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Sorting out the pain


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  • Sorting out the pain


    I've been experiencing a lot of abdominal pain for the last nearly two months and after a number of dr visits and tests which mostly ruled out various causes; I have been told I have hip arthritis and a small incisional hernia (seen on a partial ultrasound) from previous gynecological surgery. I have a lot of trouble bending over with swelling digging into me, and a lot of bloating, nausea and constipation. The pain is constant around the incision line, but then spreads upwards to include the whole abdominal wall if I've spent much time moving or sitting. I was told there was only fat involved and no bowel loops; however the nausea the last few days has increased and been a steady constant that nothing is really helping. I have an appointment with a general surgeon in a month but meanwhile I'm not sure what I can do to help ease the symptoms, whether the pain is from the hernia or just the arthritis or where to turn for more help (as an aside i'm not in the US) so any input would be really appreciated. One concern I have is that the hernia will be dismissed as not the cause of pain.

    I would really like more tests done to rule out additional hernias (my gp felt one in my right groin area as well which the ultrasound didn't pick up) but this hasn't been done. Reading through the various posts on the forum and also some of the articles by Dr Towfigh has been helpful in terms of things like understanding that small hernias really can cause pain; that females do get hernias; and that they aren't always picked up and seem to be over looked as an issue.

    After writing all of this, I think some of my questions are:

    Does what I wrote sound like hernia pain? (I think it is)
    What can I do to help reduce the pain while I wait for a consultation?
    Does all the nausea indicate strangulation or is this typical of hernias?
    Can bowel move in and out of a hernia, even a small one?

    and, why aren't people examined for hernias in a sitting or bending position? so far, I've only been examined lying down which misses the bulges I feel when I'm sitting or bending

    Last edited by Sky; 10-02-2017, 04:32 PM. Reason: Added additional information

  • #2
    First ? - Yes, it can be related to a hernia(s). However, a full history and physical by a clinician experienced in hernias and abdominal pain would be recommended.
    Second ? - Avoid activities that worsen your symptoms. Aside from that without imaging, etc it's hard to make other recommendations.
    Third ? - Not always, but abdominal contents trapped or stuck in a hernia can cause symptoms. Strangulation has nausea associated with it but often many other symptoms.
    Fourth ? - yes.
    Fifth ? - Hernia exams often include various positions, etc to identify and delineate the extent of a hernia.


    • #3
      Thanks very much for your replies. I have a few weeks to go before I see someone, but meanwhile it hurts doing things like sitting up, walking and coughing. The nausea has at least changed to intermittent so hopefully it's just the hernia itself causing these problems.

      As far as the exams, I didn't experience anyone using different positions apart from the final ultrasound with coughing. But even as a general thing, when assessing abdominal pain even when mentioning the bulging I had multiple exams all lying down and hernia wasn't even considered which seems strange to me.


      • #4
        Ice packs! Learn to love them. They are best for hernia pain relief.

        Anti inflammatory medications and supplements help too.

        Best of luck!


        • #5
          Nausea is due to the pain. See it a lot. Does not necessarily imply you have intestinal involvement.


          • #6
            Thanks for your comments and help, and yes I've definitely been using ice of late.

            I saw the surgeon, who doesn't want to do surgery because the hernia is too small and my surgical risks too high. He also wasn't sure he could find it to repair while operating and thinks the size of the hernia wouldn't cause the pain i'm having or abdominal swelling. At the same time he wasn't able to give any ideas of what else could cause the pain and now it seems i have to look at long term pain management instead. Even though it is still tiny the hernia is growing in size and from what i've read they don't heal on their own? I have an appointment booked with another general surgeon but my doctor thinks they will say the same thing
            Last edited by Sky; 10-29-2017, 01:37 AM.


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