Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Hernia Forum

Hernia Pain, Symptom Relief And Healing!!! (Page 2)

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Chronic pain affects more than 70 million Americans. But what is pain? And how can pain management help relieve different types of pain? Basic facts here....
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Acute and chronic pain manifest different symptoms. Learn the difference here and know when to seek medical help for pain....

July 3rd, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
The other bio "mesh" is called Surgisis.
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replied July 3rd, 2008
To Artie
I am sad to say that I am not one of the lucky implatees of mesh. I have had mine removed after having it me for 2 years. The damage that was left behind from the Perfix Plug and patch was so immense that I have now been diagnosed with RSD/CPRS, which is a chronic nerve condition with no cure and great possibilites of it getting worse. I now wear a portable T.E.N.S unit up 16 hours a day and I am still taking pain medication. I to have been researching for many years and I find it absolutely hoorifying that all the doctors world wide know of these mesh complications but continue to implant these products. I do understand that "WE" the sufferers of these products are the minority as there has been more positive results from the use of mesh than the horrible complications because of them, but the fact remains they do create really bad complications and something needs to be done about it. I just don't understand why the medical field will not put all the cards on the table when speaking with a potential hernia patient, there are alternatives to mesh implants. When I finally was able to find a surgeon who knew what was happening to me, he was able to remove the implant and do a modified shouldice repair without mesh. By the time of my mesh removal the damage had already been done, the surgeon told me that if I had found him sooner all of this would have been or could have been prevented but, with the plug and patch being in me for so long he told me my groin was a horrible mess. I had a 3 inch tear in the pelvic floor with many more smaller rips and tears thruout the entire region. He also told me that what he took out equated to a piece of concrete because that is how hard it had transformed itself. Now I live in daily pain and trying to find a way to live with what I have and what has been done. I have visited many sites and it really is staggering to see the many people who are suffering By these implants I only wish for all the others that all of their suffering would come to an end. It is to late for me but by me coming to these sites and maybe offering a litlle bit of information about these products, I may just help someone and they won't have to live like The others who live in constant pain.
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Users who thank GDSM for this post: ^Serenity^ 

replied July 9th, 2008
mesh tragedy
You have my deepest, most sincere understanding and support. It is beyond tragic that something that was introduced to help people is resulting in such suffering. Mesh has done its task in sharply reducing the number of hernia recurrences, and yes, many lucky people suffer no ill effects whatsoever (I know quite a few personally). They must be blessed.

However mesh has brought with it a large-scale nightmare. The mesh problem is apparently so common that there is now a whole field of medical practice revolving around "mesh removal" (!).

Google meshoma, mesh complications, mesh infections. There are literally endless sites covering this subject. Nobody can keep track of all the hundreds of websites, posts, etc, about this issue. It's all over the place.

Patients shouldn't have to do tons of medical research before having surgery. Surgery is meant to cure, not to cause so much pain, and we rely on professionals to do the research as that is their field, not ours.

Many people don't even know how to use the net, let alone do the very intensive technical research that seems to be required here. I often find blogs, etc, difficult to manage, and I'm "reasonably" ok with the net.

For many people, it's just not possible to do this type of research, so they trust their surgeons blindly and don't ask questions because they don't know what questions to ask.

I wish I had the answers. Right now, I'm absolutely petrified to have surgery, and am hoping & praying I can continue "watchful waiting" until something better & safer is developed. The more this is reported, the faster the medical people will act to develop a much safer procedure, and hopefully come up with decent solutions for those people who've already suffered such ill effects from mesh.

We can only hope someone out there with some real influence is reading these posts. Meanwhile, if at all possible you should contact the American (or British, or Canadian, or French, etc, etc) Hernia Association and tell them what has happened to you.
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replied January 5th, 2012
you have a lot of knowledge, why you don t contribute to wikipedia? it is far more influential than multi-million marketing from companies.
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replied January 5th, 2012
you have a lot of knowledge, why you don t contribute to wikipedia? it is far more influential than multi-million marketing from companies.
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replied July 9th, 2008
to GDSM
Hello GDSM.....
You might, if at all possible, wish to contact Dr Sedlack at the Capital Hernia Center in Washington, DC. He is a mesh removal specialist and he has made a presentation on the subject to the American Hernia Society. He is keenly aware of this issue and would probably appreciate hearing from someone like yourself who has suffered so badly from this.

