News Feed Discussions Umbilical Hernia: Request for Input

  • Umbilical Hernia: Request for Input

    Posted by Bliss44 on July 13, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    I’m 48 and have had an umbilical hernia for about a decade. Until recently, if the bulge became pronounced, I’d push it back in using my thumbs. I’ve stayed active, running, hiking, riding and skiing, but could probably stand to drop 25 pounds.

    For the first time, I’m unable to push the bulge back in. I’ve tried ice, lying down- no luck. I have no pain or other symptoms, but this is a new development.

    I happen to be seeing my doctor in 10 days for an annual wellness appointment. Should I be worried before then? Any input on my situation or ideas on relieving the bulge are most welcome.

    Bliss44 replied 4 years, 8 months ago 4 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Bliss44

    June 25, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    So, four weeks later, I feel like I never had surgery. No pain, hernia’s gone (I think i can feel it underneath the mesh, but no more protrusion). I’m walking for exercise – 12-15km 5 days per week. I have thrown batting practice to my teenage son, and while there’s no ill effects, I do notice the abs to the right of the belly button tighten up disproportionately. I plan to resume hiking and swimming next week. I see my surgeon at the end of next month, at which point I expect to have the all clear.

    Here are the details for reference. It was an open surgery with a general. It took about an hour (memory is hazy). That night I went and watched my son’s baseball game. I was moving slowly and was swollen, but felt fine. I probably could not have gone if it was the next day. I was comically swollen for about a week. The pain lasted about 5 days, and was manageable with over the counter meds (taking about half of the recommended dose). I tried to manage the pain with cannabis edibles, but that just made me stoned and sore.

    On whole, had I known the recovery was so rapid, I would’ve got this fixed years ago.

  • drtowfigh

    June 2, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Thanks so much for the followup.

  • Bliss44

    June 1, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Follow up: had scheduled surgery Wednesday. Mesh. Recovery is early days, but so far, so good.

  • Kipper

    July 16, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    The danger, as I’m sure you know, is strangulation of your now incarcerated hernia. Incarcerated means it’s stuck in the hole, strangulation happens when blood flow is cut off, leading to possibly let tissue death and possible surgical resection. Take care of it asap. If it becomes strangulated, you’ll probably experience intense pain.

  • Good intentions

    July 14, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Your main concern, I think, should be that your doctor will immediately refer you to a surgeon, and the first impulse of the surgeon will be to repair it with whatever method in which they have received training. Once they are in there they might see other defects which will give reason to do more repair. The most common repair method today is mesh. It’s very possible that you end up with coverage of most of your lower abdomen with mesh, if you mention any symptoms of inguinal hernia, like twinges in the groins. I saw a surgeon for a very simple direct hernia, one side, and after surgery I had bilateral implantation of as much mesh as he could fit in to the space.

    That would be extreme, I think, for an umbilical hernia, but the training today is that mesh is harmless if implanted correctly, therefore more is better, for prophylactic purposes. The path from consultation to surgery can be very fast and smooth, and comfortable. Hernia repair is a mainstay of many surgical practices due to the high volume. So take your time in making a decision. You will probably hear about how it could get bigger, and strangulation of bowel could occur, and how the procedure is an outpatient procedure with no hospital stay necessary. But the long-term effects should be your main concern.

    I don’t have any advice on reducing the bulge. My direct hernia bulge was not reducible either once a certain amount of material got out. I think that if the defect is small the material that gets out can’t be pushed back once the peritoneum gets stretched out of shape.

    Dr. Kang has posted on the site about non-mesh umbilical hernia repair. You might read some of his posts. Good luck.

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