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  1. #1
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    Hernia surgury and longer recovery than anticipated

    I had a crash last fall that created an ingunal (sp) hernia in my lower abdomen. The hernia was increasing in size through Dec so I chose to have surgery to repair it in January.

    I had researched the different options, and talked to the surgeon about using the procedure where they go in through the belly button and insert a fabric "patch" to the hole in the muscle to cover the tear. My reasoning being that it has a shorter recovery time than the traditional method. He said that he preferred the older method of cutting above the hernia and sewing it all back together, claiming that the other method has a higher failure rate. I should have gotten a second opinion.

    I am now over a month out from surgury and still unable to do anything more than the least strenuous of exercise. I tried riding the trainer at about 50% intensity and developed a "bag of fluid" over the muscle. His suggestion was to "ride as if I were pedaling down hill" That's not exactly a work out.

    I feel my fitness slipping away, but if I work out I risk slowing my recovery. My surgeon's preferred technique and my fitness and recovery goals didn't match. So, I am now relegated riding an excercycle like the 400lb kid in gym class I have at least another month of this before I can start upping the intensity Thank god it's Feb. in ND. At least it's too cold to ride outside. I would really be torqued if it were nice outside.

    So, the moral of the story is: When getting surgury done, make sure that the DR. takes your goals into account as well as his. If they don't, you might be in for a longer down time than you had planned on.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the interesting post...

    as I'm going in for hernia surgery this coming Monday. I opted for the laprascopic surgery rather than the "big incision" due to the differences in recovery time. I talked to several guys, including my brother, who also had the laprascopic/mesh surgery and they all reported having no problems and a quick recovery, like just a few days or so.

    The first doc I spoke to doesn't do laprascopic (doesn't know how?) so I then talked to another doc who apparently doesn't usually do the big incision type of surgery.

    I should probably mention that I'm 60 years old, and the surgery is being performed at the VA Hospital here in Grand Junction. They apparently have lots of experience repairing hernias.

    I'll post something or PM you after I've had a few days to recover.

  3. #3
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    frozen, if you are having issues like that with the mesh patch then it may not have been done correctly or you may be in the minority of people for whom complications develop. the mesh patch has a drastically lower failure rate than the tension method (cutting and sewing back together) combined with dramatically decreased recovery time as well.

    most people are cycling within a week and can resume even weight lifting within a month or so. if you have a bag of fluid over the muscle you need to seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY! that, along with not being able to resume normal activity a month post op, are NOT normal for a mesh patch repair.
    Last edited by monogod; 02-22-2008 at 11:57 AM.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  4. #4
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    Had the laprascopic surgery on Monday

    Now it's Wednesday, and I'm still in lots of pain. Glad to have plenty of Vicoden. At my present "rate-of-recovery", I should be pretty mobile by Friday, but will likely still be sore for awhile. All I can say is that this wasn't fun, and I only recommend it to my best enemies.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickC5
    Now it's Wednesday, and I'm still in lots of pain. Glad to have plenty of Vicoden. At my present "rate-of-recovery", I should be pretty mobile by Friday, but will likely still be sore for awhile. All I can say is that this wasn't fun, and I only recommend it to my best enemies.
    Keep us updated on the recovery. The first few days absolutely suck after the big scar method. It doesn't take long to realize just how much you use those lower ab muscles for even the lightest efforts.

    I am now 5 WEEKS out from my surgery and still don't feel good. I am beginning to think that the whole "Bag of fluid" excuse for the bulge under my incision is just a bag of sh!t fed to me by the surgeon. I am going back to see him Monday. I will post up more then.

    THIS SUCKS!!!!
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  6. #6
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    dude, you REALLY need to seek medical attention. a bag of fluid 5 weeks post op is NOT normal.

    are you running a fever? is there excessive tenderness to the touch around the incision area? is there any external redness or red streaks around the affected area?
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    dude, you REALLY need to seek medical attention. a bag of fluid 5 weeks post op is NOT normal.

    are you running a fever? is there excessive tenderness to the touch around the incision area? is there any external redness or red streaks around the affected area?
    Thanks for your concern.

