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I was recently (Sept 09) diagnosed with an inguinal hernia

I am very concerned about the surgery, post op pain, and loss of my ability to have a normal life after this surgery. I am 49 years old, never been sick, never even been in a hospital before, never mind on a table under a knife! I have read so much about folks having chronic pain after surgery; I would like to learn more about what the typical experience has been with the implant.

For the folks who have an implant (flat mesh or plug), to what degree do you notice (either regarding pain, tightness, lump etc) the implant itself in everyday living? Do you feel the implant every time you bend down, walk or get out of bed in the morning? If so, do you feel the implant all the time or just some of the time?

What about your general heath and wellbeing? Do you experience any numbness, tingling, burning, and/or groin pain? Would you do the same surgery over again?

Thanks in advance for any comments that you can send me, and if possible can you say what kind of hernia and implant you have.
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replied April 26th, 2010
Approximately 3 to 5 percent of patients who undergo inguinal hernia repair do experience either intermittent or chronic groin pain. The rest of such patients generally do very well.

Currently, the "standard of care" for inguinal hernias is to use a mesh implant (with or without a plug), as this offers the lowest risk of hernia recurrence.

Sincerely/ Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

A landmark, evidence-based guide to a healthy cancer-prevention lifestyle, based on cutting-edge cancer research.
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replied April 27th, 2010
Thanks for your reply, but I was looking to hear from folks who actually have an implant. Do you have an implant? I want to get feedback from people that have to live everyday with the implant and see what their experiences are regarding noticing the implant itself.

Also I disagree with your post surgical pain and complication figures. After reviewing the medical literature I have come to the conclusion that hernia surgery (open or Lap, using the polypropylene mesh implant or not), has a significant probability (greater then the 3-5% figure) that you quote.

I have located a number of articles that reference the observed rates of chronic pain occurrence.

Pain Following the Repair of an Abdominal Hernia
Surg Today (2010) 40:8–21

Two excerpts are from the above article:

After 1 year, the incidence of light to moderate pain following inguinal hernia repair is as high as 10% and 2% for severe disabling chronic pain.

In fact, chronic pain appears to be more common in comparison to recurrence of the hernia. Following an inguinal hernia repair procedure, greater than 30% of the patient population complained of varying degrees of pain that persisted for at least 1 year postoperatively. Of these patients, 6%–20% were affected in their daily activities.

Prophylactic Ilioinguinal Neurectomy in Open Inguinal Hernia Repair
Ann Surg (2006) 244: 27–33

Excerpt from the above article:

Chronic groin pain is a significant problem following open inguinal hernia repair, with a reported incidence ranging from 19% to 62.9%. Although the pain is often mild in nature, quality of life studies have shown that chronic pain, irrespective of severity, can significantly interfere with normal daily activities. Moreover, the condition can sometimes be debilitating and treatment is often difficult and challenging.

Chronic postoperative pain: the case of inguinal herniorrhaphy
Br J Anaesth 2005; 95: 69–76

Excerpt from the above article:
It appears from this updated review that even a relatively small operation such as inguinal herniorrhaphy may be followed by a risk of a chronic pain state in about 12% of patients, with clinically significant effects on daily activities. Thus, the risk of a chronic postherniorrhaphy pain state may be the most important outcome variable to consider in hernia surgery, as current methods of treatment have not been effective.
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replied August 7th, 2010
I too am alarmed at the levels of post surgical pain following surgery for Inguinal Hernia.

Are there any new studies due to report soon on the outcomes of the use of new lightweight mesh and the non suturing of mesh?

Does anyone know the reasons for the development of such chronic post op pain following Hernia surgery?

I would be grateful for any more info on this or personal experiences of people who have been through the op.

Thanks in advance.
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replied November 21st, 2010
Bad Mesh :(
Kudos for looking into this procedure. Wish I did (had it at 29 yrs old- now I'm 37), but the surgeon didn't explain the side effects or anything of the sort. Said I should be able to resume normal activity in 2- 3 weeks. The problem is these guys sit on there ass or stand - the standing is physical labor to them. They can't wrap their head around climbing ladders, crawling under houses, lifting, pulling, and pushing great weight with your entire body. They just don't get it. They're overinflated lab guys.

