Inguinal hernia

  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Sep 14, 2007 4:08 AM GMT
    Anyone had one of these?

    I was just diagnosed with it yesterday. It's an unseemly bulge in my pelvis, caused by my intestines falling through a tear in my abdominal wall.

    When I went to see the doctor, she told me what it was and then asked if I weight lifted.
    It's 'reducable' which means that it's not a big deal right now. It also means that it won't be operated on for another 2 months at least (that's the wait).

    I'm wondering if I should stop doing any weights until after it's operated on. And if I should even get it operated on. And if I should cut out running and other exercise.

    Anyone have any advice, or related stories for me?
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    Sep 14, 2007 4:41 AM GMT
    I suffered a hernia in my senior year of high school...sadly missed my graduation. It's nothing major and nothing to fret about. I guess when I was "diagnosed" it was severe enough to warrant surgery. I took approximately 2 weeks of bed rest (I also had another surgery performed at that time) and was up and exercising in no time. Good luck!
  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    Sep 14, 2007 4:54 AM GMT
    The operation isn't bad nowadays. They use a Kevlar mesh to patch the hernia. You'll have a bulletproof crotch. All your friends will be jealous.

    I have a "sports hernia", which is a hernia that doesn't really open up, but can be aggravated by bearing down when I lift weights. I avoid the leg press, but that's about it.

    Make sure that you're breathing properly if you do decide to lift weights. Exhale on the concentric part of the movement (the hard part). Bodybuilders might tell you something else (there's always someone with a contrary opinion), but in your case this advice will keep you from aggravating your current condition. If it hurts, don't do it. When you come back, ease your way into activities. You'll know how far you can go. It's the kind of injury that doesn't let you do the things you shouldn't be doing.
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Sep 15, 2007 2:07 AM GMT
    Thanks for the reply, guys.

    I think I'm going to take things easy for the next month or two. We're going on a 31 day trip to Europe before I see anyone about this, so I don't want to cause any problems.

    I'll go stir crazy if I cut out the gym entirely, so I'm probably going to do light weights every other day, until the trip.

    After that, if I can get in for surgery, I'll take it and take things slow after that.
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    Nov 27, 2007 6:52 AM GMT
    So what do you do when the pain goes from the groin down to the lower leg?

    And friend please dont baby your injury to much
    the body will heal. However there are times when seeing a doctor is a must. (Get at least a second oppinion) Dont rush into surgery.Goood luck
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    Nov 27, 2007 11:15 AM GMT
    I had one when I was 12 and one when I was 48. Its a good idea to get it taken care of without waiting too long.
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    Nov 27, 2007 11:57 AM GMT
    I had laproscopic surgery for an inquinal hernia two months ago. I elected to have surgery since I travel outside the US and there is always the possibility of strangulation (a serious condition). Three small incisions (I understand that there is a new method becoming available with only a single small incision). There was very little pain. I stopped taking the prescribed pain killer after the first day and a half post recovery since I discovered (by increasing the interval between taking the pills) that it wasn't necessary.

    I was told to avoid strenuous (or potentially strenuous) activities for two weeks, but that I could (and should) begin taking walks in a day or two post-op. But to be safe, I spread out my recovery period to about 4 weeks (slow walks increasing to fast walks during the first 2 weeks, then mixed walk and run, each time increasing the percentage of running and speed during the next 2 weeks). Same for working out (but I lift only moderate weights with increased reps). A couple of small "bumps" remain near the incisions, but I was told that they will normally disappear with time (as seems to be the case).
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    Nov 27, 2007 1:38 PM GMT
    Be sure to have the laproscopic surgery rather than the traditional surgery. Less danger from the actual operation and much less recovery time. If your surgeon is not familiar and experienced with laproscopic methods, get another surgeon.
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    Feb 28, 2008 10:55 PM GMT
    Im in week three of recovering from my umbilical hernia surgery. The frustration is bananas. The doc said that I couldnt lift for 4 weeks. I've made due with light cardio and working with resistance bands.

    has anyone had experience with an umbilican hernia? sometimes when I move around I can feel tension in the stitches. Should I take it easy, or do u think I'm freakin out too much?

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    Feb 28, 2008 11:27 PM GMT
    I had double inguinal hernia repair almost two years ago. They did laparoscopic surgery and I had three very small incisions; two of which did not leave scars, the third is very small, and is only noticeable if I told you and showed you exactly where it was.

