Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Hernia Forum

3 Days Out. Inguinal/Umbilical Hernia-Mass, Mesh, Laparoscopic

Well. It's been 3 days since my husband went in for his hernia surgery and I have spent a good chunk of time since I got him home on the internet. I always seem to come back to this forum. I figured I'd add my 2 cents to the masses because I am not happy with the information we've been given, what's readily available, or what I cannot find out at all. Only 3 days into recuperation and we are both frustrated. if this helps anyone, or someone knows information I am seeking, that's even better. Be warned. I talk/type....ALOT. I'm starting at the beginning and putting in everything I can remember, just as it happened, because we had NO clue what to expect going into this. For comparison.... My husband is a healthy 46 yr old man. He drinks beer after work socially. Rarely, he will smoke a small cigar. He is 6 Ft and 205. He hunts, walks every day, mountain bikes and golfs. Before this surgery, my husband never even had his blood drawn until 6 months ago. When he was 2 he had an emergency tracheotomy due to croup. THAT'S IT. Also, this might have to be posted in blocks as I might need to go help him. Yes, 3 days post-op he can do very little except walk. Also, I am the opposite. I have had 2 C-Sections, 11 months apart for our sons. I have had surgery on my Achilles tendon at age 15. I had facial surgery on my chin at age 10 due to a playground accident that split it. I figured even if HE didn't know what to expect, I could help him through this (Hell, they cut me hip to hip inside and out, TWICE....I thought this would be much easier).

This started appx 2 months ago. My husband was walking through the living room and all the sudden got dizzy. Felt nauseous. He got really clammy. Went and laid down for a half hour and felt fine. Later when drying off after a shower he noticed a large bulge to the side of his hip bone, a little above the groin area. No pain. But clearly a bulge. The next morning I called his Doctor and made an appointment. The next 3 days, the bulge got smaller, then bigger, sometimes it even looked like it was gone! She confirmed, he indeed, had an Inguinal Hernia. A week later, a trip to a general surgeon confirmed not only that one but also an umbilical hernia. We scheduled surgery.

10/23/13 was our op date. We called the night before and got a 1PM check-in time. The next morning, the hospital called and pushed us back to 3PM. We checked in at 2:30 and made our way through what seemed like a fast food checkout line. We even got a round plastic button that buzzes when it is our turn.....to be shown to a secretary for check-in (I still prefer a steak dinner when I have a round plastic button that buzzes for my turn!). From there we went in an elevator and were greeted by a man (a butler??!!) who gave us a card with a number on it. My husbands ended in 122. Yes, from here out he was a number, they even took his name. We waited until 3:30PM when a large burly male nurse came and took him away. #122 turned yellow for Pre-Op.

4PM the butler man took us back to see him. His gown was already covered in blood. Apparently my husband's a bleeder. This was no "take your blood" needle. He had an IV line inserted into the inside of his elbow area and was getting ready. His Dr came in and told us it would take 1 hour and 15 minutes. At the most 1 Hour 45 minutes. Me & my inlaws chatted with him until the anesthesiologists assistants came to wheel him away. (I thought medical training took YEARS? I did not see any nurses over the age of 20?) They popped a lovely blue cap on his head and away he went. 15 minutes later #122 turned green for Intra-Op. It was 4:30PM.

Time passed. I walked my mother in law outside for a smoke. We came back in and waited some more. Of the 16 numbers on the screen, they dwindled down to 14. 13. 10. 9. At 6:45PM I asked the butler man if something was going on we should know about? After all, it was 60 minutes after the best time, and 30 after the worst that the Dr had given us. We were informed that they may have started late. Wait until 3 hours and then he would call the operating room. (Yes, the butler man has magical phone call powers to contact anyone, anywhere, associated with surgeries!). 6:50PM #122 turned blue for Post-Op. The Dr came out and told us everything was fine. He fixed both hernias. And SURPRISE! He also removed a mass. I wish I could give you the name of the mass, but that was a very long day and I don't remember, sigh. I want to say he called it Varicocele, but until I talk to him and verify.... He DID say it was a common fatty mass on the left side. We were told to wait for another hour for my husband to wake.

