Umbilical hernia, what pain is bad?

Hernia Discussion Forums Hernia Discussion Umbilical hernia, what pain is bad?

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    • #33230

      Wow I’m happy I found this place (and the talks on YouTube). Big thanks to Dr Towfigh!

      I’ve been diagnosed with a 9mm umbilical hernia on November the 24th. Surgery is planned for next week but I’m not looking forward to it since I know the surgeon is a huge fan of using mesh, he even talks about the benefits on big hernia events around the world. I’m not so much a fan, my body doesn’t like foreign material. But at the same time I do cough a couple of times a day (it’s a bit chronic), so perhaps a mesh is needed.

      That now makes me wonder if I should perhaps do some watchful waiting. Especially since after the bigger hernia I had a couple of weeks ago was pushed back, only a small new one popped out (this one recurs now when I push it back in). And with that one, it turns out my belly button (deep on the left, filled on the right) looks exactly like it did on pictures in 2018, 17, up until 2013! So I guess there was something there for a long time.

      But, a couple of weeks ago it started to hurt a bit (because everyone was pushing on it). Now the last couple of days my bellybutton doesn’t hurt at all. But I do have a dull pain sometimes about 5 cm to the left. Is that the same pain that would make it urgent?

      Doctor Towfigh talked about it becoming more urgent when it hurts. But what does that mean? I have no strangulation or anything, you can easily pop it back in. When I cough or lift something heavy, there’s no additional pain.

      When I walk for a long distance however, that dull pain on the left comes up. But to me that feels like a totally different thing (pushing on my belly button or hernia doesn’t activate that pain).

      Any help or insights would be greatly appreciated.

      Because of the mesh and apparently the fact that if you operate without a mesh but it then tears back open it becomes bigger, I’m starting to become a fan of watchful waiting.

      Thank you in advance!

    • #33232
      Good intentions

      I don’t know that it’s true that a recurrence after a pure tissue repair is going to be bigger. As you read through posts on the forum you’ll find that many things are said about hernias that are actually not very likely. You might die, you might end up in the emergency room, etc. A recent poll of surgeons showed that most of them would wait if they had a hernia.

      You said that your body does not like foreign materials. What do you mean by that? Have you had reactions to sutures or some other foreign material? That would be important to consider.

      When you are talking to surgeons or reading what they have to say or watching their videos remember that they can understand recurrences. Because they can see them. They do not understnad chronic pain and discomfort because the cause is not clear. Much time is spent by the hernia repair community discussing whether or not the patient’s pain is primarily mental. In their head, and not actually physical. All surgeons learn this in medical school and during their residency and at many of the meetings that they attend. Even surgeons that run large pain clinics will wonder aloud why patients don’t want mesh after they have mesh removed for chronic pain. They are all taught that mesh does not cause pain.

      Also be aware that if you have a pure tissue repair and it fails you can always get mesh. But if you have mesh problems it’s a whole new world.

      There are several Topics on the forum about umbilical hernias. Try to find them and read all of them. Good luck.

    • #33233
      Good intentions

      Here are a couple of recent Topics. Not much has changed in hernia repair except the growth of robotics-assisted surgery.

      Pain after 10 days of umbilical hernia laparoscopy

      Umbilical Hernia, Best Course of Action?

    • #33234
      Good intentions

      Here is an easier way to search the Herniatalk forum.

    • #33242

      thank you. It’s much easier through Google indeed! Had tried the search engine here but got lost.

      And yeah, a surgeon I saw today said if it opens back up after a no-mesh repair it should only be as big as it was before, unless the part with the stitches in rips and tears as well (violently). So that seems a different opinion than what Dr Towfigh says. Not sure why.

      And well I easily get reactions to foreign things that are in prolonged contact with my skin or body (like I got really allergic to my contact lenses after a couple of years, cannot wear a watch… I’m hypersensitive to those things).

      thanks for the tips!

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