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  • Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect

    [color=#000000]Hi All! I am hoping to gather some anecdata that will better help me understand the range of post-op experiences for hernias.

    Quick back story]
    [li]1. Many surgeons/medical facilities recommend returning to work in around 1-2 weeks if there is no heavy lifting involved. However, I've been told as well that desk jobs are inherently worse on recovery due to sitting with pressure on the repaired area all day, and thus returning to work before 3 weeks is ill-advised. Is there a right answer here?[/li]
    [li]2. How soon post-surgery would you think it would be ok to do something like 30 minutes of gentle yoga? Much of what I've read says "light exercise" in those first few days but - and I'm very literal - I don't know if that means "only walk to the bathroom and back" or "it's ok to take a walk in the park as long as you don't stress yourself and stop if it hurts".[/li]
    [li]3. Because I live 4 hours from UT Knoxville, I will be staying in a hotel prior to and after my surgery (until my post-op checkup at 5 days after surgery). Has anyone else done this? Can you recommend anything to make the stay more comfortable (believe me, I'd prefer to be home but the doc's office strongly recommended I stay in town until that appointment)? I will obviously bring linens and pillows from home, books and movies, and my best friend will be with me the entire stay, but I would love any words of wisdom from others who have experienced this.[/li]
    [li]4. This one is almost out of scope, but because I know I am susceptible I figured I'd put it out there]
    [/ol]

    Thanks in advance for any information, I know this is a lot of exposition and text-spam ]

  • #2
    Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect

    I have something to say since I went through IH surgery in PA with Dr. Goodyear and stayed in the hotel for 4 days. BTW I flew from KY to PA and back with family (2 kids and wife). Here we go.

    I posted "POST SURGERY THOUGHTS" on this board which Dr. Towfigh put on top of the discussions (thanks to her). Do read it. You will NOT become a superman within 6 months - no, there is superman only in cartoons and movies.

    1. I returned to work after 2 weeks and yes I am in desk job - software development. BUT I got up every one hour and walked around. It was a weak and slow walk but no matter GET UP EVERY ONE HOUR and walk around - that's what Dr. Goodyear told me. The day after surgery onwards, the advice given to me was "Keep walking" and I kept walking till legs ached. So I went to work in 2 weeks BUT my advice is to wait 3 WEEKS. So you feel much better. But up to 6-8 weeks, depending on what Dr. Ramshaw says you should keep walking so the mesh will jell better with your tissue.

    2. for 30 minute gentle yoga you will need to wait 6 weeks and depending on how good the tissue heals. Surgical cut and tissue heal differently in each person. It can take up to 8 weeks. My suggestion - 8 weeks till you are able to jog on the roads. If you are able to jog and walk briskly on the roads THEN ONLY attempt the yoga bending and all. Yes I saw you said the word "Gentle." But for God's sake remember you are going to have surgery. So give some respect to the surgical cut and be careful. You never know what/how internal tissues react with your "GENTLE" yoga. Listen to your body and give it time to heal. You have nothing to lose. 2 weeks POST SURGERY IS ***NOT*** the time to do exercise and diet even if you are an Olympic Gold Medalist and are in twenties. They can wait. Let the body come to terms with the surgery and heal itself. Yes, it takes time.

    3.I have done the post surgery check up by Dr. Goodyear. YES IT IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT. I had surgery Thursday and travelled back to KY on Monday. Dr. Goodyear gave me OK on Monday to go home. Surgeon had better clear you before you travel. It is better to spend $200 on hotel for 5 days than travel next day or later and spend 20 days in ER. What do you think? I heard Ramshaw is a great surgeon. Listen to him. He knows the best time for you to travel. Some can travel earlier, some later and some at some other time. Again each case is different depending on age, past problems blah blah. No two people recover the same way. Each of the X billion people on earth are created randomly. Wish I have the algorithm God uses to create this big random numbers. Ha.

