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To Dr. Towfigh-when & if she has time (or to any of the other doctors here)

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  • To Dr. Towfigh-when & if she has time (or to any of the other doctors here)

    This topic is very important to me and I'm sure to others also. I am in the recovery stage of open IH surgery with mesh. One of the main reasons I decided to proceed with surgery was my concern that the slowly enlarging IH bulge would force me to give up running. I have been a runner all my life, and it's a big part of my life. I am now ready to start getting back into shape, but now I am wondering about the long term impact running might have in regard to possible recurrence. I am pretty slender and light on my feet, but still, does the jarring impact of running have a bad effect on the hernia site, and/or the mesh? Runners' forums I have checked have advice about resuming running after IH surgery, but none mention possible long-term effects. If Dr. Towfigh or any of the other medical professionals (or any fellow runners) have any information to share, I would be very grateful.

  • #2
    I might qualify as a fellow runner, but my repair method was different. My impression, overall, about having mesh in the abdomen was that it was the cyclic damage that causes problems. Just the expanding and contracting of the abdomen from breathing, and the flexing and bending of the mesh from running. Quantity more than quality. Each cycle, or step, causes a tiny amount of damage.

    But I think that if the mesh is localized to a small area it might not be stressed like it is if it covers all of the lower abdomen, like it did in my case. In my case, if the lower abdomen got stressed the mesh got stressed. If it just covered a small area it might be that the unmolested tissue around it could have taken up the load.

    In short though, I think that you just have to go out and try things and see what works. Personally, I don't think that running itself would cause an immediate recurrence. It would take extreme abdominal pressure to force a failure, which would be unlikely from normal running.

    I was mechanically very strong after my mesh implantation. I could lift weight and do repetitive physical work with no recurrence of a hernia. But it felt terrible, a constantly shrinking, constricting feeling, with side effects, and the feeling occupied all of my thoughts. Okay for a farm animal, maybe, but not a human. I was healthy but didn't feel healthy. I spent all of my free time trying to figure out how to feel good again.

    Good luck. Keep a log of your activities and you might find a trend of cause/effect that can guide you.

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    • #3
      great question. I had the laparoscopic surgery with mesh to fix an inguinal hernia two months ago. Before the surgery I had could not run because the hernia was causing me discomfort. I have started to run and workout and feel great. My doctor recommended that I keep active due to the health benefits.

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