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  • How many of you have two IHs?

    Hi-my first post here. I had an IH open-with-mesh repair last Fall (October) on my right abdomen. I decided on 'open' for various reasons, including a strong fear of general anesthesia. Anyway it went well, still have occasional tenderness, etc., but I'm back to my usual routine, including lots of walking/hiking. In December I started getting pains in my left side, and in January a bulge appeared there. I was very upset and disappointed: I got myself through the first surgery by telling myself -'get it repaired and get on with your life'. Now I have to 'psych' myself up to go through it all again. Out of curiosity, has this happened to many people here? After getting an IH repair, did you develop one on the opposite side? I wonder if it was there all the time, and nobody noticed it because there wan't a bulge there.

  • #2
    I'll spare you my long story, but yes, I had lapro mesh repair in June 2016 for left side IH. Two weeks later, started feeling and seeing right side issue. Drs all said no hernia, CT scan showed otherwise. Didn't do anything about it then cause it sorta went away for over 2 yrs until this yr. Started getting dragging feeling, bulge, some pain in right side. Ended up getting open mesh procedure two weeks ago to fix it. Oddly and somewhat frustrating to say, I've had pain again on left side and hoping I don't have recurrent one. These hernias are a PITA. In case you're wondering why I went open vs lapro 2nd go-around was because I heard recovery time and pain levels were slightly less with open procedure. I can tell you for me, that was not the case. While the open wasn't/isn't terrible, I have more pain during recovery mostly due to the 1.5" incision at 2 wks post-op then I did with lapro.

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    • #3
      Yes I did. Surgeon said if you get one hernia there is a 5o% chance of getting one on the other side

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Hiway40blues View Post
        Hi-my first post here. I had an IH open-with-mesh repair last Fall (October) on my right abdomen. I decided on 'open' for various reasons, including a strong fear of general anesthesia. Anyway it went well, still have occasional tenderness, etc.,
        Mesh causes tissue shrinkage and also makes the area around the mesh less flexible. This causes distortion and pulling on the other side. I think that it's reasonable to assume that mesh repair on one side actually increases the risk of getting a hernia on the other side.

        If a study was done comparing 2nd hernias after repair, mesh repairs would probably show a higher rate. Another irony of mesh repair.

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        • #5
          Good Intentions is right. Mesh can act like a black hole pulling the surrounding tissues towards it. The pull can extend across to the other inguinal canal, causing stress to it. It's happening to me.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Hiway40blues View Post
            Hi-my first post here. I had an IH open-with-mesh repair last Fall (October) on my right abdomen. I decided on 'open' for various reasons, including a strong fear of general anesthesia. Anyway it went well, still have occasional tenderness, etc., but I'm back to my usual routine, including lots of walking/hiking. In December I started getting pains in my left side, and in January a bulge appeared there. I was very upset and disappointed: I got myself through the first surgery by telling myself -'get it repaired and get on with your life'. Now I have to 'psych' myself up to go through it all again. Out of curiosity, has this happened to many people here? After getting an IH repair, did you develop one on the opposite side? I wonder if it was there all the time, and nobody noticed it because there wan't a bulge there.
            I had open surgery without mesh, but with general anesthesia.

            Getting a hernia repaired and getting on with your life is the right attitude. I wish I had done mine years ago.

            My hernia was on the right side as well. While I don't have a hernia on my left side, I will tell you this! I have read that hernias can migrate from one side to the other, and I have witnessed this on myself.

            To put things in perspective, I had my hernia for about 8 years, and during the first 2 to 3 years I had it disappear on the right side and appear on the left side at least 3 times. My hernia was reducible where it goes back into the abdomen when I lay down on my back during sleep, and I would simply notice in the morning when I go to the bathroom that the hernia is on the "wrong" side. Whenever it was on the wrong side it would feel very uncomfortable, as if pushing on the wall so it can pop out. Thankfully, it would move back to its normal location in the days that followed. It's been probably about 5 years since the last time it appeared on the left side, the "wrong" side. Ever since, it has been on the right side. And now it's fixed, for good, I hope.