    3a. I guess pillows and linens are provided by hotel and there are not necessary but if you cannot tolerate hotel pillows bring your own. Tell the hotel to give you a ground level room so you do not have to walk up and down (or you can use elevator). But inform the hotel that you are in town for surgery and may need some help, just in case. They will help too. My hotel helped in getting me food, groceries etc. Make sure you and your guys that come with you know at least two pharmacies nearby (if one closes or does not have the stuff you need you need a back up store), a grocery store, a dollar tree for sundry stuff and also a Walmart. Make sure your insurance covers everything. Take confirmation numbers from them for everything you are preapproved. Sometimes they can retract and say so and so not covered and you did not tell us and lie that way. Insurance people are in the business to MAKE money, not for your welfare. That is the final truth. If they do reimburse you later, KEEP ALL RECEIPTS.

    3b. Take a laxative (the good old Milk of Magnesia for Example) for first week and slowly wean off of it. First week you will have pain - sometimes bad pain from surgical cut. Dr will give Oxycontin or such medicine to curb it. DO TAKE IT. FOLLOW DR ORDERS here. NO USE trying your great wisdom of how good you are with pain management and what a superman you are. I know this for sure since I went through it. ICE is your best friend. Get a dozen zip lock bags (Didn't I say Dollar Tree?) and fill them up with ICE and keep using it on surgical site whenever you need. It will melt in 20 min and you will need one again. So keep two or three nearby. If you have a fridge in hotel room you are in great luck. Ask Dr. if you can and should walk. Dr. Goodyear told me to walk - however painful, keep walking. At the middle of the night I would wake up, put ICE and walk slowly around the room and corridors. It hurts, yea so what, walk walk walk walk walk. ASK DR IF YOU CAN WALK.

    3c. Movies yes, but DO NOT WATCH comedies. If you laugh you will experience pain in stomach/IH area. No no, no to "dumb and dumber" and any Jim Carey type movies or even cry baby movies. Good to see something like "A Walk in the Clouds (Keenu Reeves)" or such easy going stuff. If you are sports fan, January could be NFL stuff and all. We watched "property brothers" on HGTV. It was easy and no tense movements.

    3d. First one week it will be easy to fall asleep on bed on back and you will not be able to sleep on sides or belly. Waking up is another matter. You will need someone to push you up since your belly will hurt if you try to wake up yourself. My kids pushed me slowly on the back to put me on my feet. Since you will always sleep on back, expect some back pain. Make sure your bed is good. Not too soft or not too stiff. If you have that tilting bed with a remote, go for it.

    3e. Food should be easily digestible. Lots of yogurt, and light stuff that make bowel movement easy. Make sure you have no constipation of ANY KIND. Yes you may be a great meat eater but I would limit hard to digest foods for 2 weeks. No spicy stuff too. Give a break to your body and stomach. People have never died by eating less but do hurt themselves by eating more. Bananas, and smoothies help too. If you can carry mixie with you, you can make your own smoothies in hotel room. Add different fruits to make different stuff and avoid boredom.

    3f. Wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes/sox. Whatever underwear fits, the band should be above the surgical cut and your body will tell you which one is good and which one is not. I wore loose track pants (which you see on NBA pre-game when the players shoot hoops) that can be pulled out easily. Wear fresh clothes every single day and keep changing them every day. If Dr is OK with shower, take shower everyday. It makes you feel fresh. I took shower everyday since surgical wound was covered up nicely and Dr.Goodyear said it was fine.

    4.Post depression - I never had any in PA but after I came back to KY, After a week or two I was still feeling some pain here and some pain there and started feeling I may never run or jog or do yoga. But I just pushed myself to avoid the thoughts and kept walking. Within 6 weeks I was able to jog and was normal. I even put a bet with my kid that I could never run/jog and was very happy to lose the bet :-). Keep a positive attitude. If you have some iPad, books, use them.

    I do not know if you are male or female but if you are male, one or two days after surgery the testicles will swell due to accumulated blood but will become normal in 4 or 5 days. No need to do anything. Just put ICE wherever you feel like.

    Take good care of yourself and post your progress here. It is good for other people to know. Also I would ask that you post your experience with Dr. Ramshaw. I have heard good things about him but not sure really how great one feels after a surgery in his hands.

    Comment


    • #3
      Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect

      Gosh, thank you so so much for your info and advice; I know it took you a good bit of time to type all that up, and I'm so thankful. I actually took notes as I read through it haha. I'm female, so I won't have the testicle problem, but I have read that labia can swell similarly so I am definitely preparing for multiple baggies of ice.

