Reoccurring inguinal hernia? Something else?
Hi there, I have my own hernia tale and am hoping for some advice – this seems like an amazing forum and the perfect place to ask for some help ahead of my visit to a specialist when my health insurance comes through.
Rather long-winded pathology, so please bear with me but I’ve been living with various hernias since my late teens.
20 years ago when I was 18 I had a right sided direct inguinal hernia repair (a pretty big one, bowel piece the size of a lemon hanging down into scrotum urgh!) using open mesh.
Painful as heck for a month, but latterly healed up pretty good. I wouldn’t say I ever fully regained my old speed/strength but aside from a rather odd quirk of the op – I developed the ability to kind of – tense – my right groin along the site of the scar tissue, which in turn raises my right testicle slightly, this is pretty odd right?! – I would say it was a success overall.
Fast forward five years (now 23 years old) and I have another op (again right sided, but no relation to original – this one was laparoscopic and repaired three small sports hernias) after a couple of years of quite bad chronic pain and misdiagnosis. It was also pretty scary at the time as I ended up having exploratory surgery as there was nothing obvious from scans, examination etc.
Again though, happily it heals up pretty well – I have had approx 100/150 ‘achy’ days (to be expected I suppose) in the ensuing 15 years when I felt slight/middling chronic pain in the ensuing years plus couple of major-ish incidents (one lifting luggage, another doing an inadvertent splits during a fell run, another one while squatting heavy weights etc.) but after a decent amount of rest (up to 6 weeks each time) and no small amount of worry everything seems to settle down.
I should mention that I’m a pretty active amateur sportsman, gym-goer etc.
In October 2017, I injured myself once again. Urgh.
I’d been working abs pretty hard since around July. Since my previous operations I’ve always found traditional crunches etc. almost impossible (pain in old scar areas) so had totally avoided. In this summer just gone I discover leg raises and ab wheel work don’t seem to cause much/any of a reaction, and start training abs like never before. Time passes and all is – almost – well. I find I’m getting strange ‘whoosing’/pulsing feelings in my old scar areas, but no pain. Like an idiot I ignore. Then one morning I’m doing some very light ab wheel warm up work and – ouch – ‘something’ happens. Sorry I can’t be more specific; it isn’t a searing ripping pain like the previous inguinal or sports hernia injuries, just this weird feeling that something’s ‘moved’ or changed down there.
I knock the exercise on the head for the day and, fearing the worst, take it very easy over the next few weeks. Things get worse though, and I’m now getting a weird mixture of acute and chronic pain from my old *inguinal* scar area. I can feel gurgling sensations, and (perhaps) feelings of very slight movement which recall – but are nowhere near as pronounced – as my old inguinal hernia all those years ago. I also get scratching (mesh?), itching (healing?) feelings. I can’t run (or jog), row, lift weights etc as my groin feels very weak. When I sit at my desk at work I can ‘feel’ the scar – it almost feels like a lump or a pressure, but there’s nothing physical on examination – GP confirms she can’t detect obvious inguinal hernia when I visit.
It’s now mid-December and I can’t deny that things have gotten *slightly* better.
I have good days where I hardly feel any symptoms or pain and worse (but not terrible) days when aforementioned symptoms present and I basically feel v. comfortable. The weird gurgling/feeling like a part of my bowel is once again outside of my body feeling persists *every* day, which is *horrible* and some days my whole length of inguinal repair scar tissue throbs. This was definitely not the case in the two decades following the original repair.
So, my personal diagnosis is partial re-occurrence of original inguinal hernia but – after this long and winding essay! – what do people on this forum think? Will an MRI or a hernia specialist be able to confirm via an examination easily enough? It has gotten a *little* better in the past 10 weeks; is there any chance I might not need yet another op?!
Many thanks in advance for any insights or advice you’re able to offer 🙂
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