Now , if I didn't have to do anything of the sort I imagine I'd be ok. But they outpatient it and encourage the walking right away - so a TON of things could've gone wrong there. They don't encourage rehab - and it is definitely needed to determine how well the implant is working. We're not Doctors -thats their job.

I did notice problems starting after a year, and they've increased year by year. The short of it being the current medical system we have (or the one I have access to) doesn't work for cases like mine. Changes in insurance mean changes in doctors, or lack of it. Right now I cannot perform ANY physical activity, or severely limit it (after 5 years of bad I learned what not to do - no thanks to unhelpful physicians). But if i was smart back then and researched the types that could be used - JUST the flat mesh would have the best success - I have the eyelet type which obviously a woman with control issues made to wrap around the vessel and nerve bundle running into your "junk" - do not get this type. If I can manage to get it redone - the flat type will scar the least into the surrounding tissues and organs. Do a search on hernia implant recalls and you'll see what I've run into.There's a Hernia repair specialist I didn't make it up to in Charleston, SC - yellow page lookup and he's got a good website too.

Good luck Smile
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replied March 29th, 2011
A friend of mine has a very large Abdominal hernia which has been repaired three times with mesh and unfortunately the large hernia is back to the point he looks like he is hiding a couple of soft balls under his shirt I will grant the fact he is over weight ...and all belly ....but the hernias are so bad ...and I fear they will perf if left this way....most ohysicians do not wnatto repair them AGain I am asking you if there is anyone in New York who may have a new technique amd may be willing to tackle this mess.. The subject is a 60 yrs old male who is post CAB about 15 years ( quad repair) need to help him to find the medical person who can tackle this and get it done corectly oe despite my saving his left almost 15 years ago ...he will die of these hernia's I await uour response Maggie N Registered Nurse
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replied June 10th, 2011
My son (who is now 10 years old) had implants put in him in May 2010, he had hernias right above his male parts and the doctors had never cought it before his apendix went and had to have them removed. The surgeon put this mesh in him because he didn't know what else to do at the time. My son spent the next year in massive pain, couldn't do anything physical because it was literally destroying him on the inside. The dr swore this was a rare reaction and due to the fact that he was still growing they said that was the cause. So just last month they went in and removed the mesh, and placed human tissue in there instead. Drs said that he should start feeling 100% better soon however its been over a month and he is still in extreme pain. So I am not a huge fan of anything that has to do with mesh or the drs who use them. Just my opinion sorry not trying to scare you, I know it might be completely different in an adult however from the people I have talked to about this, in a lot of cases it is actually the same problems encountered that my son has been suffering through
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replied February 2nd, 2012
I can't believe a surgeon would place a prosthetic material in your 10yr old son! It is common practice to just use absorbable suture to close the defect at a child age. But to use a biologic prosthesis is crazy? Like you mentioned your son is still growing and the pain he is feeling may be from the tissue or muscle pulling on the material or other factors to take into consideration may also be from sutures that have been tied off around the nerves or blood vessels. In more important question was the repair performed Laparoscopic or open?
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replied August 5th, 2011
This is MY story...
This is MY story...
Men have three bad spots for hernias - two where the blood goes through the abdominal wall down to the groin (just above and right/left of the groin), and the belly button.
My worst spot was the right side groin. Not serious, but annoying. I went to the surgeon and he said it would be best to fix all three now with a mesh.
So in Jan 2011, at the age of 49, I had my very first surgical procedure done (about noonish on a Tuesday).
They pumped me full of air and put in some TV cameras!
I was awake by 3:00 - some pain, but tolerable.
I came right out the anesthesia fully awake. By 6:00, I'm on my way home.
The Dr gave me a prescription for Oxycontin, but never used it. The first two nights I just took Tylenol PM. After that, nothing.
By Monday I was back at work - moving gingerly, but able to get around pretty good.
At work, I am a programmer, sitting most of the day. I think putting in a window-unit A/C caused the problem, so around the house, I am still careful about what I do or lift.
Every once in a while I get a feeling like my belly button is bruised, but nothing from the other two spots.
I am one size bigger in the waist now - NEW PANTS!
They pump you full of air (I think nitrogen), and it takes a while for your body to get rid of it. I mean months!
If anyone is contemplating this decision, I have no regrets doing it the way I did.
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replied December 25th, 2013
Hi i'm considering an inguinal op but a little concerned of the after affects, did you go private? Thanks
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replied October 1st, 2012
Painful Hernia Repair
Just over a year ago, I had surgery to repair several incisional hernias (4) that ran along and under an incision left from an emergency appendectomy. (Yes, it had burst.)
There is not a moment that I do not feel the mesh in my stomach. It feels, at best, like a very tight girdle under my skin. Sometimes I have difficulty sleeping at night because of the pain. I can only eat small meals or my upper tummy really hurts. If I have gas, the pain can be intense. This is NOT fun.
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replied October 2nd, 2012
pelvic mesh implant (hernia or POP / sling) problems
If you have had a hernia or POP/sling repair with mesh and don't seem to be getting the help you need, search on facebook for "Fighters and Survivors of Hernia and all vaginal pelvic surgical mesh" ; A support group that can at least push you in the right direction.