Back to the screen. Which now has only 4 numbers on it. #122 being the 3rd one down. 2 being white, they never showed up. Only one other person was in the waiting room with us now. Sidenote. Snickers and Doritos in a vending machine do NOT look appetizing when you've not eaten for 24 hours. I debated going to the cafeteria to get a sandwich for myself AND my husband. Who'd not eaten anything since 9PM Tuesday night. My Father in Law has spent a LOT of time in hospitals this year having surgery and told me not to bother. They'd feed him that night when he's awake and hungry. 8PM the butler man called us to go back and see him. Only TWO of us this time. Me & my mother in law went back.

As we entered, there were 3 beds with patients curtained off besides my husbands. They told us they were waiting for his room for the night to be cleaned. They have 45 minutes to clean a room so it shouldn't be long. He was groggy but knew us. His belly hurt. His mother left rather shortly after that and it was just us in this little curtained cubby. Appx 8:30PM, he said he needed to go pee. The male nurse told him, he really didn't have to go. He'd had a catheter during surgery, his bladder should be empty. His heart rate was high. He was agitated. He wanted UP. And to make it worse, he wanted to get up NOW. I tried to calm him but the male nurse was the one who was successful. Once he pulled himself away from the curtain next door where he was discussing his wifes dental career with someones wife who was also a dental assistant. My husband told him AGAIN. He needed to pee. So out of exasperation, the nurse grabbed a urinal and pulled the curtain. And finally let my husband pee. Immediately his heart rate dropped back to normal. This was the first of MANY times these past 3 days, where people acted like they know EVERYTHING because they have a diploma. It was now around 9PM. We waited some more. The nurse let my husband stand up. He preferred this to laying down right from the get go. An hour rolled by. The nurse called on the room and we're now told it's being deep cleaned. By 10PM, other nurses are asking ME if I want anything. A coffee, soda, snack. 11PM. There are no other people in gurneys left in recovery. Just us. And our curtain. And our nurse, who is now telling another co-worker about his new $600,000 house he bought. They proceed to try and google photos of it online. I realize I am glad I don't have a 16 hour a day job & buy a 600K house I'll be too busy being at work to enjoy with it because clearly these 2 have NO clue how to google anything (I'll keep my smaller check & house AND my free time, thanks!). All throughout this time, my husband would be fine, but then something would set him off and he would PANIC, every 40-45 minutes or so. I could literally SEE the change in his eyes. He would start to shake his arms, as though they fell asleep and were tingling, and he'd need to MOVE right NOW. He was almost frantic. I do not know how he didn't have a full blown panic attack. Between me, or the nurse when he wasn't talking, we managed to talk him down each time. He offered him anxiety meds. No thank you. 11:30PM the phone rings and housekeeping tells the nurse our room is FINALLY ready.

For the transfer, they have 2 very small, frail, older ladies show up a bit later. (Ok....nurses are now only 20 and the people who have to push, lift and MOVE patients are 75?) We start walking down the hallway and one lady leaves to go get something she forgot. The other lady bangs him into a wall. Which sets him off again. He needs to get up NOW. The woman gives him a smart reply, like "We're moving you now, you're not going anywhere". To which he starts telling her Lady, you better get me up off this bleeping bed. We calm him down and take the ride to the 6th floor. And then his room. Where they make him walk down the hall and then to his bed. Because they are too small to move him. Thank Goodness he WANTED out of the bed! This is where we meet our night nurse.

Our night nurse is.....22 years old! She's been on the job for 6 months. My husband is now telling me his stomach AND his groin are hurting really badly. But he will not tell these young ladies. He tells her his pain level is a 5. He tells me, she only means where the incision is. Not his groin. Up to this point, we still had NO IDEA that groin pain was even a possibility. We thought....side pain, stomach pain.... THIS is what we'd be dealing with. She leaves to go get paperwork. One of the night nurses from recovery comes in. A middle aged lady who'd asked me numerous times if I wanted anything, which I declined. She apologized for the room taking almost 4 hours to be prepared and gave us a $10 gift card for any place in the hospital. She had also filed an incident report. I thought that was very nice of her and told her thank you, she didn't need to do that.