    No to all of the above. I start off the day with just a small amount of swelling, but by the end of the day, I have a bulge that mirrors what the hernia looked like prior to surgery. There is tenderness to the touch, but most of that is related to the nerves that were severed cutting the FIVE INCH long incision in my abdomen. Something isn't right, but it isn't an infection.

    You are right about one thing, I shouldn't be in this condition 5 WEEKS post surgery. I don't know what can be done. If the surgery didn't work and I still have the hernia, I don't want to go through the same surgery again. I just won't do that.

    The surgeon is going to get some very pointed questions Monday. I need to have some idea of what is going on with my body. I need to know what I can and cannot do right now. I have been progessively doing less and less over the last two weeks in hopes that the swelling would stop, but it has had no affect. If the operation just didn't take, and it won't cause any more damage, I would like to resume "normal" activities. If there is a chance that I could heal properly with EXTREME rest, I may never heal.

    Will post up more Monday.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  8. #8
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    It's now Friday, and I'm feeling a bit better, but definitely NOT 100%. Can't sit upright for long periods yet, so my days are spent laying around on the couch or in bed.

    Before I forget...

    My surgeon mentioned the possibility of a bag/sack of fluid that might/could form in the space left by the intestine after the surgery. He said that the "fluid" could be some blood or other stuff (I don't remember), and that the bulge from the bag might even feel about the same as the original hernia, but likely harder to the touch. Something about the bag being something left behind once the intestine is back where it belongs. He went on to say that the bag and the bulge would disappear over time.

    Both he and the nurse generally said to call them if anything "unusual" happened during recovery. So far, so good. Aside from a testicle that is still a bit sore and the initial pain and discomfort from the catheter shoved up my penis, my recovery seems to be going well. But, without any frame of reference, who knows for sure?

    I'm still taking one vicoden tablet about every 4 hours, but I'm going to try cutting back to 1/2 tablets tomorrow.

    For sure let us know what your doc says on Monday.

  9. #9
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    kevlar mesh

    ... I had to get a dual repair a couple years ago, and the doc said arthoscope was the only way to go, because the technology has advanced. They made three punctures, one which the use to inflate the tissues so that there is a space to work in the mesh. The other two punctures is for their instruments, one for each side. The recovery was a snap, and everything is holding together fine after 3 years. The doc said he's done hundreds of these, including big 300 lbs dudes, and only once had one failure where he had to go in again. I'm in Seattle; we are blessed with state-of-the art medical centers.
    G O N Z

  10. #10
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    After visiting my surgeon Monday, I have been cleared to resume normal activities.....slowly. I asked him about the fluid, and he said that it would go away in a few months. My activity level at this point will not have an effect on it, so I can start doing stuff. He wants me to ease into workouts and riding because he feels that I overdid it in the first few weeks after the surgery.

    I still have some numbness and odd sensations in the area. I can tell when I am pushing the limits with the repair pretty well. I am very aware of it when lifting or making "big" efforts on the trainer. I would say that I am currently able to go about 40% of max effort right now. I have a long way to go, but at least I can see some light at the end of the tunnel.

    I just hope that I am feeling better for when the snows melt and the real riding starts in another month or so.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  11. #11
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    Glad to hear that you've been given a relatively "clean sheet". That's good news!

    I'm going in to see the surgeon this morning for the follow-up. Yesterday was the first time I left the house since the surgery on Feb. 25th. The wife and I walked maybe a mile around the neighborhood.

    My left testicle is still swolen and I'm still on Vicodin for the various pains, but only on 1/2 pills. Otherwise I seem to be doing OK. We'll see what the doc has to say.

    I'm also anxious to get back on the bike. The weather here in Grand Junction is getting better every day, and should be warm/dry enough for a short ride this weekend if the doc approves.

  12. #12
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    Hello fellow sufferers. I just had laproscopic yesterday, and my doc told me I couldn't ride for a month (what does he know). Im going to see my GP in 2 weeks to see what she says. Up here in the great white north, laproscopic seems to be the majority of hernia repairs. Today Im able to walk pretty good, stairs no problem. The doc gave me a prescr. for percocet (oxycodone) and that eases the pain really well. Something about your sac of fluid doesn't sound right, I would get a second opinion on that.
    Good luck, hope you recover well enough before the good weather arives!