With current solid studies and reporting of adverse events to the FDA - at least 1 in 10 plastic mesh implants (hernia or female pelvic) will experience life altering symptoms. If your just looking for info after being diagnosed with an abdominal issue, don't agree to surgery without first looking up info on the device the surgeon wishes to use. Ask for specifics where possible. People are being implanted with these devices without Informed Consent (being made aware of all the side effects and alternative treatments ; warnings like meds or tobacco have - but are not given for these medical devices).
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replied August 1st, 2013
Mesh Hernia issues.
I had a mesh implant hernia repair, big hernia i had had for 12 years. I had the surgery in 1993 or 94, I forget which one. The hernia was on the left side right above my testicles. I was up moving around the same day. The first couple of weeks back to work I had to take it easy. I was only 28 back then, but in the years since, I haven't had many problems. I get an ache in the scar area when the barometric pressure drops rapidly..don't know why, but other than that,I have been able to do strenuous lifting, pushing, etc. The surgeon had done my brothers also. He didn't have any problems either. I am currently experience a frequent urge to urinate, but don't have any prostrate issues from lab test, so I am wondering if after all these years, whether the mesh might be affecting my bladder. I am going to get a checkup from a urologist to see what they think. Other than that, I am a supporter of the mesh implant. Just take a good amount of time, lift properly for the first year, and try to be cognizent of how you lift. I have tried to do that for the last 19 or 20 years, and no problems.
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replied January 1st, 2016
Iguinal Hernias
Hi, I just had bilateral hernias meshed one month ago. Other than the acffects of the morphine that I guess my body does not like, I feel fine. I took it easier post-op than the surgeon told me. It is my body, I do not want to go through this surgery again to repair something that i may have caused by doing too much too soon. So far, I have been really good BUT going forward when I have assumed normal activities, I will see whether anything crops up. I am a little uncertain what all i will be able to do. I am 57 years of age and generally in good health. The hernias were discovered this past summer when I was finally getting off my butt and being more active. Did I go too hard too fast and that caused the hernias? I don't really know for certain but i don't think it did. Nobody can tell me one way or the other. The hernias are/were located just above the pubic bone (bilateral meaning on each side).
So far, so good though. I want to be able to get back on the ball diamond, ride my bike, play racquet sports, etc. Fingers crossed.
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replied March 12th, 2016
I am not for the use of hernia mesh implants, I suffered with horrible daily pain for over twenty years because they used mesh in my surgeries,they never informed me upfront that they were going to use it.My body was rejecting it from start, no one would listen when I asked if it could be removed right after the is the same mesh that is used in gynecological surgeries,which there are thousands of lawsuits for right now in 2016.
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