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Hernia - the first 20 days after open repair (Page 1)

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I really wish I had seen this site before my surgery 20 days ago. I had open repair on direct hernias on the left and right side. As such, I have two incisions 3.5 inches long on each side. I am a 45 year old male in good shape. I am 5’10 and 175 pounds. Had I done more research, I would have not done open surgery. The pain and recovery issues are just too great with the large incisions and scar tissue. Go with laparoscopic if you can. I let my surgeon talk me into open repair for a golf ball size hernia on the left side and marble size one on the right. He said it was better due to future operations if I had any prostate, colon or gallbladder issues (I have no issues at all now). He also said in open hernia repair the surgeon can be more targeted with the mesh and thus the mesh is a lot smaller. With Laparoscopic, the mesh must be larger due to limitations of access to the hernia site and the need to ensure a larger coverage area.

Tips!: Four things that helped me the most:

1. Eat nothing but soup 36 hours before surgery and for 72 hours after surgery. Then make sure they give you a prescription for glycerin suppositories. GET THEM. Trust me; both items make bowel movements easy and pain free.
2. Put pillows under both knees when you are lying down flat to sleep. It tilts your pelvis slightly up or flat and removes all the pressure on the hernia repair. Your feet still need to touch the bed, just use enough pillow to allow you to rest your legs slightly upward at the hip. It works wonders.
3. I know the surgeon will tell you to ice the scrotum and penis for 24 to 36 hours after surgery. Do that. It helps keep the blood from pooling in your scrotum and reduces swelling. Swelling is what causes the most pain in days 2-5. But I found that in days 2 plus, heat on my scrotum via a pad or water bottle kept it from shriveling up and forcing my testicle closer to my body. Doing so eased the nerve pain greatly on both sides of my scrotum. If I got cold, and my scrotum shrunk, the pain was a lot more intense in the nerves in that region. Do not be afraid to apply heat in days 2 plus.
4. When you can finally sleep on your side, put a pillow in-between your legs to keep the pressure off your scrotum (from being squeezed between your legs).

Clueless! I did not see that coming:
1. You will not be able to sleep on your side for at least a week. During the first week, rolling over is a problem pain wise, but after that subsides, the swelling and pain makes it hard to sleep on your side for the first two weeks.
2. Two weeks after the surgery, you will still have pain and cannot stand for longer than a few hours. The recovery time is double what they tell you.
3. Using a recliner or sitting prone is very painful. I figured I could sit in my recliner and watch TV the first week after surgery. Wrong. After a week, I could sit prone in a chair or in a recliner without a lot of pain for a few hours, but in the first week, unless I was lying flat or slightly inclined, the hernia repair hurt…a lot.

So…20 days later… I am getting better, but here is what you can expect after open repair for direct hernias in the first 20 days.

6-12 hours after surgery: Pain and nausea are brutal. Pain killers help, but not much. You pray that you pee within 12 hours post surgery so you don’t need to go back to the hospital and get a catheter. Prescription pain drugs mandatory. You sleep.

Day 1- pain is intense 24/7. You move at a snail’s pace to and from your bed to the toilet. Sitting up or standing up for any length of time is brutal. Getting in and out of bed takes help. Sneezing and coughing bring cries of “just kill me, I can’t live with the pain”. Prescription pain drugs mandatory. You sleep.

Day 2- pain is intense 24/7. You can now sit up at a slight incline and watch TV or read. But moving or standing is still a huge problem pain wise. Getting in bed is painful. Prescription pain drugs needed. Coughing occurs due to irritation from tube in throat during surgery. You call doctor for more pain meds to end cough or end the brutal pain of coughing.

Day 3- Pain is less, but still a challenge 24/7. You can now move around slowly without much help. Stairs hurt but are manageable. You feel like you need to poop but are too afraid. Prescription pain drugs needed at night. Ibuprofen during day. Shower!

Day 4 –Pain is bearable with good prescription drugs 24/7. You poop. It doesn’t hurt if you use my tips. Penis and scrotum is swollen and black and blue. Nasty looking. Getting and out of bed is painful, but not so bad that you don’t want to. Prescription pain drugs really only needed at night. Ibuprofen during day.


Day 5 – Pain is bearable with some ibuprofen. You now move around faster. Swelling is painful still. Feels like something is burning inside the left and right side of your groin down to your scrotum. Sleeping on side not possible, but you attempt it. No prescription pain meds. Ibuprofen 24/7 to reduce swelling.

