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right inguinal hernia open repair recovery journal (Page 1)

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Hello all,

I am 4 hours post-op right now sitting at my desk in a good deal of pain. The surgery itself was quick, I remember getting the IV and the next thing I knew I woke up in the recovery area. It is a sharp pain that hurts the most when bending or shifting positions. Sitting, lying down, or walking (slowly) is okay. They have me on percocet and I am using ice packs. I cannot shower for two days.

Before my surgery, I talked with the surgeon about the problems some people have with mesh and nerve damage etc. He said he knows of the problems and is extra careful to move the nerves out of the way and avoid any complications. I trust him, and I have to be honest the things I read online scared me more than anything. I know it is still quite early after surgery, but I did a quick check of my parts down there and I have no nerve burning or anything and nothing feels weird.

I will write once a day this week and then update as needed after that.
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replied May 24th, 2012
Well, it is near 5am and I just had some percocet. I set my alarm for every four hours to take some pain meds. Urination has gotten easier as time has gone on, but the past two times I got up to go to the bathroom I felt lightheaded and dizzy by the time I got back to bed. I am not sure if this is because of pain, because I haven't had much to eat (goldfish, crackers, and tomato soup) or a combination of the two.

Any movement is still quite painful. I have to say, like others, I completely underestimated the amount of pain. I thought it would feel like a pulled muscle...it does not. More like a knife stuck in the flesh that gets twisted when you move. I am not looking forward to trying to poop, but that's why I have been eating soup and taking stool softener. Even before my surgery I was constipated so I am used to it by now.

Again, I have no weird burning or what feels like nerve damage, just pain around the incision. More to follow later today.
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replied May 24th, 2012
Experienced User
Best of luck in your recovery. I hope the one question you asked your surgeon was what he will do for you if you experience chronic groin pain months after his procedure. Sometimes you have to be even direct to ask if he will be willing to remove the mesh if you request it. It seems more and more patients are afraid to ask the tough questions of doctors and hold them accountable, but as I tell everybody I speak to - you are your ONLY best advocate for your own healthcare. Again, best of luck on a quick recovery.
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replied May 24th, 2012
Well I woke up this morning and I am in much less pain than last night, I can walk and go up and down stairs pretty well. I feel no burning nerve pain so I am hoping for the best. I feel like the reason this forum is so negative is because only people with problems post. Those of us who are doing well need to make our voices heard to help prospective patients. I was so scared because of the posts talking about chronic burning pain, and so far I am fine. If a nerve was pinched in the mesh, I would have felt it by now. Best of luck to everyone,
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replied May 24th, 2012
Experienced User
"If a nerve was pinched in the mesh, I would have felt it by now"

Not necessarily. I won't assume to know how much research you have done on this but alot of times, people start to recover quite normally, with some lingering pains. Then, months later, usually 6-24 months later, people start to experience chronic low-to-high grade pain on a daily basis because maturing scar tissue has entrapped the nerve. Only time will tell if you are one of the lucky ones. I, too, was quick to pronounce victory after my hernia surgery, only to have the pain come roaring back 8 months later. Let's hope you have a long-term pain-free recovery. Best of luck.
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replied May 24th, 2012
Scar tissue does does not take 6 months to develop. I am sorry you had problems but I'd blame your surgeon and or your lack of movement after the operation. My father and grandfather both have had open hernia repairs with mesh and are doing fine, as are most people. Like I said earlier, this board is 85% negative because only those with bad experiences post.
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replied May 24th, 2012
Today has been a good day. I have walked throughout the house with only moderate pain taken care of by Aleve. Urination is back to normal although I have not pooped yet (although that is possibly because all I have had for the past four days is tomato soup). I am still a little swollen but I am confident tomorrow will be even better.
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replied May 25th, 2012
I woke up this morning feeling even better yet again. Compared to the afternoon I got home (almost 48 hours ago) it is incredible. I could barely get in and out of bed then, not that pain is really more of a discomfort. I had my first bowel movement, it was small but not too painful. The things that hurt the most right now are laughing, coughing, or sneezing. Later today I get to take the bandage off. Swelling is way down too.
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replied May 25th, 2012
Just took the bandage off. I have a 3 inch incision covered with butterfly stitches. The gauze had minimal blood, just dabs every few millimeters and it smells fine so no infection. The famous "healing ridge" is not painful to the touch. All seems well.

Shifting position (from lying/sitting/standing) and coughing/sneezing/laughing are still slightly painful. Wearing pants is also uncomfortable. Everything else seems fine. I see the surgeon for my first post-op checkup on Tuesday.
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replied May 26th, 2012
I had my first normal bowel movement today, didn't hurt. Again, my pain in all areas is slightly less today than yesterday. I will post after my post-op appointment on Tuesday.
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replied May 28th, 2012
Hernia repair
Hello whodatbe. Thank you for your detail description. I'm schedule to have my repair on June 8th, now more calm and relax. I only read bad comments as well, really scary.
Thanks again.
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replied May 28th, 2012
You're welcome man, I wrote this exactly because of that. Finding this forum scared the hell out of me before my surgery, I only read a few people with positive things to say. I deduced that this was because most people with good results never even think to share their experience. That said, it is important to research the surgery, shop around for a well regarded surgeon, and limit your chances for complications after by following the doctor's orders.

