Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Hernia Forum

Abdominal swelling and numbness after hernia repair (Page 1)

Four days post-op (inguinal hernia repair), and I still have a very swollen lower abdomen (it just looks very bloated), no control of the muscles in that area and a disfiguring swollen area around the incision. Does this sound normal, or has anyone had the experience of a disfiguring shape / abdominal swelling being a permanent side-effect of hernia surgery?
Also, I wonder if anyone has had the experience of numbness around the incision area being resolved? I have a large numb area and have been told that feeling *may* return in months or years.
Any help / experience is appreciated!
Thank you.
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First Helper gaillady123
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replied October 11th, 2009
Since its been just a few days since your pocedure, its to early to think about long term effects. I would definately start icing the swollen misfigured areas, I thin its 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off check eith what your surgeon's nurse suggests. My recomendation is for you to not open this site forum again for at least a week, .... take your pain controll meds on schedule (don't let the pain get "ahead") relax as best you can and give yourself time to heal. I will pray that you will count yourself amongst the many who have none of the nightmare situations, or lifetime complications discussed here. If the numbness issue, wnd big time swelling are yiur chief complaints, you are likely going to be ok. Call your medical team for instruction tho.....

Ill say a little prayer for your continuedz successfull, and speedy recovery!!!
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replied March 2nd, 2012
It's been over 2 weeks since double hernia surgery. I still am very swollen in the groin area. 3 syrings of fluid drained at follow up(2 wks). No pain, just swollen, everything in the groin area, not a blessing. I go back in 2 more wks for follow up.
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replied March 2nd, 2012
hernia repair
It's been over 2 weeks since double hernia surgery. I still am very swollen in the groin area. 3 syrings of fluid drained at follow up(2 wks). No pain, just swollen, everything in the groin area, not a blessing. I go back in 2 more wks for follow up. What causes the fluid?
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replied October 11th, 2009
i had hiatal hernia repair coming on two weeks ago i have a bad odore from my mouth and can not stop farting and burping i have had the runs for 6 days but cleared up now but fall off gases all the time and feel very bloated and have lost a lot of weight and feel very uncomfortable. has eny one had same
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replied October 11th, 2009
If your repair was done with a laprascope, the gas issue may be the result of air pockets that are working their way out of your abdominal cavity (I think). Its my understanding, and not from experience, that air needs to be emplyed to expand the area enough for the surgeon to see what is being worked on. Not certain about it, and if really troublesome, don't at all feel any hesitation in calling a member of your medical team for a more accurate explanation.

I recall during my initial recovery, my digestive system was just a wreck. In fact, its been six months for me and I still don't feel I am "normal". I've been losing weight at an alarming rate (at least to me its worrysome), but my physicians didnt seem to think it a big a problem as me. in fact when i brought up the fact that easily 30% of my totalbweight was lost unintentionally, he said, "....that will actually be beneficial for you." Since my repair, I've not had the same appetite either. Eating hurts, as I can actually feel when my food reaches the point inside, where the bowel and mesh meet. Really sux for me. Eating has always been one of most pleasurable activities. And one of two enjoyable activities that seems to have been impacted as a result of the repair.
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replied September 8th, 2011
Swelling after hernia operation
I too have lost weight and I don't feel normal. Surgeon now says what swelling and weight loss I had was not his fault or the fault of the mesh. I'm still in pain and actually more pain after the surgery than before. Once again not his fault. I had a huge mesh put in me for a smaller area about 20x30. Wonder why Im still in pain 5 months after the surgery.
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replied March 20th, 2012
Because it is not his fault, it IS THE MESH! Check out Topix Hernia forum, there are over 5000 posts on this. I can just about promise you that there are others with the same exact mesh and the same exact problems! Start at the last page and work your way backwards, newer posts are on the last pages. You might be surprised. Good Luck.
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replied October 11th, 2009
i do not have any sort off appetite either.
did you have the bad breath.
as i have a smell off eggs comeing off my breath and i can not stop belching but the odor off eggs comes off it
and i cant stop letting off wind with same smell it is highly embarrasing for me and others.
i have tried to phone surgical centre but get no answer
as the phone just rings.

