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  • My hernia recovery

    Posted by Unknown Member on December 31, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    So I read so many horrible stories online, I thought I would add my happier story (so far) for anyone preparing to go through this.

    I had my surgery yesterday morning, for a right inguinal hernia. I was pretty conflicted on open vs laparoscopic, I was leaning towards laparoscopic because of the promise of less pain and less risk of chronic pain. However my surgeon primarily does open surgery though he said he is comfortable with doing either. I ended up going with open, primarily because that’s what my surgeon does most. He has been doing this for 25 years, and we talked about his personal results (vs a research study) and he talked with me about how he’s improved his techniques over the years to avoid major nerves, etc and how his patients generally had pretty low pain and no major chronic issues. At the end of the day I felt it best to trust his experience and do what he preferred, so open surgery it was.

    After arriving I got in my gown and got shaved, and then got my dose of Versed is my favorite part of surgery. Fear just vanishes and you don’t care what they do to you. I next remember getting wheeled back to the OR, scooting over onto the table and having my arms spread out and strapped down. They then put an oxygen mask on me and I remember asking if it was just oxygen because I was started to feel weird. That’s the last thing I remember. I had opted to have general anesthesia, though they offered to just do local anesthetic plus twilight sedation. I told them I wasn’t too keen on being even somewhat aware of being cut into so they knocked me out. However they didn’t have to knock me as deeply for open surgery or something, so they were able to put in a shorter breathing tube which they said wouldn’t give me as much of a sore throat (and they were right, throat felt fine after).

    The surgery only took about 30 minutes. I got wheeled back around 8:15 AM and by 9:30 AM I was back awake and fairly coherent. They gave me a percocet, monitored my vitals a few minutes and then I was able to get dressed by myself. I left around 10:15 AM so a fairly quick process, then came home to bed. Walking at that point was fine, as the local anesthetic was still working.

    I spent most of yesterday in bed, and I’d say the pain was at most about a 5 (10 point scale), but usually between a 1 and 3. It was really not bad at all laying in bed, and this morning it is even better. The first time I did get up to use the bathroom hurt A LOT however. I’d say pain got up to about an 8 walking, tolerable but bad enough that you don’t want to walk unless you have to. I would suggest a bed urinal for the first day, as it saved me some walking. Late last night I tried walking again and it was better, probably more of a 6 on pain. If you hunch and shuffle it’s tolerable, stretching the incision area is what really hurts. I plan to do more walking today though.

    It’s only been about 24 hours so far but that’s the period I expected to be bad and it really wasn’t. I slept great, was even able to sleep on both sides (though it takes some careful maneuvering. to get on my right side). My appetite is good, no problems peeing, no major swelling or bruising (yet). This is my 3rd major surgery, the other two being endoscopic sinus surgery and laparoscopic gall bladder removal. Being my first open surgery I was worried this would be the worst, but it was by far the easiest of the three.

    So there is my happy report, I think the worst part of the whole thing was reading the horror stories online and dealing with the anxiety from that. I suspect my result is much more common than the horrors you read, so try to relax and hope for the best!

    Phentis replied 7 years, 3 months ago 6 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Phentis

    Member
    April 5, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Hi gnarfle,

    Thank you for sharing your positive experience. We need more of those here 🙂 Do you know if mesh was used in your surgery and what kind? How do you feel a few months past the surgery?

  • Unknown Member

    Deleted User
    January 24, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    My hernia recovery

    Sure can do!

    I am 39 years old. I was moderately active before, I have a desk job but walk my dog ~ 45 minutes a day and also bike 3-5 days a week (average probably 50 miles of biking a week though it tends to decrease with less favorable weather in the winter). I did not do any strength training or anything before, briefly tried to do a bodyweight workout at home but it was uncomfortable with the hernia. Look forward to trying that again!

    My hernia was diagnosed in June 2015 though I noticed it probably 6 months earlier. Initial symptom was that I had a cold and felt a weird bulging sensation in my groin when coughing or sneezing. I decided on watchful waiting for a while which is why it was about 2 years until I had surgery. I did have pain though not bad. On a day to day basis it did not bother me, however any strenuous activity caused me to have aching for several days after. For example I helped a friend move and was sore for a week after, and after detailing my car it hurt for a week as well. I also occasionally had aching sensation in my right testicle.

    I decided to have surgery because I didn’t want to be in pain (even though it wasn’t severe pain) anytime I did something more physical, plus I had already hit my deductible for the year so surgery was free… I never had any imaging. At my pre-surgery consultation he described the hernia as ‘ping pong ball sized and easily pushed back in’.

    As for pre vs post, I just mostly feel normal again. I can now cough and sneeze without any weird sensations down there, probably the only thing I’ve really noticed. At this point I can do anything I did before and am happy to not have to sound like a wimp if a friend asks me for moving help!

  • Chaunce123

    Member
    January 24, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    My hernia recovery

    gnarfle, Thanks for sharing your recovery story, this is helpful to other patients.

    Do you mind sharing some additional details about your case? How old are you? Are you physically active or sedentary? Was your hernia painful before surgery? Was it obvious to diagnose or did it require imaging? Have you noticed any change in symptoms pre-op to post-op?

    Thanks again, keep us updated as you heal. Best of luck.