The night Nurse comes back in and immediately my husband says, I know I refused but can I have some pain meds? And thank goodness, she gives him something. We answer her questions. I give him his phone, even though he says he doesn't want it. We decline the tv and other garbage they try to make you pay for as he's supposed to be discharged in the morning. I make sure he's comfortable. It's now 12:15 in the morning. And I realize my truck is parked in a creepy parking garage. And I have NO idea where. As he's laying in bed, I'm thinking he's going to go to sleep. So I leave and go home.

Day 1 After surgery. I drop my youngest off at school at 7:30. Head home and text my husbands phone. Immediately he texts back. He's awake. He's now STARVING because they never fed him. Can I please bring food. He hasn't eaten since 9PM Tuesday. it's now Thursday morning at 8AM. I stop at Big Apple and grab an assortment of muffins & bagels because he doesn't want eggs or meat. I get to the hospital and he's being looked at by 3 women. One teacher and 2 girls that cannot POSSIBLY be out of high school yet?!?! Or maybe I'm just getting old? Tho they all look younger then my 20 yr old daughter, so...I dunno. Once they leave he tells me his stomach is fine. His testicles are screaming. Like someone took a pair of cleats and really kicked him. On the left side, same as hernia. He's been able to go pee frequently by himself. Standing by the bed, with the urinal. Because his iv is plugged in and no one told him he could unplug it. He also went at 2:30AM and needed it again at 6:30AM and almost overflowed it. Because even though the nurses were supposed to be measuring, no one had come to check or measure/empty it. When he rang the button to get it emptied, the assistant nurse gave him a spiel about needed to do her duties in order and she wasn't up to that part yet. Um...hmmmmm. We just want to get the hello out of there at this point and GO HOME. I tell him, I don't care if the day nurse is 12. He really needs to ask about this groin pain. He says also, the material feels like it's too tight. So he finally asks the new nurse on duty.

The day nurse tells us her dad just had surgery and he hated this supporter as well. That he went without. She went and looked anyways and got 2 more. Different sizes. He asks me to check what he has on. It exactly like the one she brought, a regular jock strap. They're both size large. There's also some sort of sling. Size Xl, that loops around and underneath the testicles, yet leaves the penis free. We decide to not use either, stick to what he has for now. Breakfast tray never came. I am doubly glad I brought him 2 muffins and a bagel. Even though he only ends up eating one muffin and half a bagel. And ice water. He is going through ice water like Earth is going to have a shortage soon. We sit and wait until noon for the discharge nurse. When she comes, *I* end up asking her exactly what the heck is the deal with the supporter. What purpose is it serving as it's really painful for him. We are told this:

Blood and discharge flowing away from the incision site will pool at the lowest spot. While laying flat, your scrotum ends up being this low spot and blood/fluids can get trapped here and cause pain and swelling. So use the support at least at night.

We're also told to buy stool softeners and keep taking them. Drink lots of fluids. And with all this wonderful (snicker) knowledge, they released him. We walked out. No wheelchair. We walked. Out of his room. Elevator down. Through the main building. Down a long corridor. Through another building. Through an atrium with cafeteria & Pharmacy (Where I stopped to use the $10 gift card on stool softener & 3 dt cokes as they had nothing like juice for my husband. Just soda and candy, go figure!). Finally we get to the parking garage where we saw the only wheelchair since we'd left his room. Go figure. The ride home was painful. Every grunt from him brought back memories from my own trip home with a cut up gut. I know how it hurts and I felt sorry for him.

1:30PM Thursday, we're finally home. He begs me to look at the damn support. This is when we realize..... the damn nurse put it on INSIDE OUT. All the seams and plastic pieces of the tags were scraping and rubbing and causing chaos. So far everything was looking normal. His 3 incisions were red where the scalpel went in but not much swelling. Very little bruising. Normal skin color. We alternated walking with Lazy-Boy. We have a very high sleigh bed. it's darn near impossible for him to get into now. The couch is too flat. Thank goodness I just bought this lazy boy this summer. It works really well to keep his legs bent. His testicles are still very painful. Especially when he walks or sits down. This is what we deal with on Thursday.