Day 6 - Pain is gone when laying flat or inclined. Otherwise bearable with some ibuprofen when standing or sitting. You can now sit around for an hour or two and move around house faster. Swelling is painful still. Sharp pains on nerves to the left and right of penis more often when standing. Still feels like something is burning inside the left and right side of your groin down to your scrotum (nerves are starting to repair themselves) . Sleeping on side not possible, but you attempt it. No prescription pain meds. Ibuprofen 24/7 to reduce swelling.

Day 7 – you progress a little, but now more slowly. You realize this is not a one week and done deal. Swelling starting to go down near incisions and groin. You sleep on your side…finally. Still sore, but you are now up 3/4s of the day standing and sitting. Ibuprofen 24/7

Days 8-14 Progress every day, but incremental improvements slow down. You still have pain near the incisions and the swelling is an issue still. If you are upright for more than 3 hours it hurts a lot. Sitting in a chair is bearable for a few hours. Ibuprofen 24/7
Days 14-18 Again, progress every day with less pain, but incremental improvements slow way, way down. You still have pain near the incisions and the swelling is an issue near the incisions. Scar tissue is hard and you can feel the scar tissue. Sitting upright pinches the scars and causes pain now in places that wasn’t painful before. You go back to work, but you still hurt and need ibuprofen to 24/7 to help take the edge off. If you are upright for more than 5 hours it hurts and you want to lie down. Sitting in a chair is bearable for a few hours. Ibuprofen 24/7

Days 18-20 Pubic hair is starting to itch where you were shaved. Nerves in the skin near groin area really starting return and are sensitive to touch. Sex starts to creep back into your mind and you wonder how much it will hurt. Ibuprofen 24/7

Days 21+ Dunno, not there yet.
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First Helper eja3332
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Users who thank thegov3 for this post: aliadel  sontuoso 

replied January 4th, 2011
Update -
Days 21-30

I am still taking ibuprofen in the morning and at night. Nerve issues are still evident near the groin because it still feels like something is burning inside the left side of my groin down to scrotum at certain times. It only happens when I turn over in bed, squat down, lean over to put on socks or pick something up off floor. Again, only on my left groin side. Right groin area is fine. But wow, the pain on the left is a very sharp, intense burning pain that just hits you when you move wrong.

Sleeping on my side is possible. I still put a pillow between legs when on my side sleeping due to swelling in groin and scrotum. Swelling is gone in AM, but returns by night time (after being on feet all day). I can work desk job all day. Sex life is normal. Still cannot bump the incision area. Still worried that the nerve damage is going to cause the sudden burning pain when I bend over or squat for many months and that swelling is going to be an issue for another 30 days.
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replied April 16th, 2013
Hello fellow hernia sufferers. I just had my hernia surgery 6 days ago. Double hernia, open surgery. So far I am experiencing all of the symptoms that have been described by the fellow posters. Pain the first couple of days is really horrible. One has to go thru it, to truly understand how bad it is
The swelling in my penis and scrotum is starting to do down. I never thought they could swell as much as they did, and discoloration got very nasty.
I still have burning and shooting pains in my groin when I get out of bed or walk up stairs. Really intense pain.
Still have not re-started work yet, doc wrote up the paperwork for three weeks out.
See the doc on Thursday for the follow up.
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replied January 27th, 2014
Hope you better now, had mine done 3 weeks ago and i've been through every single detail you mentioned.. "literally everything" and i agree with everything said about doctors way of not telling the full process of procedure.. just thinking of that irritates me.

however, how you feeling now? is everything back to normal?
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replied February 4th, 2014
I've been using this post as a hopeful guideline in my recovery. I had left side inguinal open with mesh repair on January 16. Like thegov3, I wished I had spent more time investigating this surgery before hand. The few people I spoke to all had good recoveries so, I thought it was no big deal. I was wrong. The nerve pain was a 10 right out off the operating table. Now I'm post 19 days and the stinging burning pain is only present when putting on socks, getting in the car, bending over the wrong way, etc...As I chronicle with thegov3 I'm hoping I will see the light at the end of the tunnel soon. Really tired of the surprise shooting pain. This has been a tough physical as well as a mentally challenging time. Really hoping and praying for complete healing!
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replied January 9th, 2011
well I would like to tell you i had left open cut groin repair linchenstein method in NJ in June of 2010...i am your age exactly...though today i turned 46..my was indirect hernia and also cut lipoma of spermatic cord...then mesh..sutures..the works...i weigh 135
i was out of work over 1 month...but i stand all day and i still have pain...in that area...and thick scar tissue underneath incision...plus that area is now reshaped like indentation because fat was also removed...a common occurance if found along with hernia sacs of inguinal region when open surgery is performed....

