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  • 4 Days Post-Op (Laparoscopic Hernia Repair)

    Hello all

    I had surgery on Friday at University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. My repair was done by Dr. Ramshaw, and he placed mesh with dissolvable tacks (they are purple )

    I can give details below, but everything went well so far. I have been staying at the Hilton since the 2nd for my pre-op appointments, and my follow-up was today. I'm now on my way back to north Alabama where I live.

    The experiences and advice given here in this forum were immensely helpful; without y'all I would not have found Dr. Ramshaw, so I am sooooo incredibly grateful.

    Likewise I want to say how incredibly thankful I am to Dr. Towfigh; without the published research and statements/interviews she's given to media sources, I honestly don't know if I could have ever figured out what was causing me so much pain for so many months. I am so thankful for you and the work that you and your colleagues do Dr. Towfigh, and I hope the findings you have on hernias in women keep propagating out to the medical community at large.

    So, that said. My history is in another post on this forum already but basically I had groin pain for months, negative imaging, and after giving up on doctors I turned to google (this is usually discouraged, but at that point, what was I going to do?). I found Dr Towfigh's research, this site, and you guys/gals helped me find Dr. Ramshaw within a short driving distance of where I live so I could avoid the cost of a flight to Beverly Hills

    I had an initial consultation with Dr. Ramshaw and Brandie (his patient care manager) a few months ago and started 'prehabilitation'; basically this process allowed me to prepare for surgery physically and mentally. On the second of January I did my anesthesia pre-op and my appointment with Brandie and the doctor where we talked about what to expect post-op and what would happen during the surgery. As all my imaging was negative prior to surgery, the surgery was technically 'exploratory' with the plan to repair if necessary.

    One thing that I really appreciated was the honesty I received at every step of the process (and I realize I shouldn't have such rare experience with that, but different topic). They helped me understand that I would hurt after surgery (which, of course), but also that the pain might get better and then get worse again any time in the next 6-8 weeks as the body heals. Before the surgery we talked about realistic post-surgical expectations; we don't expect to eliminate all pain, but rather to hopefully make any pain occurrences less intense, more manageable, and less frequent. I had open-ended appointments where I was invited to ask anything on my mind to both of them, and all my questions were answered before I ever went into surgery, which was wonderful.

    The surgery was at 8am, I was at the hospital by 630 and back in the hotel room by 1pm sleeping off the day. Nothing really notable happened, other than I got nauseated when I was waking up, but they gave me sublingual Zofran (? I guess?) and it helped a ton. Tasted bad though. The doctor spoke with my roommate and partner after I was done and said they found an inguinal hernia that was repaired - I guess some fatty tissue was poking through the hole and touching a nerve, and that was most likely causing the pain and symptoms. I know this will sound silly, but I'm so grateful that they found SOMETHING (there was also some scar tissue from a previous tubal ligation); I felt vindicated, after having heard from local docs over and over again that it was a 'pulled muscle' and i just needed physical therapy.

    I was pretty sore post surgery (still am). Sitting up from the bed is the hardest part of each day, really; otherwise I'm just more slow-moving. I have been taking Aleve and oxycodone (only one per day though, none yet today) for pain, and the most painful day was Sunday. Today they basically just asked how I was feeling, and said everything looked good so I was free to head home.

    One neat thing was I got to take home a sample of the mesh that was placed, along with a dissolvable tack in it. It's like my souvenir

    That's it really, unless anyone had specific questions. I would highly recommend Dr. Ramshaw to anyone looking for help near Knoxville (or Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, etc); I'm so so grateful to him and Brandie for the help they have given me. My plan is to be home from work for three weeks to heal, and work on just increasing my walking distance, and low-intensity tasks until I feel good enough to go back to physical therapy and work.

    I would be glad to answer anything else I might have missed. Thanks to you all again

  • #2
    4 Days Post-Op (Laparoscopic Hernia Repair)

    Awesome! Love to read these types of posts.
    #ItsNotJustAHernia
    www.BeverlyHillsHerniaCenter.com

    Comment


    • #3
      4 Days Post-Op (Laparoscopic Hernia Repair)

      Thank you for the post and please do keep us updated with news of your post-op recovery! I'm in a similar situation with ongoing groin pain which doctors don't take seriously. Even with a positive ultrasound showing a small (6mm) inguinal hernia, I've been told that, at that size, it barely qualifies as a hernia and is too small to cause pain.

      I don't believe this to be true and am convinced my symptoms are caused by the hernia. However, because my pain is intermittent - and because my GP and 2 surgeons strongly advise against surgery - I've been avoiding it.

      Can I ask how much pain you've been in? Was it constant and did you have other symptoms (i.e. bloating)? Did it seriously affect your quality of life? Was your hernia also very small? (I'm assuming it was as it didn't show up on tests). BTW, I am a 56 year old female.

      Thank you and all the best with your recovery.