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    Dreaded hernia

    Hello fellow sufferers. I just had laproscopic yesterday, and my doc told me I couldn't ride for a month (what does he know). Im going to see my GP in 2 weeks to see what she says. Up here in the great white north, laproscopic seems to be the majority of hernia repairs. Today Im able to walk pretty good, stairs no problem. The doc gave me a prescr. for percocet (oxycodone) and that eases the pain really well. Something about your sac of fluid doesn't sound right, I would get a second opinion on that.
    Good luck, hope you recover well enough before the good weather arrives!

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    It will be 3 weeks this coming Monday (March 17th) since the laprascopic surgery, and I feel really good. The only remaining pain is from my left testicle, which still aches and is a bit swollen, but the ache is controllable with a little Advil. All incisions have healed well, and all abdominal pain has ceased.

    We're supposed to warm up a bit today, so I thought I would try a short bike ride and see how it goes. If I don't add another follow-up post, then things went well. I still intend to take it easy for the next couple of weeks or so. No need to push things.....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickC5
    It will be 3 weeks this coming Monday (March 17th) since the laprascopic surgery, and I feel really good. The only remaining pain is from my left testicle, which still aches and is a bit swollen, but the ache is controllable with a little Advil. All incisions have healed well, and all abdominal pain has ceased.

    We're supposed to warm up a bit today, so I thought I would try a short bike ride and see how it goes. If I don't add another follow-up post, then things went well. I still intend to take it easy for the next couple of weeks or so. No need to push things.....
    Glad to hear things are going well for you. I have been doing better as well. I went for a 15 mile road bike ride last week. It felt really good to get out. My fitness is way off, but it will return.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

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    Ride Results...

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozenspokes
    Glad to hear things are going well for you. I have been doing better as well. I went for a 15 mile road bike ride last week. It felt really good to get out. My fitness is way off, but it will return.
    I finally got in a short ride yesterday (Sunday). By short, it was only 2-3 miles on smooth trails in a state park. The ride itself felt great, but I experienced a bit of abdominal "discomfort" after I got home. Nothing major, things just ached a bit. All seems OK this morning, except for that left testicle, which didn't pain me at all while riding.

    Perhaps Shimanoman's doctor is right: a month off the bike seems pretty reasonable to me. Of course, maybe you younger guys will heal more quickly than this old fart does.

    I'll likely wait a couple more days before attempting another ride.

  17. #17
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    I feel your pain.

    Listen to your body, if you don't, you will pay for it like I did.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  18. #18
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    Well I am 99% sure that I gave myself a hernia over the weekend (this will be my 2nd one in 5 years). I am not happy about this at all. I know there are a lot worse things in the world that could happen, but the fact that it is now just starting to warm up and dry up enough for single track riding in my area couldn't make this any worse. When I got my first one repaired 5 years ago, I remember it being the worse 2 weeks of my life. Everyone else has seemed to have a much better experience, but I was bed ridden for 1 week, and couldn't do much for about a month. I still have a "pins and needles" feeling on my left thigh (was completely numb for a year after the surgery) and some major swelling and bruising. Very depressed about missing out on the opening weeks of the season, and very worried about the outcome of it this time around. I totally respect doctors, nurses, and the rest of the medical world, but only when I'm not involved with them in anyway. Just thinking about doing it all over again is making me sick. blah.

  19. #19
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    My experience has been the "mesh" repair is alot stronger in the long run. I had mine repaired with stainless steel mesh and although the recovery time was very long (6-8 weeks away from the hockey rink for me), I've had zero problems in 10 years.

    My brother, had his scoped, twice. He ripped apart his first "stitch" job playing hockey, about 2 years after the first repair. He had to go back in to have that redone. That was 5 years ago. He still feels tugging in his abdomen when he's playing hockey our working around his property and has no confidence that it won't rip apart again.

    Take the time to heal properly, enjoy the downtime, take apart the bike and clean and regrease everything so its ready to go when you are.

    FYI, I had mine done at the hospital that developed the "mesh" method in Toronto. Shouldice Hospital is a specialized hospital doing only hernia repairs, as many as 15 per day. My surgeon had completed 2500 hernia repairs!!!

