05/18/2018 at 6:46 am #11302Challenger2600Member
I’m new to this forum and came across it via a Google search while looking up a hernia doctor within my area. I’ve never had my situation checked out yet but, after doing a bunch of research, I’m 99% certain I have an umbilical hernia, especially since it has enlarged this year.
I believe this issue started about 8 years ago when I was dragging and carrying a long 100+ pound wooden folding table down 3 flights of stairs because I’ve always had the typical life where I’m always there when someone needs help yet, when I call upon five people to help me when I’m in need…. they find a typical excuse not to.
A couple weeks or so after I dragged that table down the stairs, I noticed my navel (an “inny” at that time) becoming a little puffy. I didn’t think anything of it so I went about my life. Months later, I noticed this puffiness was now turning into a bulge. It was still contained within my navel so I didn’t deem it to be that serious.
Later on, I ended up doing some research and did have reason to believe it was a sign of an umbilical hernia. The bulge was soft and I was able to push it back in, even though the next day, it came back out.
With all the sites I went to and videos I checked out, I learned, unless it started to become painful or red or swollen, surgery isn’t really necessary.
For close to 7 years or so, it was still mostly contained within the navel and not that noticeable. It didn’t hurt nor was it red or swollen. I did limit my lifting of heavy boxes and such. I was still able to slowly push it back in and my navel looked normal for a while until… it slowly moved itself back out.
Fast forward now to this year, the bulge has surpassed my navel and I’m unable to slowly press it back in with my finger. When I’m sitting in my car or at my desk, it sticks out and when I lay down in bed on my back, it protrudes. When I lay on my side, it sticks out the most. The last time I washed and waxed my car (a Challenger), my stomach area was in massive pain a few hours later. I looked at it and it was swollen and red in the middle and in the bulged area. I thought this was it and I had to head to the emergency room. Without any health insurance, I was refraining from doing that. So, I just manned up and waited a few days. Finally, after around a week, the swelling went down and the pain subsided and was gone. A very close call, I thought.
The bulge is now the size of a ping pong ball sticking out halfway from my stomach. It’s at the point where, because of the size, I can feel it every day when sitting or walking around. Back when it first started, I was working in retail and a bit active at around 185lbs. Now, since my work in IT involves mostly sitting and driving to customer’s houses to sit some more, I’m at around 200lbs. I thought if maybe I lost 15lbs or so, the bulge would decrease and won’t be as bad. However, at this point, I honestly don’t think that would make a difference since it’s expanded quite a bit.
Another thing I noticed is this dry white, what appears to be, soap scum around the crater of where the circle forms and the inner skin of the navel. I tried to clean that a few times which is a chore for close to 30 minutes standing and trying to pick what I can with my fingers but that’s not only nasty, it becomes painful as well. Also, I’m not too sure if it’s soap scum or maybe dead and dry skin or both since I end up pulling hairs as well.
The bulge is the same color as my skin but the area around it (where that white stuff is) is red, most likely because of the skin being stretched in that area.
Now that all of you have a background with my situation, here is the main issues…
I’m 37 and would like to be active again. I was always a fan of martial arts but never trained in the past (with the exception of a few kicks here and there). I know a friend who would like to train me now. However, with this condition I have, I know if I did any strenuous activity, I’ll make the hernia worse.
I would like to get it checked out and repaired now ASAP so I can live a somewhat “normal” life again so I can wash and wax my car without the painful and frightening aftermath I had experienced in the past. Also, it seems as if the bulge is stretching more and more so it looks like I need to get it taken care of before it pops like a balloon! That would be awful just thinking about it!
The main issue I have with the surgery is… the lack of health insurance. Unfortunately, I’m one of those guys who took care of everything and everyone without taking care of myself and my own needs first. Depending on the cost, I may put it on a credit card or finance it through “Care Credit” or both. I’m located in Florida. Can anyone give me a rough estimate of the surgery before I go for a consultation? $5,000-10,000 or more?? I really hope it doesn’t cost as much as what I owe on my car…. :-/
I did find a hernia center in Palm Beach, FL: https://palmbeachgeneralsurgery.com/ with a doctor by the name of Dr. David Coykendall. Does anyone know of other hernia surgeons within the east side of Florida you had experience with? Any shady ones to look out for?
I read some posts in this forum and people were saying the mesh is bad or the mesh is good. Some people even had the mesh removed after a couple years or so. When things are all said and done and I am able to train in maybe 6 months or so, I just have some fear of stretching the mesh and tearing it when exercising. Then that would be another trip for surgery. I have a feeling there would be no warranty for such things.
I guess that’s it for now. Any help in steering me in the right direction will be appreciated.
05/19/2018 at 2:19 am #16158Good intentionsParticipant
Most mesh recurrence problems are not from the mesh tearing. They are from material getting under the mesh and working its way out through the original opening, or from the mesh folding or moving sideways and exposing the original opening. But tearing the mesh should not be your primary concern.
Here is a thread with a comment from Dr. Kang about umbilical hernias. Post #13. https://www.herniatalk.com/5324-non-…pair-questions
“Mesh” is the one-size-fits-all cover-all-potential-defects “cure” for almost any abdominal hernia. I would not recommend it to any family members or close friends. Which, basically, means that I would not recommend it for anyone. Not with the state of the industry today. There is still much denial about potential harm from mesh implantation. No way to predict what will happen. It’s a gamble with a very very high cost if you lose.
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