      Re: #1, one good thing about my company is I have a desk that can change heights, so I can actually stand and do my work - so I know that will help. I appreciate the advice to wait 3 weeks though - I think I am going to be the good patient and do that. I want to heal well, and have the best chance possible to not be in pain anymore. I'm also lucky enough that my work schedule can be flexible, so if I can only work noon to four, that's ok too. I really am glad to get someone else's experience that went back to a desk job, thank you.

      So, I have a to do list, and a shopping list based on your advice That really helps a ton. I'm glad to hear that you are healing well!

      Comment


      • #4
        Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect

        No Problem at all. I went through surgery and had million questions like you. I walked through it and it was great for people on North Penn Hernia Institute website to share what they went through. I benefited greatly and am giving it back. Thank the Lord for their share. All I did was type my experience.

        Do update here when you are done. It would help everyone greatly. If you are asking me why you should update after surgery here, it is because when traced back to Adam and Eve we are all related. So I am your 10th cousin's 15th nephew's grandson's great granddad's 4th great grandson. Hey do not even try to figure that out. LOL.

        Wish you fast recovery and Godspeed.

        Comment


        • #5
          Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect

          I definitely will update More than one person has already asked that as well, and knowing how helpful it is to hear others' experiences I really do want to contribute if I can. I already told my best friend that is staying with me through surgery and after that she had better bring along a notepad to the hospital so she can write stuff down haha.

          Comment


          • #6
            Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect

            I also traveled for my second surgery which was one to repair a new hernia and the second part was to remove the mesh from the first hernia surgery. During this surgery they found a unknown Femoral hernia. on the side of the first hernia surgery.

            My recovery for this second and more invasive surgery was very fast. Except for the pain at the surgical incision site was in less pain and more mobile right after the surgery. Within 4 days I was walking without pain and had no other side effects. On 6 days I felt so good I was standing most of the day and walking without pain.

            Staying to have your surgeon see you after the surgery is very smart. Mine was 1 week post op but I was lucky I had a free place to stay. Thinking back it depends on your surgeon. My first surgeon throw me under the bus and never did understand the damage he inflicted on me. Day one extreme pain, Day two extreme spasms, Day four something let go internally.

            I did meet with Dr. Ramshaw and Dr Goodyear. Both were on on my short list to perform my second surgery. It came down to I had a free place to stay and recover. I would highly recommend both them.

            One item I did find out after my first surgery, that the state I live in University employees are given special legal status regards to malpractice. They are considered state employees and the maximum amount to allowable under out state law for malpractice for state employees is a whopping $250,000 so in reality they are untouchable. No lawyer will even look at a case for such a small amount.

            Comment


            • #7
              Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect

              I love this community It really sounds like Dr. Goodyear is amazing, I'm so glad you got the help you needed and that your recovery was so smooth after the horrible first surgery experience!

              Comment


              • #8
                Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect

                Thank you all for your contribution. Great info and discussion. I'm moving this post up to the top.
                #ItsNotJustAHernia
                www.BeverlyHillsHerniaCenter.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect

                  I forgot to mention in my response about my first surgery. My problems started in recovery and it was very slow recovery with pain until about 7 weeks post surgery. At this time it went south big time. I was in extreme pain and had a hard time walking. The doctors at my quote world class hospital had no answers but a lot of different treatments with no imaging done to find out what was wrong. This Dr. who did my first surgery is now stating he is an hernia expert, funny that is what was said when he did mine only to find out he had not done a hernia surgery in over 15 months during my consults but somehow I was told he did them all the time with excellent results.

                  This is not typical and most patients never go through this.

                  Research and ask as many questions as possible, trust but verify and go with your gut or sixth sense. My gut and sixth sense told me something was not right with my first Dr. but every medical professional told me how great he was and my hernia was getting painful and was in a place if I got in a car accident I was concerned with additional damage. Ask to review your medical records before surgery to verify that your history is accurate and complete plus get a copy afterward to make sure your records are accurate. I was shocked to find that no information were in my records regarding recommended treatment, about type of surgery recommended and why this type is recommended, type of hernia, location of hernia, size of hernia, reducible,notes on pain or any notes on my questions and agreed treatment plan- like type of mesh to be used or how does the dr. handle the 3 main nerves. There were no notes about the physical exams or findings. I sound like a broken record but read Unaccountable about your medical care, doctors and hospitals before surgery.

