News Feed Discussions Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

  • Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    Posted by Casey on September 6, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    2 years ago I had laparoscopic surgery done on an incisional hernia, with mesh. 5 months later I had an open mesh repair on a second hernia. It was very low on my pelvic abdominal wall and required my surgeon to sew muscles together to fix it. I have had chronic pain since then. This past April, I found a 3rd hernia…this time an inguinal one on the same side. I had it repaired in May and was feeling ok until about a month ago when my pain went from tolerable to had. I am back to chronic pain that I have to lay down most of the day. I feel like I have a rock in my lower abdomen that I am constantly pushing on. I have had to quit my job and stop playing with my young children. I am awaiting the results of a new CT scan but am frustrated and have unanswered questions about what to do if I have a 4th hernia or chronic pain. I trust my surgeon but want better answers Is my life going to be forever affected by this. His outlook is that I probably don’t have a new one, and need to be referred to a pain clinic. Though he thought that about my one in April, and ended up being wrong. I am scared to do anything at the risk of hurting myself more. Looking to know I am not alone in this! I am realizing I am one of the statistics…

    Casey replied 8 years, 10 months ago 7 Members · 40 Replies
  • 40 Replies
  • drtowfigh

    Moderator
    April 15, 2015 at 5:53 am

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    Congrats!

  • Casey

    Member
    April 3, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    I finally had surgery!!! On my left side that has caused all the pain they removed all the old mesh and closed up the hernia using healthy tissue in that area. He also did a nervectomy on two other nerves in that area. So far that side has been mostly pain free since surgery! He then repaired the new hernia on the right side that I guess was pretty bad. He used mesh for that side. I am experiencing a LOT of post up pain in that side..but it has only been two days. I was in hospital for 2 nights and just came home today. I am using a walker and that has helped a LOT as well as a taller toilet seat with bars. This is a must for anyone who has abdominal surgery. Now I am just laying in our couch and will do everything I can to heal this time around! Hopefully this is the end of this hernia journey…but I doubt it. ::-) but at least I know that awful mesh is out of me!

  • eller642

    Member
    March 19, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    Reading your post sounds so familiar. I had no idea at the beginning of this journey that I would have been in pain for 2 1/2 years and have had five surgeries. The first surgery was a hysterectomy that I really didn’t need, but the thought was that my pain was being caused by my large uterus. When that wasn’t successful, I went to a general surgeon who suspected that I had a hernia or perhaps a sports hernia (I used to play tennis before all this). I had repair of a femoral hernia and also the mesh was placed to cover a torn muscle/ weakness. Well the pain continued and I decided to travel to see a specialist (wish I had seen one to start). I went to see Dr. Heniford in Charlotte, NC, who recommended I go to Annapolis, MD to see Dr. Igor Belyansky, because of nerve pain. As soon as we met with him, I knew he would be the one to help me. The first surgery with him was a triple neurectomy, which helped with tingling and burning, but didn’t resolve my real pain. He started small and said he could do mesh removal if necessary. He suspected that the mesh to fix my femoral hernia was also covering the torn muscle that was causing my pain. He said that if you cover a torn muscle with mesh that you still have a torn muscle that needs to be repaired. I had surgery 2 months later, July 2014, to remove mesh and tacks laparoscopically and open repair of the sports hernia. Things were going along well and I started PT 8 days after surgery to strengthen my core. Ten weeks into PT I started having similar pain on the right side, even though I was in complete denial at first, I knew what it was. Another setback 2 weeks later, I fell down some stairs and reinjured the left side. Lots of swelling and increased pain on the left side, so we waited 3 months and had MRI, which didn’t show the torn muscle or the problem on the right. I am so thankful that Dr. Belyansky believed me and was willing to help me. I refused to believe that this pain was my new normal! I had surgery end of February, open on both sides, to fix a torn muscle next to the repair on the left (probably due to the fall) and a hernia with protrusion and nerve entrapment (another neurectomy) on the right. While the recovery has been very painful and discouraging at times, I am starting to feel better. Doing PT is very helpful and also helps with scar tissue. I know I will keep getting better! Don’t let anyone tell you that hernia pain is something you just have to live with. I know that is something that Dr. Towfigh has stressed on this forum and it is great advice. Seek out a specialist that believes you have pain from a hernia, even if that means traveling. Dr. Belyansky is 4 1/2 hours from home, but well worth it. Luckily Anne Arundel Medical Center has a hotel of sorts, that is run by the hospital, and is right across the street and the perfect place to recover! Sorry for the book, wanted to get my point across to try to help others.

