Reply To: Right Inguinal Hernia Post-Op pain (Open Incision)
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It sounds like you had an open inguinal hernia repair with mesh. The recovery is different from person to person, and it can be technique-dependent.
It is not uncommon to hear symptoms such as yours in the early stages of a repair. Stabbing pain, searing pain, to the point that it catches you off guard, may be part of the normal healing. We just don’t know who will be feeling these symptoms. I think these symptoms are due to the tightness of the repair and the inflammation reaction from the mesh. So, I recommend anti-inflammatory regimens: e.g., ice works really well. Also, Aleve (naproxen), taken daily. As for the tightness of the repair, perhaps increasing activity such as walking and stretching of the groin, slowly, can help rehabilitate the region.
In rare cases, there may be a nerve injury at the time of the repair, and this can cause excruciating neuropathic pain. This is rare and the pain is felt within hours to about 3 days after surgery.
Nerve entrapment is a different scenario. If it is entrapped by a suture at the time of the repair, then that is basically the same presentation as a nerve injury. Nerve entrapment by scar tissue or mesh does not occur until much later. Usually 6weeks to 6 months after surgery. And, no, as far as we know, there is no scientifically proven way to reduce the risk of nerve entrapment by scar or mesh.
Unless there is a clear finding of nerve injury or a failure of the repair, we surgeons usually do not re-operate or perform any intervention until 6weeks to 3 months after surgery. Depending on the severity of the symptoms (e.g., if they are mild), some may even allow 1 year or so to pass, as most of these symptoms have shown to resolve on their own as your body remodels the scar tissue in the area and the mesh- and surgery-related inflammation reduces.