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Ventral hernia repair (umbilicus)

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Hi, I have crohn's and had an ileocecectomy Dec 2012. A few months later I formed a ventral hernia in my umbilicus. I recently had a open hernia repair using mesh. I am experiencing some discomfort- tightness, pressure, and burning that occurs when I change positions, bend, kneel, stretch, etc. I can feel the mesh and it is uncomfortable. There is still moderate amount of swelling in the abdomen, but I am sure that will subside over time. I am 2 weeks post op. Has anyone had any experience with ventral (incisional) hernias or umbilical hernias? I would like to know if these symptoms are normal and will they subside with time.
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replied July 12th, 2013
I have had two hernia surgeries. I had a open colon resection 3.5 years ago and developed a ventral hernia. So a little over a year ago I had open hernia repair with mesh. Two months ago I had the mesh slip and also had a large hernia above the mesh and a bunch of little swiss cheese hernias. Now I am having pain at the top of the mesh and the surgeon thinks it has slipped under the old mesh. CT will be done soon. Cannot believe the pain and time involved with all of this. Has completely changed my quality of life. UGGGh I am sure you agree this is frustrating and painful.
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replied September 9th, 2013
Hi'! I am so happy that I found this. I have been told that I have
2 umbilical hernias and my surgeon wants to use mesh. I'm so afraid of it slipping or havin complications with it that I haven't scheduled surgery. I've tried to do research but haven't for much from it (perhaps bad research skills). School work and not having enough money are also huge factors on why I've had trouble figuring this thin out.

I don't know what to do and would appreciate advice.
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replied September 29th, 2013
I just had laproscopic ventral hernia repair with the mesh and tacks about 4 weeks ago. The pain in the first few days was awful but each day the pain seemed to get a little less. I am hoping this option was better than having my small intestine poking through at times which could end up with strangulation then I'd have to go to the hospital in an emergency situation. I guess always weigh your options, but the hernias usually just get larger with time.
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replied September 29th, 2013
Hernia
Thank you, Lar4.
It is just scary thinking about the fact that if the mesh slips, the issue may be worse than what it started out to be. It seems like a 50/50 chance that something bad will happen with mesh.
Besides "faster healing time", does anybody know why mesh is supposed to be better than regular stitch? I know there is supposedly also the factor that there is less chance for a hernia recurring when using mesh...but from the stories I've been reading, seems like either way seems bad.
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replied September 30th, 2013
Hernia problems
Hi LK225, Just wondering if the hernias are causing you any kind of problems now. If not it can wait. Sounds like you are young which means you have time on your side. So get more info before you do anything. I waited till the hernia bothered me so much that I was tired of dealing with it,(I am 61 yrs old). Most people don't have problems with the mesh but you just never know.I hoped for the best cause it doesn't sound good if in the future this mesh or tacks causes me problems, it's too soon to tell though.
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replied May 30th, 2014
Lar4. Hello! I cannot believe I missed this response. The pain began to interfere with my daily life around April 2014, had the operation April 18 2014. I am now 5 weeks post-op, NO MESH. I came to this website at 2:30AM because I cannot sleep because I am in pain. There is so much I'd like to discuss. I am in a lot of pain that comes and goes. I am not on pain meds because the surgeon doesn't think I should have them since most people are off of the pain meds after a week. The pain I get varies in the area but it is always above my hernia site and it goes into my back. Tingling/numbing pain has now developed in left hand and left leg. I cannot sleep on my side without feeling the tugging pain. I have not been back to work (despite the fact that I need the money, the workload is too tough) even though the surgeon said I could go back.

I'm so sad and frustrated because I feel like people think I am making up the pain, but I'm not. I was an active person and love playing tennis. I want to be healthy again but I don't know what to do because walking is difficult. People keep telling me that I'm getting older now (turned 30) and these are pains associated with aging but again- I don't agree. I am very aware of my body and a dramatic decline in such a short period is not part of aging... there is something wrong. Whether or not something can be done about it is an entirely different thing.. I don't know what to do anymore but am happy I am not alone because I started to feel like I was going crazy. I recently started keeping a journal of everything I do,eat, and drink. I am also including what I am doing when I feel the pain and where I feel it. With this data, I hope to go to the surgeon this time around with enough information for him to be able to assess the situation better and help me.

Lar4, I hope you get this message, it would be so great to hear an update from you. Having a support group through all of this could really help. Hope to hear from you soon and hope you are doing well.

Best wishes
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replied July 26th, 2014
Please let me know how you are doing now, hopefully no pain anymore. I already posted a way to relieve the pain with castor oil packs, I wondered if you read it. Also, did you get an xray as adhesions after surgery seem to be a common problem.
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replied May 30th, 2014
I am 9 months past the surgery when I had the mesh put in for my ventral hernia. You don't say whether or not you had a mesh put in. At this point I have no pain but must make sure not to lift anything too heavy or I still feel a pinching feeling where the tacks were put inside, but nothing too bad. After surgery I used warm castor oil packs over my abdomen at night or when I knew I could lay down for a nap for about an hour. This was a life saver for me, you would not believe how soothing they feel. You must buy some cold pressed castor oil and pour this on some (preferably),flannel material. Then lay down with the oil soaked cloth and put a heating pad (turned on medium),on top of it all. After the hour or so is up take off, clean your abdomen with a damp cloth to remove the sticky feeling. Also be sure to wear a nightgown you don't care about getting it stained. I know it sounds crazy but it really does help the pain and you heal faster. The products can be bought online at the Heritage Store, or at Amazon.com or some health food stores. Please give it a try, good luck!
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