You might also contact Dr Robert Fitzgibbons at Creighton University Medical.

I recently emailed Professor Andrew Kingsnorth, chair of the British Hernia Society, about my own fears regarding mesh, as well as the issue in general. Judging by his comments on several websites, he knows what's going on (although he told me he couldn't enter into a private email debate on the issue).

In 1994 a German report voiced very serious concern about the medical field not knowing the long-term outcome of plastic mesh left in the body. The doc's in that article urged the use of mesh in only 1% of cases, due to the risks involved.

I agree with you 100% about the doc's not telling patients about alternatives. The surgeon I saw most recently, while patient & very understanding, mentioned no alternatives...however he DID mention the possible complications and was honest about that. He even said that at this point, the risks outweigh the risk of "watchful waiting". (!).

In the meantime I will look into the "bio" meshes Permacol and Surgisis, which, so far, SEEM to be working out well, without provoking the massive complications associated with the plastic ones.
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replied July 25th, 2008
bio mesh
The thing with the bio mesh is that for some people the idea of having some pig flesh inside the body is unacceptable, specifically for Jews and muslims, and others who do not like the idea of it.

Maybe they could develop a bio mesh made from a patient's own flesh. I do not know enough about it to really know if it is possible, but if a person has a hernia, then maybe a sample of their tissue cells could be taken and grown in a laboratory into a bio mesh that would be completely compatible with the person it is going into.
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replied July 25th, 2008
bio mesh from person's own tissues
Hello Davidak

See this website from Germany: http://www.bio-pro.de/en/region/freiburg/m agazin/02026/index.html
This is EXACTLY what you're describing: a bio mesh cultivated from the patient's own tissues. Of course, this would be the best solution as bio-compatibility, and the chance of rejection, wouldn't be an issue. Not would any cultural considerations. You may wish to contact the people running this website.

I recall recently seeing a site about a vegetable-based bio mesh being tested in France. I'm afraid I can't find it. Meanwhile it seems worthwhile to continue looking into all experiments with bio.

I'm currently waiting for a return call from the people here in the UK who make Permacol, the porcine-based bio material. The same material in the States is called Surgisis. The human-tissue (cadaver, not live) based material is called AlloDerm (my dad recently had this implanted during a dental procedure).

I'm definitely not a doctor or a bio researcher. However, personally I believe they may prove, in the long term, much safer than plastics. So far they are showing promise in not provoking the strong foreign-body reaction associated with plastics. They are also proving to be more infection-resistant (so far).
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replied July 25th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
There are many surgeons that are speaking out against the mesh. It's a matter of the FDA listening to them and to all of us that filed adverse event reports.

As for the cadaver tissue there are many risks are involved with this.
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replied July 25th, 2008
mesh nightmare
The FDA only covers the US, sadly. Even if the FDA suddenly issued an overall warning statement, the present methods would continue everywhere outside the US for a very long time. Especially in countries with cash-starved public health services such as the NHS in the UK. These services are always DESPERATE to save money...and of course, bio materials are MUCH costlier than plastics.

Yes...I've read that the human version can be risky, and personally, I'd prefer to stay away from it. At least until a lot more research is done. Ideally, the solution would be a mesh developed from the person's own tissues, as suggested by Davidak. This would eliminate all risks of rejection & probably infection. Let's hope research into this speeds up.

I've just had a very long conversation with someone at TSL (Tissue Science Laboratories) here in the UK. They produce Permacol, the porcine-based material which is biologically cross-linked to human collagen (I'm no scientist, but that seems to be the gist).

As this lady explained, it's main current application in the UK is (very sadly) to replace infected/rejected mesh that must be removed (!). She told me all about "meshomas" -- and if you can believe it, worse. Such as plastic mesh entangling intestines, etc. She says she sees these scenarios quite often when she's called in to supply bio material as a "replacement". She knows about the denials, etc, that are going on......i.e., "synthetic mesh is inert, it can't be rejected, it's completely safe..." Etc.

She cannot understand why they don't use bio materials to start with and avoid a lot of this....but of course, as she said, it's the same old story: Money. The bio products are much more expensive, so they use the cheaper "plastic stuff" -- and then have to put the patient through the horror of replacing it when things go wrong.