    I would get it fixed, sooner than later, and have them check the opposite side, too, in case you have a small one that isn't noticed yet. You might be better off to have them both fixed with surgical mesh, at the same time, then to have to go through surgery all over again. I wouldn't run or lift, or do anything extremely strenuous, until you get it repaired, as it may make it worse. I tried to continue running and working out, and the pain was too bad. Check with your doctor on your individual severity, and his recommendations on your activities prior to surgery.

    I think being in shape and younger definitely helped in my recovery. I wasn't allowed to lift, carry, swim, run, anything strenuous, for about a month. You would think it isn't a big deal, but carrying a gallon of milk was exhausting and hurt... haha Yea, a month is a long time to take off and do nothing, but it's better to take a full month and heal properly, then to drag it out longer.

    I didn't really suffer any training set-backs, and actually think the 6 weeks I took off helped me come back stronger; the rest did me good. icon_smile.gif Best of luck to you, and make sure you have someone to be around for a few days afterwards, in case you can't walk very well, or you need something from the store, as I wasn't able to drive for a week...

    Let me know how it goes!
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Mar 16, 2008 5:46 PM GMT
    So I decided that I'm going to get surgery. I went and saw a doctor, and it'll happen sometime in the next three months (yeah, wait times in Canada are a bitch, but it only costs me $40 per month for health insurance).

    I asked him about the kevlar patch, because that sounds like the best way to go. He said that based on my age and health, it might not be necessary. I told him that there tended to be a 50% recurrence rate for every other type of fix, and a 5% (or something close) rate for the kevlar patch. He said that is true, but that there can be significant amounts of internal scarring as a result of the kevlar patch, and that this scarring is what helps reduce the rate of recurrence. He said that there hadn't been any long term testing done on the kevlar patch, and that in 2% of patients, it can result in chronically occurring pain in the treated area. Upshot is: kevlar might not be all that great for everyone. The doctor says that he'll decide what to do once I'm opened up and he gets a look.

    Just thought I'd update anyone reading on here, especially because that's the first time I had heard anything even remotely negative about the kevlar patch surgery.

    Although I am a little disappointed that I might not get a bullet proof crotch.
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    Mar 16, 2008 6:02 PM GMT
    I'm curious, did he give you any reccommendations about amount or type of exercise during the waiting period before the surgery?
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Mar 16, 2008 10:04 PM GMT
    Yeah, he did, but it wasn't very useful.
    He said that I should definitely take the pain killers for the first two days, and then slowly get into stuff after that. I told him I've been doing power lifting lately, and want to know when I can start that up again. He said that I should be able to start exercising within a couple of weeks, but to ease back into the power lifting. He said that it would probably take me 6-8 weeks to get back to where I was.
    It sounded pretty vague to me, and I couldn't really nail him down. I think I'll just take it easy, and see how I feel.
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    Mar 18, 2008 6:15 AM GMT
    also don't try really hard to poop or generally try to push air out of your lungs against a closed airway [aka the Valsalva Maneuver] icon_biggrin.gif

    The rise in interabdominal pressure could force more intestine through the tear and worsen it a little, although you probably won't die from it.
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    Mar 19, 2008 9:43 PM GMT
    dunno how I missed this unclever. I dont have an inguinal hernia but am shortly to have an operation on a sports hernia which is the adductors but the same treatment. Will be interested to see how you get on.

    My physician has ruled out and squats and deads. Also any major leg presses at the second as well. But also has told me to ease off on the HIT style training to that I am only doing 60% of my 1 rep max which is pretty lame.

    They do all seem to concur for inguinal and other type hernias that 6-8 weeks you should be up and training again as long as you are given a good physio recovery plan.

    If you find anything else out about the kevlar patch would be interesting to hear about it
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    Apr 11, 2008 2:22 PM GMT
    I actually have a umbilical Hernia and havent really had any problems with it until now. No major issues but It's just a bit uncomfortable.

    I was wondering if I should be doing any ab work at all?? I know not to do leg lifts and generally anything that causes my stomach to 'push out' but was curious to know if I just keep my ab work very simple and mild, that wont cause any further problems?

    CHeers! icon_smile.gif
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Apr 12, 2008 7:03 PM GMT
    I find the hernia thing funny, because I haven't been able to get any definite opinions on pretty much anything.

