Tentatively have removal scheduled with Dr. Belyansky for late February

Hernia Discussion Forums Hernia Discussion Tentatively have removal scheduled with Dr. Belyansky for late February

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    • #12138
      ajm222
      Participant

      Terrified of making the wrong choice and having even more trouble than now as I don’t have any real pain any more (aside from some mild soreness occasionally). But the tightness and feeling like my leg and hip were removed and sewed back on slightly crooked is still there. And the bunched up feeling in my lower abdomen and right flank is there. I do also get some mild soreness and pulling related to the right testicle as well. It’s these things that I think are unlikely to go away, and it’s just hard to imagine spending the next 30+ years with these feelings. I don’t suspect there is any chance it will go away from what Drs. Towfigh and Belyansky have said. Sounds like classic tight repair (though sometimes I wonder if it’s something like adhesions because of how high up the sensation goes). Been this way for most of the last year and a half. Started a couple months after surgery that I had in Feb. ’18 (right side indirect inguinal hernia repaired with progrip mesh robotically). Didn’t even associate it with mesh at first because I thought the mesh was so much lower. I also have mentioned too that my genitalia sits a little crooked when seated, and with the tightness and pulling I am suspecting maybe excessive scar tissue.

      I have an upcoming consultation locally with Dr. Levi Procter on 1/23 to help me decide. Not looking forward to the expense and trouble and pain and recovery and uncertainty around the future associated with this surgery (along with several more holes in my stomach), but again I’m not sure if what I am feeling is acceptable. I mean, I COULD live with it. I think people can generally adjust to almost anything. But I feel like Dr. Belyanksy may be able to improve things. Still a little worried I convinced myself early on that this hernia surgery wouldn’t go well and maybe it became a self-fulfilling thing. But I’ve also talked with many folks who have had surgeries of various kinds including hernia and feel totally fine just weeks or months later. I never quite recovered (well documented pain that continued up until a few months ago, oddly after I met with Dr. B and learned I had another option), and certainly don’t feel ‘back to normal’. It’s just that absence of neuropathic pain that’s trying to tell me this is a mistake.

      Anyway, just getting some more thoughts down as I finalize a decision. There is no rush, but late Feb. would be ideal. And I worry Dr. Belyansky will move, or I will lose my job or change health insurance, etc etc.

      Will keep you all posted. Thanks.

    • #20743
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      Sounds good. What is the surgical plan ?

    • #20745
      ajm222
      Participant
      quote drtowfigh:

      Sounds good. What is the surgical plan ?

      Thanks. Plan discussed with me was simply to remove the mesh robotically and likely not do anything else. He said no more mesh would be used since I was having issues. Would potentially only leave some mesh behind if there were entrapped nerves, cords, blood vessels etc. that he thought would be dangerous to damage. I’m not having any weird reactions to the mesh so no concerns if he can’t get it all out – mainly just said that my problem seemed to be the size and 3D nature of the mesh was resulting in a foreign body sensation and discomfort, and that should mostly go away if most of the mesh is removed. It’s my understanding that most of the time there is no hernia present when he removes the mesh, as a ‘scar plate’ or something like that tends to cover the area sufficiently. I believe if there were issues present that worried him regarding recurrence or weakness he would do some sort of tissue repair or reinforcement. He did not think there would be any need to cut any nerves of any kind intentionally as I’m not having any neuropathic pain.

    • #20746
      ajm222
      Participant

      First post said unapproved. Apologies if this and the other end up both posting.