like you i was not informed of the consequences and the surgeons just dont care...their job is to see that what they repaired is repaired...and the rest like the healing ridge...scar adhesions and pain ...forget it..they dont talk about it and dont care...
i wanted lapro too...but dr. felt this ws not his way or the best way...

what a mistake just like you...
i was having much pain for over 4-5 months and im a swimmer..it took me 7 months to get back in water but damage is done....
main pain is gone...now its the pain of scar tissue and the feel and shape of what was done....it cannot be undone...went to plastic surgeon to see if injections would ease scar tissue..he said no...
went to pcp and back to surgeon several times in the 6 month period....surgeon said...see a pain specialist...pcp sid wait and see...
they all cover each others asses and that is the medical profession today...
at north penn hernia near philadelphia...they do an open cut surgery...but instead of placing the mesh over and under the defect with sutures..they place one or several disolvable sutures and let the muscle repair itself over the mesh...no tacks...to staple guns to staple the defect to the muscle...so as you see their method is the most preferred and celebrated....check out north penn hernia institute on google....you will see for yourself in their forums and boards..the experiences and comments people have....

for you and I ...it is a different story....
sad..because we may never quite feel the same again...
adhesions your scar tissue is there like mine and in some cases...once its their it may never leave...underneath....and massage helps and if it does go down it may take over a year....then again if you are prone to adhesions in the abdomen...another common occurance never discussed prior to surgery...then you will have them and yuou are stuck with the nerves caught inside...cutting the tissue would only make it come back so many doctors do not like to go back in and recut and then the scar tissue returns....

lets not even get into the mesh concerns...thats a long one....

i feel for you because i am going through the exact same thing...either way..we like thousands of people have gotten screwed and the best we can hope for is that the scar tissue heals in time...you would think at 7 months it would not be hard as a rock and pulling..
also since i had fat removed..the indentation left in that side causes my left testicle to stick to my thigh...constantly playing with my self to readjust it...that is never going to change and again when discussed with suregeon he doesnt see anything wrong...of course he doesnt...hes looking at it straight on..im looking at it facing down...
before the surgery it was a small reducible hernia that i saw and had repaired 4 weeks later....
it started bothering me after 2 weeks of seeing it....

the worst now is that the hernia is repaired but the torture of this is far greater emotionally and physically then anything i ever went through in my life...and people do not understand it unless they go through it like you and i did...

the area of my abs above the incision is swollen to and the right side is flat...again surgeon doesnt feel anything is wrong...and actually...he is wrong....
you know your body..and you know what you looked and felt like before..and what you look and feel like now....

absolutely terrible...this is me now at 46...i am so pissed off but what can we do...not much!!!
hang in there and let me know how your area is healing....do not be surprised ..i was told like you were that it was simple....that is a lie!!!!!!
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replied January 28th, 2011
Update days 30-60. Pain has subsided. It wasn't until about day 45 that I started to feel "Normal". I still have an occasional burning pain on my left groin area, but it is rare. It happens once or twice a week. The scar tissue has started to get better, but i still have the hard lump under each scar. On day 50, I walked around Disney world with zero pain. I still could not sit down Indian style on the ground, but I had zero pain from the hernia repair. I still have some numbness near the groin, that has not improved much, but it has improved so i expect it to go away eventually. I could never have walked around Disney world all day before the surgery. It would have resulted in a dull ache in the groin within a few hours. No more!

After 60 days, I still stand by all my comments in the previous posts. The surgery is painful, and a very slow recovery. However, I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

To thebarber, I feel for you man. Hang in there. Can they open it up and see what the problem is? Also, my repair, while open, did not have any sutures to hold the mesh in place. Similar to the North Penn Institute.
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Users who thank thegov3 for this post: thebarber 

replied January 28th, 2011
that is the difference...sutures...i think i have scar stitch abcess...under there...monocryl dissolvable sutures just below the incision and that is more than likely the problem...

you see the tissue is rejecting this or the sutures are not breaking down as they should and this is causing a lot of sore pain all day all the time...i am going to see a plastic surgeon Monday...i called the surgeon who performed this and the receptionist gave me a couple of plastic surgeon names...

he thinks since the scar looks ok on the outside that his job is done...i am so frustrated with this whole thing...7.5 months now and nothing under there is changing.....for something like this to continue with no help is going to be a very painful hard area for life if something is not done...

first plastic surgeon i got referred to was by my pcp...he said wait 2 years..he would not even consider cortisone....
i can also feel this scar thickness and perhaps stitch abscess/cyst like lumps underneath along where the sutures meet the mesh ....unreal..man
i am becoming very aggravated with all of this...
i have been around the block with co pays and doctors who just seem not to care or be willing to help....