Friday. He wakes up, gets out of bed and cannot move. His testicles are swollen and tight. Even though we've kept the stupid supporter on that he hates. I put him back in bed and grab ice. Then a bag of frozen corn. Then a bag of frozen peas. Pain meds are now doing little to nothing, even though we have been waiting longer then the 4 hours between each. They make hardly ANY difference. There is NO ebb and flow to pain relief. It's always there, always at the same level no matter when he takes the pills. His lymph nodes on his neck are now swollen. His head and neck hurt badly when he tries to lay flat. I call the DR. They tell me all this is normal. Nothing they can do but if he's still in pain by Monday come in to the office. He's still not gone to the bathroom for #2 but his belly's not hurting so we're not worried about that yet. Remember he hadn't ate for a LONG time. He now coughs for the first time since he's gotten out of surgery. Annnnnnd blood starts oozing out of his belly button. I grab gauze and cover it again. We repeat the frozen veggies on his groin/stomach though the day. The testicles swell again everytime we take more then an hour break from the ice. He says the pain is on the bottom, underneath and is constant. No matter if he's moving or still. Nighttime, he's fed up with the frozen veggies AND the stupid support. He refuses both and goes to bed.

Today, Saturday. We wake at 9am. He says it feels a little better. His testicles are not as badly swollen as yesterday. The belly button is still oozing. Enough so that if left uncovered, it drips onto the floor after a while. Not bleeding, it's veeeery slow. Faint red and clear though, so we are leaving it be for now and watching it. The sight where the hernia first popped out, below his incisions, to the inside of his left hip, above the groin has now swollen. Even though we've been icing everything from testicles up to belly button for 2 days, in intervals. His right leg has started seizing. I am assuming because it hurts to use his left leg, as it moves the testicles, so he's been using his right leg mostly. It's 8PM now and as yet, still no bathroom #2. We've been using the stool softeners as prescribed. He refuses an enema. We tried warm OJ. I don't know if it's because he's nervous or because now he won't eat again. He's afraid since nothings coming out, he doesn't want to put anything in. So he hasn't eaten today at all. He says now the left side, at the base of the penis has piercing pains, like stabbing knife pains. Still pain meds are not working. Ice works for a few minutes with pain, then sometimes gets very irritating. Great for swelling, it makes an immediate difference when you look at the skin. He's longing to lay on his side but cannot yet. I told him maybe tomorrow, if pains not too bad, he can hug the body pillow tight to his stomach and try rolling onto his side. It worked for me with my c-section so I have hopes this might bring him a little relief. And when he leans to his side to lay flat (due to the neck pain he can't just lay flat down) he says nothing hurts. Alright. I'm sorry it was so long. He's asking for dinner so I'm going to shut up and hurry while he's willing to eat.
Did you find this post helpful?
First Helper Aliforever
|

replied October 28th, 2013
It's now Monday. 5 days out. Yesterday was horrible. He could barely walk. Sitting was excruciating. The lump that showed itself Sunday night where the original bulge was is still here. Larger or smaller depending on when it was last iced, but still clearly present. The testicle swelling is mostly nonexistent now. Still using the jock strap off and on, whatever feels better at the time. At one point, around 1PM yesterday, He was stuck for over an hour, standing. I called the oncall surgeon as that's what his office told me to do. This was useless as the oncall surgeon for the weekend only deals with breasts. No, I am not lying. She only deals with surgery on the breast. When I told her the symptoms and how he cannot sit, she says "So what? He's been standing for over 24 hours?" A complete witch. You can be assured if I or my family/friends ever have need of a breast surgeon, she will NOT be on the list. When I said the pain pills have zero effect on the pain. She stop, So stop taking them. This is when I decided we were doing the enema on the off chance the intestines or something was pushing against the surgery site. The angels sang because that worked. I have NO clue why, as my pain after C-section was all in my lower back when I needed to go. For my husband it was all in the groin, base of the penis. I would have never thought that was the problem. Belly button incision is still seeping.