i know where you are coming from.

i wish i never had the surgery at the moment
i feel so uncomfortable and bloated.

i feel sorry for you as its been six months and you are still suffering, i hope you get better soon.
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replied October 12th, 2009
If your surgery guys aren't available and your issues continue to progressively worsen, especially nausea, red, irritated, puffy, surgical site, fever, chills, then its time to ring a friend, and get your ass to the hospital ASAP. .... do not pass GO no collecting 200. :+)

As for the fowl order escaping from your nether regions and your breadth: My butt music, and the chemical warfare produced, has always been uniquely able to clear rooms both and large and small quickly and efficiently. So personally, I didn't really notice a much change other than my 1 ½ month bout with disturbingly bright green, intensely fowl smelling explosive diarrhea. You might keep this in mind as you continue along your healing journey. This thing we have had repaire is not just a structural defect, but it involves our digestive system, one bht doesn't like change. Tho my appetite is not what it was, my bowl movements have for the mostvpart starting looking more normal. Now I hope the severe groin swelling and testical pain would bjust give me a one day break. The six months I've been dealing with this altered my personality enough that I've turned into a grumpy old man in a 42Y/O body. I even started walking hunched forward again (did that for a week second or third week of recovering) I think that is from my begining to be absorbed by my body, standing straigh sitting or walkin causes sharp bolts of pain all over
I appreciate your concern over me. ... thanks... I've got other psychiatric, and psychosocial issues that have been caused by this life destroying even. Chiefbamong them, is if I dont find a primary care physician soon, I will be soon out of pain meds, and not have anyone to extend state disability benes, which will force the 30 day notice to vacate I receibed last week into effect.

Looking forward to the storm tonight
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Users who thank vampire for this post: Ampman120 

