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Incisional hernia repair Incisional hernia repair

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Unread 06-23-2005, 10:11 AM
Incisional hernia repair

I swear, it never ENDS. I'm back on line over a year post hyst because I'm recovering from the repair of the incisional hernia that developed after the hyst. During my entire hyst recovery time, I had an enormous belly-much worse than before the hyst. I kept telling my nurse practitioner that it just didn't look or feel right, and she replied that we all tend to put on abdominal fat as we age. Uh, I looked as if I was six months pregnant! I hadn't gained any weight, either. I was eventually diagnosed with an incisional hernia. I had a hernia repair with mesh about five years ago after a previous abdominal surgery, which necessitated a vertical abdominal incision for the hyst. This time, the surgeon thought I had a small hernia and would require an overnight stay and a couple of weeks of recovery, but found that the entire incision had let loose, and put in a mesh patch that goes from my rib cage all the way down to the pubic bone, about 4 inches wide. The hospital stay was five days (that darn digestive system just wouldn't start!) and I had a drain for 10 days after I got home.

Here's the question: At about 7 1/2 weeks post surgery, I still develop pain after walking more than about 20 minutes and have very little stamina. I went back to a desk job part-time at about 2 weeks and work at home so I can rest as needed, but probably did too much too soon. Is this recovery time normal? IS there a normal? At 46 I would not expect to bounce back as if I were 20, but my family is getting sick of my being sick. Hubby attended the doc apt when I had the drain removed, so he heard the surgeon tell me to expect to be "washed out" for 6-8 weeks, but he's still planning day-long car trips for next weekend and I need to keep reminding him that I'm not up for that, yet.

Has anyone else dealt with recovery from this? What were your experiences?

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Unread 06-26-2005, 06:21 AM
Incisional hernia repair

for you Nan!!

Wow it sure sounds like you went thru a lot sweetie.

I've had a ventral hernia repair after my hyst and can tell you that 8 weeks is not a magic number anymore than 6 weeks is for a hyst.

I'm sure you had another inscision and it sounds like a long time in the castle, along with your body fighting the mesh. I was told that even tho the mesh is safe for us our bodies will still think of it as a forgien (sp) material and try to fight it like it would an infection.

You still had major surgery, your body is going to need time to recoup and regroup, it may take 8 weeks for the initial but you will still need to slowly build up strength. Your stomach muscles will need to heal and this take time. Please don't push yourself, there is still a lot of internal healing going on honey. It will take awhile to feel back to "normal' again. I know for me every time I have had to have surgery again....each one took a little longer to get my energy levels back. I'm just no spring chicken anymore I guess!!!

And mesh is not foolproof...if you do to much to soon you can still do rest and take it easy....and maybe let DH go on his daytrips once or twice on his own if you want.

Hope this helps..


Unread 06-27-2005, 06:11 AM
Incisional hernia repair

Thanks, Dawn.

It really does take longer to recover after multiple procedures. You, also, have been through more than your share.

There was a program about Greg LeMond (sp?) on cable yesterday. He was at the peak of his biking career when he was accidentally shot in the back with a shotgun. He described the years it took to get back to biking after spending weeks in bed. He had difficulty walking across the room, just like the rest of us. And he was an elite athelete.

The bottom line is our bodies will heal as fast as they heal. We need to be patient. Very difficult for most of us.

Thanks again for your kind words.
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Unread 06-28-2005, 02:45 PM
Incisional hernia repair

I have been wondering if I might have a hernia. I have read that you should be able to diagnose it with an ultrasound. How did you find out that you had one? Did you have any pain? I look six months pregnant and it is hard. DOes it go away when you lay down?
Unread 06-28-2005, 06:59 PM
Incisional hernia repair


Mine was suspected by my family doc, but he said he couldn't feel much because my abdominal muscles were "too soft". Turns out that the entire incision had not healed correctly and I had a very large gap where my abs were supposed to be! The surgeon thought I had a smaller hernia until he got in there.

To diagnose, my surgeon had me lie back on the table, then do a partial sit-up so my abs were tight. He poked and prodded and found a softer spot. We didn't need any other tests.

I also looked " six months pregnant", as did a friend of mine who had her hernia repair about a year ago. My stomach wasn't hard, though. It did reduce when I would lie on my back.

Sounds like a trip to your doc is in order. Let us know what happens.

Good luck!
Unread 06-30-2005, 01:55 AM
Incisional hernia repair

Not to be harsh, but to heck with long trips or anything else
that would disturb your healing!!!!
Had two hernia repairs. The first weeks after the, first my now ex-hub hounded me
to go beyond what seemed reasonable--had pain for years and still some if is lift much of anything!!!second surgery, I took it easy. No problems or pain (or "ex!") healed much quicker, with no painfu aftermath. take care
Unread 07-20-2005, 07:54 PM
What does a hernia feel like?

Originally Posted by sunnykat
I have been wondering if I might have a hernia. I have read that you should be able to diagnose it with an ultrasound. How did you find out that you had one? Did you have any pain? I look six months pregnant and it is hard. DOes it go away when you lay down?
I am so sure I also have a hernia.. my surgey(Tah BSO) was 3.5 months ago.. in the morning my stomach is fine.. the more I walk, or move it gets bigger and harder. By night I have a huge mass from my pubic bone to above my navel. It feels like I am carrying a pound of concrete!!
If anyone else has experienced this please write to me or post.. I am so tired and sore I still can barely get out of bed at night.. I have a 3.5 year old and am 52 years old.. I was always energetic before. I am on hormones Estrogel and I have also lost 25 pounds by watching my starches so.. it isn't new gained belly flab.. help!!!! And yes when I lay down it feels fine..
Unread 08-25-2005, 05:34 PM
Incisional hernia repair

I have had 2 ventral hernias.
What you are describing could have been written by me.
Please take care, and get that taken care of.
Unread 08-25-2005, 08:23 PM
Incisional hernia repair

Thank you Thank you for your reply! Can you please tell me how they take care of this?? I have a cat scan booked on September 13th, I have already had an ultra sound. I am very nervous about more surgery so if you could tell me what to expect I would sure appreciate it. I have searched web sites on hernias and hope this can be corrected by lapascope surgery. Thanks again for your reply.. no one else responded I was feeling quite alone!
Unread 08-26-2005, 03:30 AM
Incisional hernia repair


My first hernia was diagnosed by a surgeon by doing the sit half way up by lying down method. I had an open repair done 10/04 with an oopharectomy. No mesh was used, and a month later I developed a staph infection, which required the wound to be reopened. IMHO I think this may have been cause for the second repair.
The second was seen on CT scan, didn't realize I had another one brewing, as I am one of the 'fluffy' girls.
I had the CT scan because of severe abdominal pain, turned out a had a nasty cyst on my remaining ovary.
By the time I had my surgery, 10 wks after the CT, the thing was the size of a 4-5 month pregnancy from above my navel to abot mid abdomen about 8 inches across.
I just had a second open repair done on 06/23.
I do believe surgery can be done by lap., it all depends on the size and severity.
I remember waking up from surgery, looking down and could have lit up the room with the smile on my face from having that thing GONE!
Anyhoo, although it is a bit uncomfortable the first few days, and it stinks not to be able to lift etc (I have a 4 year old) In the big scheme of things, as long as you really take it easy after the surgery, it's not as bad or scary as it sounds.
Good luck to you .
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