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Worried and unsure

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Hello I've never posted somewhere like this and am looking for some insight on things I am a 29 year old male and I have a small inguinal hernia on my left side I've been checked by docs already,I went in for surgery a few months back but I have a bad anxiety disorder that I'm in treatment for now but it got so bad they called off the surgery and sent me home, I recently scheduled a consultation with a new surgeon who is very nice and Informative and says he's the best hernia repair surgeon in the region he is highly rated for bedside manner and has been a general surgeon for over 20 years, he only does laprascopic with mesh which he uses non absorbable prolene mesh and tacks. I've never had surgery heck I've never even had stitches and with all the horror stories online and bad things out there I truly don't want this surgery I have a 2yr old son and amazing wife and I want to be able to play with my son and enjoy life with them. My hernia causes only mild discomfort it is reducible soft and squishy feeling and honestly it doesn't bother me much, I've only had it around 5 months and all 3 docs I've seen say I can wait no rush for surgery. I know only I can make this decision but struggle alot with this due to so many bad stories I've read I'd rather have a hernia with a small risk of issues then be messed up with chronic pain and other issues from the surgery. Any comments would be great and thanks in advance
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replied March 11th, 2017
Im also very worried about the pain id experience after surgery the incisions, tacks in muscle etc...How bad is it really
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replied March 20th, 2017
I know this response is a little late in coming to you, but here are a few thoughts for what they're worth:

I understand very well, the anxiety you experience over the prospect of this surgery. I experienced this same anxiety. By nature, I am someone who reads and researches an issue, trying to consider evidence, prof'l and patient perspectives and experience, and all options and alternatives. While it does make sense to do this (you, after all, have the most at stake in any decision of what to do), a downside can be that you can scare yourself silly, reading accounts of chronic problems and complications. I know I did.

I'm not at all dismissing the fact that problems can and do occur, and my heart truly goes out to those who experience issues. They occur. But for me, the more I review first hand accounts and prof'l literature and statistics, the more reluctant I became to take any action whatsoever. I just wanted to not think about it any more.

I have a few earlier posts essentially asking the question you ask: what should I do? Adding to my hesitation, was that I was also experiencing some other (unrelated) joint pain, as well as some anxiety, so I was asking myself whether I could handle yet one more thing. The replies to my posts here and elsewhere were supportive and helpful, but in the end of course, you are still the one who has to make the decision.

I had an inguinal hernia that I might have been able to leave untreated for a time, but I was very conscious of it, and though it wasn't causing me pain (just occasional discomfort) it was a worry. So I continued to consider a repair, and finally I scheduled surgery. As the date approached nearer, out of anxiety about whether I was doing the right thing, I cancelled it and then rescheduled it for later. When the new date arrived, I more or less took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and .... did it. That was one month ago.

I had open, pure-tissue (no mesh) surgery, at my request, and with the agreement of the surgeon who had experience with both tension-free and no mesh approaches. I'll talk in another post, soon, about my recovery, but at this point I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about my outcome.

The suggestions I can make are not original; others have made similar suggestions:

1. Familiarize yourself was much as possible, with the different approaches (mesh and non-mesh) and their implications
2. Try to find a surgeon who has (a) solid experience with hernias (rather than a generalist who may only perform occasional henna repairs; a surgeon who is very knowledgeable and current with hernia repair practice;
3. Look for a surgeon who is able, willing and experienced with more than just one approach and one who is very willing to talk (rather than becoming impatient with your questions
4. Schedule a consultation with the surgeon, preparing your questions in advance, including: How many hernia repairs have you done? What approaches to do you take? What would determine your approach in my case? What do I need to be aware of (risks, post-op issues, etc.)? What has been the history with YOUR patients of post-op recovery and issues? How precautions do you take to minimize the chance of post-op issues (nerve damage, pain, etc)? How do you isolate and protect the three main nerves ... and so on. Again, other posters have written well on questions to ask.
5. Don't hesitate to find another surgeon to consult with if you are left feeling unsure or not confident about what you hear.
6. Talk the surgeons you consult with about "watchful waiting". It's an option, but in my case I ruled it out.


Again, at the end of the day, the decision still rests with you. It still wasn't easy for me to decide, even after meeting (three separate times, each time with new questions!) with my surgeon. I was searching for certainty or some form of "guarantee" - which of course you won't and can't get.

It's always going to be a bit of a leap of faith concerning what you decide to do; However,at least you can get to a point where you feel as confident as you're going to feel about the surgeon, the approach and your decision. Going into the surgery, while I felt nervous, I also felt reasonably optimistic.

Use the forums if you have further questions or just need some feedback on what your'e thinking.

(I haven't talked here about "self-healing", and I did a bit of research on this. I like the idea - there do seem to be a few success stories - but to me, it seemed unlikely.

Sorry for the rambling reply, and all the best with whatever you decide to do!
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