Retained Foreign Bodies/Chronic Hernia Pain?
08/14/2014 at 6:47 pm #10611R40Member
A quick background before I get to my current questions. I am a 40 year old women. In my early 20â€™s while I was exercising I felt a lump near in my groin area on my right side. I went to my ob/gyn, who assured me it was just a swollen lymph node and no big deal. I had NO PAIN at that point, and I had already given birth to one of my children. As the years went on I started experiencing what I think are the more â€œtraditionalâ€ hernia pain. I had 3 surgeries for endometriosis because I was told that was the cause of the pain. The pain was not bad enough to need to take medication, but bothersome enough that I wanted to get rid of it. I remember with my last endo surgery, waking up and asking the dr what he found on my right side, and of course he said there was more on the right side. At this point Iâ€™m 30 years old. Itâ€™s starting to drive me crazy, because Iâ€™m a very active person, pain was always worse at the end of the day. I finally went to my family dr, instead of an ob/gyn, and she did a ct scan (which was negative) and then referred me to a general surgeon. It literally took 5 seconds for her to diagnose my hernia. She had me stand up like a man and cough. The hernia popped right out! I had an open repair on my right side, where she said I had a nerve that was very damaged by the hernia, but she was able to save it. I did have to take two weeks off from work (I was told I only needed one week), and itâ€™s never felt totally normal, but I would never describe the feeling as pain. The first dr that performed my right sided hernia repair has now moved and is no longer in practice.
I had two more children with normal delivery with no problems.
Fast forward I have my last child at 38. During the time of delivery I have such sever left sided pain that I have to give birth laying on my right side holding my leg up (sorry to be so graphic). After delivery I had a multitude of problems that Iâ€™ve never experienced before. I had superficial blood clots on my left leg, I had severe swelling of my pelvis/abdomen that became rock hard (never happened with any other children). As I was getting treated for vein problems, I kept telling the drâ€™s that I really thought maybe I have a hernia on my left side. But, they of course dismissed me. I remember saying, well it is way more painful that my right side, so maybe thatâ€™s not it. The vein dr said start with your vein treatments and see if that helps (since my vein problem was obvious to the naked eye). So, I ended up getting pelvic vein embolization. I had only medical glue used in those procedures, because I am very allergic to metal.
I finally insist that I need to go to a hernia expert, because the pain has consistently reminded me of my right sided pain from years ago.
I go to a teaching hospital in the area where I live (Seattle/Tacoma). The dr there does an ultrasound and finds the hernia. She states many times, that I have way too much pain for a hernia. I do ask her to please look higher during surgery because I wondered if I had a higher up hernia too, but I know thatâ€™s pretty rare. She said no, she doesn’t just â€œgo looking aroundâ€, because that can cause problems. She said to start with repairing my indirect inguinal hernia. That sounded reasonable. I had a laparoscopic repair done.
I was still having awful pain. I had moved about 8 years ago, and never found another family dr until this last pregnancy. That dr sent me to a pain specialist (she was frustrated that I wouldn’t get injections into my back, but I know itâ€™s not my back causing the pain).
The pain specialist told me what the Hernia Dr said was not true, you can have chronic pain with a hernia. He said itâ€™s about 3%. He did a nerve block, which caused swelling in my leg and more burning pain. He insisted that I go back to the dr and ask for another ultrasound. I did, and the dr was willing to order one. Another hernia was found. For some reason, the dr wanted to order a ct scan too, but the ct scan was negative. After some discussing, she and another dr from the university performed surgery again. This time it was open repair, they took two nerves and put in more mesh for the hernia (that they did find). The most interesting thing is that while in there they found tiny pieces of retained foreign bodies along with a granuloma in the area that was caused by the material. The dr would not speculate what the material was, but in the operating notes she thinks it may be from my vein procedures. I called that dr and they said no way. They used white/clear medical glue, injecting it into my vein, NOT a surgery. This material was purple plastic. The pathologist said they destroy the material after one week (I wasn’t even told it was purple plastic till my month follow up). They speculated that it was suture material, but I would think a general surgeon would know what that looks like. The picture showed small round purple plastic material embedded into me. Other dr’s have told me it must have come from the hernia dr, but she says no way.
Some of the pain is so much better, but some is still so awful. If I lay on my right side all night long, then the pain is gone in the morning, but by the end of the night I wish that I could go to the ER. I have pain medicine, but that doesn’t take away the pain. Nothing but laying on my side helps. Itâ€™s so awful having three small children and trying to function in horrible pain every day. The hernia dr will not respond to my requests for picture of my surgery and answer my questions as to what the material is.
I’ve also been diagnosed with some sort of auto-immune inflammatory disease during this whole process . I have been seeing Rheumatologists at the university also. They have been great! But, they do not think my abdominal pain is related to my auto-immune disease.
Iâ€™m trying to get my records sent to Dr. Towfigh to see what her thoughts are, but I have no idea how long that will take. I would like to know if other s have what they would call â€œsevereâ€ pain or just â€œdiscomfortâ€. My hernia dr said, that people do not have pain from an inguinal hernia but just â€œdiscomfortâ€.
08/15/2014 at 1:58 am #12290R40Member
Retained Foreign Bodies/Chronic Hernia Pain?
One other thought, has anyone had more than two hernia’s in the same area? I wonder if maybe I either have a higher up hernia, or this one is still not fixed correctly? Has that happened to anyone?
I never would have thought my left hernia wasn’t fixed the first time, if it wasn’t for the pain specialist. Once my right sided hernia was fixed, that was it. I didn’t even think it was possible.
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