Reply To: How long can inguinal hernia repair be expected to last

Hernia Discussion Forums Hernia Discussion How long can inguinal hernia repair be expected to last Reply To: How long can inguinal hernia repair be expected to last

quote WasInTN:

What I said when I said 8x stronger was the mesh, not the surgery area or your tissue after repair. The mesh is 8x stronger than the tissue. So it is unlikely you may get hernia on the same side after surgery but like everything in the world, anything is possible if you hurl a mountain to mars. After reading your surgeon experience I want to share this. I was first told of the hernia back in 2008 by my PCP in the annual physical. I did not feel a thing and never even had an idea what it was. I ignored it and continued to live as before and nothing was wrong. During 2013 I had an overseas trip and carried heavy bags. No problems at all. But by Summer 2013 I had a bump just below the belly button towards right side. It was painful. I could drive, play basketball and do all but pain was there. Research on google and other sites showed me I indeed had the IH and it needed surgery. Then I you tubed for some videos that claimed to cure your IH without surgery. I learned these exercizes actually make it worse since it progressed to a bad stage.

Going forward, I learned that my dad had IH (never had surgery but died with it and then my brother had both sides of belly button – two hernias and was living with it daily). So I understood that it is genetical. It runs in the family and the pelvic floor is weak. My first appointment was with FL surgeon who does without mesh and claimed good results. I had everything ready until someone pointed to me that since it is genetical, without mesh my chances are very high for recurrence. I had to agree. So I canceled the FL appointment and spoke to Dr. G on phone before going. I read and researched about his technique and felt comfortable going to him. I had a local surgeon look at me and give promise of easy surgery with mesh. But the way he spoke, his dress (his pants were about to fall off etc) and all that made me uneasy. May be he is good surgeron but I did not want to put my sensitive parts in someone’s hands who cannot even dress well. When I asked him what was the name of mesh he could not recall. I backed out and flew all the way to PA with family. Ins paid most but hotel, and all that I had to pay. I flew back in 3 days and in 2 weeks back to work.

About people who discourage mesh and had pains. Yes for some people mesh is indeed a problem. Some reaction, some bad surgeon skill and everything else goes wrong. Can it happen to you? It depends on how you react to the mesh material. I do not have any allergies and never had any problems. How many mesh problems do you find with a skilled surgeon like Dr. G? I found almost none. So I trusted him. Every case is different and each person reacts differently. So you have to trust your own instincts. For me there were hundreds of stories on google that said people cannot pass urine due to nerve blocks and catheter had to be inserted (via penis hole) to make him well and all those gory stories made me sleepless. I did ask Dr. G if I would have that problem after surgery. His answer was “unless you have some kidney or such problems and have difficulty passing fluids, there is no reason to believe that.” So after surgery by 11 or 12 noon they gave me a soda and some cookies to eat and within 30 seconds I had to ask to go to bathroom. It hit me when I was passing urine that I asked that question to Dr. G and I felt relieved. No such problems happened to me.

So if you have genetic defect in family mesh is the way to go. Ultimately all said and done do *NOT* go to a general surgeon who claims to do “several” hernia surgeries. A general surgeon mostly does other surgeries and might have done one or two hernia surgeries. Go to a hernia surgeon who is a specialist and who knows what he does. If you go to a man with hammer in hand, he is looking for nails to drive. That’s the reason I took time to research and go to Dr. G.

Like I said above I waited 6 years for surgery and if you want to go on the wait and watch list, yes you can. How to find when to go for surgery? Your own body will tell you. So in the mean time do all the research, find a good and well versed skilled surgeon. Mesh is not the Satan ready to pounce on your. There are dozen other reasons that will cause trouble. All said and done, does a mesh cause trouble for you in particular? Unlikely, if you choose a good surgeon and if that surgeon follows a great technique. Dr. Goodyear has a website and you can read about his technique. But he is in PA.

For a mesh to fail there are a dozen reasons – not just the mesh material itself. Even with the greatest safety mesh an unskilled surgeon can screw up everything and can cause problems that will last forever in a person’s life. Choose well. And how to do that? See the Indiana Jones movie where Harrison ford picks up a dirty cup to drink from the pool and the knight next to him says “You have chosen well.” Just kidding 🙂 All the best

Thanks for the more detailed follow-up. Very helpful. I have some family members who have had hernia repairs (grandfather had inguinal hernias, aunt has had umbilical hernia) so probably some genetics involved. Which as you say is another reason I am considering the mesh. And thanks for clarifying about the 8x comment.

The surgeon I believe I have decided on is known around here as ‘the hernia guy’ – it’s probably what he does the most. And he’s skilled with the laparoscopic technique and the use of the robot to aid the laparoscope. So I don’t have any qualms about his experience or skill. He also has extensive experience with all manner of abdominal wall repairs as well as cancer surgeries. I like this because he is very familiar with the sensitive anatomy of the torso, and also doing prostatectomy and understands the critical nature of all of the nerves and structures in the groin. He’s a fellow with the American College of Surgeons as well. I actually specifically asked him about prostate surgery because there is some concern that a hernia or double hernia repair with mesh done laparoscopically can create problems if someone needs their prostate removed later on, and my father had to have his prostate removed due to cancer. He clearly explained how he does the surgery in a way to avoid these sorts of issues.

So I think I’m good when it comes to a surgeon. Just a matter of when to get it done. No major issues, and very little if any pain, but the area feels sensitive. I feel confident at this point it’s definitely a hernia on the right side. There is a very clear bulge, and I can feel and push back a squishy substance into a small cavity that will come back out. But very small. Possible it hasn’t broken through the very last bit of fascia, but it’s definitely through the muscle wall I think for sure. And I’d swear I remember the moment it kind of ‘broke through’ a couple weeks ago. Hadn’t noticed the bulge before, had just finished aerating the lawn with a giant piece of equipment I was moving all over the place, which kicked up a bunch of dust, and when I sneezed I felt a very quick but sharp pain in that spot and then felt a little sore and nauseated later. It was later that evening I noticed the bulge. So we will see how long it takes to progress and become more symptomatic.

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