Ive had surgeries before...nothing ever like this...45 minute operation and 7.5 months of pain....

the rest of the pain has subsided but the cord structure is still tender....
i will keep you posted...
thanks
i hope they do not have to open me up again....my body did not care for this procedure...nor the mesh and sutures...
underneath they are permanent sutures...and after reading your reply..and reading the life out of everything ever written about these ops down to the stitch materials used...mesh and such and all the hernia boards and doctors... Ive come to one conclusion....that the Roy Lichtenstein method is now 25 years old...also that is is no such thing as tension free mesh...
and disolvable sutures and that i will never ever go through this again this way...i am so informed now like most...to late...
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replied January 30th, 2011
thebarber: get better soon. Let me know how it goes.
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replied February 4th, 2011
Experienced User
Please don't think that only mesh-patients are suffering from ongoing groin pain. I had an open repair, no mesh - known as a pure-tissue repair - performed by a hernia specialist (that's all he does) and I have been dealing with chronic groin pain for 18 months now. I DID do my research before going to him, 3 months of exhaustive research, but it didn't seem to matter in the end. I, too, have gotten the attitude of "I operated on you, all went well in the OR, there is no more hernia, my job is done, the rest is up to your body to adjust to." Absolutely inexcusable!! An overwhelming majority of doctors have dismal after-care once the surgery is done. If you ask me, it's all about the sales pitch to get you on the operating table and to get into your wallet. What happened to taking care of the patient, first and foremost, before worrying about your profit margin. Sickening!!

I hate to suggest this, and label me a pessimist if you must, although I truly consider myself a realist, but you may want to start researching surgeons that do mesh removal who close the defect without using any new mesh.
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replied December 29th, 2012
Hernia Repiar
Bachow,
Thanks for your post. I also had an open repair/ pure tissue done at the Souldice Hospital. My surgery was done six weeks ago and I feel great. Where did you hve your surgery done?
Richard/NJ
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replied February 9th, 2011
My recovery
I thought I'd post this here as a counter to the o/p post, as I feel it could put people off having surgery.

I'm 28, in good shape (I'm an endurance runner). I had open inguinal hernia repair surgery where a mesh was used 9 days ago. Two hernias were repaired, one small and one large.

I'll give you a brief outline of how my recovery is progressing:

Day 1: Surgery. On awaking I had severe pain and was given a strong pain killer (tramadol) via my drip. I sat up properly within the hour and was walking and dressed myself in two. I was able to walk around the house with some pain. I urinated without any problems. I used codeine and panadol after 6 hours.

Day 2: Took codeine, panadol and ibuprofen every 6 hours. Pain was moderate. I was able to walk around the house. Increased swelling around the wound and in the testes. Very Disturbed sleep - I found the easiest way to sleep was on my front with a pillow under my right leg (the side of the operation) to raise it slightly.

Day 3: Further swelling. Took codeine and ibuprofen every 6 hours. Very painful getting up out of bed. First bowel movement with the aid of laxatives. This proved to be the worst day in my recovery.

Day 4: Swelling remains the same, more obvious bruising. I'm walking at an almost normal pace now. Any jarring movement causes sharp pain. Took only ibuprofen. Had sex twice (slowly..) - it was a little numb but everything worked. Bowel movements have returned to normal. Started driving again. Removed bandaging.

Day 5: Spent the day out watching sport, walking around well. No painkillers (except beer!).

Day 6: Walked 5km with moderate discomfort. Active all day. Swelling has reduced but the wound is slightly more painful. Sex is now normal, but slower to avoid impacting the site of the incision.

Day 7: Returned to work. Swelling is still significant so I couldn't wear my work trousers and shirt but other than that everything is normal.

Day 8: The wound stings a little bit more today, but swelling has reduced and normal colour of testes is returning. They are still purple on one side and the penis has a purple band around it.

Day 9: Almost no pain. Walking is much easier. Pain only occurs when making quick movements, such as flinching.

Day 10: No pain at all getting out of bed this morning.