      Plan is simply to remove the mesh robotically and not do anything else. No more mesh as he seems to think the size and 3D nature of the mesh and my body have resulted in a foreign body sensation and discomfort that would be better with no mesh going forward. It was interesting that he said if he had treated me in the first place that I might have been a candidate for pure tissue repair in the first place due to my age and activity levels and fitness (43, so not young but not quite old, and 5’7” and 160 lbs. but look a lot thinner than that – I seem to be very dense). I believe typically in these cases he finds no hernia present after removal, due to what I think he called a ‘scar plate’ or something along those lines. I think he would do some sort of tissue repair or reinforcement if he had any significant concerns about recurrence or weakness. I’m trusting his judgement on this. He said there is a chance he might need to leave some mesh in if there were entrapped structures that were too dangerous to risk damaging, and I don’t seem to be having any allergic or auto-immune issues related to the mesh itself so that would be fine. No plan to cut major nerves as I have no real neuropathic pain.

    • #20747
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      Sounds like a good plan

    • #20748
      pmv
      Participant

      [USER=”2051″]ajm222[/USER] your post-hernia surgery symptoms sound almost identical to mine.

      It’s been about one year since my bilateral robotic inguinal hernia surgery and implantation of ProGrip mesh.

      I am scheduled to have a 3T pelvic MRI next week in the hope of helping to determine the source of my symptoms. Symptoms which, I repeat, are almost identical to yours.

      In the meantime, over the last year, I have been very physically active. Working out 6 days a week (mostly 60-90 minute sessions of cardio on stationary bike and elliptical & some light weightlifting). Also have been fastidiously been performing core strengthening exercises. The disturbing symptoms persist. But don’t appear to be worsened by my exercise regime. And, in fact, the core strengthening/stretching seem to “loosen up” the tightness and pulling in my groin, lower abdominal and hip region, at least temporarily.

      Like you, I am also a person who is hypersensitive to physical sensations in my body. Always have been. Perhaps that hypersensitivity is genetic or related to my tendency to catastrophize.

      Anyway, at this point, I am not willing to undergo additional abdominal surgery. I don’t have “pain” per se. And I can emotionally and physically endure the discomfort that you so eloquently describe. At least for the time being.

      I will add that I have compiled a list of the best hernia surgeons in the country, including [USER=”935″]drtowfigh[/USER], if, at some point, I decide to take the risk — and there is risk — of more abdominal surgery, including the possibility of mesh removal. But, for now, not worth the risk to me. And possibility of little relief (and more complications) too great.

      I wish you the best of luck in this difficult decision.

    • #20750
      ajm222
      Participant

      Thanks for sharing your story! That’s very interesting. I also notice no real difference in terms of pain with exercise. Though lately it seems I notice the tightness and discomfort more when exercising. I am hoping Dr. Procter can help me make a final decision. I have great faith in Dr. Belyansky’s renowned abilities, and Dr. Procter had also told me that even with removals he has done himself it’s very rare to see someone worse off. This was kind of surprising, but I think he was referring to removals done by experienced hernia surgeons who regularly do them. I did have regular pain up to about a year and a half after surgery, and that always concerned me. And I’d love to be able to get back to exercising without noticing this tightness so heavily. I also feel like I carry myself differently now, which may have something to do with my recent sciatica issues. I kind of want him to get in there and see if he can tell what’s bothering me. He seemed to be very interested in the investigation part of the surgery and really trying to determine the source of a person’s issues.

      Anyway, I do wonder if in another 6 months or a year I would get to a place where maybe I just got past this and stopped noticing it, as apparently it’s kind of unusual, and could very well be related to being ultra-sensitive. I’ve toyed with the idea it’s entirely psychosomatic. I did have some weird period during a week over the summer on vacation where I could have sworn I was fine. I was walking/standing at Disney most of the time and not exercising, and I remember being super worried about a hernia developing on the other side, so was super focused on that. And wouldn’t you know I had quite a bit of pain on that side, at least for several days. But it went away and no hernia developed. Never been sure if the distraction ‘cured’ me temporarily, or if it was still there but I wasn’t aggravating it by doing the stuff I normally do which I don’t want to really avoid or can’t avoid (like sitting at a desk most of the day, and regular exercise). But Dr. B. seemed to suggest that wherever I am at now, it’s likely just going to stay that way. I worry I am rushing into things, but I think 2 years is also quite a while. And I worry about future issues related to what’s going on. Probably shouldn’t be thinking that way as I used to believe that over time things would only get better. But I’ve read about a number of people that had some minor issues at first and then things actually got a lot worse several years down the road. I also sort of like the idea of taking 2 weeks off work and just going into surgery and coming out a couple hours later being done with all the mesh worries and sitting back and healing. But as you say, there are certainly risks.