replied February 20th, 2010
hernia surgery
I had inguinal hernia repair 4 days ago two little one on the left side and a bigger one the right side. The one on the right side is why I went in and had the surgery. But I bartend for a living and work the next two day after the surgery but didn't pick up any thing over 10 pounds and work slower than normal. But I see that my right is swollen up more than my left, it doesn't hurt and I did have hernia surgery on that side 30 years early, but I'm worry about it being bigger than the left side and hope I did not screw-up my surgery by working, and if one side bigger than the other is normal or not. thanks
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replied May 7th, 2010
Hernia re occurant type
Hi All, just had a ''re-occuring'' hernia operation on Wed a5th May 2010. and do i know it went in Wed came home Thursday and been stuck in my bed since!! can barely walk to the loo or anything and painkilers huh..i am allergic to anti-inflamotory as the last open surgery i had for hernia made me very ill after, so this time i had morphine!! omg still just as porly this time, sickness and pain, the sickness has eased off now, but struggling to find someting to ease it..co-dydromol now (no effects) i consider myself pretty tough as a woman too! mine is above my belly. More frustrated as cannot get about and the stomache cramps at moment are gettting quite bad!!
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replied May 26th, 2010
Has abdominal edema four months post hernia surgery happened to
ok, I had a double hernia surgery done in Feb 2010. They thought it was just 1 umbilical hernia but went in and found a second larger hernia. I had extreme swelling of abdomen. Now that I have been back at work for about 2 months I am still very swollen. My husband started an exercise program with me, (no weights though), no extra salt & watching what I eat. I now have more edema in my abdomen and now my face is swelling. My surgeon just looks at me & says it's not from him. He gives no advice as to what could be causing this. It looks like I am carrying twins. Has anything like this happened to any of you?
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replied June 2nd, 2011
YES!! It's happened to me too! I also went in for naval hernia repair only to find that it was a DOUBLE hernia with a large one on top. The hope opened up again after 6 months again and had to be repaired again. Now, 6 months later, my abdomen has developed a permanent very prominent "round" shape, I am still wearing and preferring maternity stretch jeans and long-maternity blouses for work, and god forbid 4 people have asked me if I'm pregnant again. I'm not pregnant and starting to workout ... but just wondered, is this type of disfiguration PERMANENT? Or can I get it back to Flat, somehow? (Keep in mind please these 3 surgeries were after 2 c-sections. However, they never caused me to look "round" and 6 months pregnant. Worried. Thanks, in advance.
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replied July 29th, 2011
hernia repair
I had a hatial(sp?) upper abdominal repair done in 4/11 and am now having muscle spaspms around the site which din't have during the months prior. I let a hernia get too large from a incision site after a major surgery. The doctors said I could resume regular activities about a month after the major surgical event without warning me to obstain from any heavy lifting or sit-ups or etc. The fairly small upper abdominal hernia became grossly exaserbated after doing sit-ups at home with my 2 children. The hernia surgery was considerd borderline major surgery do to how large and extended the tear got. Be very wary of exercising the area and also very concernedif the the area doesn't appear to be getting better and is causing discomfort of any type. Go for a 2 or even 3 opnion, I don't care how much faith you have in the initial surgeon. And good luck --
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replied July 29th, 2011
hernia repair
I had a hatial(sp?) upper abdominal repair done in 4/11 and am now having muscle spaspms around the site which din't have during the months prior. I let a hernia get too large from a incision site after a major surgery. The doctors said I could resume regular activities about a month after the major surgical event without warning me to obstain from any heavy lifting or sit-ups or etc. The fairly small upper abdominal hernia became grossly exaserbated after doing sit-ups at home with my 2 children. The hernia surgery was considerd borderline major surgery do to how large and extended the tear got. Be very wary of exercising the area and also very concernedif the the area doesn't appear to be getting better and is causing discomfort of any type. Go for a 2 or even 3 opnion, I don't care how much faith you have in the initial surgeon. And good luck --
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replied January 22nd, 2012
I had an incisional hernia repair and muscle-skin graft two months ago. This occured in the same spot as my hysterectomy incision site and was there for many years and very large. My muscles were totally shot and pushed to the side. The physician said I would be very happy once the surgery was complete and my stomach would look "normal" and have muscle tone. All I have is the round bloated look above the belly button up to my breasts. It is very uncomfortable and I can't get an answer as to when or if I will look normal again. Seems all the physicians say it is not their fault. My clothes do not fit but I haven't gained any weight. Had a dream last night that I was pregnant, wonder why? Did anybody get rid of this round look eventually?
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replied July 7th, 2012
I had a large hernia repair 18 months ago. I still have the prominent "round" shape. One side of the stomach is larger than the rest. I am getting fed up with this, as I was fairly flat before. The dr. gave me a cat scan and said everything's okay. I am very sore in the lower abdominal area and leaning against the cabinet will hurt a lot. My husband's doctor recommended I go to see a gynocologist, which I am going to do. Sorry you have the same problem.
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replied December 17th, 2011
OMG, I can't believ I found someone who has the same exact situation as me!! I had emergency surgery 9/27/11 b/c the hernia popped out causing severe pain, also it was pinched. When the dr. went in they found another one right above it Since then I've been looking 5 months pregnant, and the surgeon is clueless. I had a litlr pooch prior to surgery, but now I can't fit pants, ec. Has it gotten any better for you?
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replied March 10th, 2012
hi, i had umbilical hernia surgery done in 2001 and right after the surgery my stomach was hard and swelled.
i went back to my surgeon and ask him what it was. and he claimed it was due to weight gain. i told him no way
i never had a problem like this. and now it looks like iam having quadruplets. i exercise i was in iraq in 148 degree heat. while everyone around me was loosing their gutt my stomach remained the same. i know now it was the way the surgeon performed the surgery. iam no surgeon, but i know if they pull and tighten your abdominal muscles to tight this could lead to disfigurement and other stomach issues it could also lead to type 2 diabetes and high bp and would make it look like it due to one not taking care of themselves. but along it due to the surgey the surgeon performed
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replied May 27th, 2010
I feel there are problems frm Hernia repairs no matter of which Hernia!!..They will all say not them i think..