      Comment


      • #4
        4 Days Post-Op (Laparoscopic Hernia Repair)

        All of my imaging pre-op was negative. I had ultrasound, X-ray, CT scan, and MRI. I pretty much believe that the people reading the imaging would not have looked carefully enough to see a small hernia - I get the impression they do a scan of it between eating a sandwich and seeing a patient, and if there isn't a giant cancerous softball then they say everything is good. That might just be Alabama though :/

        So yeah my hernia was small - but in particular I guess they cannot know until they do the laparoscopic examination that the tissue protruding through the hernia is hitting a nerve or something. I also had some scar tissue but he believed the hernia was the source of my pain.

        Speaking of pain, are you asking about Pre surgery or post? Pre surgery I had pain every day that got worse when I walked long distances, exercised, or had my period. The pain radiated down my inner thigh and across my bikini area, and it would even get warm and swollen sometimes which was hella uncomfortable. I didnt have bloating though. It definitely affected my quality of life by limiting what I could and couldn't do due to pain. Before I got the pain I was going 2x week to the gym for strength training and exercise, I had to stop that. I couldn't go on hikes with my partner anymore, because I would be in so much pain by the end that using my left leg was agonizing.

        The big thing to me is that before Dr Ramshaw, no doctor (of 4 - a gynecologist, a primary care physician, an orthopedic doctor, a general surgeon) seemed to really give any craps about actually finding the root cause of my pain. Every one ended up just saying "go to physical therapy". By the fourth time I was even starting to doubt my sanity. But Dr Ramshaw listened to me, believed me, and then ultimately confirmed what was going on; it was a hugely validating experience.

        The pain post surgery (I'm 10 days out) is pretty minimal. I am tender, and I still have to be cautious that I don't over exert myself, but really it isn't bad at all.

        I hope that answers some. I'm so sorry you are in pain and that your docs are not helping - it really is an awful place to be in especially since your hernia is actually visible on ultrasound, I would think they would do something!

        Comment


        • #5
          4 Days Post-Op (Laparoscopic Hernia Repair)

          Thank you for your thorough reply! It's very helpful to hear about your experience. I certainly understand that surgery is a big decision and that there are risks - however, the ignorance about 'occult' hernias (particularly in women) among doctors/surgeons is very frustrating! I have tried to bring in info (from this forum and reputable sources online) and it has been dismissed.

          My pain isn't constant and I'm doing pilates which I think is helping. Your story, however, gives me courage to pursue surgery - particularly as chances are good it will get worse.

          Looking forward to hearing updates!

          Comment


          • #6
            4 Days Post-Op (Laparoscopic Hernia Repair)

            Congratulations.

            Quick question. Does Dr. Ramshaw travel to all these states to do surgeries? I thought he works in FL only. You mentioned KY. I am in KY and would like to know if he comes to KY to do surgeries.

            Knoxville is about 6 hours drive from where I live.

            Thanks

            Comment


            • #7
              4 Days Post-Op (Laparoscopic Hernia Repair)

              Dr. Ramshaw has moved to Knoxville and is now Chairman of the Department of Surgery there.
              #ItsNotJustAHernia
              www.BeverlyHillsHerniaCenter.com

              Comment


              • #8
                4 Days Post-Op (Laparoscopic Hernia Repair)

                rosesnrubies, Thanks for keeping us updated on your progress, it's always good to hear these reports.

                How are you feeling now? Have you noticed a change in symptoms? Please continue to keep everyone updated.

                Comment


                • #9
                  4 Days Post-Op (Laparoscopic Hernia Repair)

                  Hello Chaunce

                  I'm doing well, I think. One of the things Brandie told me to keep in mind was that pain can come and go any time while healing due to inflammation (for 6-8 weeks post surgery). The past few days I've had the same warm/tight dull pain in the inguinal area that the hernia felt like. I'm trying to keep reminding myself that post-surgery pain can feel just like pre-surgery (non-fixed) pain, and not wig out haha. So yeah the pain has changed a bit in that it's less tender in that area, and in general the pain is back to where the hernia pain was. I do get a little pain still when I try to sleep on my left side (halfway between hip crease and belly button) but it isn't bad at all.

                  Overall though I am just using ice for any pain, and can do pretty much anything I need to on a daily basis (drive my manual transmission car, walk pretty good distance, lift small things). I'm not sure how long the lifting restriction is - that's something I need to ask, but I am not picking up anything over 10 pounds (ish) currently. Or put another way, if I feel like I need to work or strain to lift something, I don't do it.

                  I am looking forward to eventually getting back to yoga, hopefully. I start back to work on Monday (part time); I thought I'd be bored while I was away, but that wasn't a problem haha. I guess I've been working nonstop (with a few vacations that were < a week) since 2000 so not working for three weeks (even though recovering) was incredibly nice.

                  Thanks so much for asking! I will keep checking in

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hello rosesnrubies - any issues since your surgery? I'm going in for surgery in a few week and could use some reassurance! Thanks!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Its good to hear experiences of patients as it helps us learn more - much obliged and have a hernia free life

                      Comment

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