She told me she asks, when she contacts a surgeon, "would you put plastic mesh into your own body?" She said that very often there is simply no reply. Meanwhile she will be emailing me a list of surgeons in the southeast of England who use it instead of plastic, and I'll be contacting them.

I recently emailed Prof Andrew Kingsnorth, top UK hernia specialist and chair of the British Hernia Society, about the mesh issue. He was kind enough to reply, saying he couldn't enter into an email debate on this. At least he replied...which indicates they do know about this.

I don't know if anyone over here files anything like "adverse-event" reports. However I would imagine if they have mesh complications they must report it "somewhere". Personally, I desperately want to avoid not only plastic mesh surgery but also the ugly politics that go along with any issue like this. Ugh. I just want to know that if/when I, or anyone I care about, requires this surgery they get a VERY safe procedure that is VERY unlikely to cause problems later on. Simple as that.

Thanks a million, Serenity, for being a VERY brave pioneer. We can only hope someone out there will finally listen.................
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replied July 25th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Artie wrote:


As this lady explained, it\'s main current application in the UK is (very sadly) to replace infected/rejected mesh that must be removed (!). She told me all about \"meshomas\" -- and if you can believe it, worse. Such as plastic mesh entangling intestines, etc. She says she sees these scenarios quite often when she\'s called in to supply bio material as a \"replacement\". She knows about the denials, etc, that are going on......i.e., \"synthetic mesh is inert, it can\'t be rejected, it\'s completely safe...\" Etc.


I believe this because I know people this has happened to not to mention myself.

Artie wrote:

I don\'t know if anyone over here files anything like \"adverse-event\" reports. However I would imagine if they have mesh complications they must report it \"somewhere\". Personally, I desperately want to avoid not only plastic mesh surgery but also the ugly politics that go along with any issue like this. Ugh. I just want to know that if/when I, or anyone I care about, requires this surgery they get a VERY safe procedure that is VERY unlikely to cause problems later on. Simple as that.


Maybe you can contact the health department in the UK or when speaking with these surgeons ask them who they report problems to such as problems with the mesh. There must be someplace similiar to the FDA.
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replied July 26th, 2008
reporting mesh problems
When I've mentioned this situation to doctors here, they basically pooh-pooh it & deny it's happening. "ok...maybe there's the odd case here & there...." Because health care here is dominated by the public NHS (although there's a growing private health care sector) it seems the mentality is somewhat different from what it is in the USA where most people pay (in one form or another). The culture of "suing" over bad medical practice simply never developed here -- or in other countries with public health services.

There's a superb UK website called Hernia Bible. Please, google it. It's all about "alternatives", thanks to this mess. On it you'll see posts & info from this country (& elsewhere). If you look in the Surgery section, you'll see the same stuff as on this website. However on the various other hernia blog-sites you'll notice how few UK posts there are, despite over 80,000 hernia operations performed here per year.

The lady I spoke with at TSL (the UK firm who make Permacol) told me their "bio" material is mainly used when plastic mesh must be removed (!). So obviously this is happening here -- and everywhere.

If you look at studies from the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Greece, etc, you'll see the same (roughly) 30% statistic for Chronic Pain Syndrome showing up everywhere. All these countries now almost exclusively employ mesh surgery. They are definitely aware of this problem -- that clearly shows up in the text of every study. However how to get them to DO something about it...... (?) that may have to start with the FDA, after which other countries may hopefully take action.
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replied July 26th, 2008
30% report chronic pain
Please see this current Swiss study: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/record/ NCT00625534
As usual, it reports an average of 30% suffering chronic pain as a result of surgery, significantly higher with open surgery than laparascopic.

See this UK study:
http://www.lapsurgeon.org/Jenkins%202008%2 0hernia%20review.pdf
It reports the exact same figure: 30%. This is outrageously high considering hernia surgery is meant to "cure", not to ruin a patient's life. Would this rate or degree of chronic suffering be seen as "acceptable" in any other surgical area?
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replied July 26th, 2008
From the same recent Swiss study:
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/record/ NCT00625534

“Chronic pain or persistent neuralgia has been recognized as a complication after inguinal hernia repair but was reported in the 1980s as a rare and infrequent condition. Studies from the mid 1990s have reported a higher frequency, with up to 50% of patients reporting pain after hernia repair more than 1 year after surgery. Chronic pain after hernia repair can be disabling, with considerable impact on quality of life.”