    My doctor told me that no one knows for sure what causes them, so he didn't see any reason not to do anything. Neither my chiropractor, my personal trainer or a different doctor could dig up any information indicating whether or not I should continue abs work.

    I actually have continued to do abs work, and yoga, and dead lifts and squats. I don't know if any of them have made my hernia worse. I am only ever aware of it after I have been walking for a couple of hours, then it's just a very light dull pain.

    I'm getting it fixed in a week or two, which makes me feel relieved. But I have continued to operate as I would have if I didn't have it.
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    Apr 12, 2008 9:22 PM GMT
    I was always told dead lifts and squats are a big no no for hernias they place way too much strain on the hernia and the last thing you want is to end up in accident and emergency with a strangulated hernia!

    I was told abs work was ok as long I didnt do it weighted.

    Having said that mine is a sports hernia and not the same although treatment does appear to be the same.
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    Apr 12, 2008 10:46 PM GMT
    The sooner you take care of it the better. I had one 3 years ago. It was small at first, so I just kept working out until one day it tore and after the surgery I had 21 staples and numerous stitches and was miserable for a few weeks. Take it easy and get it fixed as soon as you can. Good luck man!
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    Apr 19, 2008 8:29 PM GMT
    UncleverName saidAnyone had one of these?

    I was just diagnosed with it yesterday. It's an unseemly bulge in my pelvis, caused by my intestines falling through a tear in my abdominal wall.

    When I went to see the doctor, she told me what it was and then asked if I weight lifted.
    It's 'reducable' which means that it's not a big deal right now. It also means that it won't be operated on for another 2 months at least (that's the wait).

    I'm wondering if I should stop doing any weights until after it's operated on. And if I should even get it operated on. And if I should cut out running and other exercise.

    Anyone have any advice, or related stories for me?

    WHAT ARE THE SYPTOMS?
  • joedocker

    Posts: 47

    Apr 24, 2008 1:06 AM GMT
    Get it fixed and get on with your life - a doctor
  • martuco

    Posts: 7

    Apr 28, 2008 4:17 AM GMT
    I had the surgery done about two years ago. it wasn't that big of a deal. did need some help the first few days. but was back at work a week later. my problem now is that I have the hernia again. i hadn't really had problems up until a few weeks ago when I started working out again. what happened after the operation is that i stopped exercising. i gained weight and somewhere between then and now, hernia came back. however i had no symptoms. working out again probably made it worse and now i have symptoms. so now i probably have to go through the surgery, again. good luck to you.
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    May 01, 2008 6:04 PM GMT
    That sucks about having to get operated on again!

    I had the surgery done 2 days ago. They ended up putting in a mesh. I'm still using the Tylenol 3's they gave me. I'm ok to walk, slowly, but getting up and sitting down are really painful still.

    I can't wait till I'm back up to 100% and can start lifting again!
  • pcsean28

    Posts: 161

    Jun 26, 2008 10:59 PM GMT
    So after some thought I realize I have an inguinal hernia too, have actually probably had it for a few months, but it hasn't gotten any worse, I can always push it back in. Trouble is, I don't have health insurance. Anyone know of any free clinic-type places that would take care of this kind of thing?

    Sean
  • treader

    Posts: 238

    Jan 21, 2009 1:10 AM GMT
    Guys,

    I just went through the surgery a few days ago. My inguinal hernia deteriorated fairly rapidly (over a month and half). Here's a summary of my experience. Hope that it helps anyone else who has to go through this procedure.

    Here were my symptoms as it progressed:
    - pin-like pain along the lower abdominal crease
    - tingling sensation in the same area down to your testicle on that side (circulation being reduced)
    - pressure and a dull ache in the same area when you lie down
    - 'butterflies' in your stomach (muscle spasms)
    - Stiff and/or achy outer large intestines on that side especially when you sit down

    My case:
    - I had an unusual hernia. Instead of bulging out where the doctors can see and feel it, mine bulged *inward* toward my hip bone. The doctors had no idea how severe I was until they opened me up. I was in far worse shape than they believed.

