My Dr.Kang Inguinal Hernia Surgery
Tagged: Dr. Kang Gibbeum Korea no-mesh
08/31/2023 at 10:00 pm #38189IvanParticipant
It is now about one year since my indirect inguinal hernia surgery (no mesh) was done by Dr.Kang in Korea. It’s still all good 🙂 !! Thank you Dr.Kang !!!!!!
I traveled there from Croatia just at the end of a big wave of Covid that was passing through Korea during early-mid 2022.
That timing made the trip a bit more complicated but I managed to avoid catching covid in the planes and airports and did the whole trip to Korea, surgery and return flights in about 10 days, alone.
I can only give all the best compliments to Dr.Kang, his staff at Gibbeum hospital, and Stephen who helped a lot with all the paperwork, translations to English, and preparations for the surgery.
The indirect inguinal hernia I had was giving me a lot of everyday trouble for more than 6 years and it did get worse over time as it usually does. At some point I could not keep it in even if not eating anything at all during the day and keeping the hernia belt really tight to the point of having pain in about one hour (just from the belt being tight). The situation basically messed up my whole life and daily routine, not to mention my mental state, besides all the physical issues and pain. One of the reasons for delaying the surgery in my case was all the potential mesh complications that did not seem reasonable for person that is not even 40 year old and would like to have some more years without
super bad complications from mesh tissue growth or nerve-mesh issues that can cause chronic pain etc. Not to mention the possibility of having the need to remove the mesh some years later when it can barely be done and making more damage to the whole inguinal area during these types of surgeries.
When I tried to find an option in Europe to do no-mesh surgery (and I searched for few years), there were really just a few options from which some did not seem reasonable due to high cost and I could not research or find detailed information what the surgeons were exactly doing for this type of hernia, and how this could potentially end up (in the long term).
I was able to find much more info on Dr.Kang and his no-mesh method on the Gibbeum web page and on forums and hernia discussions like Hernia Talk across the web.
That’s why I decided to go for Dr.Kang’s method to fix my problem and I have no regrets.
Arriving and settling in the hotel, finding all that is needed before the surgery (and some food for easy digestion, planning for return to the hotel after the surgery) was really easy in Korea/Seoul – it is a great country!
Stephen helped with all the paperwork and he is very patient in answering all the questions and addressing any surgery or other concerns – many thanks for that Stephen!
Pre-surgery checks – blood tests, ultrasound, examination my Dr. Kang and his team, discussion.
Surgery went great as opposed to my huge initial fear of needles that I had to overcome to do the blood tests and the surgery.
Waking up from anesthesia, not really feeling a lot of pain for initial few hours while it lasted – but after that it started growing and at about 2am or so the pain was really strong and constant but I did not ask the nurse for pain killers.
I had big ice pack all the time directly pressing on the wound, asked nurse for another one once it melted, and removed that second one at some point because the weight of it was pressing the wound a bit too much and was causing more pain than good by being cold. This lasted for about 4-5h more till the morning and any attempt of moving any leg or rotating or something similar was very painful (but it does not need to be – usually people would ask for pain killers to ease up the pain – I just did not do it).
If you do it like I did you won’t get any sleep in that approx 10 hours after the surgery (first night). After that things will get better but it takes some time.
The next day I could still not get up from the bed – the pain while attempting that was too much and I could not stand up or walk. The day after I could and that was the day to get the courage and try to dress up and walk to the taxi and to the hotel room.
They will give you laxatives for stool softening, and those worked great in my case – I had big fear of not being able to go to the toilet with the wound still being painful but that proved to be not so problematic as those laxatives reduce the pressure or force by a lot. Just need to use them exactly as instructed, after any meal – and plan your food well. I had prepared some yogurt, Kimchi and things that are easily digested without blowing gas etc. so digestion and stool go as planned in those first few days in the hotel and if you feel like staying in bed all day. Two days later I started doing walks outside the hotel and doing some miles :). probably 1 mile on the first day, 2-3 miles on the second day. Could be 5-6 miles on the third day – started to feel like a new person that does not need that damn hernia belt! Not eating at all in the mornings before these walks, only after getting back to the hotel. You will feel every step up or down or hitting your legs on the ground. Walking gently really reduces the pain.
Final check at the hospital, one more day and 2 long flights back home – again, I skipped eating that whole day and in airports and planes to completely reduce intestine internal pressure and pain while sitting in the plane for 10h.
You can do sports and bike etc pretty soon, as your body allows, but I would recommend to take it easy for first couple of weeks or even a month.
I remember doing some quick movements and started walking fast when I forgot about the recent surgery, and then one wider leg movement and sudden sharp strong pain just inside of where the wound was (at the actual merged tissue and ligaments area of inguinal internal/outer rings). Then you know you need to slow down – full healing / stretching of tissues takes time.
Hope this helps and you get your hernia sorted out in less time than it took me to do it! And I can only recommend Dr.Kang and his team in Gibbeum hospital in Seoul in Korea. Extremely professional and nice people! All the best to them!
Ivan from Croatia
09/01/2023 at 11:57 am #38193William BryantParticipant
Thanks Ivan. Dr Kang with another satisfied patient.
What was the reason for staying off pain killers?
The pain sounds terrible.
09/01/2023 at 1:15 pm #38194WimParticipant
Wish I knew what hernia I have direct or indirect. They say it doesn’t matter (in case of mesh that is true).
09/01/2023 at 1:18 pm #38195MarkTParticipant
Thanks for sharing a detailed update, Ivan. We need to hear more of these positive experiences to help offset the unfortunate perception that the probability of negative outcomes is higher than it actually is, and to reduce the hysteria perpetuated by some louder voices around here.
Glad to hear you are at the 1yr mark with no complications and enjoying a normal recovery. You account of feeling fine, but then getting a little ‘reminder’ sometimes after making sudden movements mirrors my experience in the short-term after my Shouldice repairs. Every once in a while, your body reminds you of your limits and that full healing takes time.
I agree with your advice regarding exercise. Everyone’s surgery, recovery, pain tolerance, etc. will be somewhat different…some will feel comfortable doing light exercise very soon after their surgery while others may struggle to walk…but barring different instructions from their surgeon, everyone should try to walk as much (and as soon as) possible to restore mobility and promote healing. Generally speaking, resting completely is not helpful.
Hopefully you will check-in periodically. I think that having more longer-term updates will be helpful for some current and future forum members.
09/05/2023 at 6:02 pm #38287JHawleyParticipant
Ivan are you in any pain now? I hear it can take a year or more to heal. Do you have any numbness? Any other symptoms? Would love to hear more about your healing process.
09/05/2023 at 11:03 pm #38566IngiParticipant
Ah, so you are the guy from Croatia who went to dr. Kang. I contacted Steven at the start of this year and asked if I needed some extra paperwork since I’d be coming from Serbia, and then he mentioned some patient from Croatia.
Drago mi je da si zadovoljan 🙂 ja odlazem odlazak jer cekam pravo vreme, a i hocu sto vise iskustava da procitam/cujem.
09/06/2023 at 3:13 pm #38583Mike MParticipant
That is great news Ivan. Cheers to a permanent healthy repair!
I am going on 18 months with my Dr. Kang repair.
No issues so far and I started lifting pretty heavy again about 2 months ago.
Keep us updated.
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