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Chronic pain post abdominal hernia repair.

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  • Chronic pain post abdominal hernia repair.

    4 months ago I had mesh implanted to cover a small hernia directly behind my belly button as well as a second hernia just above my belly button. Before the surgery I did not experience any pain from the hernias but was advised to have the surgery to prevent strangulation of the intestine. The surgery was performed using an open incision by Dr. Matous. I live near Portland, OR, and am a 38 year old female.

    Since the surgery I have experienced chronic pain radiating out from my belly button. The area is tender to the touch. The pain is a constant aching that also radiates across my lower back. About 2-3 times a week the pain becomes excruciating, lasting several hours to a day or so. 10 mg of oxycodone barely touches it. CT scans are all normal. The pain is worsened if I lay down, especially laying on my right side.

    A week ago Dr. Zelko removed the mesh laproscopically in the hopes that it would ease my pain. He warned me that only 2 out of 3 people actually experience relief from the mesh removal. Something about the abdominal area being kind of stupid and not realizing that the irritant is gone so it just keeps on hurting. The anesthesiologist also did a nerve block at the time that wore off after 48 hrs.

    I'm worried about what my options are if this mesh removal doesn't help stop my ongoing pain. I know its only been a week, but I felt pretty okay the first couple days after the nerve block wore off, until today. Today my pain ramped up just like it did before the mesh removal.

    Do you have any suggestions of future courses of action or people to see? I can't live my life like this in constant pain. Thank you for your help.

  • #2
    Chronic pain post abdominal hernia repair.

    Sorry to hear about your pain problems. I am a fellow chronic pain sufferer just like you and I know how much it takes out of you. I will just say that if you had relief from a nerve block, that is a great sign.

    Hope that you will soon be able to get permanent relief.

    Comment


    • #3
      Chronic pain post abdominal hernia repair.

      21tomlinson, thank you for the reply and words of encouragement. Can you tell me what things you have tried to alleviate your pain and what degree of success you had, if any?

      Has anyone on here had their mesh removed and found that it did not get rid of their pain? If so, what have you tried after that and did anything work?

      I haven't been able to sleep in a bed for 4 months, since my initial hernia repair. I sleep in a lawn chair that reclines slightly because it hurts too much to lay down. I miss spending time with my family. Its such a stupid thing to have totally mess up ones life.

      Comment


      • #4
        Chronic pain post abdominal hernia repair.

        I completely get it. Before my chronic pain began, I was up at 6:00 am every morning and would go work out. Now, I sleep in until 1:00 pm on the weekends. I prefer to be asleep so that I don't have to be awake. Chronic pain takes everything away from you.

        My situation is a bit different in that my chronic pain was not brought on by a hernia surgery, but rather a spermatic cord denervation surgery. My surgeon skipped several crucial steps in my operation and left me with inguinal nerve damage.

        Medication like gabapentin and oxycodone has been moderately helpful. Nerve blocks have helped but, just like you, they only helped me for a short period of time. Finding this forum was a godsend for me, because Dr. Towfigh gave me some much-needed perspective on my problem and was able to point me in the right direction. I had an appointment with Dr. David Chen at UCLA last month, and he diagnosed my problem as genitofemoral neuralgia. He is going to perform a genitofemoral neurectomy on me next month.

        I am still in horrible pain everyday, but at least now I have some hope. I didn't have that for a long time. You've come to the right place and I hope both of us are free of pain very soon.

        Comment


        • #5
          Chronic pain post abdominal hernia repair.

          I'm glad to hear that you have a possible resolution to your pain coming up. Did you meet with Dr. Towfigh? I'm interested in getting her advice as well but am not sure how to go about it considering I live in Washington state.

          Comment


          • #6
            Chronic pain post abdominal hernia repair.

            There are a lot of reasons why one has pain after mesh removal. I'm curious what was done with your hernia after mesh removal. Why did the surgeon feel the mesh itself was the problem?

            I am happy to see you in consultation if you can fly down to see me. Alternatively, though not ideal, you can request an online consultation. I'd rather be able to examine you but if you cannot fly down, an online consultation is the next best alternative. Go to www.beverlyhillsherniacenter.com
            #ItsNotJustAHernia
            www.BeverlyHillsHerniaCenter.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Chronic pain post abdominal hernia repair.

              Dr. Towfigh, thank you for your response. In answer to your question, I had seen a urologist, gynecologist, and internal physical therapist who all cleared me in their respective areas. My pain radiates out from my belly button and through to my lower back. I was tender to the touch above the area the mesh was installed. I haven't tried pressing on the area to see if its still tender since my recent surgery. Dr. Zelko, who removed the mesh, summed it up by saying that since I didn't have pain before the mesh was installed and then pain after it was installed, that that pretty much indicated the cause. He removed the mesh laproscopically and stitched my hernias shut.

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              • #8
                Chronic pain post abdominal hernia repair.

                I'm interested in knowing what options are available if the mesh removal doesn't alleviate the pain?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Chronic pain post abdominal hernia repair.

                  Pain is multi factorial. It can be from a hernia recurrence, muscle tear, incomplete mesh removal, tissue injury, nerve pain, intestinal injury.

                  A careful exam abs review of the history is key.
                  #ItsNotJustAHernia
                  www.BeverlyHillsHerniaCenter.com

                  Comment

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