I've suprised myself with the speed of my recovery and hopefully there will be no complications in the future. I have my 10 day followup tomorrow. I plan to get back to running within two weeks.
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replied March 25th, 2012
I have a question: my husband just had open hernia surgery 2 days ago, and he is worried that his bowel movements, aren't well moving. he feels like he has to go but nothing comes out. He's taking some milk of mag, eaten prunes, drinking lots and lots of water, everything he's supposed to but nothing is happening other than him FEELING like he has to go. I'm trying to help him as much as I can, but with this I am just not sure what to do. Was this normal for you, or do i need to convince him to go to the ER?
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replied July 25th, 2012
Post Surgery Inguinal Hernia Pain - Bowel Movement
IGNORE doctors who say wait 48 hours before Milk of Magnesia if no 'poop'. I took mine about 30 hours after surgery. When 'the mood strikes', take a square pillow, shove it into your gut over the incision. Pretend like you are wearing high heel shoes (I can't think of another way to say it) - and push in the pillow so you are getting some resistance to pushing out your gut at the incision. Still gonna hurt like hell, but at least you are getting out the gas - and, hopefully, it will come out rather fast/liquified if you are lucky. DRINK AS MUCH WATER AS POSSIBLE. WALK like you are pregnant and just ate mexican food... even if the pain hurts to walk, don't sit...lay down - just don't lift anything - including yourself - for a few days - roll out of bed - HAVE HELP - use your legs - NOT YOUR ARMS...you'll feel it...don't worry. Just be careful.
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replied November 29th, 2013
My nurse recommended drinking tea called "smooth move" (seriously) a few times a day following surgery. By day three I had to go, not that I wanted to, but I did, and had no problems. Urinating actually was more of a problem, especially the first time about 15 hours after surgery,I would not get out of bed at all. It got better within three days, I could get up and hobble to the toilet but still really hurt to drain the bladder.
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replied March 11th, 2011
Same here I'm on day 8 today and had hardly any pain through out apart from first 3 days! Very small amount of pain really which I'm very pleased about! Sleeping has been hard very uncomfortable doesn't seem right sleeping on side but hopefully haven't done any damage. Cannot sleep on bk!!! Scar a little sore but tidily done! Overall very happy with how it has gone after reading so many bad comments from others. I'm thankfully a lucky one I guess!
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replied September 21st, 2011
My experience of indirect hernia surgery.
I'm a 23 year old male. I'm in good health, no allergies or health problems, I don't smoke and I drink about once a month.

I wanted to keep this thread going by sharing my experience as well. There will be more in the coming days and perhaps months, depending on if I remember to visit this site.

I just had my surgery today for an indirect hernia. It was a direct incision (as recommended by my doctor). It didn't require a mesh and it was only on one side. The surgery itself went very smoothly, I was put to sleep and given some pain medication that made the area numb all the way to my knee. When I woke up, I felt only mild pain when I moved around.

I was taken home where I lay down and tried to sleep some more. I was groggy and dizzy and couldn't stand for long. Some caffeine helped with the dizziness (to counter my low blood pressure). I took some painkiller during the day that were prescribed by my doctor.

Now in the evening, I don't feel any significant pain even though the numbness in the area has gone. I feel absolutely no pain unless I move my body around.

I'm guessing I'll be feeling more pain over the next couple of days. I'll keep you posted.
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replied September 22nd, 2011
Update Day 60 to 270

Better, much better.

Hernia and surgery pain has gone away completely. About the only issue I have is related to the scar tissue and an occasional tweak of it when I press or bump the left incision scar hard inward. I am back to lifting heavy objects around the house (but am very careful now how I lift). I play softball, do house repairs, and all my regular outdoor activities. I walk with zero hernia pain no matter how long I am on my feet. Yea! That was the only reason I had the surgery. No issues with the hernia at all. I am still adamant that double open hernia surgery is dumb. It should never be done. I would go with lathroscopic no matter what.

I will update again at one year post surgery.

Good luck to future surgery patients.
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replied July 6th, 2013
Update: 2 1/2 years later