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    Yeah, I had the mesh done 5 years ago on my left side. This one is on my right side (although I am feeling pain in the left side, although there is no visable buldge or other evidence.) I just read all these horror stories from others, (google hernia repair and it will definitely make you 2nd guess getting it repaired), and remember my previous experience with the left repair. I live for the outdoors, physical activities, and chicago weather only allows that from about may-october (unless you enjoy riding in 20F and snow). I'm not going back to the same doctor, that is for sure. Again, I know hernia surgery is at the bottom of the list for "serious" surgeries, but there is always the possibility for major complications (especially with the anatomy of a male) and the fact that I have no idea when I'll be able to get back out to enjoy the sport that I'm obsessed about, and keeps me sane. Call me a wuss, but it is very hard for me to control my thoughts about this. I don't have any other anxiety issues, until it comes to getting put under and carved up

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    I had the mesh as well and no problems since. However, I had a longer recovery than the doctor promised. I was scheduled to be back to work on Monday after having lap. surgery on Thursday. Should have know that wasn't going to happen when I looked at my boys which looked like bowling balls (size and color) and I called in for more pain pills. Was back doing some gentle skiing about 7-8 weeks later and riding fine in the spring.

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    Two Month Report

    On the 25th of April it will be two months since my surgery (today's the 23rd). In general, I truly feel fine and can say that I'm fully healed/recovered. Even that sore left testicle has (finally) gotten better in the last week or so.

    Aside from the fact that I was a couch potato all during the winter and lost whatever physical conditioning I had last fall, I'm riding most of the same trails I usually ride, just not as fast going uphill. In fact, going pretty slow uphill and walking lots.

    To celebrate my return to biking, I bought a used Yeti 575 last Sunday. I like how it rides and have decided to keep it for awhile. It amazes me though, how much wear someone (the original owner) can put on a bike in only one full season of riding.

    Now if I can just survive the season without injuring something else, I'll be real happy!

  23. #23
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    All you laproscopic recipients forgot to mention the "purple sack syndrome" where your nuts swell up to the size of avacodos and turn purple. Good times.

    I missed most of last season recovering from a double laproscopic repair on 2 old sholdice repairs (20 + years) that finally gave out. Also my abdominal muscles have been wrecked from the surgery (they inflate your abdomen so the Dr can work inside) and I don't think exercise is ever going to fix it.

    If I had it to do over again, I would have gone with a Sholdice or conventional patch.

    Ride on!

    JD

  24. #24
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    I have the same type of hernia on the left side, it seems to be really small and not very painful, like maybe 2 out of 10 on the pain scale. I got it on the 3rd of this month and I am having it fixed by the cut into it and patch it method. Im very active, so I just want to get it fixed and be done with it. My doctor said it would be an easy recovery, after reading this I'm getting nervous.

    Im having the surgury on Thursday. Do you think I'll be able to sit at a desk and work in my office by Monday? How big is the scar?

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    shawn - Don't want to scare you, but it's OK to be a little nervous. Recovery depends on many factors including age, fitness, size of hernia, & repair method. I had two old fashioned tension repairs almost 25 years ago on both the left and right side. Blew out the left side again two years ago in a nasty skiing fall. Finally had it repaired with mesh one month ago after it started bothering me. Turns out I had two hernias on the left side, so my patch is rather big.

    I ride hard 8 to 10 hours per week, but that all stopped for the last month. I am actually amazed that some folks here are allowed by their MDs to ride so soon after surgery as the first few weeks are critical for good long term results. My doctor told me NO driving for one week (mostly because of pain killers), and NO riding and NO lifting anything over 5 pounds for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, I could do whatever I want. Well it's been 4 weeks so I can ride again, but I can tell you that it will probably take the next 4 to 8 weeks to get back to pre-surgery levels.

    The open patch method is the way to go now. My doctor is one of the pre-eminent surgeons in the SF Bay Area (does hundreds of these each year) and he told me that Laproscopic was very popular 10 years ago, but long term results now show that failure rates for the lap method are higher than that of the open patch method (I confirmed this with published clinical trial data). He won't do lap anymore as a result. Part of the problem with the lap method is that the mesh can not be secured with sutures on one side, so it is more prone to failure. An open patch method also works better when complications arise (such as a second hernia as in my case). And forget about the old tension style repair method (no patch) - these have very high failure rates of 30% or more.

