inguinal hernia and pregnancy

Hernia Discussion Forums Hernia Discussion inguinal hernia and pregnancy

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    • #10948

      I have been diagnosed with a small inguinal hernia approximately 6 months ago (bulge only appears in the evening and if I sneeze) however the hernia causes some discomfort. I am trying to decide to have the hernia repaired prior to pregnancy or after pregnancy. Different surgeons and doctors have different opinions leaving me confused. I am a 36 year old 92 pound woman. I try to be as active as possible however some activities I have stopped as they leave me in discomfort.

      Should I fix the hernia prior to pregnancy? How long should one wait to try and conceive after the surgery? What is the chance or reoccurrence and chronic pain during pregnancy and post surgery. The one hospital specializes in the Shouldice method and the other surgeon I seen uses mesh (open repair). I am more so leaning towards the Shouldice repair.

      Or does one wait and fix it after pregnancy? Is there an increase risk for the hernia getting larger and long term complications of not fixing it?

      The discomfort I feel is mainly in my groin and a pinching feeling in my lower abdomen and the front of my hip when I squat or lay on my back and bring my knees towards my chest I also have discomfort that travels up along my pelvic bone into my lower back (Chiropractor advised its nerve pain). The back pain is persistent but manageable. I rarely have to use advil to help with the discomfort.

    • #14508
      WasInTN
      Member

      inguinal hernia and pregnancy

      Which month of gestational period are you in? I don’t think I saw that information in your post. But if I missed it, then if you are too close to going into delivery, probably it is worth the wait.

      One idea is to keep the IH surgery on the same date as delivery date. Immediately after surgery the IH surgeon can get into action and fix his work while Obgyn takes care of you. But sitting would be problem when you two surgeries and other things may cause delay in recovery. But if you are very healthy you can recover from both quickly. At least that’s my personal opinion. (I am not a medical practitioner or any kind BTW and all I say is with my IH surgery experience and please note, that I am a male. So everything I say can be plain wrong!)

      IH surgery does not touch your internal organs or the blood stream in veins/arteries (to my knowledge) and just pushes the bulge up and supports it with a mesh (if you opt for mesh based surgery) or with nearby tissues if you opt for no mesh surgery. If you opt to go for surgery now, I know for a fact that it takes up to 6-8 weeks to start to feel normal after surgery. Related question – if you go for surgery before delivery, would you be able to withstand the pain that may be caused by the moving baby (called kicks, I guess) with IH sutures in place? A female can answer that question better. So obgyn is your choice to ask this question.

      Having said that if you are just told that you are pregnant and are in 4/5th month, you may want to go now. Nobody can tell you exactly what you should do. You know your body better than anyone here and you should take the risks you can and are worth or see them fit. Even your doctor cannot tell you what you should do since it is your pain and not his/hers. If you ask a doctor he will only follow the historical facts. It is like asking if driving on highway is safe or not. People have problems and accidents on highways but 90% they are safe. So what should you do?

      It is and should be your own decision. Sorry to be blunt but that’s how things stand. Think well and take time to decide. Do not jump quickly. As said and done in IH surgery, skill of the surgeon is the most important. Do not go for any one with a scalpel who claims to be a surgeon. If you go to a man with a hammer in hand, he is always looking for nails to drive. You know that adage. So choose a good IH surgeon and decide.

      Good luck and come back to us to post your progress. All the best

    • #12613
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      inguinal hernia and pregnancy

      There is not a lot of data about pregnancy and hernia repair, but what I gather from the research (I’ve given many talks about this) and my own experience (I see a lot of women), below are the recommendations:

      1. Hernia repair can be safely performed prior to pregnancy, without affecting future pregnancy.
      2. Prefer 6 months between date of surgery and next pregnancy
      3. As a 92-lb female, in my practice, I would err on performing a tissue (non-mesh) repair, to reduce mesh-related chronic pain.
      4. Hernia pain is rarely a problem during pregnancy, but if you already have pain, best to just get it repaired..

      Good luck!

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