Chronic inguinal hernia pain – UK surgeon(s) or Muschaweck?
Hi there, season’s greeting to you all.
Hoping for some advice from this community as regards surgeons/surgery for chronic hernia pain in the UK.
Relevant medical history as follows:
1998: Indirect inguinal hernia right side, open mesh repair via Lichtenstein
2007: Several small sports hernias right side, anterior laparoscopic repair
1998 surgery definitely solved my issues at the time. Tweaked something in 2005 and suffered chronic pain which resulted in 2007 surgery.
Despite the latter op (which was initially exploratory in nature owing to lack of a 100% diagnosis of what was causing my problems) letting me resume some sporting activity, I don’t feel it ever got to the bottom of the issue and I’ve had had to ‘manage’ my chronic pain ever since. Some days/weeks/years worse than others.
I tweaked something again this summer and for the last 6 months the chronic pain has been worse than ever. Various symptoms but overall a sense of weakness and pain within my right inguinal canal – focused on the superficial ring.
I don’t believe I’ve had/am having mesh reaction like some of the poor souls on here and (thankfully) any nerve-related pain seems minimal.
This definitely feels to me like either some kind of mesh folding or entrapment with some kind of internal structure (e.g. spermatic chord), a partial recurrence of the hernia (though nothing protruding so not obvious if so) or some major scar tissue build up/inflammation.
The pain is mostly of the aching, tearing variety, dep throbbing very occasional burning but no pins and needles. Massively exacerbated if I do anything strenuous. All pretty much localised to around superficial inguinal ring right side. Needless to say, sticking a tentative finger up into the canal makes me hit the roof(!)
It is now affecting my life pretty much 24/7 and needs sorting immediately. However I don’t necessarily want to have the mesh removed or any neurectomies performed if I can help it. I’m scared of making a bad situation even worse.
I am a 41 year old male who otherwise fit and healthy – although increasingly limited in the type of exercise (only light running now) I can perform which depresses me lots. I am determined to sort this as best as I can once and for all while my body is still (hopefully) young and healthy enough to deal with the trauma.
I have good private healthcare and am booked in to see my 2007 surgeon in January 2021 for an initial consultation. However I wonder if this is the right course of action; he’s certainly a capable surgeon but he’s more of a weight-loss specialist than a dedicated hernia expert.
I have also identified a number of surgeons from the Gilmore Groin Clinic Team in London (specifically Mr Emin Carapeti) and the British Hernia Centre who are also covered under my healthcare. They seem to have a detailed understanding of hernias and even specialism in techniques like shouldice repai; however I can’t find any feedback about their work on relevant forums etc.
Finally, I have read/listened to a lot of material from the well-known Ulrika Muschaweck – I would have to pay privately to be seen/operated on by Dr Muschaweck (thanks Brexit!) but this is something I would definitely do if it was the best course of action. She does seem to be ‘world class’ in terms of her subject expertise and her claimed successes are impressive in statistical terms.
Travelling to the US would be a stretch too far for my finances.
My question – and sorry for taking my time getting there – is this:
What would this group do? Do anybody have a similar story to myself; if so how did you (hopefully) fix it? Has anybody been operated on by either Mr Carapeti or Frau Muschaweck and would they recommend? Are there any other UK surgeons with extreme specialism in this area you would recommend?
I feel like this is ‘it’ (third time lucky?) and am desperate to make the right decision; I would certainly appreciate any feedback or advice this forum may have.
Happy Christmas to you all.
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