  • Casey

    Member
    March 19, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    Here is my latest update:

    I saw Dr. Martindale and really liked him. He sent me for a CT scan which confirmed that I do have a new hernia on the right side, and that my mesh on the left side looks like it has adjusted a bit. He thought that it appeared to be attached slightly to my colon, but was hesitant to confirm that without being able to look at it. I have had some bowel issues and blood in my stool periodically over the last few weeks so he decided to send me in for a colonoscopy before I have surgery. I have a colonoscopy on Monday, and then will have surgery the following Tues, March 31st.

    He is a bit more conservative than Rebecca Peterson in Seattle. He will do an open repair of my new right side hernia, hoping that for once, it is a typical normal repair 🙂 On the left side, he said I have two layers of mesh, one on the outside of the abdominal wall, and one inside. He is hoping that he can just remove/ repair the one on the outside as that will be much less invasive, but is prepared to go all in, if, when he gets in there, he sees that scar tissue and the lower mesh need to be removed. Depending on what the colonoscopy shows (if it shows any blockage related to the hernia mesh) He may change that plan.

    I am happy to finally be getting surgery. I would love to feel like this will bring an end to things, but honestly, I will just have to see how the surgery goes.. I know being conservative and not opening me wide open and removing everything is the better route, but part of me was hoping he would just take it all out, and be able to sew me back up good as new…One can always hope!

    I made a comment about being the 5% that get recurrent hernias and he laughed and said, nope…you get the joy of being the 1% who get all the complications…..at least I feel special! 🙂 I wish more surgeons let their patients know that all of this can happen. I had no idea 2 years ago that I would could be in this boat, having my 4th hernia surgery and experiencing life changing pain on a daily basis. So many times we are told the risks in a breezy “don’t worry about it” way…i was not prepared for this at all!

  • Casey

    Member
    March 19, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    For me, the nerve block did not work. Because my mesh is compromised and I have a new hernia, blocking the nerve was not taking care of the problem.

    🙁

  • groundfaller

    Member
    March 9, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    Mamadunlop,

    How have you been doing with the nerve blocks/treatment?

    Dr Goldstein,

    Can you direct me to research or an abstract about nerve blocks when used to treat post hernia pain syndrome. I have trusted doctors too much throughout this process and I want to make sure if this is what the pain management person wants to do, that it is best for me.

  • Casey

    Member
    February 15, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    A huge thank you for reaching out to the Dr for me. Even if it doesn’t help, it means a lot to me to feel heard! This board has been so helpful and is such a support. Just to have a place to complain and know someone “gets” it is huge! It has been a weird journey not knowing who to turn to. I have had to do so much research on my own and this sight has helped so much! I have added two pictures. The first is me 2.5 years ago at the top of Mt. St. Helens. I had pushed myself harder than ever to get fit and climb it. I found my first hernia 2 months later. The second picture was this summer. We did a family trip to Europe only 5 weeks after my last surgesurgery. I spent a lot of time sitting and watching my family…but was so happy to even be there. Over this past two years I have gained 40 pounds which I know has not helped at all. My hearts desire is to one day get back up that mountain! I haven’t given up hope yet that I can!

  • drtowfigh

    Moderator
    February 15, 2015 at 4:53 am

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    At least diagnostic. Can be therapeutic. Depends on the reason and cause for the nerve injury.

