[Update: *Formerly* Untreated] minor inguinal hernias and basic resistance training

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    May 28, 2014 6:10 PM GMT
    After losing approximately 70 pounds a pair of minor inguinal hernias emerged; I have no idea how long I had them, and due to the lack of pain I didn't recognize them until visiting the urologist last week.

    The doctor there and the P.A. at my family clinic wouldn't say much except to *not* get them repaired and to "be careful". This is slowing down the process of getting set up with a personal trainer at the university gym, where I hope they may be able to give me more actionable advice.

    If physicians are recommending against repair, what sort of resistance training can I do safely, and/or what safety precautions can I take to avoid aggravating the situation? Are there any exercises which may help in healing/prevention? Any which would be especially dangerous?

    My current "routine" doesn't really qualify as such; any time I haven't been sore for a few days I try to either do many light reps to near muscle failure practicing a simple lift I've done before, or try to find a new lift I've never done which targets a new muscle/group. I'm willing to accept limitations for now, but don't want to have to give up completely; can anyone offer any advice?
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    May 29, 2014 4:01 AM GMT
    I would ask for a referral to a physical therapist, who will be able to guide you much better. Then after he/she evaluates you and sees you're okay with what they've given you, they can provide things you can/can't do to the personal trainer at your university.
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    May 29, 2014 11:40 AM GMT
    yoursweetguy saidI would ask for a referral to a physical therapist, who will be able to guide you much better. Then after he/she evaluates you and sees you're okay with what they've given you, they can provide things you can/can't do to the personal trainer at your university.


    Thanks so much; I had not considered that angle, but it makes a lot of sense. It may be a few weeks before I can act on it, but I'll definitely take that route.
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    Feb 07, 2016 5:28 AM GMT
    Since others post about similar concerns from time to time, I thought I'd give an update.

    Now that I am in a new (as of a year ago) area for a new job, I have a new physician. I'm very happy with him, as he is both detail-oriented and concise; it can be difficult in any position to manage both of these at the same time.

    He was a bit taken aback by my previous primary's and specialist's advice to leave the hernias untreated, and after a quick rundown of my history and ongoing effort to get in better shape, he set me up with a surgeon who got me a last-minute appointment (otherwise we would have had to wait a month or two, which would conflict with some upcoming installation engagements at work). He did both sides laparoscopically, inserting two patches of mesh which overlap at the center. They are between layers of tissue, and the theory is that one or both of the adjacent layers will grow around the plastic mesh and essentially incorporate them into the abdominal wall. Not something I like to think about (especially since my father had complications from a similar repair for a very different hernia) but I'm glad to have it done.

    One of the biggest problems was that of overnight observation; I don't have friends or family here, so I had to scramble to find a home care assistant; this will probably have to be out of pocket, but hopefully it will at least be HSA-eligible and/or tax-deductible. Fortunately this was not news to me, since I had an outpatient exploratory a couple years ago, but for anyone who was unaware, it appears to be MANDATORY in at least some parts of the US to have someone for overnight observation. If you're alone and can't arrange for home care then you cannot do outpatient under general anesthesia PERIOD. I was also very glad that I'd stocked up on liquid/paste food (soup, yogurt, and applesauce in this case) per their recommendations.

    Anyway, it's been about 30 hours now; the first 3-6 hours were pretty miserable (the pain of the anesthesia wearing off was worse than the incisions themselves) and they would not release me until I had urinated, despite an ultrasound proving that my bladder was empty. Just had to keep drinking water and beg a caffeinated soda off them to make that happen.

    Recovery now is alternating between napping, propped up, walking, and standing; as the abdomen becomes more comfortable I've been trying to gently stretch, turn, and generally try out a full range of daily motions. I have ice packs to reduce swelling, and they gave me a relatively mild pain killer (hydrocodone with acetominophen). I was worried about withdrawal symptoms from strong opioids; I don't know whether that influenced their choice at all. No driving until 24 hours after one of those (though they are prescribed in six-hour intervals); I planned the weekend plus a Monday off from work to recover from the Friday procedure, and I expect to work from home a couple days next week.

    I realize this is not of interest to most here, but if anyone does have questions, just post back. It was kind of frustrating not to know what to anticipate in advance, so hopefully one random sample is better than none.