Is it just coincidence that the sharp reported rise in chronic pain arrived with the sharply increased use of mesh surgery in the mid-1990s?
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replied July 26th, 2008
From a recent UK study:
And this, from a recent UK study by Jenkins & O'Dwyer:

http://www.lapsurgeon.org/Jenkins%202008%2 0hernia%20review.pdf

"Chronic pain is pain that persists or occurs after normal tissue healing has taken place and can reasonably be defined as pain persisting three months after inguinal hernia repair. About 30% of patients when asked, or on completion of a confidential questionnaire, report long term pain or discomfort at the hernia repair site."

Amazing.
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replied October 27th, 2008
Inguinal hernia seems to be cured
I got a rt side inguinal hernia in March this year, shortly after trying to bench 100kg for the 1st time in 15 years. I went to a homoeopath (one who does constitutional treatments) and took her remedies for a month. As well I drank equisituum tea and took about 5 grams of vitamin C a day, and a calc-flor tissue salt tablet once a day. (The eq. tea is a herbal source of silicon). Silicon and vit C are the 2 most indicated nutritional remedies for connective tissue weakness (i'm a nutrition therapist). CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10) is an excellent supplement for oxygenating muscle cells and might be useful if you have a muscle strength deficiency, e.g. if there's some cardiovascular impairment, in which case I'd take a magnesium supplement as well (an orotate or amino acid chelate, not a simple salt like Mg -sulphate).

Also I went to a really good osteopath who advised me on simple exercises for strengthening the transverse abdominal muscles. I stopped all other exercise and stretching and lifting anything heavier than 2-3 kg for about 3 months and booked in for an operation which was to be done in September. (However by then it had improved a lot so I postponed the op for 3 months.) 'also quit my job as a slashing/mowing contractor - it involves a bit of heavy lifting and straining.

In June I started doing some mild aerobic and strength training at home (I put my gym membership & tkd class on indefinite hold when I first got the hernia). And I started lifting and doing some work on my tractor which involves a bit of straining. When doing these activities I wore a flat-pad hernia truss which I found extremely helpful. You can order these trusses from a company in England - google "the hernia bible".

Today (October 28th) I'm carrying 20kg water bottles around and lifting heavy pumps into the back of the ute without wearing the truss. I haven't worn the truss for a month. The hernia hasn't popped out since April or May. When I first got it it would pop out 10 times a day, just from walking around or standing in the shower. It stopped popping out when I started wearing a truss and stopped all aggravating activity. Then in May (I think it was) it popped out again when I tried doing some pushups without a truss, so I went back to wearing the truss for a couple of hours a day.

I forgot to mention, I prayed a lot. I'm a newly arrived Christian, born again and loving it, so I pray about everything. The homoeopath attributed the problem emotionally to a lot of distress and grief around my marriage breakup. My new-found relationship with Jesus has enabled me to get through all that and I suspect the happy state of my abdominal wall is a reflection of the state of my heart. So I wouldn't overlook that side of it if you're doing it tough emotionally.

Hope this helps someone.

Anthony
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replied June 9th, 2011
Hi Anthony I am jeffrey I also have an hernia, can ask ask you if where did you buy the truss? Thanks I am hoping for your reply God Bless!
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replied March 1st, 2012
Dear Jeffrey
So sorry mate, I haven't been back to this site since my 1st post, until now.


If you still have the hernia and decide to get their truss, I found the best way to wear it was with a pair of underpants underneath (to minimise washing) with a slit cut in the front to allow your genitals to hang through the bottom of the truss.
Then put a 2nd pair of underpants over the top of the truss to keep the genitalia in place.
I found that reasonably comfortable and I didn't have to wash the truss every day.
Also, I bought two trusses.
All the best.

PS - My hernia came back early last year and I had the operation to insert the mesh. The op went very smoothly, I had no pain at all - until I tried to pass a stool the next day. Whatever you do, start taking a spoonful of psyllium husks in a glass of water every day a couple of days before the operation and thereafter. Constipation is to be avoided when you've just had abdominal wall surgery. Because I wasn't game to strain it took a long time to pass a hard stool and it was extremely uncomfortable. But once I got over that I've had no trouble at all with the mesh solution. I'm back lifting weights again. (The op was in november.)


