Pain free (again) after mesh removal

Hernia Discussion Forums Hernia Discussion Pain free (again) after mesh removal

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    • #31827
      Ben999
      Participant

      I’m posting an update as I recently stumbled across this forum again.

      Some of you may remember me, I had an Ethicon UHS completely removed due to chronic pain (it was fused to my n. ilioinguinalis which was subsequently neurectomized) in 2019.

      After the recovery from that removal I was almost back to normal in terms of pain (or rather lack thereof) and physical capacity for a year and a half.
      Then the pain recurred out of nowhere, but without a hernia recurrence. It seemed to be neuropathic.

      So I started pain therapy. Now, again a year and a half later, I’m back to being mostly pain free. I have to document my pain for the therapist anyway, so I have pretty exact data on it. Currently I have noticeable, light pain on about three days per week on average, for very brief amounts of time, which is basically nothing compared to the past. When I started, I had medium to strong pain for most of the day. Just sitting hurt when the affected area touched the seat, which is unavoidable with the groin.

      The pain therapy consisted of a series of local anaesthetic injections in the beginning, which I wanted to stop as they only brought relief for a day and caused severe side effects (loss of the function of my leg for a day). Knowing that the side effects were most likely temporary didn’t really make them less terrifying, as I also knew the relief they bring was just as temporary.

      After that I started taking Lyrica, eventually at the maximum dosage and Amitriptilyine, eventually at 2/3 of the max dosage for a year. I recently tapered off the Lyrica and am still taking the Amitriptyline as of now, but if I continue to stay mostly pain free, my pain therapist suggested tapering it off starting in October. At the peak of the medication dosage, I had gained about 40lbs (I’m 6’3″) and had occasional panic attacks, although it’s hard to say how much the medication contributed to those. I haven’t had any since I tapered off the Lyrica though and I’ve lost 20 pounds. I’m not sure how well I could perform physically because the Amitriptyline makes me too lethargic anyway, but I’ll see once I taper it off. I hope the pain won’t return and that I can shed the remaining 20 pounds. I’m at least optimistic about the latter as my weight was pretty consistently low before I started taking the medication.

      • This topic was modified 2 months ago by Ben999.
    • #31831
      Ben999
      Participant

      One more thing I just remembered while reading through recent posts on here:

      It seems my nerves have regenerated to a certain extent. Even during the “good period” immediately after the removal, the affected skin area was numb at best, which of course was still better than having pain there. Then, once the pain came back, it was a varying mix between odd sensations of numbness, burning, stinging and tearing.

      Now though, since about a month ago, the normal sensitivity has come back. I distinctly remember a moment when I touched that area and felt a normal sensation there in the first time for years. It was just the feeling of a finger on the side of my left testicle lol, nothing exciting but I really appreciated it after years of constant disturbed and disturbing sensations there. For reference, it’s been three years since the removal now.

      • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Ben999.
    • #31833
      ajm222
      Participant

      Hey Ben –

      Thanks for this. It’s a great update. It’s also very interesting as it partially speaks to the aspect of all of this related to the very nature and perception of pain. I had removal in Feb. of last year (2021) and still have some soreness and discomfort, though it is better than it was before removal and I think is improving a bit with time. I am hopeful that over the years the pain will continue to improve ever so glacially. I am not taking any medication for it, though had considered at various points going back on an SSRI, which would likely speed things up, possibly dramatically. I’ve had physical issues in the past that largely resolved simply because I either started taking an SSRI or dealt with anxiety and PTSD type symptoms with therapy. I’ve also had physical issues in the past that were symptomatic for a VERY long time (over a decade) and then just resolved themselves completely. So I think to some degree it’s possible to have pain in varying degrees in the absence of any structural problems. It’s more of a neuropathic signaling issue than an actual structural issue. There are some pain experts that would agree and point out that most physical damage will heal itself adequately fairly quickly, and normally after resolution the pain should also go away. But in some individuals that just doesn’t happen and the pain itself continues to persist. Those pain pathways just don’t turn off the way they should when the body heals, and that should largely be the focus of any therapy.

      Anyway, glad to see you back and hear you are doing well.

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