No issues or pain since about 18 months after surgery. Even then, it was just a slight twinge or muscle ache. So far, 2+ years later, all good. Knock on wood.
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replied February 13th, 2014
That's good to hear!
I had open bilateral repair 23 days ago and my recovery has been anything but smooth.
Burning and highly sensitive skin below the incision line down to base of penis and around scrotum - sometimes feels like i have a bag of tacks in my pants. To my mind the "altered sensation" which was mentioned in the one page info sheet my surgeon provided doesn't quite cover this. Took me two weeks to get back to work but sitting for any length of time os not great and by end of day walking is really uncomfortable and only lying down gives relief. This burning pain is pretty constant but is made worse bending over etc - if it's getting better it so incremental I cannot actually notice it.
Don't want to be a whinger and if I knew it was slowly going to ease I'd be more philosophical about it - occasional sharp pain I can deal with but this constant irritation and uncomfortableness is really restricting me - i used to run 3 - 4 days a week 5- 8k now i'm lucky to walk to shops without feeling like crap!
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replied February 13th, 2014
That's good to hear!
I had open bilateral repair 23 days ago and my recovery has been anything but smooth.
Burning and highly sensitive skin below the incision line down to base of penis and around scrotum - sometimes feels like i have a bag of tacks in my pants. To my mind the "altered sensation" which was mentioned in the one page info sheet my surgeon provided doesn't quite cover this. Took me two weeks to get back to work but sitting for any length of time os not great and by end of day walking is really uncomfortable and only lying down gives relief. This burning pain is pretty constant but is made worse bending over etc - if it's getting better it so incremental I cannot actually notice it.
Don't want to be a whinger and if I knew it was slowly going to ease I'd be more philosophical about it - occasional sharp pain I can deal with but this constant irritation and uncomfortableness is really restricting me - i used to run 3 - 4 days a week 5- 8k now i'm lucky to walk to shops without feeling like crap!
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replied February 17th, 2014
Curious if you've had any nerve pain shooting down the inside of your thigh. I totally get the "box of tacks" or major sunburn pain, but what about the nerve? Between that and the burning by days end I'm spent. I'm now 32 days out and am still hoping 45 brings some day light. I will say it seems to improve, but more like weekly than daily. Frustrating!!!! Would never do open mesh ever again without an expert surgeon, but then again I've lost faith in surgeons at this point.
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replied September 22nd, 2011
Update Day 60 to 270

Better, much better.

Hernia and surgery pain has gone away completely. About the only issue I have is related to the scar tissue and an occasional tweak of it when I press or bump the left incision scar hard inward. I am back to lifting heavy objects around the house (but am very careful now how I lift). I play softball, do house repairs, and all my regular outdoor activities. I walk with zero hernia pain no matter how long I am on my feet. Yea! That was the only reason I had the surgery. No issues with the hernia at all. I am still adamant that double open hernia surgery is dumb. It should never be done. I would go with lathroscopic no matter what.

I will update again at one year post surgery.

Good luck to future surgery patients.
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replied September 24th, 2011
An update on healing progress
Hi, here's an update of how things have gone since my last post.

Day 1 (also described above): local anesthesia was in effect until evening. Then there was constant dull pain that painkillers effectively eliminated. Sharp pain was felt when using my abs in the slightest. Walking was painless. I stayed mostly in bed. A bit hard to sleep, but could lay on back or on my right side without pain (incision on left side).

Day 2: the constant pain increased but painkillers worked well on that. A small reduction in sharp pain. Still very difficult to get up and sit. Sleeping was easy.

Day 3: reduction in both constant and sharp pain. Sitting down became much easier but still induced plenty of pain if done incorrectly. I take off the majority of bandages. No discoloration (surprising), little swelling.

Day 4: no more constant pain, but it comes back if I'm too active, along with more swelling. Less sharp pain. Coughing and sneezing hurts like hell.

Judging by my process already, I'm improving very fast. This is not too surprising because both my hernia and surgery were relatively minor compared to many out there.

The best advise I could give is to find an experienced doctor that works for a well established hospital. I was lucky because the medical community in my country is small and only a few doctors do these surgeries, each with quite a number a year.

I'll give you at least one more update, for the remaining 16 days.
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replied September 28th, 2011
Hi there fellow Hernias,

I am now at 13 days after recovery for a bilateral hernia on the left side. Due to extremely long waiting times at the hospital in my county (1-1,5 years) I went on the net and searched for shorter waiting times. This deserves a small explanation: I live in Norway, and we have mainly (free) government hospitals, but also smaller private ones. When the waiting time is long, like where I live, we can go on internet and search for another hospital, anywhere in Norway, and choose that hospital. This I did, and in the north of Norway I found one with 1.5 weeks waiting list. So I got a time, flew up the day before surgery, slept in a hotel and came in in the morning. The examined me, gave me narcosis and did the surgery. In the evening I flew home again. They gave me extra painkillers for the flights.

I did not feel a lot the first night due to the painkillers set in the hospital.

I had many of the same sensations as stated by others:

-Swelling
-Bruised penis
-Swollen scrotum
-Sharp pains in the wound
-numbness

The pain was worst day 2 to day 10, the a little better every day.

Now on day 13, I am sometimes taking a Paracetamol and a Ibuprofen if the discomfort is too great. I have borrowed a wheelchair from the county to use if needed so I can get out.

I feel very tired, and my wound swells up, if I am active or walk more than 4-5 hours a day.

Generally the biggest problem now is the "Ridge", but as I understand that will go away in 6-8 months.