    Best to take a full week off from work as the first week is the worst. The second week is better and by the third week, you'll feel pretty good again. Everyone is different though. Just don't rush your recovery as you don't want to go thru this again! Good luck...
    Last edited by rblatner; 05-03-2009 at 01:14 AM.

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    Oh man! I was really hoping I could get back to my office on Monday, I don't have to lift anything, all I have to do is sit there and work away. This is probobly the underlying cause of this. I stopped going to the gym 5 years ago and I have been riding very little, and my fitness level has slowly gone downhill. This has been a wakeup call, as soon as I can, it's back to the gym and back on the bike and less sitting at the desk and on the couch.

    Thanks for the advise, I'll take it an and make a slow recovery!

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    Good luck Shawn. I hope all goes well.

    Re: whether open is better than lap, it depends upon the patient and the surgeon. Much of the camp that claims that open has a lower recurrence rate than lap bases their opinion on an old VA study conducted in the 90s. The equipment has improved since then and so have the methods. More recent studies taking into account experience of the surgeon suggest that both methods are equal in terms of recurrence rate.

    The limiting factors with lap are, like I said, the patient and the surgeon. The more body fat you have, the more difficult the procedure is for the surgeon to perform. All that lard gets in the way of the scope and makes it difficult to see what is going on. In addition, the lap procedure is more difficult to perform than the open procedure and comes with a steeper learning curve for the surgeon. While a surgeon who does open may be very good if he performs only 20 or so procedures a year, one who does lap may need to be doing 50 to 100 per year to achieve the same level of competence. For that reason, most surgeons will stick w/ open.

    Bottom line is, find a surgeon who does tons of whichever method you select, loose the spare tire before surgery, and follow your doc's post-op instructions - not some stranger's over the internet. ; ^ ).

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    Will do! I am having the open, I have zero body fat, not that it matters to much for open, and I'm still in good shape, especially for my age. Im hoping not to have to take any pain killers. In '86 I had my nose completely reconstructed after an MX accident. I was told that I would have to take pain killers, but I didn't need any, so I hope the same will be true again.

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    shawn - Don't be a hero, take the painkillers. The nurses we talked to said those patients that take their pain meds actually recover faster. Something to do with feeling better promotes faster healing, less swelling etc. Don't know how true it is, but after the local wears off, day 2 and 3 can be pretty painful. I had the same intentions of not taking the pain meds, but caved and was glad I did. Felt much better, slept better, and could get around better. Besides, Vicodin kicks butt!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rblatner
    shawn - Don't be a hero, take the painkillers. The nurses we talked to said those patients that take their pain meds actually recover faster. Something to do with feeling better promotes faster healing, less swelling etc. Don't know how true it is, but after the local wears off, day 2 and 3 can be pretty painful. I had the same intentions of not taking the pain meds, but caved and was glad I did. Felt much better, slept better, and could get around better. Besides, Vicodin kicks butt!
    That makes sense, less pain, less stress, better healing. In the case of my nose surgery, there was never any pain involved, right after the accident or after surgery. Even though my face looked like something out of a horror movie, I never had to take pain meds. In fact the worst part was the student nurse trying to put an IV in my arm, what a hack job. Oh, that reminds me, I got a hannie from one of the nurses, that was a little wierd, but I was in to much shock to care. For what that surgery cost, I should have got more then a hannie. Actually, I shouldn't say that, what the Dr. did for me was a miracle! Ok, Im blabbing on, good night!

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    Ah yes... nursing can be a noble profession. Lucky dog! Don't count on that happening again. You'll understand when your cajones swell up like watermelons. Ice 'em down and good luck!
    Last edited by rblatner; 05-04-2009 at 03:38 PM.

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    Oh great, no one told be about swollen nuts!!

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    I had my surgery about 3 hours ago. Everything went good, Im on Norko, only a little swelling over the incision and the boys aren't swollen at all! I'll keep you posted.

