Reply To: Need advice whether to have surgery or not.
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I was diagnosed with IH sometime around 2008 with no bulge, no pain and nothing. Never knew even what IH was. PCP during a routine exam said I can wait since it was beginning to form. So I just ignored and continued my life. Till 2013 that is. I used to jog, do yoga and all. No pains no nothing. Then during 2013 I noticed a bulge forming and increasing in size by week. The pain was bad during bowel movement and sometimes during hoops shooting in the driveway. Other than that there was nothing. But during long drives when I sat for hours, the pain would kick me with sharp interruptions (thanks to the pain I never slept while driving. LOL). At that stage I tried the yoga and other exercises to see if the hernia could be reversed. Did not work. I also found my brother and father had similar IHs. My dad died without ever having a surgery and waited over 20 years and never had a bulge or anything. But my brother had bulge and had surgery after I had mine. Brother also had surgery on both sides. I had only right side.
Long story short, I got my hernia repaired in 2013 with Dr. Goodyear of PA with mesh. I flew there with family (wanted to go alone but family said nothing doing, we are coming with you) and spent 4 days. This was after research on Internet and talking to Dr. G on phone.
So my impression (note that I said impression, not medical advice) – Till the bulge forms you are OK to delay the surgery but need to be V-E-R-Y cautions. Once the bulge formed you are out of luck for waiting. You need to get it fixed or it will only grow further. If your lifestyle is like lifting heavy stuff then it will get worse quicker. But surgery is the way to go from now on. Which surgeon you choose what kind of surgery he does and what suits you depends on your heredity since IH runs in families and the tissue is weak by genetics. If you want advice from me I would first research your surgeon because surgeon skill is THE MOST IMPORTANT factor in mesh surgery. If you choose tissue surgery consider genetics since it can reoccur. I would wait a month before doing extensive research and then go for surgery. I waited over 2 months after the bulge showed up, and yes and bulge is also not noticeable when you lie flat and pain diminishes but that does not mean IH has gone away. The yoga exercises etc., at this stage when the bulge has formed will only make it worse – from my point of view.
Now the question – what happens if your situation goes bad before your research and you are rushed to ER? Well that can happen and you will need ER surgery. It is that simple. But hopefully it won’t happen that way. Well it did not happen to me but that does not mean it cannot happen to you. It can. It is like driving on highway. Will you be safe? Yes probably. Can you be killed in an accident. Yes it is possible. So what to do? Stop driving on highway? You know the answer. It is an obvious thing.
Choose wisely. And if you want to know how to choose wisely, rent the Indiana Jones movie in which the steel shirt wearing knight tells Indiana “your friend has chosen badly,” and “you have chosen wisely.” Just kidding. Do your research, select a good surgeon, go in peace. You will be alright. With my name handle you can search this forum for other “wisdom” I threw randomly for help if you think you need any. But research well. I say this because a bad surgeon can screw up an easy surgery and can cause life long problems. All good luck to you.