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Left side inguinal hernia - open mesh repair. Post op advice pls

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My husband is 42 years old and had open surgery for an inguinal hernia on the left side - repaired with mesh 3 days ago. The hernia swelling was in the groin area and hadn't descended into the scrotum at all. He has a wound about 3 inches long along the groin line. We've realised that although we were told about what to expect pre and during the op, nothing prepared us for what to expect afterwards, particularly the pain.

He been doing really well - we pre-empted the constipation and so used a stool softener from day 1 after the op and although bowel movements aren't back to normal he is managing to pass something each day. He's been walking around the house - up and down stairs for the toilet and each day we're taking a stroll just along the road a few yards but not overdoing it. He's pretty tired but I guess this should be expected because of the operation and the body trying to heal itself.

Couple of questions which I hope someone can settle my mind.....his tummy is very distended(really hard and bloated, poor thing kinda looks pregnant!) is this normal and how long will it take to go down as he's finding it quite uncomfortable?

What's the best way to remove the dressing from the wound? Kinda scared about removing it and hurting him.

How long before he will feel able to sleep in bed? He's sleeping in an armchair with feet elevated at the moment.

How long would it be before we know whether there are any complications which could affect our sex life? This is the most worrying part of it all. Some of the stories I've read have been horrific but we were never told before the op that these things could happen. I've very gently helped to masturbate him which has caused no pain (and he enjoyed)and everything seems to be working ok and the surgeon said that he didn't have to go near anything which could cause problems. I was worried as it wasn't until he saw the surgeon about 1 hour before the op that the surgeon said that if he had seen hubby in clinic before he would have said he should have a general anaesthetic as it is better in younger men, however he had no anaesthetist there who could do a general on that day. Just wondered why they recommend a general anaesthetic for younger men?

Thank you so much for all the help and advice on this forum - I've found it invaluable and would have been much more scared had it not been for this. It's made me realise that although it is called a 'routine' operation, there should be much more information given to the patient beforehand on what to expect afterwards and its not just a case of a simple op to push the intestine back in and then you'll be fine. There really is a serious lack in informing the patient beforehand of the risks - until after he had the op I hadn't even heard that there can be problems with the mesh even/

Any advice would be appreciated.
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replied November 27th, 2011
Hernia
I had a direct inguinal hernia repaired 16 days ago, not sure if I got mesh since It was really really small (with sharp pain)

ACTIVITY: I wouldn't recommend walking too much the first days, i know it is good to make the tissue more flexible but you really NEED the internal stitches to heal before you move the whole thing, in my case this lead to internal bleeding and hematoma. I'm pretty good now and could walk on the 2nd weel so BE PATIENT and rest as much as possible. And avoid doing efforts.

DRESSING: Regarding the dressing, you mean the transparent plastic on the wound? I was told 8 days and when you pull it do it really carefully and in the direction of the wound so you don't open up the wound again.
After that, check for any pubic hair that got stuck in the pores where the plastic was (not the wound) and similar to avoid any itching and pain the next few weeks since the plastic can affect in that area.

SLEEP: In an armchair? POOR GUY why the hell is he like that? he should be on a bed Sad, sitting makes the pain even worse, unless is a confy couchon

FOOD: About the bowel, better take some OTC pills for the gases
Must eat: lots of water, papaya, brown rice,
Avoid!: soft drinks (coke, etc), heavy milk or dairy, white rice, banana, cheese, beer, legumes (beans, peas, etc) or anything that can cause gas. This is a big cause of the pain.

Regarding sex, do not worry, you can try with oral after a 7-10 days to verify everything is working fine, i do recommend waiting for any activities like this a minimum of 2 weeks, but there shouldnt be any risks at all, believe me Smile
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replied November 28th, 2011
Experienced User
NOT SURE IF YOU GOT MESH OR NOT?!?!?!? Please tell me that is your way of being funny. You went and had a major surgery and didn't bother to ask the surgeon what he was going to do to you once he had you cut open? Did you not even bother to ask him AFTER the surgery what he did? Wow!!!!
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replied November 30th, 2011
I mean, at the beginning of the surgery the doc told the assistant not to bring mesh, and I wasn't charged for it afterwards. Also, the doc told me it was a standard procedure, the only complication I had was at night the same day when i got some bleeding due the varicocele (they found one on the surgery) removing procedure.

Btw, I'm 18 days after the surgery and everything is getting better every day, I now forget sometimes I got the surgery due the lack of pain or disconfort.
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replied December 1st, 2011
Experienced User
My strong suggestion to you is to get a copy of the surgical report, for your records, just in case you need to know in the future whether you have mesh implanted in you or not. As for it being a 'standard' procedure, you do not want to anchor your hopes on that tag line from any doctor as EVERY doctor has their OWN standard procedure; whereas a mesh repair may be standard for one surgeon, a pure-tissue repair may be the standard for another. Regardless whether you feel no pain or discomfort now, you should know what was done to you. Best of luck with your recovery.
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replied February 11th, 2012
hernia repair
just found this forum and i agree with hillbilly5.this is not a simple procedure, had ingenial hernia repaired with mesh on right side 10 days ago still hurts am still bloated ,and i cant sleep at nights because of all the horror stories on the internetdoes this gas and bloating go away
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replied May 3rd, 2012
Hernia mesh repair
i had an open inguinal hernia mesh repair operation a week back.. everthing is fine but post surgery i can feel a hard lump in my scrotum upto the operation cut... is this normal??? this is the only thing thats bothering me cos the lump pushes the testis on the left side n becomes very uncomfortable... surgery pain has reduced significantly... pls suggest..
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replied May 3rd, 2012
Do you think it would hurt to poop with a left inguinal hernia op.
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replied May 3rd, 2012
I also feel like theres small air pockets in my scrotum is that normal after the surgery day?
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replied September 10th, 2013
i had inguinal hernia 10 days ago in my right groin done with mesh repair,i feel fine just now,have not tried sex or masterbated yet,but one thing i did try after my op.when i went to the toilet i stood up over the bowl for my bowel movement and crouched slightly when standing over the bowl
and it worked a treat ,as it never put to much pressure on my wound area.if you try this am sure you will find it a lot less pressure and pain.GEORDIE.10/9/2013
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replied September 10th, 2013
i had inguinal hernia 10 days ago in my right groin done with mesh repair,i feel fine just now,have not tried sex or masterbated yet,but one thing i did try after my op.when i went to the toilet i stood up over the bowl for my bowel movement and crouched slightly when standing over the bowl
and it worked a treat ,as it never put to much pressure on my wound area.if you try this am sure you will find it a lot less pressure and pain.GEORDIE.10/9/2013
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