      Sigh. Stay tuned.

    • #20755
      deeoeraclea
      Participant

      [USER=”2051″]ajm222[/USER] We are in very similar boats. I had a progrip mesh inserted in me in August and constantly have a feel of tightness and also a decent amount of pain at my pubic and hip bones. The situation is livable, but not pleasant. And, it does not seem to be getting better with time — if anything, it is getting worse. I am scheduled for surgery in mid-February (also a lap mesh removal with the robot) and am hoping I do not end up in worse shape. From what I have gathered from others is that, the risk of having more pain post-mesh-removal is not a huge risk (as no nerves are involved). The main risk is a higher probability of a recurrent hernia. Though, if there are any Doctors on the forum that disagree with my understanding of the risks, I would be glad to hear from them. I am also quite concerned that I am making the right decision to have another operation.

    • #20762
      ajm222
      Participant

      Wow, it seems there are lots of us out there with this tightness. And you’re already scheduled to have it removed? Who is your surgeon? Will be very interested to hear how you do shortly after surgery. All those I’ve talked to that have been to the surgeons commonly discussed here have done well, though recovery seems to really vary – from immediate relief to a year or two of slow progress.

    • #20764
      pmv
      Participant

      [USER=”2051″]ajm222[/USER] I also have suffered with a herniated disc in my lumbar spine at the L3-L4 level that caused excruciating pain down the front (not back) of my left leg. After approximately 12 weeks that pain subsided. And during that 12 week period. I didn’t notice any tightness/pulling in my inguinal area from the hernia surgery that was performed prior to the herniated disc.

      That supports your “distraction” theory. When your mind is occupied with other issues (be them orher pain like my herniated disc or more pleasant experiences like going on vacation and forgetting about the demands of work) the bothersome symptoms seem to disappear, albeit temporarily. The mind-body connection is amazing and still not fully understood.

      Along those lines, have you consulted with a pain medicine doctor to see if there is anything that can be done to alleviate your symptoms short of mesh-removal surgery? Also, have you considered alternative modalities like acupuncture? It may be worthwhile exploring these treatments before surgery? But only you know your body, your threshold for pain and not feeling normal, and your emotional/psychological makeup.

      You sound like a very logical person. I am sure you will make the right choice. But, like me, try not to overthink your situation. It isn’t life-threatening. And is an elective procedure.

      Again, I wish you (and others in the same position as you and I) the best.

    • #20765
      deeoeraclea
      Participant
      quote ajm222:

      Wow, it seems there are lots of us out there with this tightness. And you’re already scheduled to have it removed? Who is your surgeon? Will be very interested to hear how you do shortly after surgery. All those I’ve talked to that have been to the surgeons commonly discussed here have done well, though recovery seems to really vary – from immediate relief to a year or two of slow progress.

      In my case, 4+ months after surgery, I am still in a fair bit of pain and am not seeing any improvement. If I had seen SOME reduction in pain, I would have waited things out. But, given the lack of progress, I see no reason to be in pain an additional 4 or 5 months before I have the mesh removed

    • #20780
      ajm222
      Participant
      quote pmv:

      [USER=”2051″]ajm222[/USER] I also have suffered with a herniated disc in my lumbar spine at the L3-L4 level that caused excruciating pain down the front (not back) of my left leg. After approximately 12 weeks that pain subsided. And during that 12 week period. I didn’t notice any tightness/pulling in my inguinal area from the hernia surgery that was performed prior to the herniated disc.