                  If you go with Ramshaw or Goodyear you will be in good hands.

                  Good luck.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect

                    I forgot to mention in my response about my first surgery. My problems started in recovery and it was very slow recovery with pain until about 7 weeks post surgery. At this time it went south big time. I was in extreme pain and had a hard time walking. The doctors at my quote world class hospital had no answers but a lot of different treatments with no imaging done to find out what was wrong. This Dr. who did my first surgery is now stating he is an hernia expert, funny that is what was said when he did mine only to find out he had not done a hernia surgery in over 15 months during my consults but somehow I was told he did them all the time with excellent results.

                    This is not typical and most patients never go through this.

                    Research and ask as many questions as possible, trust but verify and go with your gut or sixth sense. My gut and sixth sense told me something was not right with my first Dr. but every medical professional told me how great he was and my hernia was getting painful and was in a place if I got in a car accident I was concerned with additional damage. Ask to review your medical records before surgery to verify that your history is accurate and complete plus get a copy afterward to make sure your records are accurate. I was shocked to find that no information were in my records regarding recommended treatment, about type of surgery recommended and why this type is recommended, type of hernia, location of hernia, size of hernia, reducible,notes on pain or any notes on my questions and agreed treatment plan- like type of mesh to be used or how does the dr. handle the 3 main nerves. There were no notes about the physical exams or findings. I sound like a broken record but read Unaccountable about your medical care, doctors and hospitals before surgery.

                    If you go with Ramshaw or Goodyear you will be in good hands.

                    Good luck.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect

                      Every surgeon has to record the surgery and put in archive as what is called "Surgery report." Be sure to ask for a copy after surgery is done and it should contain everything about how the surgery was done in minute details including the mesh used, blood lost etc.. I am not sure if it contains "Everything" the surgeon did and if he screwed up anything but usually it has details of what mesh was put in and how everything went.

                      As I said time and again, no question is silly to ask. If you do not ask you won't get any answers. Write your questions on paper and take them to surgeon and he will (have to) answer them before you are wheeled into surgery. You can even ask what kind of anesthesia will be given and how long you will be knocked out, if you should eat/not eat before and after surgery. In short you can ask anything and everything about surgery and possible problems etc. And be ready to walk away from that surgeon if he cannot provide answers right then and there. You should get answer in the exam room not after he leaves room and googles and comes back. If he tells he does not really know the type of mesh or who makes the mesh and where it is made "surgery ready," you have a red flag to walk away.

                      Yes also ask if you can talk to any of his patients who had this kind of surgery. Is the surgeon a "general surgeon" or specialist in hernias? How many hernia surgeries, in particular the IH surgeries, did the surgeon do in the last 3 months?

                      When I asked Dr. Goodyear his answers was "I do these surgeries daily two or three.:" Even after meeting Dr. G and asking all questions, 20 min before the surgery I asked the hospital nurse how many of these surgeries Dr. G does in that PA hospital, she said "oh, so many, we do not even count." Look for a IH surgeon than settle for a general surgeon who claims he knows how to do it.

                      It is like taking your car to meineke repair shop for major engine repair than taking it to the Honda Engine specialist. Yes the specialist will charge more money and will take more time but you have the assurance of the Honda brand and the warranty. I am *not* saying that Meineke is bad but if you feel that assurance with Meineke, go ahead with them. Having said this, yes even Honda dealership can screw up things sometimes. But we have to do our homework before we open our pants and let the surgeon cut the sensitive parts. Unfortunately IH surgery is not like any surgery on your little finger to let go if things go wrong later.