PPS - I'm still praying. My relationship with God is the most important thing in my life, with or without the hernia. When the hernia came back I was working as a house painter. Because of the hernia I gave up heavy work again (yes painting can be heavy work - lots of trestle and plank carrying) and went back to working spreading the Gospel. It's a lot more fun, tho it doesn't pay as much, at least not in earthly treasure.
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replied March 2nd, 2012
Hi Jeffrey - I'm re-posting this because I've been informed by admin that urls aren't allowed in posts and you may not have got it the first time:

Dear Jeffrey
So sorry mate, I haven't been back to this site since my 1st post, until now.
I bought the truss online from [deleted - just googel "hernia bible" and you'll find it - an organisation with initials tsc]

If you still have the hernia and decide to get their truss, I found the best way to wear it was with a pair of underpants underneath (to minimise washing) with a slit cut in the front to allow your genitals to hang through the bottom of the truss.
Then put a 2nd pair of underpants over the top of the truss to keep the genitalia in place.
I found that reasonably comfortable and I didn't have to wash the truss every day.
Also, I bought two trusses.
All the best.

PS - My hernia came back early last year and I had the operation to insert the mesh. The op went very smoothly, I had no pain at all - until I tried to pass a stool the next day. Whatever you do, start taking a spoonful of psyllium husks in a glass of water every day a couple of days before the operation and thereafter. Constipation is to be avoided when you've just had abdominal wall surgery. Because I wasn't game to strain it took a long time to pass a hard stool and it was extremely uncomfortable. But once I got over that I've had no trouble at all with the mesh solution. I'm back lifting weights again. (The op was in november.)


PPS - I'm still praying. My relationship with God is the most important thing in my life, with or without the hernia. When the hernia came back I was working as a house painter. Because of the hernia I gave up heavy work again (yes painting can be heavy work - lots of trestle and plank carrying) and went back to working spreading the Gospel. It's a lot more fun, tho it doesn't pay as much, at least not in earthly treasure.
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replied May 27th, 2014
Hi there Anthonee,

Thankyou for your inspiring stories about hernia healing. I am very grateful. How are you these days?

I just wondered if you could give me some advice. I have a hernia which has just appeared. I'm thinking of getting the flat pad support. How active do you think I I be whilst wearing it? Should I rest to try to heal the new hernia, apart from doing some abdominal strengthening excercises, or can I continue to work? Should I rest at first and then try to be more active later? At present I work as a gardener and it is quite physical.
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replied July 18th, 2013
Hi Anthony,

I do have a right side hernia as yourself and I've done tons of research and I refuse to get operated due to always the same answers from the medical field. Let's operate on this sucker $$$$

Fast forward ahead, I am wearing a support and I've come across your insightful information. I've even youtubed how to self heal with yoga Bd or Pilates . But you have other information that others don't mention . So I took your advice and contacted a homeopath expert. I can't believ his stupid answer .. Yup, like the doctors, OPERATE $$$

Anthony I would like to share with us the type of strengthing excerxcies you were given. The rest will be easy since you mentioned what natural products to take,


Thank you very much and I'm looking forward to your reply on this forum... You can always email me directly....


Ciao,
Frank
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replied October 28th, 2008
hernia treatment alternatives
Hello Anthonee

I'm also in the UK (Brighton). Like you, my hernia first "appeared" after a period of intense emotional stress (a serious breakdown, from which I unfortunately haven't recovered), although I suspect it may have been there for quite some time before that. It first popped out in June 2007, but hasn't popped out since.

I am desperately hoping to avoid surgery, having read the countless horror stories surrounding mesh, and also having seen many clinical trials and studies all indicating a very high percentage (usually 30-40%) suffering from serious complications and chronic post-op pain.

I've also been to a homeopath... she tried several remedies, then she provided me with the equivalent mixture to Heratin (please google it), a homeopathic formula for hernia. I've being doing mild Pilates (at the suggestion of two medical doctors) to help strengthen the tranverse abdominus and other lower ad muscles, and drinking a lot of fennel tea, which aids digestion and prevents intra-abdominal pressure & wind (gas).

I've also been taking the Chinese remedy Hawthornia (please google it) which seems to have had the desired effect of strengthening the area, however it's very expensive & must be sent over from the USA as it is not available in the UK.