Today I feel probably 75% back to normal but I will avoid all strenuous activity until told otherwise. Good luck to you man, it will be all good Smile
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replied May 29th, 2012
I just got back from my first post op appointment. The doctor was very happy with my recovery so far, as am I. The incision is healing nicely and the pain has mostly subsided. I will see him in a few weeks and then that's it. To everyone out there worried about this surgery, don't take all the negative posts on this board as your fate. I was nervous reading them too. Make sure to shop around and be comfortable with your surgeon and all will be fine. Godspeed,
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replied May 30th, 2012
Congrats!
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replied May 30th, 2012
wvk, your post helped me get over the anxiety before my surgery, so I just want to say thank you and you are partly why I wanted to write my own!
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replied August 1st, 2012
Just to chime in with my experience, having read many dreadful stories online about the surgery needed to repair the problem, I was concerned about the pain during recovery and possible side effects. My doctor and his staff did a great job explaining the procedure and answering my questions. The surgery itself was smooth and my recovery quick. I was off the heavier pain pills within 48 hours and off Tylenol in three days. When I had questions afterwards, his staff was available to answer questions and setup a post-op appointment. Side effects were minimal and I was back up, walking around and feeling great less than a week after the surgery.

It's been two weeks now and I'm up to walking 2.5 miles/day. During the post-op, my doctor said to hold off one more week on jogging. I'm looking forward to getting back in to it without the pain I was feeling previously.
If anyone is facing surgery and is looking for a doctor, I would highly recommend Joseph P Muldoon, M.D. with NorthShore Medical Group in Chicago. He did a great job getting me back to good health quickly.
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replied August 1st, 2012
Great news man! I am now 10 weeks post op and I am feeling pretty great. I'd say I am 85% back to normal. I haven't been taking OTC pain meds for maybe 3-4 weeks. I still am careful with what I lift because anything over 20 pounds or so does cause some slight discomfort near the incision but I can walk and move just fine.

For anyone in the DC area, Doctor Stephan Evans at Georgetown Uni Hospital did my surgery and he did a great job. Easy to get an appointment and good follow up, I recommend.
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replied December 6th, 2012
My bi-lateral hernia surgery recovery
Had my open bi-lateral surgery with mesh placement Oct 16, 2012. Most of what you describe I went through. Walking every hour for 10-15 mins every day helped me alot + icing. I can't take narcotics so was on a muscle relaxer and extra strength tylenol for about 10 days. Am 8 weeks post op and am still somewhat sore at times - later on in the day and from sitting at a desk all day leaning forward. No major pains - just sore "inside" the incision area at times but goes away fairly quickly. Also some minor nerve / muscle twinges as things heal and go back into place. No lifting over 20 lbs yet as I want to wait a couple more weeks at least and take it slow. Don't want to go through it again but honestly it isn't as terrible as most post I have read. It is a mjor surgery and you will be sore for a while! Good luck to all in your surgeries and recoveries!
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replied June 26th, 2013
Hi, I had my inguinal hernia repair yesterday, it was open surgery. I'm feeling good, a little pain when I move in certain positions but overall I was expecting more pain. I just took some tylenol with codeine this morning. I think I could do it without medicine at all but if it helps a little why not take it. Smile
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replied September 14th, 2013
Open Inguinal Hernia Repair and Recovery
Hi all, I thought I'd add my positive comments too.

I'm 4 days post op, open repair surgery and have been really surprised by how little discomfort I've experienced. Pain killers regularly for 2 days but intermittently day 3 and none so far today. Moving relatively easy with the occassional spike of pain, going for a walk with the dog this morning first time out of he house.

Supposed to be off work for 2 weeks which looks like will get boring! Waiting to get back to running, yoga and surfing is going to need patience!

Kev (50) Wales UK
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replied September 29th, 2013
my procedure is this thursday, coming up, and I want to thank everyone on this thread for their positive information. my anxiety has been going up, but hearing about good outcomes has been encouraging.
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replied November 29th, 2013
looks like experiences vary greatly. I am in third week recovery from double inguinal hernia repair. This forum is helpful, I'm also sharing lots in numerous related threads. I dreaded having this done too, but it has to be done you know, just do it. I had lots of the pain and side effects described, especially the fluid buildup in scrotum. Having a wonderful wife nursing me through week one was key to surviving. At my two week post op checkup three days ago my Dr. explained that I was a little difficult in surgery, as an athlete (swimmer) my core muscles were bigger and tougher to work through and around. This is why I have more pain than most, he says. The comment about avoiding comedy TV is exact. Do not laugh or cough or sneeze for the first two weeks. A tip I'm glad I got: keep a sippy cup of cranberry juice handy, anytime you feel like you want to cough or clear your throat, take a sip, it will relieve that urge. Feel a sneeze coming, pinch your nose and breathe deep and quick through mouth. Good luck guys, go easy and don't overdo it. Lay back and recover, take your time.
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replied February 17th, 2014
this is my third day after my open hernia operation, this time the right side, three years ago was the left side. I havent needed any pain meds at all today and can walk slowly around the house, i will be back on light duties in a day or two, this recovery has been the same as the last time
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replied May 16th, 2014
I just spent 20 minutes posting my experience, but when i was prompted to register for the site, my post was lost. I had a positive experience and a pretty good post-surgical recovery, played 18 holes of golf two days in a row two weeks after my open surgery for inguinal hernia, done with mesh. I'm happy to post details if anybody would like to hear about my experience. I was pretty freaked out by what I was reading, and considered canceling my procedure, but I'm glad I went through with it. I'm now three weeks post-op, and playing 18 holes again today. Good luck to all.
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