Author Topic: Hernia Repair  (Read 4405 times)

COguy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • Location: Longmont, Colorado
Hernia Repair
« on: July 03, 2013, 10:55:06 AM »
So,  I noticed a hernia about 3 days ago and went to get diagnosed by my general doctor.  Sure enough, I have an inaugural hernia.  The doctor says I don't need to get it repaired immediately, but the sooner I do it the easier it will be.  So, to decide I went to the internet to get information (a good way to freak oneself out, I found).  There are lots of horror stories out there which make me think I should go to someone who specializes in hernia repair and not the general surgeon I was referred to. 

I tend to err on the side of preventative approach to my health and no medicine or surgery if I can help it, but it seems like I should probably get this surgery.

So, since you seem to be a fairly rational bunch who share my health views so, I have a couple questions.  Has anyone out there had an inaugural hernia repair?  what was your experience like?  Would you go to a hernia repair specialist, or does it really matter?  Is anyone living with an un-repaired hernia?

Thanks

OkieDokie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Hernia Repair
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2013, 11:18:13 AM »
Do you mean "inguinal" hernia? If so, I had one repaired back in January. My first surgery ever so I was a little nervous, but it went smoothly. I went to a guy who did hundreds of them every year, so very experienced with that specific surgery. My understanding is it is something you want to take care of as it won't heal itself and will only get worse over time until eventually it can be an emergency. The doctor's goal is to fix it so it doesn't bother you ever again. I can't speak to that yet obviously, although as of 6 months post-surgery I can't feel anything.

COguy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • Location: Longmont, Colorado
Re: Hernia Repair
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2013, 11:41:15 AM »
indeed, I did mean "ignuinal"

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3837
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Hernia Repair
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2013, 12:20:08 PM »
It's a very common injury in men.

I had one that I lived with for about a decade and finally had repaired this year.  It was slowly getting worse over time, but the thing that tipped the scale for me was that I like to go hiking in the backcountry, and having a hernia strangulate hours away from a hospital is not a good plan.

I had it repaired by a general surgeon who was in network and recommended by my GP and had done lots of them.  It was done at the local hospital under general anesthesia on a Friday morning, and I was home by lunch.  They prescribed narcotic pain meds, but I just used Advil / Tylenol generics in combination with an ice pack.  I was sore and walking slowly for maybe a week, and it has taken maybe a few months for the scar to completely heal.

Sticker price on the surgery was about $12K, with 2/3 of that being the hospital fee.  Your out-of-pocket will of course depend on insurance, but mine was right at $2500.

Overall I'm glad I had it done, and it really wasn't that big of a deal for me.

NWstubble

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 126
  • Location: Portlandia
Re: Hernia Repair
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2013, 11:36:19 PM »
I had a similar experience to the others. I went about six months after diagnosis until I had surgery because of some work travel, but it rarely bothered me during that time. I chose to get it repaired because I am an active person who enjoys strenuous activities and because at times my job also requires high levels of physical fitness. Basically, I saw a high potential to make it worse.

The surgeon who did mine was great, very experienced general surgeon who does many of these every year. I received a full pre-op consult with the surgeon, where we went over the repair options and I got to ask all my questions. I would expect all good surgeons to do this.

 The biggest advice I can give is to lay off the obligatory prescribed pain meds, ice and OTC pain relief are your friends, and get back on your feet ASAP. My surgeon gave me zero restrictions and encouraged activity to promote healing. I was walking 3 miles at a time within a couple days of the surgery and by week 3 competed in a 8k obstacle style race with zero issues. I am convicted that laying on the couch "recovering" and taking the prescription pain pills would not have produced the same results.

Two years later, besides a clean little scar, it's like it never happened.

nuclear85

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Hernia Repair
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2013, 02:09:23 AM »
My husband had one... for several years (end of high school through college) before deciding he needed to do something about it. It's been a couple of years since the surgery (no recurring problems), and he now says that he can't believe he went so long without getting it fixed. It would start causing him pain at random times, and generally be extremely unpleasant at inconvenient times. The surgery itself went fine -- it took him a few days to get back on his feet, but he says it was absolutely worth doing.

davisgang90

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1294
  • Location: Roanoke, VA
    • Photography by Rich Davis
Re: Hernia Repair
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2013, 06:40:10 AM »
When I first saw this topic I wondered if the OP was going to ask about a home hernia repair to save on medical costs.

I think they have Youtube videos...

Zaga

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2818
  • Age: 41
  • Location: North of Pittsburgh, PA
    • A Wall of Hats
Re: Hernia Repair
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2013, 06:58:59 AM »
My dad had this done, said much the same as the others in this thread.  He didn't take any of the narcotic pain meds, just took it a bit easy for a few days.  I believe he had to have it done twice, once on each side, and the second time was harder because of the scar tissue.  So he recommends for anyone getting this done to go ahead and have both sides done at once.

LowER

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 161
Re: Hernia Repair
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2013, 10:37:49 AM »
Yes, I've had one done, and yes, try to find a hernia specialist, and it's NOT a big deal, but you want it done right the first time.  MANY people live normal lives with hernias for years if not decades.  The best specialist I know is about an hour from you.  PM me if you want their name.

Abe

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2025
Re: Hernia Repair
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2013, 01:31:26 PM »
If the pain is not severe, you do not need it repaired urgently. However, once present it will not regress and may expand with time.  Ask any surgeon you are considering how many repairs they do per week and their recurrence rate. They are not especially complicated operations (we begin to learn them in our first year of training) and don't require a specialist, but can recur if done incorrectly. Most use a permanent mesh that reinforces your connective tissue, as these methods have fewer recurrences.  Recovery is two days to a week, depending on your pain tolerance. People take narcotics the first day or two, afterwards are fine with tylenol (as long as your liver is fine). Do not take ibuprofen-containing medications due to slightly increased risk of bleeding and developing a hematoma that may need drainage.  Hope this helps!