Sex was possible from day 2, no problems.

Good luck to all!
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replied July 25th, 2012
The Ridge - YES - that's what it is called... thanks... I'm on day 12. And, that's the only thing that bothers me. Sex since day 2 (not with person) is not a problem - just don't try to shoot over your shoulder. Can't wait to start running. Had my hernia for a year and a half before deciding to fix it...cuz I had an emergency appendectomy 8 weeks earlier and that surgeon fixed this - she was great. And, the Open Inguinal with no sutures (taped scar closed) and mesh (floating) is the way she went. I was getting worried that "the Ridge" was my mesh folded up like a Taquito... thank god I read this post of yours.
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replied July 25th, 2012
The Ridge - YES - that's what it is called... thanks... I'm on day 12. And, that's the only thing that bothers me. Sex since day 2 (not with person) is not a problem - just don't try to shoot over your shoulder. Can't wait to start running. Had my hernia for a year and a half before deciding to fix it...cuz I had an emergency appendectomy 8 weeks earlier and that surgeon fixed this - she was great. And, the Open Inguinal with no sutures (taped scar closed) and mesh (floating) is the way she went. I was getting worried that "the Ridge" was my mesh folded up like a Taquito... thank god I read this post of yours.
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replied October 12th, 2011
20 day update
Hi again, my 20 days are up and here's how things went. I had already described the first 4 days above.

The sixth day was the first day that I started to forget about the surgery. There was no dull pain and the sharp pain had decreased significantly, so sneezing and coughing wasn't terrifying anymore. Also, getting out of bed was very easy. There was still mild swelling which increased if I was too active.

Now fast forwarding to the end of week two. Sneezing and coughing only resulted in mild discomfort, couldn't really describe it as being painful. The same feeling was felt if I did a very specific movement when I getting out of bed. There was still mild swelling, but it didn't increase much anymore when I moved around (doctor said it would last 2 months). The area just under the incision was numb as it had been since the surgery (about 1 cm in height and next to the incision). The waterproof bandaging was removed on the 14th day so I saw the incision clearly for the first time. Some type of wire had been used to sow the incision together and it was placed just under the top layer of the skin making it incredibly smooth. I don't think it could have been done any better.

Right now, after 20 days, everything is a little bit better as to be expected. I can feel the so called healing ridge under the incision. What's left to be improved will come over the next few weeks and months, but as for any discomfort, it's nearly nonexistent. My doctor said I can resume work after three weeks, making it a total of 6 weeks of recovery since surgery (longer recovery since no mesh was used). I do a lot of lifting at work, otherwise I would probably start sooner.

I hope this information helped, but keep in mind that each one is different and so is each surgery.
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replied November 22nd, 2011
Hey guys, I hate to hear of all the troubles you've had. I have an incisional hernia myself, and I'll be having it repaired for the third (3!) time this December. I distinctly remember the recovery process, as I've been through it several times. I was actually looking for some reassuring words on the subject when I stumbled across this site. Sadly, this page has reminded me of the awful things to come.
The worst thing is the pain. I was told by my surgeon that people handle it differently. I was also told some don't even spend a night in the hospital. Personally, after each surgery, I woke up in the most excruciating pain you can imagine; let me add, I've totalled a few vehicles/motorcycles and I'm no stranger to pain. It was three days before I felt brave enough to leave the hospital.
I never recovered 100 percent; probably 75 at best. The only advice I would have to offer anyone is to check the background on your surgeon, make sure they're very experienced in hernia repair, and like the surgeon will say, TAKE IT EASY.
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replied November 22nd, 2011
Experienced User
And I will add this - don't be afraid to ask the tough questions. So many patients are afraid to ask 'controversial' questions as they don't want to piss off the surgeon. Piss off the surgeon?!??? YOU are the one getting cut into. You have EVERY right to ask what you want, and if the surgeon starts to waffle or give you flimsy explanations, take that as a sign that perhaps you should hold off and interview more surgeons before doing something so drastic. ANY surgery is a trauma on the body. Don't sell yourself short when it comes to getting the answers you want. Look at is like a business transaction - seriously. Would you buy that new car if the salesman gave you the feeling that he wasn't being totally honest with you or he didn't know what he was talking about? No you wouldn't. And you should treat seeking a surgeon in the same fashion - you are hiring a specialist to do a job for you. A very delicate job, but nonetheless, still a job. You are paying the bill. You have a right to ask whatever you want.
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replied December 1st, 2011
Hello everyone. I'm a 38 yr old male who is now 2 days out from an open incision direct repair on a HUGE hernia. Due to insurance problems I didn't have surgery until my intestines were hanging outside of my body 6-8 inches. My surgeon said it was starting to pull my bladder outside my body as well. There were 3 holes which he needed to repair. I just wanted to give you an idea of what I was dealin with.

