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My personal 7 day experience after 2-layer Shouldice with absorbable sutures…


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  • My personal 7 day experience after 2-layer Shouldice with absorbable sutures…

    Greetings Hernia talk community, my name is Jeremy B (a 37yo, 6’2” 170lbs healthy, athletic male).
    I finally decided to have my right side painless Inguinal hernia operated on.
    I wanted to highlight my experience to help anyone prepare for this type of surgery.

    It has been exactly 1 week today since I underwent the knife. I had open surgery without Mesh and with absorbable sutures.
    My expectations were set high after reading many testimonials of other experiences with this operation and surgeon.
    I figured with my excellent health and slender frame, I'd be on the better end of the bell curve.
    To my disappointment, this has been a much tougher and painful week than I anticipated.

    Day 1: Surgery was performed uneventfully without any complications and was discharged very shortly post op.
    As the day went on and the local anesthetic wore off; Percocet and advil were appropriate to take the edge off.
    I was Instructed to walk a lot the days following surgery and so that is what I did; Pushing through the pain and stiffness, I continued walking.

    Day 2: Still Very painful with extremely swollen fluid filled black and blue ball sac; Think two very large avocados.
    Swelling along the Inguinal ligament has become very pronounced and raised resembling a hamster stitched in along the Ligament.
    I can’t believe It is holding together in there, or is it?

    Day 3: The same as Day 2 except the penis is also becoming very blood tinged and swollen with fluid;
    Creeping up the entire shaft and ending at the head creating a large bulb at the end of the shaft.

    Day 4-6: Minimal reduction in pain, not requiring as much Narcotic.
    Ball sack is starting to reduce in volume and lightening in color; becoming somewhat hard as if the fluid is thickening.
    Right side ball Is now very uncomfortable/slightly painful like the walls and hardening fluid are squeezing it.

    Day 7: (today) Still painful, with no reduction in swelling along the ligament, larger than a roll of quarters under the skin.
    It seems like this swelling will not relent. I was expected to feel great by now but this is not the case.

    I knew this would not be easy, but I am floored by how tough this has been.
    Is my case out of the ordinary or is it par for the course for open shouldice?


  • #2
    No offense intended, but one week is not really very much time. Even a cut finger takes longer to heal. I found a pretty good summary of the healing process out on the internet.

    I kept a log of my recovery from laparoscopic surgery and at one week I still had some general swelling, and at 12 days I still had a localized lump over the spot of the direct hernia. It was 16 days before I could button up my pants to the top button. Your absorbable sutures should be the type that take quite a while to degrade. Probably months. Even the fast absorbing types take a couple of weeks, I think. I had a piece of one poking out of my navel for a while.

    Just a few things that might lessen your stress. I've broken bones, and fingers, and they generally take four weeks to "heal", at least to the point where they are functional again. You're still in the early stages. You might take more rest between your walks to see if swelling diminishes. Good luck, and stay in touch. You have one of the newer repair methods.


    • #3
      Here's another on surgical wounds.

      I still have red spots over the entry points from my laparoscopic mesh removal.


      • #4
        Thank you for the response Good intentions. It certainly is in its infancy, in which the most of the changes are occurring.
        I guess one of my main concerns is losing blood supply to my right testicle as It is somewhat painful and surrounded by what I suspect is hardening fluid.
        I was also expecting to see some improvement in the swelling along the inguinal ligament by now. It's seriously swollen to the size of a rodent in there.
        This anxiety is heightened by the fact that the surgeon told me the pain would sharply decrease in 3 days along with the swelling.
        I guess I have to ride it out and deal with the pain and swelling until it fades. I'll definitely keep you all posted on any changes.


        • #5
          I don't want to dissuade you from talking to your surgeon. They would know best. If the history with their method says 3 days is normal then you're abnormal, by that standard. Worth a phone call for sure. Jeremy B


          • #6
            I will be following your progress Jeremy...


            • #7
              I also underwent "Shouldice" repair and "mesh removal" at once 16 days ago, also with absorbable sutures because my "all and every kind of material rejection".

              In my case no swelling and no blue sac till now. Only a minimal redness around external sutures due my allergy. But I've heard that is quite normal to have swelling and blue sac, and usually go away about 15-21 days gradually.
              I think that wear slips is better than boxers for testicles swelling, and lie down with legs slightly upper than head to allow liquid recirculation.

              The most important is to avoid constipation.

              I also have some pain, somedays better others worse, but mostly muscular type.

              Attached photos of my scar after 7 and 15 days respectively.


              • #8
                Paco, thank you for sharing, looks like its healing well. I still have the surgical tape on mine, It'll be interesting to see how it looks.
                I'm with you on the muscular pain, I have it along most of my front side up to my lower ribs with bruising. I think all the muscles are upset that they were cut through. that's a relief to me that you also received absorbable sutures, I almost felt like I was an experiment receiving absorbable and maybe we are; were all of your sutures absorbable?



                • #9
                  Yes all of my internal sutures are absorbable (Novosyn), because seems that I reject every material they put on or inside me (including the mesh I've have had extracted also). According to my surgeon, usually as Shouldice clinic states, they must be metallic or polypropilene, but I have allergy to metals and polypropilene, so it was compelled to use absorbable ones.

                  Only the external skin sutures of the scar are made of polypropilene, yet removed, wich are visible in the first photo. You can see redness on my skin due such sutures because my allergic reactions to polypropilene.

                  I think remember that 75% of tensile force at 14 days and 50% at 21 and 0% at 35 days. Fully absorption takes about 60 days


                  • #10
                    Hi jeremy ,
                    wanted to ask where did you get the surgery done??


                    • #11
                      The bulging ridge along the groin incision is referred to as a “healing ridge.” Everyone gets it after an open inguinal hernia repair.

                      The bruising you describe is unfortunate but can happen in some. It goes away.

                      It also sounds you have maybe some bleeding into your scrotum. That can happen. It takes much longer to resolve and can be very uncomfortable.

                      Loss of testicle blood flow is uncommon and likely is not the situation with you.

                      These are historically all known risks with open repair and some of some of the reasons we have moved to mesh repair with less tension and laparoscopic repair without tension.

                      No repair is perfect.


                      • #12
                        Thank you Drtowfigh, Is there anything else I can do to reduce the swelling? It’s literaly looks like a hamster has been sewen onto the inguinal ligament. Ibuprofen is not touching it.
                        Baris, to your reply; I had Dr. Grischkan make the repair.



                        • #13
                          Massaging may help reduce this faster and encourage your body to reabsorb any swelling and blood.


                          • #14
                            Drtowfigh, Is this the “Healing Ridge” ??
                            I took this picture today (10 Days post op)


                            • #15
                              Hi jeremy,
                              The healing rudge is usually in line with the incision and is only slightly raised feeling like a hard mass and takes months to get soft. Swelling is normal after surgery and can take time but if your specifically wanting to find out if the whole lump is the ridge then id say no. You should speak to your surgeon and see what he says about the size of the lump and why the swelling is not reducing. Does the site feel hot? Or the incision really red?


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