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Complications 2008 Umbilical Hernia repaired with mesh

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  • Complications 2008 Umbilical Hernia repaired with mesh

    Hello!

    im a 36 year old male. In 2008 I had an umbilical hernia repaired through my belly button using a Kevlar mesh patch. It was slow healing, and even the dissolving stitches took a year to absorb. A few had to be pulled out.

    at the time, I was very physically active. A personal trainer, and a dancer. After the surgery, I would get cramps in my abdominaks if I did too much direct core work, and every now and again my belly button would get weepy

    10 years later, Im still very physically active, but much older. Long story short, I carried a 3 seater sofa down 10 flights of stairs (it was too big to fit in the elevator).

    the next day my belly button was SUPER bloody. Over the next few days it was infected. I went to see a doctor, and now Im on antibiotics and pain killers until the swelling goes down.

    the doctor thinks the mesh has broken the surface, or at least has moved and is causing trauma to the area.

    I go back for consult the day after tomorrow. Im scared. What should I look out for? What questions should I ask?

    thanks in advance

  • #2
    I had signs of inflammation in my navel before I had my polypropylene mesh removed. No weeping or open wound but after certain activities you could see reddish fluid building up in the area. Your situation reads like you probably had constant inflammation or an infection around the mesh. You probably tore a section free while moving the couch. Now that it is clearly infected, odds are that it might need removal. Search "mesh salvage" and "infected fields" on the internet and you will find a lot about the topic. Apparently it's very difficult to kill the infection once it finds a home there. Kevlar is an unusual material for mesh. It has a very fine and small fiber structure which would seem tailor-made to hide infection. Unlike the relatively large and smooth surface of the other polymers.

    I hate to be negative but better to be prepared. The good news might be that even if it needs removal and replacement that area is not full of delicate structures like the groin hernias.

    I think that I have seen posts on this web site also about umbilical hernias. You might search there for that topic. Pretty sure I've seen Dr. Kang post on the topic.

    I'm not a doctor, those are just some things I've learned about over the past few years. Good luck.

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    • #3
      Hi Heystevieboy,

      I regret to say this but from reading your story, I predict you have had a mild infection for a long time. And the mesh and tissue probably tore and became detached while moving the heavy sofa, resulting in bleeding. Blood is a very good nutrient for bacteria so it seems that the increased bacterial activity caused the infection to flare up.

      When there is an infection with the mesh in place, it cannot be completely treated no matter how strong or how long antibiotics is used until the mesh is removed. Right now it is most urgent to remove the mesh. Then observe for 3-4 weeks and when the infection is completely dealt with, if necessary undergoing umbilical hernia repair again would be good. If the hernia hole is not big, I recommend non-mesh tissue repair. Doctors may have different judgments but if the diameter of the hole is less than 2 cm for umbilical hernia, I do not use mesh for repair.
      Last edited by drkang; 06-12-2018, 11:54 PM. Reason: to increase font size

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