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    Glad to hear it went well. Be glad your nads didn't swell up like watermelons! I am back riding after 4 weeks this week from hernia surgery - one hour on Monday, two hours on Wednesday, both easy rides. Tomorrow I hit some good stuff - nothing too difficult as I think it will be a few weeks more before I am 100%.

    Enjoy the meds...

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    Last night, about 8 pm I got sick to my stomach, I think it's the pain meds. I had been up a couple of times to go to the bathroom and a couple other short trips and everything was fine. Then my GF made me dinner, I sat up to eat and like a minute later I was making good use of the plastic bucket that she got me. And she's a good cook, so it wasn't the sight of the food. Today I have periods of feeling pretty crapy, nausea, chills, a little dizzy. I seem to feel really bad about when it's time to take the pain meds. But my GF saws there's no way I could have withdrawls this soon. Im increasing the time between meds from 4 to 6 hours, hoping that will help. The pain isn't to bad and Im really thirsty all the time. My dog hurt an ACL in her back leg a couple days ago. She's a 2 year old 95 pound puppy, so keeping her calm is kinda hard. So we are just chillin and recovering together. I wanted to go for a little walk tonight, but I don't think I'll be able to, maybe tomorrow.

    Oh, I almost forgot, after the surgery, for about 8 hours, my left thigh and my elephant trunk (lol), were completely numb. I was pretty worried about that. But now everything is feeling good. They gave me a local, along with knocking me out. When the knockout nurse gave me the shot in the IV line, she didn't tell me what it was. I asked her if that was it, and she said yes. About 10 seconds later, I said, "oh yea, that's it!" My GF said I got a glazed look over my face, she said that I kissed her and told her that I loved her, I don't remember that part, but I had already planned on telling her that I loved her a lot. So I was glad to her that I told her. I remember moving myself off the gurney and onto the operating table. Then I woke up there was a nurse right there, I didn't have any sence of time passing, so I put my hand down there, I didn't feel anything, So I asked her if they did it and she said, yes that everything went good. Everyone was really nice there. They gave me a get well card and everyone involded signed it.
    Last edited by Mountain Cycle Shawn; 05-08-2009 at 01:43 PM.

  36. #36
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    Day 2 and day 3 are the worst. I was popping 1 tab of Vicodin every 4 hours around the clock for 5 days. And then in the evenings for the next few days - yeah those were some good meds.

    After my surgery on day 1, I was very nauseous. Tried my hardest to puke before leaving the hospital, but mostly dry heaves. Nurses said it is the anesthesia that causes the nauseousness and is quite common. The Doc told me nothing but an easy/liquid diet for the first day (crackers, 7 up, jello, etc) and that on the second day to ease back in to regular food again. So maybe it is not the pain meds. You should know soon enough.

    I still have some numbness in the scar area, but it is gradually going away. Did not have Mr. Happy go numb - that must have been scary. Had a great 2 hour ride today with about 1,500 feet of total climbing, mostly moderate stuff. Noticed a huge difference since Monday though, which was exactly 4 weeks and my first day that I was allowed to ride. Hope to ratchet it up a little next week, although I am making sure not ride consecutive days to allow proper healing.

    You probably won't feel like doing much of anything the first week. By the second week, you should be more up to long walks. Good luck and just play it by ear now and do what works best for you...
    Last edited by Fiendbear; 05-08-2009 at 04:30 PM.

  37. #37
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    Riding after 4 weeks! I think that's pretty good!

    I went off the pain meds last night. They were just making me feel so crapy. On a scale from 1 to 10 I would say that my pain only went up about 1/2 a point. Not very much increase in pain, so that was well worth it for me. But, the bottom of my left foot hurts now, it feels like planter fasciitis, I have had that problem a couple times in the past.

    I didn't realize, till I stopped taking the pain meds, how foggy they made me feel. Now the world is crystal clear, and I feel much better.

    So it's just laying on the couch all day, with my dog and GF, but there is Indy qualifing, and the NASCAR race tonight, that will keep me entertained.