Day 1 the pain was bad. I was taking 500mg of vicodin every 3.5-4 hours, and tylonel every 6. Turning over in bed was horrible. Getting into bed alone was bad. I could walk stairs very slowly. Sitting and standing was bad. I couldn't lift up an ice tray without pain.

Day 2 (today) still taking the same amount of pain killers. Could semi nap on my side. Sitting and standing still cause terrible pain. Went out for 3 walks today. First was 50 yards, second 100, and 3rd 200 yards. The overall pain level from day 1 was an 11 on a scale of 1-10, and today I would say it's a 8-9.

I still haven't removed my bandages so I don't know how it looks. I'm doing that and showering tomorrow.

I guess I got very lucky with my surgeon. He or his office has called me each day. He gave me his personal cell phone # should I need it. He's also the chief of staff at the hospital I went to so I was shocked he had the time to devote to his patients. I did my reseaerch, but he's exceeded my expectations so far. Especially considering the hernia he had to deal with. If anyone is shopping for a surgeon his name is Dr Goldberg at St Marys Medical Center in Long Beach,Ca.

I'll update more as I go along.

Good luck to all of you in your recoveries.
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replied December 1st, 2011
Hello everyone. I'm a 38 yr old male who is now 2 days out from an open incision direct repair on a HUGE hernia. Due to insurance problems I didn't have surgery until my intestines were hanging outside of my body 6-8 inches. My surgeon said it was starting to pull my bladder outside my body as well. There were 3 holes which he needed to repair. I just wanted to give you an idea of what I was dealin with.

Day 1 the pain was bad. I was taking 500mg of vicodin every 3.5-4 hours, and tylonel every 6. Turning over in bed was horrible. Getting into bed alone was bad. I could walk stairs very slowly. Sitting and standing was bad. I couldn't lift up an ice tray without pain.

Day 2 (today) still taking the same amount of pain killers. Could semi nap on my side. Sitting and standing still cause terrible pain. Went out for 3 walks today. First was 50 yards, second 100, and 3rd 200 yards. The overall pain level from day 1 was an 11 on a scale of 1-10, and today I would say it's a 8-9.

I still haven't removed my bandages so I don't know how it looks. I'm doing that and showering tomorrow.

I guess I got very lucky with my surgeon. He or his office has called me each day. He gave me his personal cell phone # should I need it. He's also the chief of staff at the hospital I went to so I was shocked he had the time to devote to his patients. I did my reseaerch, but he's exceeded my expectations so far. Especially considering the hernia he had to deal with. If anyone is shopping for a surgeon his name is Dr Goldberg at St Marys Medical Center in Long Beach,Ca.

I'll update more as I go along.

Good luck to all of you in your recoveries.
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replied December 1st, 2011
Hi everyone...29 year old female here who is in extremely good shape and had an open inguinal hernia repair done on Wednesday Nov. 23. I feel great just one week out!! I think the difference is the mesh the surgeon used. The mesh is called Parietex ProGrip..it is infact a sutureless mesh. It's almost like velcro. Feel free to google it and read the clinical studies. I know the surgeon in my case used 3 sutures, although she probably could have gotten away with one.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/2011 0321006769/en/Covidien-Announces-Interim-D ata-Showing-Parietex-ProGrip

I actually walked out of the hospital that night (as the nurses were running down the hall chasing me with a wheelchair) and was back to work 5 days later. I am actually headed to the gym right after this to walk lightly on the treadmill. The only slight pain I had was sleeping on my side, which I am able to do now only 8 days later. I took pain meds (Vicodin) proactively as the nurses said I would be in a ton of pain after the local anesthesia wore off, not the case.

I decided to go with an open procedure rather than laparoscopic due to long term data that talks about recurrence rates, which actually shows that open procedures have a lower rate unless the surgeon doing the lap procedure has a TON of lap cases under his/her belt.

Everyone I see is completely shocked that I had the procedure done about a week ago. The only thing I cannot do at the moment is get back into my full work out routine which consists of high intensity cardio and light lifting!
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replied December 1st, 2011
Question
Hey guys a quick follow up question for everyone if you don't mind. I've had almost zero appetite at all. I've eaten maybe 1000 calroies since monday. When did you find yours coming back? I'm a 235lb guy so believe me I like food. I just have no feelings of hunger. Thanks.
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