero pain whatsoever. The only time I feel uncomfortable is sleeping on my side at night, however this may be ghost pain from pre-surgery or simply a strange sensation after sleeping on my back for so many years.

To be honest, after fearing the worst pre-surgery, I am very relieved to be where I am now. My suggestion is to not leave it as long as I did, as mine was a told to be a more 'complicated' repair due to the size. In summary I believe these factors made the difference.

+ An experienced 'specialist' hernia repair surgeon with a proven track record. DO NOT leave this part to chance.
+ Open repair under LOCAL anesthetic
+ Traditional Polyprolene Mesh (not a plug or new material which is not as thoroughly studied.)

I hope this eases some worried minds.
Cheers.
uberaus

Melbourne, Australia

#2 May 24, 2012
For anyone interested I found the journal article - it talks a bit about the prevalence of chronic pain.

http://www.anesthesiologynews.com/ViewArticle...
nanascade

United States

#3 Sep 19, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to post your experience and details. I am passing on to my uncle who is scheduled to have mesh repair in one week. I pray he takes the time to take your advise.
Hope you are still doing well! God bless you.
Michael

Statesboro, GA

#4 Oct 12, 2012
For those of you who are scared to have inguinal hernia surgery, please relax!
I'm a doctor in a busy practice, so I put off my survey for 4 years. It had entered my scrotum, and was very large!
I had an open mesh with general anesthesia, piece of cake.
Don't be afraid of general anesthesia, it is very safe.
I had my surgery Wednesday morning, and was taking short walks that afternoon.
By the following Tuesday I was sore, but back at work seeing patients.
The most my pain got was a 4/10, easily controlled with ibuprofen. I never needed the lorcet I was prescribed.
Now, everyones tolerance to pain is different, mine isn't particularly high!
But as a doctor and a patient I can tell you this:
-your expectation of pain will come true
-the mesh is completely safe. The fact that it is a foreign body within you causes your body to surround it which helps strengthen the repair
-surgeons perform about 800,000 hernia surgeries per year, 799,900 will have outstanding results
-failures with mesh are rare, most likely caused by people having some trauma after the surgery
-you have a better chance dying from taking a single aspirin than that of having a poor outcome from a hernia surgery!

So please, relax. Stop reading the horror stories from a small group of people who either had an unfortunate outcome, are suffering something other than a hernia repair side effects, or quite frankly, expected zero pain the day after surgery and cannot handle the smallest discomfort.

I would wish you all luck, but the odds are so highly in your favor, you don't need it!
Buffen_MyEster

Denver, CO

#5 Oct 12, 2012
Michael wrote:
For those of you who are scared to have inguinal hernia surgery, please relax!
I'm a doctor in a busy practice, so I put off my survey for 4 years. It had entered my scrotum, and was very large!
I had an open mesh with general anesthesia, piece of cake.
Don't be afraid of general anesthesia, it is very safe.
I had my surgery Wednesday morning, and was taking short walks that afternoon.
By the following Tuesday I was sore, but back at work seeing patients.
The most my pain got was a 4/10, easily controlled with ibuprofen. I never needed the lorcet I was prescribed.
Now, everyones tolerance to pain is different, mine isn't particularly high!
But as a doctor and a patient I can tell you this:
-your expectation of pain will come true
-the mesh is completely safe. The fact that it is a foreign body within you causes your body to surround it which helps strengthen the repair
-surgeons perform about 800,000 hernia surgeries per year, 799,900 will have outstanding results
-failures with mesh are rare, most likely caused by people having some trauma after the surgery
-you have a better chance dying from taking a single aspirin than that of having a poor outcome from a hernia surgery!
So please, relax. Stop reading the horror stories from a small group of people who either had an unfortunate outcome, are suffering something other than a hernia repair side effects, or quite frankly, expected zero pain the day after surgery and cannot handle the smallest discomfort.
I would wish you all luck, but the odds are so highly in your favor, you don't need it!
I disagree with your assessment of the percentage that have outstanding results. There are many people suffering from bad hernia repairs. You can go to many of the hernia boards and read the posts like the North Penn Hernia discussion board, etc.
Ben