                      Be well, do your homework, choose a good surgeon and be happy. If you do not know how to choose, watch the Indiana Jones movie on how to choose the correct cup to drink the holy grail and get the compliment - you have chosen wisely. :-) All the best and Godspeed!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Post-Op Recovery: What to Expect

                        Make sure to read my post. http://www.herniatalk.com/hernia-discussion/1432-robotic-inguinal-hernia-surgery-fantastic-post-op.html
                        I actually worked from home at a computer for 4 hours same day of surgery. Still have not had to take any pain meds & it is 3.5 weeks post surgery. Have been walking on treadmill... it seems to make me even feel better.
                        I have come to conclusion that every case is different & the skill of surgeon is an important factor on post op pain. The progrip mesh that did not need tacks or sutures may also have been a factor in minimal post op soreness. I am following surgeons instructions & not lifting anything over 15lbs but everything else seems to be back to pre surgery condition& I do not have the hernia.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hello I had an inguinal hernia surgery performed December 13 2016, and as of today March 6 2016, its been nearly three months. It was the old method of open suture hernia repair, and it was larger then average. I had classic healing symptoms, and besides some problems pushing out ejaculate, all the doctors Ive seen, and have had an ultrasound done as well, say I'm healing well. Ive been doing cardio on an elliptical for nearly a month now with no problems. Ive been cleared to lift 40 pounds by my regular doctor. MY surgeon only saw me once at three weeks to examine me i would have gone back again to see him but he is far away. Two different regular doctors have examined me and say I;m feeling fine. I have had no medium to even low amounts of pain in the area for a while now. The area immediately above the incision is a little tender when i move the skin around in an upwards position. I do get minor little aches in the area a couple times a day, , but its not even real pain. Anyways my question is, I have a job offer and need to get back to work, but its a physical job involving a lot of walking. I could be walking on ice covered ground for another month, and then from then on often on muddy ground. I do a lot of walking on my job, so the potential for falling is high. I'd fall , softly, moderately or hard hard once a month I would imagine. My regular doctor, who is just one opinion, told me that i should wait longer before trying such a such a job, he suggested waiting until like june which is 5.5 months after my surgery was performed. I agree that falling puts a lot of force on this area and could re-injure it, WHICH CANNOT HAPPEN due to financial reasons for a while (hopefully not ever). So is his timeline accurate, or can others weigh in? Thanks...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The recovery from open non-mesh/tissue repair is on average longer than that with "tension-free" mesh repair, although complications from mesh have been encompassing most of the complaints posted on the internet. One of the reasons why mesh repair gained favor in the 70s over tissue repair was exactly for this reason.

                            Now, you should not be in so much pain many months after your operation. The reasons for pain may be many. From a tissue repair, the most common reason for pain is that it is now a relatively tight area as compared to prior to the operation. So, imagine wearing a tight pair of jeans. That can be uncomfortable. You mentioned your hernia was larger than average. After your hernia repair, since there is no mesh there, your natural tissue will often stretch out in the area to accommodate for the tension in the region. It may take at least a year to notice appreciable stretching.

                            The risk with a tight repair is that it will not stretch out enough for you to remain pain free, and if you fall, you are at risk of tearing the repair. That implies another repair, with mesh, and then you submit yourself to possibly recurrent issues in the area. This is why I feel that the decision for a non-mesh/tissue repair must be tailored to the needs and lifestyle and risk factors of the patient.

                            In short, if you just have pain in the area, and your doctors have deemed there is no neuropathic (nerve-related) component to it and you have not torn the repair, then most likely it is because of a relative tightness in the area. In my practice, I would not limit your activities. If you tear it, such as with a fall or other reason, it was inevitable and not necessarily related to any one specific movement. Remaining fit and being in good physical shape and fit can help protect from a tear. Also, slow stretching such as Pilates or some Yoga, can help.
                            #ItsNotJustAHernia
                            www.BeverlyHillsHerniaCenter.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What is people's opinion about Mesh/Non-Mesh procedures to repair RECURRENT inguinal hernia; I had a J & J ETHICON PROLENE HERNIA SYSTEM had for my Hernia surgery in March 2008. It is now RECURRENT and my CT Scan shows I need surgery and may have a SECOND Hernia; I have read HORRIBLE issues with Mesh including the Bard 3dMax that my Surgeon recommends; I am SCARED; I have read about the Shouldice, McVay Repair, Bassini Repair:, and Desarda Repair. Does ANYOne have IDEAS, EXPERIENCE, SUGGESTIONs? Thanks, Jeff

                              Comment

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