I had a successful laproscopic abdominal (ventral) hernia repair in November of 2004 a few months after my son was born. Other than some discomfort following a bout of food poisoning in 2005, I've had no complications or difficulties with the repair...until recently.
My son has special needs and I have been under constant stress for the last three years. And between getting him to his therapies and trying to work to make sure we have enough income to pay for his therapies, exercising went out the window for me. Additionally, to cope with the stress, having quit smoking 5 years ago, I turned to chocolate chip cookies. Being aware of my ever-increasing weight, I tried to go for lower calorie versions, smaller cookies, etc. But what I found was that they were ridiculously unsatisfying and I'd eat the whole box, whereas at least when I was eating the rich, high-fat ones, I'd feel guilty (and satisfied) after 9 or 10 of them (which, sadly, is like 1,000 calories) and stop. Anyway, while I was about 50 pounds overweight at the time of the surgery, I'm nearly 100 pounds overweight today.
About a month ago, I started having twinges right above my navel, where my hernia was. It scared me into action - or at least as much action as can be done in a household where we've all been sick with every illness known to preschoolers since last August. (Honestly, despite taking a great regimen of supplements, getting plenty of rest and eating lots of fruits and vegetables, we have been sick 18 of the last 24 weeks.) So, even with my newfound fear and resolve, working out has been a challenge.
Last week, we all caught yet another cold. And this one came with a wicked cough. It's the first cold with a bad cough that I've had since I was pregnant. And after three days of coughing, last night, I coughed and felt a shot of excruciating pain in my lower left abdomen - right around where some of my mesh ends. The pain persisted for about 30 minutes, and intensified every time I had to cough. I started trying to hold my stomach in place while coughing. It finally got a bit better, but then today, the pain moved to directly on top of my belly button. And it's a strange pain - I don't know if it's my imagination conjuring up the worst, but I'd swear it feels like every time I cough, a little pocket of fat is forcefully popping itself right under the edge of the mesh or through the mesh right there.
So, I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced anything like this? I had initially thought that maybe it was like after the food poisoning - that all the coughing is causing the tack to scrape against my insides - but, the pain I'm experiencing this time is different, less painful and less focused than the pain I had then (after the food poisoning, I could actually feel every tack again, like just after the surgery. Of course, I've got a lot more fat there now, so maybe that's dulling the sensation?) Aside from pregnancy, does anyone have experience with how an abdominal mesh repair has held up with weight gain? What about with weight loss? I had originally been thinking that if I lost weight, it would help, because then the mesh wouldn't be stretched so tight, but, now I've come across some accounts of weight loss causing a different set of problems because the mesh no long has adequate tension. I'd hate to think that I'd have to stop my weight loss right at my immediate post-pregnancy weight. My goal is to lose the full 100 pounds - but...not if it's going to cause more hernia problems. Does anyone have any input?
Thank you - could you point me towards some of the postings about weight issues and the mesh? I had already read the threads on the mesh complications. I was kind of expecting this to happen though, as at the time of the surgery, the surgeon even said, "Because of the size of your hernia and the fact that you're so overweight, we had to use extra tacks to keep the mesh in place..." So, I'm really just wondering at this point whether the sensation I'm experiencing is the mesh starting to fail and the experiences of others who gained/lost weight with a mesh. At the time of the surgery, I was aware of the higher lasting success rate of a full incisional surgery using alloderm, however, I had a 3 month old preemie and a hubby who was out of paid leave time, so I opted for the option that had the fastest recovery time - something that I may well have to do again.
The only thread I came closest to is regarding gaining weight and hernia are the pregnancy threads.
I know I've read other people asking the same thing. I put a question in to the administrator about which links we can post, there are way to many people suffering from these meshes.
I have lost weight due to the pain I have 24/7. My groin/leg has weird sensations like nerve damage.
Try to contact Jim he posted on here before, he might have this exact information for you.
I know weight change can be an issue with some things but what it sounds like to me is your mesh is giving you problems.
This whole topic makes me see red. It's honestly not fair how many of us are suffering.
I also read the meshes are breaking and adhering to other organs in the body such as kidneys,bladders, liver, etc...
I hope you don't have to endure another operation, if you do please educate yourself as much as you can with these meshes.
Have you done an internet search on complications from hernia mesh implants?
plus since the surgery about 2 mo ago.. I bent over to paint my toe nials and the hernia popped out again but this time to the left but after so much pain , and I applied pressure to it with my hand and pushed it it back in , so it's back, it's reducible (goes back in ).after pressure and rubbing the area but continues to come out and I push it back it, when I bend over, lift, bend over in the shower to shave or sometimes when having a bm..add that to the other list of my coincidental complaints, from lisao1013.
Write your Fedarel Representatives people. We are victims of Human Medical Experimention. We are trying to get an investigation FDA says not enough people. FDA is trying to cover it up BIG TIME! They and Doctors know! Got proof. FDA never tested this mesh and are trying to cover it up. WE need more reported victims. Report to FDA and contact Federal Rep. You will nto find a Doctor, Lawyer or person of significant statue with this mesh. Guess Why.
If your gaining weight its from drug Gapentin or Nuerontin
I am calling my doctor's office tomorrow to try to find out what kind of mesh that was used with my navel hernia repair I had a year ago. I put on 50 lbs very quickly... and I keep a food journal of what I eat. I should not weigh what I do! I am in pain every day and my stomach always hurts. I would really like to know who to write to fight this if the mesh is bad. Also, I want to have surgery and have this mesh removed... is that possible? I have roll and rolls of hard icky painful fat I never had before, and I am left with a belly button the size of a sesame seed. I am not taking Gapentin or Nuerontin... I refused them. I eat extremely healthy and clean. All of the problems began after surgery. It has been a year of hell and I feel I have not healed. I want this to end.