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Hernia - very worried

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Hello. I was recently told I have an inguinal hernia that is residing in my scrotum. I went to see a general surgeon who seemed to think I could hold off on surgery for a bit. However, I am really concerned about the hernia and would like to hear from people who have dealt with similar issues.

First of all, I have had the hernia for a while now. I first noticed it when I was in my teens (now 22). I know, I stupidly waited rather than having it checked out like i should have - i was scared. It recently has gotten bigger, which is why i finally broke down and had it checked out. My family doctor suspected it to be a hernia and suggested i go see a surgeon/specialist. I had the follow up appointment - he said it was an inguinal hernia. I told him i was wanting to finish out my semester at school and asked if he saw that being a problem. He said that should be fine and made it sound like it wasn't super urgent. However, I wasn't impressed with him enough to let him do the surgery, so i am looking into other surgeons to follow up with currently.

Now, my condition/symptoms. It is on the right side. I have some discomfort at times. it tends to get bigger, more uncomfortable the more i'm on my feet. It doesn't seem to be able to be pushed back in (admittingly, i don't try too hard as i am afraid to do damage to the hernia). However, when i sit/lay down it seems to get smaller, although not go away all together. When I lay down for long periods of time it practically goes away. When i wake up in the morning it is gone completely. Is this considered to be incarcerated? Do I have long enough to find a new surgeon and be treated by him?

My concerns with the operation. I have been doing some reading, and consequently have gotten worried about the surgery. Is mesh the best option? Which mesh is going to be best? I have read about the biological meshes, but even those seem to have a fair share of issues. Are the synthetic meshes that are causing the problems already recalled or are some of them still on the market?

PLEASE let me know if you have any light to shed on the subject. I'm very scared and worried. I'm trying to make it to the beginning of july to have the surgery if at all possible. Does this sound reasonable considering what i have explained or does it sound like i should get in way before then?

HUGE thanks to anyone who reads and responds to this!!
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replied May 25th, 2012
Experienced User
My suggestions, based on my experiences and research:

1) It's now non-reducible. It needs to be corrected. I would not wait until July, but have it done a week or two after college leaves out for the summer.

2) Have it done by a hernia specialist, NOT a general surgeon. All you have to do is read the many posts here on how many had wished they had gone to a true hernia specialist.

3) Mesh vs Non-mesh surgery. Again, do your research. I prefer a pure-tissue repair as no foreign matter is being placed in your body. Plus you are young and I'm sure you are quite active. Just read some of the stories here about those in pain because of the mesh and how they wish they hadn't gone that route.

4) Ask LOTS of question! Don't be afraid to ask tough question. It's the only body you will ever have and you have a right to know what the doctor plans to do during the surgery.

5) Lap vs Open - A lap repair will ALWAYS give you a mesh repair. Open can do either mesh or non-mesh

6) Recovery can be slow. Yes, yes...you are young and may heal quickly but even young people underestimate the length of time to FULLY recover. I recall reading about a young college guy who went snow trailing just a week after the surgery - he ripped it right open, had to have it redone. This can be a complex surgery. Many layers to cut through and many structures to move out of the way to get to the hernia defect, not to mention nerves. Thus the reason I suggested a hernia SPECIALIST. There are plenty of YouTube videos on hernia repairs to check out.

If you can say what city you are near, I'm sure people would be able to offer some suggestions on possible surgeons in that area. But...be prepared to travel. Not every major metropolitan area has a hernia specialist.

Hope some of this helps.
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replied May 25th, 2012
Thank you for the response! I'm really afraid at this point that my hernia is too big for them to do a repair without the mesh, of course I'm no expert.

I'm in Arlington, Texas 76001. If anyone knows of any good doctors aroind here, please let me know.
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replied May 29th, 2012
Does it mean anything if I have dark veins in my scrotum on the side of the hernia? Im trying to decide on a doctor so I can hurry up and make an appointment to have it checked out/ schedule surgery. The veins seem to mostly be one the right side, where my hernia is, and get worse as the day goes on. I looked on google and didnt really come up witb much. Im just wanting to see if this comes with the territory or if its a major cause for concern.

Regardless, im trying to find a surgeon so I can get in to see them asap.
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replied May 31st, 2012
Slowandlow,
I've been researching this for a long time now and I know the dilemma you're going through.
I really think the Desarda method sounds promising. (google it if you don't know of it yet)
I'm in no way endorsing this doctor, but here is one in the Dallas area that does this method. C&P below:
Good luck. Let me know how it goes.
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replied May 31st, 2012
I did some reading on the desarda method just now. It sounds very inviting. Im just a little worried as its still a relatively young method, not a ton of people who have had it done yet. Also, the surgeon in my area is a general surgeon which many have advised to stay awah from for an inguinal hernia repair.

Its verh tempting, ill have to look into it some more. Anyone here have any experience or input on this method?
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replied June 1st, 2012
Experienced User
Four years ago when I started my hernia research, I also came across the Desarda repair method. I asked a bunch of questions of the doctors performing it and it was a newish way of doing the repair and there were no long-term results that showed that it had repair longevity with no complications. Also, I was not able to find any dedicated hernia specialist that was doing it, only general surgeons, so I passed on it. Regardless of whatever you decide to do, whichever repair method, and whoever you choose, I can't stress enough the importance of asking this:

What will you do for me if I experience long-term chronic groin pain after your procedure?
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replied June 23rd, 2012
I have a surgery scheduled for July 5th. I went with Dr. Darnell here in fort worth that performs the desarda method. Since I have a rather large hernia, he is going to have to use his best judgement once he gets inside. He is going in with the intention of doing the desarda repair, unless he isnt confident it will be a safe repair. He had good things to say about the desarda method, but said it isnt a miracle cure like some claim (the people that claim to be driving and lifting things the next day (which I didnt believe anyways)). Im REALLY hoping for the desarda method but I have a pretty big fear that my hernia is too big to make a safe repair (he said its a fairly small strip of th oblique they use).

This is my second surgery, first one I was too young to remember. Ive heard more than my fair share of horror stories about this surgery (mainly mesh, if it comes to that), so needless to say im really anxious about going in for surgery.

Does it mean anything if I get dark veins in my scrotum on the side of the hernia? Happens mainly in the evening, after being up and going all day, from what the trend shows. Im just hoping its normal for being on my feet through the day, but as always im fearing the worst
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replied February 10th, 2014
There is American Hernia Association and they list hernia doctors in various areas. I am in Houston and it has been a nightmare to get a good doctor who truly knows about hernias in women. men a lot easier. One of the very best Hernia doctors in the country is in the Los Angeles area. her name is Dr. Shirin Towfigh and people fly in to see her or you can send records to her and for a respectful fee she can give you her opinion. I would fly there tomorrow if I could but getting over a massive heart attack. I have a Ventral Hernia and two Inguinal hernias with both Fat and Intestine protruding through but no doctor would fix them even before I had the heart attack and with the chance of strangulation. My bladder and bowels are messed up due to these hernias.
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