I put a post in above and anyway i ended up getting opened back up 2 wks later as nothing would cure the pain, i had to phone ambulance one night due to not physically being able to move!! and breathing was difficult cos of the pain..i was left for hours in a bay,
given a lot more morphine but lasted only a few minutes!!! then had xrays, blood tests, was admitted, i went home went back for CT scan and nothing! then Surgeon opened me up and took some staples away(which he thought that was causing it) nope!.. took some mesh away and under neath took 5 screws and one of the screws had a nerve wrapped around it, so had to be burnt away!! now i am recovering better but still not 100% because standing up straight properly is uncomfortable still and stretching with my right arm, i am so hoping this does not affect my abilities in the future with my work as i am a 'self-employed' cleaner owning my own small business and fear now this may have an affect to my little dream i have built up..its only a week since 2nd procedure, so trying to be positive. I dont seem to get an apetite either and still have loose bowels.
I have been wandering what to do with this matter now x
Thanks for patience of reading
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replied June 29th, 2010
Inguinal Hernia repair after 6 weeks
I had a right inguinal hernia repair, its been six weeks and four days. Surgery went well I felt good the first day, I went back for a follow up visit with complaint about pain in one area of the incision. I waited in the waiting room for 2 hours, he looked at me for 2 seconds and said that is normal, and don't be alarmed if it opens up again and drains a bunch of fluid. Well sure enough it did open again after the third week, I went back for my four week check up to find that the pain I was complaining about was actually and infection. If you have pain make sure your surgeon doesn't just blow it off like mine did. Now I am on an anti-biotic and its finally starting to seal up. I am 26 and it also made me feel like a grumpy old man which was really depressing, and being a newly wed it has been a strain on our relationship. I was wondering too, especially from the other post that said it made him feel older and grumpy if you had general anesthesia (as to be completely out for the surgery) if that had more after effect post op recovering with swelling and emotional state? And I am still almost as swollen as the day of the surgery, I did Ice, heat, Ice and Heat, I tried heating pads, water bottles, nothing seems to help much any ideas for maybe an herb or certain foods that will help?
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replied October 8th, 2010
I'm 66 yrs old, and had a double, open inguinal repair 10 days ago. Very painful, but painkillers helped. Started to feel great after 5 days, but struggled with constipation. Fixed that with daily use of Psyllium Husks, and all is well, EXCEPT for bad swelling around the left incision. Went to my GP who said all was ok, so I'm now looking forward to removal of the clips by the surgeon in 4 days. Will report back with his report.
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replied September 10th, 2011
hernia
I have had 10 hernia repair surgeries in the past 7 years and just developed another hernia. Whenever they fix one hernia, another one grows in a different area of my stomach.I dont know what to do to not have a recurrence. i dont think anything is a sure fix.
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replied September 10th, 2011
hernia
I have had 10 hernia repair surgeries in the past 7 years and just developed another hernia. Whenever they fix one hernia, another one grows in a different area of my stomach.I dont know what to do to not have a recurrence. i dont think anything is a sure fix.
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replied September 30th, 2011
hernia repair
As for me I started out with the removal of my ovaries due to a cyst. 24hrs later i was back in emergency with a hole in my intestine. 1 week later woke up to find that i had a hole in my stomach and it had turned into a life ans death situation. 3 weeks later sent home with 2 nurses to care for me and THEY were the ones to tell me that i had a hernia. Talked to my surgeon and i was told i had to wait at least 1yr. So 1 yr later cause my hernia just kept growing had my surgery ended up with a severe infection and now 1almost 2 years i still have severe numbness and pain. Can't bend without pain and my doctor told me that my stomach ould stay like this. This isn't fair cause when i went into surgery how was i to know that i'd get a hole in my intestine and end up this way. I just wanna know that my stomach will go down and I won't look like a 50 year old pregnant women. I have been asked and I'm told that i shouldn't have pain or numbness by people who can't understand how i feel and what i've been through.
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replied November 29th, 2011
Hernia Repair
I am a physician, pediatric specialist, who had bilatteral inguinal hernia repair and an umbilical hernia repair. Most of the symptoms described here, I got to experience. It is clear that hernia repair is not simple surgery. Some of the symptoms take a long time to resolve. I doubt that I will ever be back where I was, but since I was slowly infarcting (killing) my bowel, the surgery was needed.
Here is what I found:
1) Surgeons generally don't communicate well. If yours does, he/she is worth their weight in gold. But most seem to think that any question is a challenge. But forgive them this idosyncronicity. There job requires a confidence that overrides their empathy.
2) Find a good generalist MD or NP who has experience with this. Read, talk to your non-surgeon provider. Look for answers, learn as much as you can but accept that each patient is an individual and sometimes there is no answer.
3) I found that getting off the pain meds early really helped. It dramaticly improved (but did not resolve) the bowel and bladder issues.
4) Modify your diet. It make a big difference for me. If certain foods constipate or cause gas, avoid them. This is very individual. Use a stool softener.
5) You underwent MAJOR surgery, it will take time to heal. Avoid stress, both physical and mental. Remember, there is a big cut through your entire abdominal wall. Stress to the scar, internal and external is bad until it has completely healed. The scar will NEVER be as strong as the tissue was before the hernia or surgery.
Good Luck. I was really unprepared for the post op course, and was very down about it. But in time, with support from my non-surgeon MD, work colleagues, and family I am back to about 90%. Still working on that other 10 but accept that if I hadn't had the surgery, I would have risked a much greater post op period or even death. (A professor of mine died from bowel infarction and perforation just a few years ago.
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replied December 27th, 2011
I had a double hernia repair back in '07. The inguinal on my left side is fine but my umbilical has been painful ever since the operation. Even today my abdominal wall swells up if I do anything strenuous as in lifting something, or hold a pan in front of me while I'm cooking. I feel a tearing sensation where the surgery was performed (he used mesh) and I get stabbing pains all around. When my abdomen gets swollen it gets very painful in the muscles and I get very weak. It feels like someone left a pair of scissors in my abdominal wall. If I ice the area and not do much of anything for a week or two the swelling goes down but I still have pain in my 'belly-button' area regardless.