Hollywood, FL

#6 Oct 13, 2012
Buffen_MyEster wrote:
<quoted text>
I disagree with your assessment of the percentage that have outstanding results. There are many people suffering from bad hernia repairs. You can go to many of the hernia boards and read the posts like the North Penn Hernia discussion board, etc.
I agree with the doctor that the majority of these repairs go well. The number is probably around 90-95% go well. He's right about people only usually post with bad outcomes. Do the math - there.are 800,000 hernia repairs done each year. Of course there are going to be a few thousand that have moderate to severe pain. Just because you read 50 posts (make sure that they are also 50. Different people posting and not the same person posting 50 times. Doesn't mean there are hundreds of thousands that you will never hear from because they go about there life and never think about it. Everything is relative being that hernia surgery is the most common surgery being done there are probably going to be more people who have pain after because it's relative. Think about it. If there were 200,000 hernia surgeries being done - less people who have chronic pain. Again 90-95 percent of these go very well. Instead of looking at the 5-10% look at the 90-95 % who are just fine.
Michael

Statesboro, GA

#7 Oct 14, 2012
Buffen_MyEster wrote:
<quoted text>
I disagree with your assessment of the percentage that have outstanding results. There are many people suffering from bad hernia repairs. You can go to many of the hernia boards and read the posts like the North Penn Hernia discussion board, etc.
My friend, this was my second hernia repair.my first was about 20 years ago and was a tension repair, incredibly painful. Numbness in my thigh 5 years after, soreness for years after when weight lifting.
But, it was a successful repair, the after effects were the price of success. I was not a doctor then, and I worried as many of our posters here did.
But over time my body healed. I didn't know all the things I know now about how to accelerate your healing (by up to 300%!), but I knew someone had cut deeply into me, moved things around, and sewed me shut.
Again, the success rate is easily 99%, despite what you may read. 800,000 a year, every year, for decades. That's millions of repairs. Millions.

God bless
Gorak

Australia

#8 Nov 30, 2012
Its been 7 months for me and I still have pain. Some days nothing but most days when im active I get pain. I just dont know.... Maybe its normally. I do alot if walking etc but no heavy lifting. I might do little lifting and bending but nothing too extreme. I hope it will go away with time but all these nasty stories I hear scares me.
Burt

United States

#9 Dec 28, 2012
Hi Michael,
Would you mind sharing how to accelerate healing?Thanks for telling your story.
Paul_in_Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

#10 Jan 30, 2013
Right now it is just one week after inguinal hernia surgery (open rather than laparoscopic) here in Tokyo. I have had no pain at all to date, and I am planning to start work in two more days.(I work at home in a mainly sedentary job.) I am a real wimp where pain is concerned and have not yet felt the need to take any of the painkillers that I have been given. Also in hospital, I did not need any analgesics after surgery, although they were offered to me. The wound is currently very slightly sensitive and very slightly sore, but not at all painful.
Of course, it is early days yet, but I am really impressed with the care and technical skills of the nursing and medical staff at Tokyo University Hospital. I am fairly scared of hospitals and surgery, but with their care and kindness I was free of fear on the day.
The surgeon in charge made an interesting comment afterwards. The operation took 80 minutes, while the average is around 30. He told me that in his previous hospital he had been expected to finish in 30 minutes, but at Tokyo University hospital he was permitted to spend longer if he wished.
My brother, 7 years younger than I, had the same surgery in Northern Scotland about three years ago and was in quite severe pain for several weeks after surgery. At that hospital hernia surgery was done in batches - of around six patients half walked away comfortably, the other half had pain.
Both of us had general anaesthetic.
It seems that experience is different on an individual basis.
Josefine

Burlington, NC

#11 Feb 11, 2013
My husband has a surgery tomorrow.We don't know what to expect.This will be laparoscopic surgery with local anaesthesia. I will share with you my husbands experience post-op.
Ben

United States

#12 Feb 11, 2013
Josefine wrote:
My husband has a surgery tomorrow.We don't know what to expect.This will be laparoscopic surgery with local anaesthesia. I will share with you my husbands experience post-op.
Please update us on how he does. He will be fine.
Kath