I recently saw a post on the FalconBlanco site (hernia healing section) discussing another Chinese remedy. The post read as follows... "Recently, I started taking extra vitamin C, aloes, fennel tea and a Chinese herb called "He Shou Wu".... it went on to say that this herbal preparation is meant to be better than Hawthornia, so it may be worth investigating.

I've seen other posts mention Silicon and Vitamin Q10, but have never heard of Equisitium tea (?). I'm interested in pursuing all of these. Where would I find this? At Holland & Barrett, or someplace similar?

As you're using the support advised on the Hernia Bible site, you're probably familiar with the rest of that site, which is being constantly updated. It might be helpful if you could post your info on Silicon and Vitamin Q10 and Equisitium tea on that site; also on the FalconBlanco site (hernia healing section) as there are so few sites offering pro-active alternatives to surgery.

Meanwhile many studies are now indicating that Watchful Waiting may be preferable to surgery whenever possible. There has recently been a large multi-centre clinical trial about this in Holland. It ended last February.
I can't find the results anywhere on the Net, however the study's mission statement indicated that the risks of surgery are so great that Watchful Waiting might be the best normal course.

Here's the link to this clinical study:
http://www.narcis.info/research/RecordID/O ND1317550/Language/en/;jsessionid=3nc9aklp tu8h
and a quote: “Thus it may be that surgical treatment of a hernia is not a good option and a non-surgical observational approach should be the routine. Additionally, the percentage of patients with chronic pain after inguinal hernia repair is very high.”

This echoes the very-well-publicised USA/Canada Watchful Waiting trial (headed by Dr Robert Fitzgibbons, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska USA), results published in 2006) which started the slow turnaround in thinking on this subject. For me personally, Watchful Waiting seems a bit too passive, as if one is just waiting for something to happen, requiring surgery.

No doubt many other people with hernias feel this way as well....which is why its so vital that all "alternative" treatments are posted, so that people -- AND the medical establishment -- can see that surgery may not be the "only" answer. It's also very important for the med's to understand that people with hernias are fast becoming aware of all the complications, mesh injuries, chronic pain, etc, etc. Maybe then better and safer methods may start to emerge.

Thanks for you help, and all the very best in your efforts. Good health and peace to you....always.
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replied October 29th, 2008
Hi Artie
Thanks for the tips, I'll check those other products out.
I'm actually in Australia btw.
Equisituum is known colloquially as horse-tail. I buy it in the local organic produce store for $78 (Aus) a kilo.
It sounds like you've got nothing to worry about if yours hasn't popped out since June last year - unless you're still wearing the truss of course. Are you? I've stopped wearing mine.
If you're concerned you could get an ultrasound exam. I had one last month and it showed a small enlargement of the deep end of the inguinal canal. They had me strain to the max and it forced just a small amount of fat into the deep end, no bowel; and no protrusion from the superficial end.
In retrospect it was a bit risky I suppose to strain hard, but I needed to know, before I cancelled the operation, if it was going to give. Perhaps you should avoid straining hard if you've still been wearing your truss every day. Mine was a bit sore for a few days afterwards but settled down soon after. Now I'm assuming it's going to be fine. But I'm going to make sure I keep my weight down and continue exercising the area, as well as exercising generally.
My GP told me to expect my ab muscles to lose a bit of mass and tone as I get older (I'm 61), and that's when I could have a problem if I decide to not have the op. But I'm going to keep exercising til Jesus comes again; I couldn't imagine going through life flabby and out of shape (sorry to all my dear brothers and sisters out there who are carrying a few spare kilos). But seriously, I have been overweight when I was young (obese in fact) and it's not for me - all that low back pain, breathlessness climbing stairs, clothes too tight, chafed groin in summer, can't fit in the barber's chair (that was a long time ago). With the knowledge of nutrition and exercise physiology that's available these days it's fairly easy, with patience and sticking at it, to shed surplus bodyfat and I would strongly recommend doing so to anyone with any sort of hernia.
All the best Artie, stay in touch.

Anthony
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replied October 29th, 2008
Ultrasound, horsetail, etc
Hi Anthony

Wow. Australia. I'm terrible about long-haul flights....and I'm also concerned about the hernia (or hernias -- mine might be bilateral, the doc's are not 100% certain) enlarging due to increased air pressure. I've seen a few things about this. Anything that causes increased intra-abdominal pressure can apparently be somewhat risky for hernias.....