This has all gotten progressively worse so my primary physician sent me back to the surgeon who did the operation. I told my wife I didn't want to see this guy because he was a typical 'know-it-all' so she decided to go with me. Well she could see why.....he argued with me the whole time and then asked me about some goofy little scratch I got from my cat on my left hand. The CT scan showed nothing but it didn't show anything with my prior hernia either, one of which was done by another surgeon. If they can't see it, you don't have it...this was basically the sum of it, yet not one of my hernia diagnosis came from a test.....it came from them 'feeling' around or by going in. The tests were negative. So, I'm not convinced that I don't have another hernia. If so, then that might explain a little. But if not then I would have to think my abdominal swelling although, probably related to my umbilical surgery, has become a separate problem in and of itself.

No one seems to know and most don't really want to make any effort to find out. So I live in constant pain and ultimately spending more on the pharmaceuticals and tests than any surgery. Ironically it was a sports medicine doctor who listened intently to me and helped me through my first hernia....again all the tests came back negative but he listened and did some different tests (not with a machine) to test my muscle strength, pain threshold, and flexibility and concluded that he thought I had a hernia and yet every 'test' and every surgeon thus far have been wrong. I'm not trying to bash surgeon's as much as explain frustration.... there are surgeon's out there worth their weight in gold but my experience has been a disappointing one in regards the 'surgeon-patient' relationship.

