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Working through post-hernia pain


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  • Working through post-hernia pain

    I am following up on a prior discussion thread.

    I am four months in from bilateral inguinal hernia and umbilical hernia surgery. TAPP with mesh. It has been a slow recovery.

    About one month ago my doctor cleared me for all exercise. I decided to go to physical therapy route, and found it helpful. I actually had one week where everything felt much better than it has since the surgery. It was bliss.

    Recently, I have been getting some dull pain, sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right side. More on the left.

    The therapists don’t seem that concerned and basically say to work through it and that there is really nothing I can do to cause injury at this point.

    based on the nightmarish recovery from the surgery, my usual pattern is to just take it easy when pain comes up. But, that obviously has not been going so well for me, so I am thinking of just working through it.

    Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with this?

  • #2
    If the pain is in the skin, then it may represent fibrosis around the nerves and a nerve block may be helpful.
    If the pain is deep, then there may be scar around the mesh.
    In most cases, the pain improves with time.
    I advise waiting for a year before considering the removal of the mesh.
    Keep in close contact with your surgeon. He/she is responsible to care for you until you are fully healed.
    BIll Brown MD


    • #3
      Thanks, Dr. Brown! The discomfort definitely is deep, not superficial. What is strange is that when I am sitting down or laying down it is pain-free. It is only when I am active and walking around for an hour or so that it flares up. Ice or heating pad usually makes it go away. I’d say when it flares up it is a 3-4 out of a 10 scale.

      Have you seen that at the 4 month mark, with the patient resolving to close to no pain at some

      is it ok to work through this discomfort in the gym doing cardio and light weights?

      CT scan showed nothing abnormal.

      Any insights are appreciated.


      • #4
        Pain level 4 sounds like you are doing well. At 2 months, I am at a 7 with deep pain, surface pain, and testicle pain. Physical therapy puts me to a level 9 so I stopped. Id jump back into it in your case after letting things calm down.


        • #5
          Slowly increase your activity.
          You surgeon can inject the mesh with steroids, that will often soften the mesh and decrease your pain.
          The pain should also slowly improve with time.
          Bill Brown MD


          • #6
            Thank you again, Dr. Brown.
            Dan-Sorry to hear. At around 2 months I saw improvement (though still far from perfect) and I hope the same for you.


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