Pain from lifting 10 years after repair

Hernia Discussion Forums Hernia Discussion Pain from lifting 10 years after repair

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    • #29228

      Hi all. I had bi-lateral inguinal hernia repair with mesh roughly ten years ago. I have noticed that it seems that whenever I lift anything close to fifty pounds I am having pain in the area of repair (around the lower waist from hip bone to hip bone). The pain is made better by laying down and I haven’t been able to associate the pain with any other ailment or injury. Does anyone think this could be related to the repair? I find that the pain only follows heavy lifting and radiates from the spot I’d mentioned down into my testicles causing them to feel “heavy”. While there is no noticeable “bulge”, these symptoms seem very much like what I experienced before getting the repair. Has anyone else had this problem? Four years ago I went in to see the surgeon who performed the surgery and received a CRT scan. He said the mesh was holding up admirably and that he thought I just pulled a muscle. Years later, I am still experiencing the same symptoms shortly after any heavy lifting (I wear a weight belt for support). Looking for answers and anyone who might have had the same experience. Thanks.

    • #29231

      I lift weights on a regular basis. When I had the mesh inside of me, I had horrible pain in the area of the mesh for days after each lifting session. I’ve had the mesh out for about a year now and no longer have much pain after exercise (though, I still have some, presumably due to the scar tissue that has been left behind by the mesh and the mesh removal procedure).

      • #29393

        So you got the mesh out but how is than the hernia repaired? This raises the question why the mesh is needed then? Suppose thre is a mesh that dissolves after 1 year would this also lead to curing the hernia?

    • #29233

      Tough one to comment one, really going to need to see a doctor/surgeon maybe get a scan done to check on things again. Off the top of my head, maybe a small recurrence at the edge of the mesh. If the pain didn’t descend into your testicles I’d say maybe even IBS symptoms and if the pain was only in the lower region varicose veins. I think you really are just going to need to see a professional to have any idea of what’s going on and stress that you’ve experienced it for 4 years now it’s not a pulled muscle you want an answer.

    • #29234
      Good intentions

      In 2011 the method was probably very similar to what was done to me in 2014. A single procedure bilateral repair was probably laparoscopic TEP or TAPP. A large cavity is created between the peritoneum and the fascia and two large pieces of mesh are slipped in between. The top of the cavity would be below the navel but pretty close to it. So after implantation there is a line from side-to-side below which is the inflexible, boardy, mesh/tissue composite after “mesh incorporation”, and above which is normal flexible tissue, although it is scarred from the blunt dissection process, the peeling apart of the two layers.

      So, it might be that your efforts are tearing/damaging that area, as the flexible tissue stretches and the inflexible mesh composite does not. In engineering terms it might be called a “stress riser”. One side effect of the repeated damage is that more scar tissue will be created as the body heals the new damage.

      I still have a stiff thick bowl shaped area where the mesh used to be in my abdomen. It’s getting softer and more flexible over time since mesh removal, and my after-effort pain levels are significantly lower now, at 3 1/2 years after removal, than they were at one and two years. I only had the mesh for three years but I was very active and I think the constant damage created a very thick layer of repair tissue from the constant damage.

      None of this really helps your immediate problem but it might help you understand what’s going on in there. I think that your best option might be to let the area settle down and heal completely.

      Don’t try to “work” it back into shape like you would a normal muscle injury. It’s not normal muscle or tissue. The foreign body reaction is constant and any newly exposed mesh increases the reaction rate, I think. I spent a lot of time and effort trying to exercise the mesh area in to something healthy, get it to “adapt” to the mesh, but the reality was that it was just damaged tissue that could never fully heal.

      The typical surgeon will only see the mechanics of your problem. Is the mesh where it was placed, is there a recurrence, is the mesh impinging on any specific structure that could cause pain? That’s it. If you keep coming back they’ll send you to pain management.

      Good luck. Read through as many posts on the site as you have time to. There is a lot already here.

    • #29251

      Further @Antony, I just remembered that I came across the injunction against weight belts for people with hernia. I don’t think it was here HT but somewhere on the ‘net. Your weight belt could possibly be the root of the problem.