As a fellow 'sufferer' I hope you all find the root causes of your pain and get the relief you need. Blessings. Richard
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replied December 28th, 2011
Incisional Hernia Repair
hi. i had open) intestinal resection (diverticulitis) about 1 1/2 years ago. i developed a large incisional hernia. I just had it repaired about 4 weeks ago. The surgeon said i had 3 large hernias and 10 - 15 smaller hernias and the I looked like swiss cheese inside. He put in 10" x 6" mesh along the 10" incision. I am still getting very sharp pains and can't sleep due to discomfort. Has anyone ever heard of having that many hernias after a surgery? I do not have much feeling in my abdomen and don't know if that is permanent. My surgeon is a nice man, but I feel like I am in the dark about all of this. Should I be wearing a "girdle". etc.
Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
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replied December 28th, 2011
Post - Bilateral Hernia repair
Hi all,I am a 31yr old woman and I had a bilateral inguinal hernia repair 9 days ago.. It has been a horrible for me.. Although, I had been concerned about the pain I would experience, I had been told it wouldn't be as bad as I'd imagine. My oh my were they wrong. It has been much worse.

After surgery, I woke up screaming in the recovery room, it didn't feel like the initial painkillers worked at all, they just made me sick, which made the pain worse.. After 2/3 hours I finally started to settle and l left the hospital the next day in a great amount if pain.

2 days later I was told I had a urine infection and was given antibiotics.. That seems to have done the trick as the burning feeling I had, has almost gone.

Now, my main concerns are how swollen my stomach is and how tender it still feels, on both sites.. The pain seems to swap sides constantly through the day/night.

I also cannot stop burping and breaking wind. I woke up burping and I haven't stopped since. I have had really bad constipation and all I want to do, is have a poo, even when I've just had one.. I'm taking a laxative and it is helping but I just feel so full all the time and bloated..

My pain levels since the op are depleting each day and the pain from the op iirself is manageable now, but the pain from the swelling, wind, bloating and the constant need to have a poo, is really starting to get me down.. (I totally understand what some if you guys were saying about this ageing you, I am definitely very grumpy at the moment)..

Does anyone know when this will end?

P.s - sorry for any typos, I've written this on my iPhone from bed Sad
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replied February 28th, 2012
Hernia post operation
I had 4 hernias around my umbilical chord repaired almost 5 months ago. The gas and bloating is very common. It will go away. Avoid gas causing foods and keep in taking the stool softeners. I had a wonderful surgeon who was patient and great with answering questions. He explained to me that my stomach would appear quite swollen for at least 6 months. After about a year the swelling would be 90% gone. He claims my stomach will never be perfectly flat again, but it will still look great in a bikini should I want to wear one. As of now, my stomach is quite swollen but the puffyness is much better. The numbness around my bellybutten has gone away. I hope this encourages you. Hang in there.
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replied April 1st, 2012
I had umbilical surgery 4 wks ago and have that bloated pregnant look. My surgeon never prepared me for this. Matter of fact we are leaving for the beach this week and he promised pre-op that i would have my bikini body back by now. I am quite upset. So are you telling me that I could be like this for a year and still not have my flat stomach back completely? I can't wear any of my clothes and I am truly depressed. Thanks for your time.
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replied June 6th, 2012
Umbilical hernia
I just had an umbilical hernia surgery on 1june2012 and my stomach is hard and swollen its poking out something bad ...... I have trouble pooping and peeing I can't tell when I have to pee my stomach hurts a little more so I just go and even then it comes out in weird like my bladder is never empty..... I have a knot above my naval the size of a whiffle ball.... I had a six pack before the surgery and now I look 5mths pregnant.... I'm in the military as well so this is really going to put a hamper in making tape ..... I'm so depressed and just want to know that it's going to go away!!!!
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