  • WasInTN

    Member
    January 24, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    My hernia recovery

    gnarfle
    Great that you are doing good. Initial cut for the surgery, the related surgical pain are normal. I went through the same mental process since I never had surgery before. Mine was with Dr. Goodyear of PA. I was driving OK by week 2 (I even drove 2nd day after surgery in Philly but the pain from surgical cut was bad and had to stop) when I came back home from PA. I also felt I would never be able to jog run or even walk in the park. All this changed by week 4 and by week 6 or 8 I was jogging normal. 🙂 Only first 2-3 weeks were bad but things improve greatly.

    Just hang in. Surgery is surgery. Give respect to the wound and it will heal as your body dictates. If your body says do not lift, do not move in one particular direction, just respect that. your body knows what to do during healing. Do follow surgeon instructions. If he said take the pain medication, do not try to be a superman. Just take that medicine till the wound heals.

    During week 3 or 4 in my sleep I woke up with a jerk once. Like someone hit me in the box to wake me up. May be a mental thing. Not sure why but that jerk made my pain worse for an hour. Other than that everything is normal.

    Final advice – Do *NOT* assume you will become a superman after surgery to lift the Himalayan Mountains. No way. You will have good quality life but need to be careful so you do not aggravate or cause another hernia.

    Good luck and keep us informed.

  • Unknown Member

    Deleted User
    January 24, 2017 at 5:32 am

    My hernia recovery

    Figured I’d give a final update!

    First off my surgeon was Thomas Bascom in Eugene, OR. He’s a general surgeon but has been doing hernia repair a long time, I doubt anyone would seek out hernia repair in our small city but if you’re in the area I’d recommend him.

    Ok I guess I left off way back on day 3. I’m on, um, day 24 now, so 3.5 weeks. The rest of the first week was mostly more of the same. Walking for extended periods was fatiguing but doable. Pain was there but bearable. I was able to go grocery shopping on day 4 though it was exhausting. But I was up enough to cook proper dinners, with lots of laying down.

    Week 2 walking was still painful. Not terrible, mind you, but annoying kind of pain. I started up back to work (desk job) without any problems. Walking the dog was no problem, hurt of course but not bad, energy was mostly back to normal. Towards the end of week 2 I began to wonder how long it would take before I could walk without pain, but also reminded myself that the pain wasn’t that bad so I wasn’t too worried.

    Week 3 things started normalizing. I was able to get in and out of the car without being somewhat careful. Could roll over in bed with full abandon and no care taken. Basically able to function completely normally with no problems. Pain when walking was still there but diminished and easily ignored.

    Now in week 4 things have been great. Pain when walking is almost gone, no more pinching sensations, at most when walking the pain is like a 1 and that’s if I focus on it, most of the time it’s a 0. I expect in another week or two I’ll feel no pain at any time.

    I had my follow up at 14 days out and it went fine. My surgeon cracked me up though as he asked me if I had any testicular pain or bruising or pain down my right leg and I said no and he said ‘huh a lot of people report that’. Then I told him it really wasn’t that bad, walking the first few days was what hurt most but really it wasn’t that big a deal. He then commented that I must be really tough because most people complain about how bad it was, which just reaffirmed my belief that surgeons always downplay the pain before surgery 🙂

    Overall though I stand by my assessment that this wasn’t that bad, but it’s entirely possible I am just tough, who knows. I will note the absolute worst part, in my opinion, has been not being able to wear proper pants. I’ve been wearing nothing but sweat pants and pajama pants because the rough stiff fabric of jeans are really irritating. I have been able to put on a pair of jeans to go out for a bit but when I get back home I immediately cast them off for sweats. The incision area is right on the waist… I highly recommend getting several pair of sweats and if you have to wear proper pants, try to pad your incision area underneath them with something.

  • drtowfigh

    Moderator
    January 4, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    My hernia recovery

    This is a great post! Thanks for helping provide some balance to the patients who view this site and others.

    Best of luck to you!

    If you would like to share your Doctor’s name, I am sure he/she will appreciate it and so may other patients who may live nearby.

  • sands

    Member
    January 2, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    My hernia recovery

    Thanks for the updates,they are very helpful. Please keep us informed of your recovery.

  • Unknown Member

    Deleted User
    January 2, 2017 at 7:13 am

    My hernia recovery

    Day 3 update!

    Yesterday went fairly well, mid day I could walk fairly well, had a good appetite though I couldn’t eat much. Got a bit discouraged last night because things got a bit more painful and walking went back to burning hot knife pain. But I got a solid night sleep and woke up feeling well. Been able to walk today on day 3 without much pain at all though I am still a bit hunched and shuffling (stretching too much still hurts). I took my dressing off today and showered, which felt great. My bowels awoke with a vengeance today as well and I spent some lovely cramping time on the toilet.

    I’m off painkillers now, took some ibuprofen although I don’t think I really even need that. Basically no pain at all when laying down, and not much when walking as long as I keep a short stride.

    I did have a moment of panic as I noticed my skin turning yellow / orange well beyond any area that should be bruised, but that turned out to be the antiseptic they used during surgery, apparently it darkens up over a few days so I never noticed before.

    I still imagine it will be a bit before I can walk normally but we’ll see. Overall I’m sticking with my original assessment, this surgery was pretty easy and not nearly as painful as I expected. Just take it easy a few days because that searing knife pain when walking the first few days is by far the worst part.

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