    • #29254

      If you were pain free and now have pain similar to your prior hernia… Illicited by lifting and better when laying flat…

      That’s a great story for occult reoccurance. Sometimes I feel there’s enough coverage to prevent clinical reoccurance, but things are weak. Maybe there isn’t enough strength and when strained tissue tears or is pulled on.

      Does the pain linger for weeks after such that you feel fragile reguarding core strain?

      Or is it painful, but then immediately better.

      50 lbs is pretty good.

    • #29255

      @herniahelper the pain is usually over w/in a few days, providing I make it a point to not lift anything heavy. It is very similar to pre-repair with the exception of any bulging or bulging feeling. It always improves upon laying down & is most uncomfortable when standing. As I mentioned, it presents itself mostly as soreness between hip bones, on opposite sides of the center point, along with the feeling of heaviness in my testicles. When I was diagnosed by the surgeon, he said it was the smallest hernia he’d been asked to repair. I guess I’m just ultra sensitive to something not feeling right & the only correlation I can find is with lifting things that are close to fifty pounds.

    • #29256

      I mean you will need to see somebody in order to get a plan together but in general overall you can probably give it a year and see if it works itself out. Sometimes if you have a weak spot it will scar down. Or if it doesn’t get better or you can’t live with it you’re probably going to be faced with having someone go in again.

      If you are able to live 50 lb and it’s only sore for a few days I’m not sure it would be worth the risk. Because it doesn’t that debilitating by your description.

    • #29257

      >Sometimes if you have a weak spot it will scar down.<
      You speak specifically in the case of mesh? Such a “weak spot” is a precursor to hernia or is already formed one?

    • #29277

      Apologies for the rude and disrespectful user. I do not tolerate any of that on our forum.

      Please, if you do see anyone engaging in inappropriate banter in this forum, message me directly and I’ll take care of it.

      Meanwhile, carry on! Thanks for your participation

    • #29300

      [You speak specifically in the case of mesh? Such a “weak spot” is a precursor to hernia or is already formed one?]

      Speaking of previously poorly placed mesh. If things get pulled on or torn, there’s still a foreign body reaction and perhaps if babied And I’ve scar tissue may form to stabilize things. It’s just a thought as a mechanism for why people could have problems similar to hernia recurrence that eventually resolve with conservative management. However these are generally not strong and will likely cause problems in the future.

      If there is a weakness that is small theoretically it could heal but without a scaffold to promote that, hernia’s generally are considered to be a progressive disease. Once the hole is there it will just get bigger. There are anecdotal reports of people healing their questionsble hernias with physical therapy but without actually looking inside or imaging I don’t really know how you would prove that’s what happened. They could have simply had some other musculoskeletal problem that worked itself out with time.

    • #29358

      Question for the surgeons:

      When a patient complains of symptoms such as new onset pain with lifting, but has no exam/ imaging findings to suggest reoccurance, how often is an occult reoccurance found intraoperatively?

    • #29382

      I have the same phenomenon. Lifting causes real discomfort and pain in my spot, although the pain usually does not present itself until a few hours later, or the next day. Will linger for weeks. I have totally backed off from lifting weights altogether due to this. Sounds like a recurrence. But with 2 MRIs and 4 independent exams from Gen Surgeons, no bulge can be found. Mesh irritation? Perhaps, but a total guessing game. @herniahelper

    • #29383


      It would be great to hear if anyone, patient or surgeon, had such a case operated on and what the result was?

    • #29384

      I’m in a slightly similar boat. Had a bilateral TAPP performed about 2 years ago. After 1 year, I was pain free. While riding my bike, felt a pull, and had pre op pain again. After having COVID (and coughing a LOT), my left side now feels like it’s constantly strained, and the pain radiates to my testicle, which develops an almost distended epididymis at random intervals. I’ve had a CT, 2 visits to the surgeon, 1 to the urologist, and 1 ER visit, and they’ve all chalked it up to standard chronic post repair pain.I too am frustrated, as each visit makes you feel crazier for thinking recurrence.

    • #29279

      @Antony, has this pain come only recently or has it been pretty much present the past six years? Free weights? Say, from a dead lift position or whatever? No bulge ever? Quite interesting though I’m sorry to hear you’re in this fix.

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