Reply To: Surgical Approach for Active Adult – Modified Bassini
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I’m happy to share anything about my case. I appreciate the kind encouragement regarding non-mesh repairs. I had my two week followup appointment this week and the surgeon said everything looks great. I do still have what looks to me like swelling, but I guess I’m so thin (BMI ~20) he said it is just the suture line and that it should go down over the next 3-4 weeks. I don’t understand what that means, but I do hope it goes away as it bulges as much, if not more, than it did prior to surgery. I did cordially ask why he chose non-mesh and he cited mesh complications in his very brief answer.
I’ll try to answer Chaunce1234’s questions. Prior to surgery I had virtually no symptoms. I’m a runner/triathlete and was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my foot, so I decided to have the hernia repaired since I couldn’t train anyway. I did the “watch and wait” for about 5 years. It did seem to be growing, particularly over the prior 2-3 months, and in the post-op report, the surgeon described it as a “large direct hernia.” Compared to pictures I’ve seen, I don’t think mine was particularly large. Prior to surgery, I had a visible bulge when standing but nothing too dramatic; coughing did make it bulge more.
The surgery was incredibly smooth. I had an inguinal hernia repaired on the other side, incidentally with mesh, 18 years ago and the recovery for it was much more painful. So, I can accurately describe my post-op recovery as quite remarkable. For the prior hernia I walked hunched over and experienced significant discomfort when transitioning from lying to standing. For this repair I didn’t take any prescription pain medication and didn’t even take regular Tylenol the first night. I did take Tylenol for the next three days.
I walked to the end of the block and back the day after surgery and have continued to increase walking so I’m now walking 45 minutes or so at a time. The most difficult part of the whole procedure is the restriction on exercise. A couple weeks out, I feel great and don’t expect I’d have any trouble swimming, biking, running, etc.; however, the surgeon is restricting activity for a full six weeks. Absolutely nothing but walking. At six weeks I can do whatever I want.
I certainly don’t want to cause a recurrence and because my surgeon knows exactly what he did, I’ll stick to his advice. But I’m curious if others agree with this level of caution. 18 years ago, I believe I was permitted to run at two weeks, which I did. Maybe the six week benchmark is something new? Considering my experience last time and internet research, I expected it would only be 2-4 weeks out of training and didn’t think to ask beforehand. I was surprised!
I can’t think of anything particularly notable about my case, except that it was non-mesh, something I didn’t seek out or expect, and it seems is rare these days. I honestly have no idea whether non-mesh or mesh is the better option. I think this is so highly debatable that the surgeons on this forum don’t want to touch the issue. There probably isn’t a clear answer. Unfortunately in medicine, it seems there rarely is. Some will and have experienced nightmarish complications from mesh. I’m sure plenty have had chronic pain following non-mesh also. This isn’t a surgery to be taken lightly. Find a surgeon who does a lot of hernia repairs and is really committed to their practice.
I really feel for those who have experienced complications, regardless of the surgical approach. I’ve received messages from several. I do hope others experience a good outcome as I have so far. At this point I’m just waiting to see if the “swelling” goes down as predicted and what returning to my exercise regimen will be like: whether I will finally experience some pain or whether that will go equally smoothly.