I will definitely look into horsetail and Q10. I've seen one or two posts elsewhere about these. Thanks. No....the right-side hernia hasn't popped out since June 2007, but there is a slight bulge. There's no bulge on the left, however one doc said he felt a tiny one on that side as well. Two subsequent examinations, one by a surgeon, were "iffy" about that (?).

I had decided to have ultrasound, however I wasn't aware that it meant having to "push" so hard. Hmmmm......I don't really like the sound of that, in case intestine is involved. It could provoke something. I'll go over it with the doctor and get his opinion.

The reason for having ultrasound is to determine both the extent & the contents of the hernia, also the condition of the surrounding tissues. You're really lucky if the contents are just fat. That means you're probably quite safe with "watchful waiting", for now at the very least.

You may have heard of the Munich Hernia Centre, run by Dr Ulriche Muschaweck. This place has a top reputation. They do a unique ultra-minimal procedure -- without using mesh in most cases -- and they always do a complete ultrasound and dynamic ultrasound (?) before proceeding, to determine the precise nature of the hernia. This is why I had wanted to have ultrasound -- to see exactly what's what.

You're probably aware that the latest thinking leans toward no surgery for small, painless hernias -- particularly if they're "direct" rather than "indirect". You might want to google the Munich clinic. I recently emailed Dr Muschaweck and received two very courteous, personal replies. Although I'm beyond terrified of having surgery, I did find her attitude & approach reassuring.

My two doc's have advised against a truss as they feel it may cause more harm than good by acting like a "crutch", thereby weakening the surrounding muscles & tissues. So far my hernia(s) are virtually painless, except the occasionally twinge if I overdo the Pilates. I've seen the truss issue debated ad infinitum. I'm not convinced either way, but for now, personally, I'm not using one.

My doc's had advised mild Pilates as it strengthens the core abs, and I've been doing that, along with taking Hawthornia. However this product is quite expensive, and it has to be sent over from people in the States, which is awkward.

I've also now taken it for the recommended time. I can't say with absolute certainty whether or not it's had an effect, however the right-side hernia has never popped out since and is less "bulgy" than it was at the beginning (the left side hasn't ever been visible) and I have virtually no discomfort, apart from the odd very slight twinge now & again.

My hernia(s) suddenly appeared after serious weight loss due to depression/anxiety. A recent study in Sweden reported that obese/overweight men were actually 2/3 LESS likely to have hernias. This actually makes sense --- both the muscle bulk/mass and the layer of fat in the groin must be greater in heavier people. Nearly everyone I've known with hernias, with one exception, has either been thin or very thin.

I've seen countless websites, etc, advising against putting on the pounds as being risky for developing hernias -- however it sounds like the reverse may be true (?). Still, it's probably not a great idea to have too much pressure down there, of any kind. Mildly exercising the area is meant to be helpful, as long as it doesn't apply pressure to the hernia. I've been advised not to overdo it -- and to only do exercises on my back, as doing face-down positions exerts more downward (gravitational) pressure into the hernia. Makes sense.

What your GP told you is, unfortunately, very accurate. The ab muscles invariably slacken and lose bulk & tone with age....which is what really worries me (I'm now nearly 56). If you've seen some of the clinical charts, the risk of incarceration & strangulation definitely increases with age. Most "emergency" hospital admissions for hernia involve people in their 70s and beyond. As Father Time is utterly relentless and there's no way to hold back the ageing process, it's very scary.

I've also decided to try & keep any problems at bay by exercising and keeping the lower abs as toned as possible. I've never had a weight problem (I've had the reverse, which my doc's say probably allowed the hernias to appear) -- I suppose it's best to be neither over or underweight.

I'm looking for ways to keep this thing under control for as long as humanly possible. Hopefully at least until surgical methods improve, alleviating the endless litany of very serious complications associated with the current mesh methods.

As another (pencil thin) friend of 42 with a hernia recently put it, "it's like walking around with a time-bomb inside your body...." Which is how I feel about it -- it's definitely scary and causes me a ton of serious worry. Therefore I'm constantly on the lookout for advice as regards nutrition, etc. I've seen many sites linking Vitamin C with promoting good collagen formation -- some recent studies link hernias with poor collagen development and that makes real sense as collagen forms connective tissue.