  • groundfaller

    Member
    February 15, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    Are nerve blocks a treatment with a solution or are they mostly diagnostic for future surgeries?

  • drtowfigh

    Moderator
    February 14, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    I reached out to Dr Martindale on your behalf.
    Please give us an update on your consultation and how you do.

  • Casey

    Member
    February 12, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    Another update. I had several nerve blocks that were unsuccessful. I took Valentin for months and it did nothing but make me tired. On top of that my new hernia is getting worse. I have been waiting since January to see Dr Martindale up at ohsu who is the dept head. My appt is still not until March 5th. Last week I had day where I could bArely stand up from the pain T the sight of the new hernia but it lessened. Then today I had a horrible sharp pain that caused me to cry out and not move. I was finally able to relax and lay on the couch and the rest of the day has been ok. Painful but bearable. I am worried I can’t wait until March 5th but I don’t want to just see any surgeon after Ll I hAve been through. Any advice on how to get in sooner?I never dreamed 2 years ago my life would be such a nightmare

  • R40

    Member
    December 30, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    Did you get your nerve block with Dr. Petersen? And, is she willing to take mesh out?

  • R40

    Member
    December 30, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    Did you get your nerve block with Dr. Petersen and is she willing to take out mesh?

  • R40

    Member
    December 30, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    Did you get your nerve block with Dr. Petersen? Is she willing to take mesh out?

  • R40

    Member
    December 30, 2014 at 6:23 am

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    Just curious what happened with your visit with Dr. Petersen? Did you get the nerve block with her and did it help? Is she willing to take the mesh out?

  • sngoldstein

    Member
    December 25, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    In that case you need to get it fixed. What I do in these cases is a good bilateral laparoscopic repair to make sure there is no recurrence. If that doesn’t fix the pain and nerve blocks don’t work, an open exploration under local anesthesia directed by the patient will sometimes help localize the area of nerve entrapment. It is also possible that your pain is being caused by something else, possibly not amendable to surgical treatment. There are people we can’t fix.

  • Casey

    Member
    December 25, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    I am eager to get the nerve block done in a few weeks but it will be my 2nd one so I have little faith in it working I am fairly certain it is a problem with scar tissue and mesh…but willing to try one more nerve block before taking on more surgery. The new hernia though IS causing me pain…that’s how I found it. Instead of being laid up because of my left side I am now laid up from my right side too. I am also taking gabopentin but it does not seem to be hello g with the pain it just makes me tired and drugged. Another reason I don’t think my pain is all nerve related. I never thought a hernia surgery would turn into such a nightmare!

  • sngoldstein

    Member
    December 25, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    If the primary problem is pain, and you can fix it with a nerve block, that’s what I would recommend. If the problem is that the hernia is incarcerating (getting stuck), and that is the source of your pain, then of course you need to get it fixed. From the posts it sounds like the hernia is on the opposite side and relatively asymptomatic.

  • lbel

    Member
    December 25, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    Hi, Do you recommend trying a nerve block prior to doing any hernia surgery? I am seeing a hernia specialist on Jan 7th. I am just wondering if I should try a nerve block first. I really only want surgery if it is absolutely necessary. My hernia seems to flare up, but otherwise seems manageable. I have been doing core exercises for several months as I await seeing the specialist. I do have flare ups for example, I have been coughing due to a cold virus and the area is sore. Just an FYI, I was seen by several doctors and it took over a year to diagnose a hernia. Long story….

    Merry christmas!

    Linda

  • sngoldstein

    Member
    December 25, 2014 at 3:19 am

    Chronic pain and recurring Hernias

    I am a hernia surgeon in NY. Your story is unfortunately not uncommon and very frustrating. My advice is to try the nerve block first. Even if you have a recurrence on the right, if it is not bothering you, you can leave it alone for now. Get your pain issue solved first before having more surgery which will just complicate the issue.

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