  38. #38
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    Today I went into the office at 10, I stayed till 3. It was pretty tough just to sit at a desk, work and make sure everyone else is doing their work like they should. I still feel like crap, it hurts, I get really warm and start to sweat, some chills and dizzyness. I was able to get caught up and get back home where I feel much better, so I feel it was worth the effort. I took two big dumps this morning, that was the first time since the morning of the surgery. I was getting kinda worried about that, I didn't want the pain of having to push a brick out. My weiner and nuts are still totally bruised, and there is a big bruise still making it way around half way to my ass and it's still pretty swollen over the incision. I woke up with wood this morning, I thought that would be painful, but it wasn't. And now I know that everything works! Everyday gets a little better!

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    Good to hear you're recovering. The first few days are certainly tough. I am at 5 weeks now and just did a gnarly 3.5 hour ride at Skeggs here in Nor Cal, easily 2k+ in elev gain. Had not planned on riding quite that long, but once committed, there is no place to bail. Felt pretty good. No pain when riding, but still a little more work than I am used to. Surpised that my recovery has been so rapid in the last week. Good luck with yours...

  40. #40
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    It's been a little while since I posted. Iv'e been feeling good and have been really busy. I had my surgery on the 7th. I last posted on Monday the 11th, the day I went back to work. On the 17th I went for a short ride and everything felt good. On the 18th I went for a motorcycle ride and I went to my follow up visit with the Dr. He said everything looks good. I had a pretty big mound over the incision area, he said it will go away, and each day it gets smaller. The scar looks pretty good, its about 3 inches long, and it's very straight and thin. But, about the last 4 days I have had a tender spot on my belly about four inches above the incision, about the size of the palm of my hand. I first felt it when I tried to sleep on my stomach. For some reason when I sleep that way, it really streches my abs out in that area. When I feel it with my fingers, it feels like there is a thin string, under the skin, going from the incision, up to the tender area. I don't know if it is a striation in the muscle. I can't imagine that it is something the Dr. put there. I would think that if he attached something to the patch from up there, there would have been bruising from going up under the skin, that far up. But, I didn't have any brusing up there. Maybe it is the upper edge of the patch. I am a little worried about it, but I plan on going back to the gym next Wednesday, It's time I got my azz back into shape.

  41. #41
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    Hernia's - yep, 3 of them here. Had my first 3 years ago. It was abdominal, up high about 3 in above my belly button just off center. It was repaired by incision. Recovery took about a month before I felt 100% again.

    Had a bilat inguinal hernia repaired this year. Left side had a small bulge, right side was weak. Surgery was laproscopic, 3 holes. Mesh placed behind the muscle tissue on both sides. Surgeon told me this was the best repair since your insides press against the mesh behind the muscle wall. Likelyhood of reoccurence is less than 1%. I was in pain for 3 days. Recovery took a week. I was on my bike on the 8th day. It's like it never happened.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
    It's been a little while since I posted. Iv'e been feeling good and have been really busy. I had my surgery on the 7th. I last posted on Monday the 11th, the day I went back to work. On the 17th I went for a short ride and everything felt good. On the 18th I went for a motorcycle ride and I went to my follow up visit with the Dr. He said everything looks good. I had a pretty big mound over the incision area, he said it will go away, and each day it gets smaller. The scar looks pretty good, its about 3 inches long, and it's very straight and thin. But, about the last 4 days I have had a tender spot on my belly about four inches above the incision, about the size of the palm of my hand. I first felt it when I tried to sleep on my stomach. For some reason when I sleep that way, it really streches my abs out in that area. When I feel it with my fingers, it feels like there is a thin string, under the skin, going from the incision, up to the tender area. I don't know if it is a striation in the muscle. I can't imagine that it is something the Dr. put there. I would think that if he attached something to the patch from up there, there would have been bruising from going up under the skin, that far up. But, I didn't have any brusing up there. Maybe it is the upper edge of the patch. I am a little worried about it, but I plan on going back to the gym next Wednesday, It's time I got my azz back into shape.
    A little update. This is what I posted on another threat:

    I'm pretty much 100% now, but I do have some thrombosis from the surgery, I went and saw my surgeon about it and he said, that it happens. He said he has never seen it, but he said I am lean and musculer, so it is easy to see and feel. I have a little pain and tenderness from the incision up to my bellly button and I can feel string like structues under the skin, I can stretch my abs out on that side with my hand and you can see it, it's kinda wierd. He said the blood vessels that are cut start to clot up and they heal through an inflamation process, he says that is what I am feeling. I noticed it the first time on the 18th of last month when I tried to sleep on my stomach, it hurt and that area was really tight and it felt like I pulled some muscles apart, but doc says it's thrombosis. But the repair itself is really good and I can do anything I want with no problems.