Phoenix, AZ

#13 Feb 16, 2013
It's good to know that the surgery worked well for you. Indeed, there are several factors that may affect the outcome including getting an experienced surgeon and the type of mesh used. I read online about "bladder sling recall", however, that some types of mesh or slings have the tendency to erode, causing internal injuries.
John

Saint Petersburg, FL

#14 Mar 5, 2013
I'm one of the 3% and can assure everyone that I've gone through hell. Seven months after surgery I had to be cut open again because of continued blood and fluid leakage from my wound area. The surgeon found that a few of the internal stitches had not dissolved. Four months later the wound finally sealed but remained red & swollen. I spent the next 14 months sucking down antiobitics suppled by a pain specialist. 3-1/2 years later I've got a electric box attached to my belt that sends electrical impulses to my groin area to alleviate pain. 3-1/2 years!

The scary part about this is my only remaining options to eliminate pain is to continue trying different pain pills or to have the mesh removed. Option 2 would probably create a whole new list of concerns and require I not work for a minimum of 6 weeks. Once I was released back to work my current employer would probably reward me the same way my previous employer did. "John, we have to terminate you due to your inability to perform job assignments."

The saddest part of my story is I've talked to a couple of people that went through pre-mesh hernia surgeries and both recovered without complications. The new procedure is cheaper and offers the patient a quicker recovery, but obviously I wouldn't recommend going through the precedure unless absolutely necessary.
msrk

United States

#15 Mar 28, 2013
HOW DiD YOU INCREASE HEALING AFTER YOUR OPERATION? Daddy1 @ charter.net . thank you
mark

United States

#16 Mar 28, 2013
Did you find out from Michael how to accelerate healing????
Rich

Orlando, FL

#17 May 5, 2013
I had Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair last Thursday. It's now Sunday and so far most of the pain has been a sharp pain in my hip if I do any walking. I hope this is not from the mesh and will go away because this could turn into a big issue for me.

I can still feel the thing that was poking inside my groin area that I was told is the hernia. I thought it would have been gone when now that I had the surgery. I am concerned about it since it makes me wonder if this was not a hernia to begin with. I've had it there for over 10 years and it's never gotten any bigger. It's like a hard vein that is not attached I can feel the end of it. It would get sore sometimes and that's why I was concerned in the first place.

There were no major tests done other than the surgeon feeling the area and saying you have a hernia. The day of the surgery he asked me ok which side is the hernia on? I am thinking you forgot? It almost made me want to leave because I didn't trust he even remembered our meeting where he evaluated me which was only two weeks prior. You would think he would have had a chart on me that he read before doing the operation.

I go back and see the surgeon for a follow up visit a week from Monday. I will bring up the issue with the sharp pain in my hip and the fact I can still feel the supposed hernia. It still feels kind of sore like it did prior to the surgery. I feel almost like I wasted my money since I am responsible for $3,500 after insurance. I had to put it on a credit card since I didn't have the money already.
james

Philippines

#19 Jun 27, 2013
i have scheduled operation on july 2,,i dont know what to expect on my recovery,,i dont really mind about the pain,,i just want to come back at work as soon as possible,,,
do smoking and dringking beverages still advisable after the repair?if yes, how many weeks can i resume those after repair??
and lastly when i can resume of my sex life?
thanks godbless!!!
Benchthis

Visalia, CA

#20 Jul 10, 2013
Had open Inguinal Hernia surgery on 7/9/2013, so far so good, able to walk around the home, some pain, little swelling, but overall I am pleased. Any of you able to use the restroom (No.2) after the day of the surgery, or was in later... just curious, becasue I do not want to push against the repair... suggestions?
Howard - Esher UK

Kingston Upon Thames, UK

#21 Jul 22, 2013
I had a large inguinal surgery repair 10 weeks ago and under the Uk National Health Service, not privately.

I had no pain after the op. The toughest part of the day was looking at the same spot of beige hospital wall, waiting for the thetre to become free.

I never considered taking the pain killers I was give, as apart from a little tightness, there was no pain at all.

Odd bits of the wound leaked on and off after about 6 weeks but now all OK and healed.

The only difference I sense is that sustaining an erection can occasionally be a bit unpredictable, which had never happened before, but I'm working on it.

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