    Before surgery:
    - Look over your place as if you were an 80 year old that can not bend over. Move anything so that you can reach it without bending over much. Take this seriously!
    - Get extra groceries. Cook the night before and put food into microwave-able containers. Put everything on the top two shelves of the refig. Move things down to your kitchen counters.
    - Buy some soda/pop. Avoid milk or even soy milk.
    - Have some cough drops ready.
    - Do laundry and make sure that you have some sweat pants and briefs to wear. Don't wear boxers after surgery.
    - Remove any earrings or piercings. No metal is allowed into the OR.
    - Ask if you can shave yourself. Shave everything on the side of hernia half up toward your bellybutton plus a few inches down along the front inside of the leg. They will tape gauze over the wound afterward. You don't want any tape to be put on any hair.
    - Get a bunch of DVDs and books. Load up your iPod. You're going to be stuck in your places for the next several days.
    - Charge your cellphone.
    - Get a bottle of Ibuprofen if you don't have one already.
    - I know this isn't pleasant but get a stool softer and take it the night before surgery. Also seriously look at your bathroom and make sure that you can get up from the toilet with just your upper body. Trust me on this one.

    Surgery:
    - They're going put a IV into a vein on your hand.
    - They will mark the side of injury with a marker.
    - They will wheel you down to the OR where you're move onto the OR table.
    - Then they'll knock you out.
    - During the procedure, they will put a tube down your throat and probably pressurize your abdomen.
    - They will make a three inch incision along the lower abdominal crease in your hip region. The doctors here only do the single incision version of the procedure - not the laparoscopic version with three incisions. The laparoscopic version has a higher reoccurrence rate compared to the single incision.
    - They will then identify the tear/hernia and suture it up.
    - They will most likely implant a mesh to reinforce the abdominal wall. (Mine was not made of kevlar.)
    - They will finish by suturing the main incision.
    - They will put strips of tape perpendicular to the incision to hold it.
    - Then they will use clear tape to attach a layer of gauze over the tape strips.
    - The entire procedure may only take an hour. It may take you another half an hour to wake up from the anesthesia.

    After Surgery:
    - When you wake up, it will be all over.
    - You will probably have a sore throat (caused by the tube). Your tongue may swell up as well. This is why you need the cough drops at home.
    - It's important that you pee within a few hours of the procedure.
    - Don't be surprised if they slightly push you out of the hospital. Health care is a business.
    - They will give you a prescription for pain medication. Get it filled on the way home but in my recommendation don't take unless you really do experience significant pain. The stitches will hurt but it's not incredible. They gave me a prescription for Percocet/Oxycodone which only doped me up and increased the nausea. I wish that I never took the damn stuff. I switched to Ibuprofen after every meal.
    - Stomach gas. It's going to be bubbling up for the next day and a half. Drink soda and pop. Avoid milk/soy milk. It intensified the nausea for me. Try and move around as much as you can. Sitting too long in one place and can cause the stomach gas to build up.
    - Eat simple digestible foods like fruits, vegs, pasta, soup, salads.
    - You will not be able to bend over at all. The stitches will hurt. It will be hard to get up, walk, get into/out of bed, and especially to get on/off the toilet.
    - If you're single, carry your cellphone on you just in case. I ask my friends to keep theirs on the entire first night just in case.
    - Take your stool softer before you go to sleep.
    - You'll be able to take the gauze off after 48 hours (don't touch the tape strips over the incision) and then take a shower. (No baths.)

    In the next few days, the stitches will stiffen and incision area will swell. To reduce the swelling, lie flat on a sofa while placing an ice pack over the incision with the effected leg raised slightly.

    I ended up staying inside my place four days after the surgery day. On the fifth day I went back to work. Be prepared for a shock. You will be walking pretty slow - less than half of your normal pace. The stitches will not be happy with the movement either. Take it easy. Don't over do it.

    You should see your surgeon again in two/three weeks after your procedure. The tape strip over the incision will fall off by themselves. I did not start any physical activities (besides walking) until roughly 5 weeks after the procedure, but my hernia was pretty severe.

    Again, I hope that this helps anyone else who has to go through this procedure. Supposedly 7% of guys will get this injury - probably a higher ratio of more athletic guys like ourselves.

    Three Month UPDATE: Be careful about getting catching a cold. Sneezing and coughing are probably worst things that you can do to irritate abdominal stitches. Even three months after my surgery, a bad cold brought back a lot of pain.

    Year UPDATE: Well it's been almost a year since my procedure and yes I'm still having some aches. Unbelievable. The Docs tell me that post-surgical inflammation can last well over a year. (It's "not unheard of".) Their only recommendation is to keep taking Ibuprofen and icing the area if pain continues. I can only assume that the type of my hernia and its severity have resulted in a significantly slower healing time for me. I hope that none of you guys have to go through this.