You might want to look at the "Hernia Bible" website. It's a very comprehensive site covering the gamut of "alternative" (non-surgical) approaches, issues, remedies, etc --- as well as providing links to many medical articles & reports, clinical trials, studies, etc. The site is based in Hastings & they're planning to hold training sessions (workshops) starting in the new year. I'm hoping to go along...it sounds like it could provide some valuable info & insights. The guy who runs the site has had his hernia for something like 20 years, with no problems. Do have a look.

Meanwhile I'll check out horsetail and Q10. Hope you enjoy Australia (perhaps you might come across some valuable info while you're there!), have a good, safe journey home ..... and peace.
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replied October 29th, 2008
Re your last one Artie, I haven't used CoQ10, I was merely commenting on how it might help after it was mentioned in another post. So I can't really vouch for it's effectiveness, but I guess it's worth trying. The 2 things I used for several months were the equisituum tea and vitamin C powder. (BTW, make sure it's a high quality practitioner-only vitamin C, not one from a health-food store that's loaded with sugar. Don't buy it for the taste.)
Thanks for the info on bodyfat involvement. I've come across a number of thin hernia sufferers too but i think good muscle tone and mass is the answer rather than excess bodyfat.
It sounds like you have a lot of anxiety over this, understandably. You might like to try the truss for a few weeks, i found it gave me a feeling of security and took a lot of the tentativeness out of my daily activities. And it may have been a factor in healing it, by keeping the area supported and the canal opening normal-sized while it had a chance to heal.
I had 2 types, a small one with an egg-shaped lump held in place over the inguinal canal superficial exit by a couple of straps, and the larger girdle-type flat-pad one. The first one was a lot less restrictive and I wore it throughout the day, except when i had to do something strenuous when i'd replace it with the 2nd one. THE HERNIABIBLE SITE WARNS AGAINST USING THE FIRST TYPE AS THEY SAY IT CAN CAUSE INVAGINATION OF THE SUPERFICIAL OPENING - they could be right, esp if it's fitted too tight; i didn't get that problem. I didn't want to wear the large girdle for 12 hours a day; like you said i was worried it'd weaken the pelvic girdle muscles.
But if you decide not to go the truss route good on you for sticking to your strategy. I can see you've put a lot of research into it and you know what works for you. I wish you all the best and pray that things get better for you.

PS: The homoeopath you went to doesn't sound like a constitution type, rather one who treated the specific ailment. The constitution type homeo will ignore the hernia and just work at fixing YOU. I know it sounds like a wank but my homeo who's a friend of mine assured me that's the better approach. You might like to look around for one like that. (Apologies to all ailment-oriented homeos who read this, for any perceived slight.)
And (i know this is pushing the infant-friendship) i believe the real key in my case was my trust in God, giving all the anxiety over to Jesus to take care of for me. When I first got the hernia I had to ditch my old job; and then an opportunity came up for me to train for an evangelical role with the SDA church, which is something I've wanted to do but would not have had the time previously.
Who knows? maybe what worked was aligning my life with God's purpose, for me and those I get to annoy with my faith.
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replied February 10th, 2009
does hawthornia work, i ordered it and was wondering what the results were, i am 22 and have had a hernia for 2 months on the left side, it is very small, but i am terrified of surgery and would like to find an alternative
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replied July 22nd, 2009
Inguinal Hernia Repair and post op.
Interesting reading. . .

My Story. I was out walking my dog three weeks ago and I felt a burning sensation just above my right groin. I explored and sure enough, found a lump. I was pretty sure right away what it was, Ing. Hernia.

I saw a Doctor the following day to confirm, he did. I then made arraignments myself to make an appointment with a Consultant Surgeon. I saw him the following day. The NHS route would have been a 3 month wait. Even as a private patent, the best my Doctor could offer was 15 days wait before the initial consultation.

I travel with work to places like Kazakhstan, so I explained to the surgeon that "as soon as he could get me on the list" was just that. He said, how are you fixed this Friday? Job done. That was almost two weeks ago. I was lucky, but it does pay to be proactive and a little pushy. From initial diagnosis to surgery, six days! Not bad.

The procedure was open and fixed with mesh. I'm taking it easy and walking well now. General antistatic took some getting over, but I was only on full pain killers for the first three days. Reduced significantly after that.

I do have some tissue hardness under my wound, I guess this is normal?

Steve L
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