Reply To: Is it reasonable to believe I have a hidden hernia?
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Thank you Dr. Procter for answering my last post. I truly appreciate this forum.
This is my update:
I had a consultation with a hernia center surgeon on December 5.
1.) NO DIAGNOSIS FOR THE RIGHT SIDE PAIN/DISCOMFORT
The doctor did not see a hernia on the imaging, but he saw that there was swelling in the groin area. He was not sure what was causing this swelling. He said with laparoscopic surgery there was a 70% chance that he would find what was going on and he would fix the problem with mesh. He also said there is a chance that the pain & symptoms may go away on their own. As of today, I still have the same symptoms that I listed in my first post, discomfort to the right of my belly button and in my groin plus my right leg feels odd and heavy.
2.) UMBILICAL HERNIA DIAGNOSIS
I was also informed that I had an umbilical hernia. The doctor’s notes stated that he would perform laparoscopic surgery if my right side symptoms persisted or worsened. The doctor wrote that he would repair my umbilical hernia, if needed; at the same time he was doing the laparoscopic exploratory surgery. The size of this hernia was not noted.
Lately, the discomfort in my mid abdomen is very noticeable and constant. I have a gnawing, but tolerable, discomfort midline from beneath the belly button downwards. Sometimes the pain intensifies. Most days I am more conscious of this discomfort than the original right side pain.
In early January, I examined my umbilical area and I observed that there is an indentation above my belly button and a slightly swollen oblong area above this crease. I am not sure if I failed to notice this over the past few months or if it is a new development.
I do not know the size of my umbilical hernia, but I am surmising and hoping that it is small so that it can be repaired without mesh. I would rather not put off surgery if there were a chance my defect will enlarge and then lessen the chance of a non-mesh repair.
I recently went back to yoga class. I scheduled with a pelvic floor therapist to help strengthen my abdominal core. I also came across the Tupler Technique. These exercises are supposed to prepare a patient before abdominal surgery. Is anyone familiar with this program?
I have two problems that I know are not good for hernia: a chronic cough and constipation. I am making changes to address these issues. What other activities should I avoid that would cause the defect to enlarge?
Dr. Towfigh and Dr. Earle your comments on this post concerning umbilical hernia were very informative.
In regards to my right side symptoms could the umbilical hernia be causing the problems on my right side? I am wondering if the swelling shown on the imaging and the pain/discomfort could be referred pain from the umbilical hernia and not another hernia.
Although the surgeon was very reassuring during my consultation, I am considering making other appointments to explore my surgical options. I noticed that some of the patients on this forum have had more than one consultation and that the doctors can differ in their approach to repairing the hernia. Please let me know if you have any other advice regarding my diagnosis. I will post again when I have new information.
Thank you again. The Hernia Talk Forum has been a most helpful resource. I am indebted to all those who contribute their expertise and to the patients who share their stories.