      That supports your “distraction” theory. When your mind is occupied with other issues (be them orher pain like my herniated disc or more pleasant experiences like going on vacation and forgetting about the demands of work) the bothersome symptoms seem to disappear, albeit temporarily. The mind-body connection is amazing and still not fully understood.

      Along those lines, have you consulted with a pain medicine doctor to see if there is anything that can be done to alleviate your symptoms short of mesh-removal surgery? Also, have you considered alternative modalities like acupuncture? It may be worthwhile exploring these treatments before surgery? But only you know your body, your threshold for pain and not feeling normal, and your emotional/psychological makeup.

      You sound like a very logical person. I am sure you will make the right choice. But, like me, try not to overthink your situation. It isn’t life-threatening. And is an elective procedure.

      Again, I wish you (and others in the same position as you and I) the best.

      thanks again! all excellent points. given that pain is no longer really the concern, i am not currently considering speaking with a pain specialist or acupuncturist. i did consider anxiety meds to see if that would help me move past this psychologically but never started the ones i was prescribed (i’ve been on them in the past – long story). and i did take up a new hobby – guitar – as a distraction. but aside from that one short respite over vacation, the tightness has always been there. i think at this point consulting Dr. Procter and deciding whether to delay the surgery or not is the plan. it truly isn’t an emergency. just want to get on with my life and stop worrying about this constantly one way or another. i could likely put it off another 6 months or more, and may do that. particularly if I am still dealing with this sciatica. i am doing physical therapy now but don’t really enjoy the process, and it isn’t cheap, and it seems like this stuff eventually gets better on its own anyway (whether in a few weeks or a few months). and interestingly i really for the foreign body sensation while the therapist was moving my legs and hips around yesterday. wasn’t painful, just a little uncomfortable. if the tightness is real, and at this point i suspect it is, then i don’t think it will get better after this period of time. if it’s mostly in my head, then i probably need to act. thanks again for your thoughtful comments.

    • #20781
      ajm222
      Participant
      quote deeoeraclea:

      In my case, 4+ months after surgery, I am still in a fair bit of pain and am not seeing any improvement. If I had seen SOME reduction in pain, I would have waited things out. But, given the lack of progress, I see no reason to be in pain an additional 4 or 5 months before I have the mesh removed

      yeah, that’s tough. it all depends on the degree of pain i think, but constant and moderate or greater pain of any kind at that point isn’t usually a ‘good’ sign. i think people have seen significant improvement along longer timelines (like 6-18 months), though. but it’s a lot of anecdotal stuff.

    • #20808
      ajm222
      Participant
      quote deeoeraclea:

      [USER=”2051″]ajm222[/USER] We are in very similar boats. I had a progrip mesh inserted in me in August and constantly have a feel of tightness and also a decent amount of pain at my pubic and hip bones. The situation is livable, but not pleasant. And, it does not seem to be getting better with time — if anything, it is getting worse. I am scheduled for surgery in mid-February (also a lap mesh removal with the robot) and am hoping I do not end up in worse shape. From what I have gathered from others is that, the risk of having more pain post-mesh-removal is not a huge risk (as no nerves are involved). The main risk is a higher probability of a recurrent hernia. Though, if there are any Doctors on the forum that disagree with my understanding of the risks, I would be glad to hear from them. I am also quite concerned that I am making the right decision to have another operation.

      forgot to mention that in the case of dr. belyansky, he’s been quoted as telling patients anywhere between a 4% and 10% chance of recurrence after removal with no additional repairs or anything. that’s actually quite good i think.

    • #20815
      ajm222
      Participant

      hey [USER=”1176″]Momof4[/USER] – sadly your messages to me didn’t come through. i can see you sent something but no text was present. i will try and send you my email address via message and you can use that, but not hopeful that will come through. thanks for your messages regardless!

    • #20979
      rc009
      Participant

      Would someone please post list of mesh removal surgeons North East states

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