            It's been almost 2 months now since I got it repaired and I have no problems with the left side and there is no sign of bulging or discomfort there. So I don't think I will get a second hernia on the left side anytime soon. But since I did have a bulge or a migrating hernia there, I might have a weak spot there that may become compromised later on in life. But I will cross that bridge when I come to it, and I know now how to deal with it. It's much better to deal with your problems as soon as possible than to play the waiting game and procastinate.

            My point is that while you may not have a bulge on the opposite side, it's quite possible that you have a weak spot there as well if you already know you have or have had bulge/hernia on one side.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jzinckgra View Post
              I'll spare you my long story, but yes, I had lapro mesh repair in June 2016 for left side IH. Two weeks later, started feeling and seeing right side issue. Drs all said no hernia, CT scan showed otherwise. Didn't do anything about it then cause it sorta went away for over 2 yrs until this yr. Started getting dragging feeling, bulge, some pain in right side. Ended up getting open mesh procedure two weeks ago to fix it. Oddly and somewhat frustrating to say, I've had pain again on left side and hoping I don't have recurrent one. These hernias are a PITA. In case you're wondering why I went open vs lapro 2nd go-around was because I heard recovery time and pain levels were slightly less with open procedure. I can tell you for me, that was not the case. While the open wasn't/isn't terrible, I have more pain during recovery mostly due to the 1.5" incision at 2 wks post-op then I did with lapro.
              I did open surgery but without mesh. It's been almost 2 months now since I had it fixed, and I have no pain or discomfort. I had it for about 8 years.

              My reasoning in the beginning was to do minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. But as I continued to do my research and learned about the possible complications of mesh implants, I started steering away from both meshes and laparoscopic surgery. I quickly realized then that if I want to do this "my way" I will have to travel abroad. I did look at different "absorbable" mesh options, but I finally decided that it was a futile approach and an experimental product, so I decided to go all-out open surgery and not hold back.

              What I wanted to achieve by minimally invasive surgery, and what is often advertised as being the pros of this type of surgery is that it causes less pain because the incisions are smaller (but there are more of them) and that recovery time is shorter.

              I decided to throw out all this fancy technology (meshes that "disappear" and surgery without cuts or pain...) and listen to that little voice in my head that told me to go with open surgery, without mesh. "As God intended" if you will... or as it was traditionally done for centuries. Surgery is surgery, is surgery.

              I honestly think that open surgery is frowned open more than once, for no good reason, especially in the West where access to advanced technology like laparascopic equipment or even the robotic surgery equipment is more easily accessible. Now let me tell you about this latest cool thing called mesh... dear God!

              My incision is just about 4 cm. That's closer to 1.6 inches. Sure, I did have some pain. It's surgery! You know the saying, no pain, no gain? I believe that applies here as well. But I was not dying of pain. I did take 12 tablets (6 small ones and 6 bigger ones) of painkillers for the first 3 days, as prescribed by the surgeon. After the first 2 to 3 days I was told to only take them on a need-to basis. I didn't really have to take them the first 3 days either, it was not that much pain really. I never took the opioid, this one very strong tablet I received.

              The way I see things now, I would never trade in open surgery for laparoscopic one, not even robotic surgery. Laparoscopic and robotic surgery come with their own unique set of limitations and issues. And have this in mind! Just because the incision holes are small to an external observer (patient for example) does not mean that a lot of cutting is not going on on the inside and that a lot of difficult cuts and suturing is not performed. Quite the contrary!

              So why not make your surgeon's job much easier by allowing him or her to cut you open so they can properly see and reach in and fix you right up the first time, and improve the outcome of your surgery? Fear? Everything you want is on the other side of fear!

              Anyway! Those are my reasons for going with open surgery, and of course part of the reason is that I wanted to do the mesh free, suture repair. To me, that's the only reason to ever do open surgery anyway. If I wanted a mesh repair I would be indifferent about the access mode. Mesh is mesh, is mesh. Mesh does not become less of a mesh by doing open surgery. I don't buy that. Sure, having easy access and good view might help you install the mesh correctly, more so than laparoscopically, but if you already have a patient open up right in front of you and everything is so easy to see and reach then you should have a very good reason for installing a mesh in the first place. I believe meshes should be reserved only for very extreme cases, and of course in laparoscopic surgery due to the very nature of that kind of surgery with restricted access, bad view and all that follows with it.
              Last edited by John Fortem; 07-09-2019, 07:34 AM.

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