Today, Monday. Day 5. It's been somewhat better today. He went #2 twice with no help from pills or enema. The bulge at original site is still there. The pain at the bulge is still present. Sometimes causing sitting down to be almost impossible. Belly button is seeping but seems to be tapering off. Glue on incisions is now starting to peel off. We've gauzed and taped it (when he's wearing a shirt, not all the time) so it doesn't get stuck and rip off. Frozen peas and corn are still his best friend. On accident today, we found out all his boy parts still work. Not to get into detail, but when waking this morning it just kind of happened. Habit maybe. Before we really were awake and knew it, it was done and over. He assures me sex was not painful in any way shape or form. He's just glad it all still works. He's started complaining about his left testicle feeling like it is hanging loose (Yesterday is when he brought it up first). He says mostly it's annoying as he's not used to it being where it currently is and it's getting unintentionally knocked, which is painful. If things do not improve with the lump/pain, I am NOT calling the surgeons office as I think they're useless at this point. I will be calling his normal doctor and telling her WHY I am calling her and not him. She is the one who recommended this surgeon (with 25+ years experience in hernias, no less) in the first place as well. (And yes, she will be getting an earful about the breast surgeon as well).
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 1st, 2013
Friday, Nov 1. 9 days post op. He's still having pain. Not constant anymore thank goodness. Small swelling remains over the original bulge. Testicle pain has returned with a vengeance but only when going to sit or when they are touched. Frozen peas remain our best friends. He's still complaining of them feeling like they are lower then they were before surgery. Heading out to bowling alley to watch the team he USED to bowl with before this happened. 1st real trip outside the house in TEN DAYS. Still rather angry no one told us to expect any of this OR what to do once we got home. Do not think he will be going back to work Wednesday. Will be extending medical at least another week or two come Wednesday. Called his surgeons office and told them about last weekends fiasco. They apologized and wanted him to see yet a THIRD surgeon at their office. We declined and are waiting on HIS surgeon appt on Monday.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 4th, 2013
After surgeon appt Monday, Nov 4th. 12 days post op. The doctor drained a vial and a smidge more of blood/fluid from the bulge where the original hernia was. He said that when they operate it causes an air pocket and the body fills it with whatever it can, be it blood from surgery, fluid, scar tissue. So....it took him about 2 minutes to numb and then drain it. It's still swollen like heck but as he put in a vial worth of numbing stuff I am not surprised. My husband asked why so much testicle pain? The doctor (Who graduated med school in 77 and then became a surgeon in 84) told him basically that the nerves attached to the testes run all the way up through the scrotum into the abdomen. When repairing a hernia, the surgeon has to untwine the hernia from the nerves, move the nerves aside and then insert the mesh. This can bruise the nerve. (And in worst case scenarios damage it, giving men pain for the long term). Then *I* asked why would one side of the testicles feel like it may be lower then it was pre-surgery. The answer is that over time, the testicle may have gradually risen with the hernia. They do NOT cut anything to do with the groin, so NO they did not cut one loose. It all has to do with how they move the nerve bundle while doing surgery and how it then repositions once free of the hernia and the mesh is in place. (My husband didn't have the mesh that splits around this nerve bundle, so that may be different for you!) I'm hoping tomorrow brings some relief FINALLY for him. He also got the ok to go back to light duty work next Monday. I really do love this Doctor, he's very nice, knowledgeable and has an amazing bedside manner.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 24th, 2013
Hi sounds like you been through the mill , I had a hernia op on the 12th nov 13 a triple one just above my right testical my scar is the length of my wife's C section scar, I had mesh put inside which I felt the surgeon stitch it to me & also felt him cutting me twice, I can say I did swear at him & al most jumped off the table, this was done under a local & not general,
Just 1 question did your husband feel any burning sensation a few days into recovery it just feels like a open cut and you pour aftershave into it burning like hell , I hope all is well now with you both
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 24th, 2013
Hey there, Yes he had the burning and still does. Today actually, he said to him it feels like (What he thinks it would feel like) if the mesh or something was moving around and slicing inside. The Dr has checked it out and says everything looks normal and these are normal feelings. Best of luck to you!!!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 25th, 2013
Many thank for your quick reply ,, I was just worried that there was something wrong inside , hope all goes well with recovery your end thank you
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Must Read
We review the definition of a hiatal hernia, what causes it, and types of hernias in this Introduction to Hiatal Hernia....
Do you know the difference between a small and large hiatal hernia? Know when to seek medical help? Hiatal hernia symptoms and more here....
Hiatal hernias are diagnosed clinically. But what lab tests and procedures can help confirm hiatal hernia? We review the medical exams here....