Possible Recurrence-What to expect?

Hernia Discussion Forums Hernia Discussion Possible Recurrence-What to expect?

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    • #28232

      Hey all,

      I posted in here last year regarding post-op pain, and unfortunately, I’m back.

      On 7/16/19 I had a bilateral inguinal hernia repair with mesh, robotic-assist. The left side was a 2×3 cm direct hernia. Surgery notes indicate that a 12×15 cm mesh was used with 2 cm of overlap.

      Anyway, I had a fair bit of pain in my left-side repair, and in January went back to my surgeon after experiencing pain when lifting a heavy patient that was accompanied by a popping sensation. It was chalked up to scar tissue breaking up, and the pain got better, and I was pain-free through the Summer.

      In September, I was attempting to cut a large amount of weight for a new job, so I was working out more than normal. While on a bike ride (25 miles), I felt the same tugging/pulling during some pedal strokes at the end of the ride. It felt like it was about 1-2 inches below my navel, and another 1 inch lateral. Anyway, I figured it was the same situation, and I kept working out/hiking. My left side just felt looser after that, for lack of a better term. No new pain occurred, nor bulges.

      Roughly 3-4 weeks after that, while running, I started to experience sharp pain about an inch medial to my Iliac crest, which I chalked up to a cramp, or nerve pain from the mesh placed. Then, running at work a few days later, I experienced similar pain, so I dialed it back. At the time, I worked as a firefighter, so lifting heavy patients was the norm. I had some pain, but nothing I wasn’t used to. However, two weeks ago, I had a double whammy of 7/10 testicular pain after having sex, and then lower abdominal pain after a training fire at work. I’ve been having pain in the original abdominal area affected, as well as in my oblique, lower back, and occasionally my leg.

      When performing palpation of my inguinal ring and coughing, I haven’t felt anything, and also no bulges along the inguinal canal. However, when flexing my abs, a bulge appears in the original area that felt tugging, moves to the left, and then disappears. The bulge is new within the last week.

      I’m seeing my surgeon on Tuesday, and given that this is 2020, and all we get is bad news, I’m expecting to be diagnosed with a recurrence.

      I have an incredible amount of anxiety as I start a new career as a flight paramedic on Monday, and I have little to no sick time available. Should I have to have surgery performed to fix a recurrence, what does my recovery look like compared to the initial repair? Should I use the same surgeon? Long read, but I appreciate any insight.

    • #28233
      Good intentions

      I think that the only thing that is almost certain is that the original mesh will be left in. But there are many ways that the recurrence could be repaired. There are stories on this forum about placing new mesh over the old mesh, or placing new mesh next to the old mesh and tacking them together. Or attempting a tissue repair and attaching to the mesh. Dr. Towfigh has commented on the “proper” way to fix a recurrence but, nonetheless, people have reported that their surgeons did not do things that way.

      I don’t think that there is a “standard” for recurrence repairs with mesh. The surgeon’s creativity is the source of what you’ll get. So make sure that you choose a good surgeon. I would not go through the “system”‘s referral process. If you’re seeing the same surgeon that did the first repair, maybe get a second opinion before committing to surgery. Good luck.

    • #28241

      Update: pleasantly surprised. They found slight protrusion at the inguinal ring, but not enough to warrant immediate imaging. For now being chalked up to athletic pubalgia given my symptom progression and backstory.

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