  43. #43
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    Hernia recovery

    Just had bilateral laparoscopic repair done, using mesh, on Monday. It's now Thursday, and I walked 2 miles to work today (Thursday) as usual, and spent a half day in the office; no bruising at all, but am still using occasional percocet for pain (which really is not that bad). Not bad for a 62 yo guy! I must say, though, I was scared to death after reading some of the posts on this forum prior to surgery--I hope people will be careful and considerate in their descriptions, knowing that others will be reading them pre-surgery. Regarding the result: I'm probably lucky because I had surgery at Landstuhl Army Hospital/Germany--a very experienced/high volume medical facility. Regarding research regarding relapse rates for lap vs open approaches--very controversial. Basically, the research shows that it depends mostly on how much experience your surgeon has with the lap. procesure. So if you're considering laproscopic, it's a good idea to ask how many procedures your doc has done (I've heard at least 70/year is a good benchmark). With experienced physicians, the complication/relapse rate is at least as good as the open procedure, according to my understanding. FWIW.

  44. #44
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    drjbgmail,

    Glad to hear you are doing well. I did not exaggerate about my experience, and just thought folks should know. My doctor was the head of the laproscopic team at the hospital I went to and had "perfected" the procedure. He had done over 2200 surgeries by the time he did mine. Perhaps I had hernias that were a bit more complicated than usual so I suffered more from his efforts. I think it was more like he had a bad day and took it out on me. My right nut disappears from time to time because of his skill. He suggested that I see a urologist to get it fixed.
    It's always a crap shoot.

    JD

  45. #45
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    So what does a hernia feel like pain/sensation wise? Where is the pain located in relation to the bottom of your rib cage? I've had this nagging pain for a couple months now with no idea what it is... I figured it was associated with the appendicitis I had a couple months ago but I've suspected a hernia for a while.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacon11
    So what does a hernia feel like pain/sensation wise? Where is the pain located in relation to the bottom of your rib cage? I've had this nagging pain for a couple months now with no idea what it is... I figured it was associated with the appendicitis I had a couple months ago but I've suspected a hernia for a while.
    It depends where you have the hernia. You can have a hernia anywhere along your abdomen wall, and other places for that matter. Mine was a left inguinal hernia. You have a tube inside you on both sides, where cords and vessels run down to your nuts, that's where mine poped. The bulge, aka: my intestines getting pushed out, was just above and to the left of the base of my Mr. Happy pole. It looked like someone put something about the size of my thumb under the skin, pointed twards the base of Mr. Happy. I could suck it in and then push and it would pop out. Im really lean, so the bulge could be seem, but must people won't be able to see a small bulge because of their fat. The first thing I noticed was a pain in my left nut. It was enough pain all of a sudden, dull and aching, about 4 on the scale, to know something wasn't right. I felt around my nuts for a lump, but couldn't find one, I was thinking maybe I had something in common with Greg Lemond. Then I noticed a small lump in the area I described before. I pushed down on my abs and pop went the hernia. I could feel it and hear it pop. I took my finger and pushed it back in and went Mother F&%$#r! I knew what it was and I knew as active as I am, that it would have to be fixed. After it poped the pain went away in my nuts, and now I had the pain at the hernia area. It was a little more sharper then before, but it never got worse then 4 on the scale, but most of the time the pain was around 2 so it was totally managable. After the surgery, I would say the pain was around 7 for a few days. For me the Norko did nothing to ease the pain, It did make me barf though.

  47. #47
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    Hernia pain

    As mentioned in the previous post, pain from a hernia really does seem to vary a lot--from zero pain to fairly severe, acute pain. For those with few symptoms, the doc may recommend no surgery at all. For myself, I had noted a dull aching pain in the area of the groin that intersects the thigh and also just above the scrotum. Intensity was mostly low (2/10, sometimes goes to a 4/10 with exertion). Because the hernia came on slowly, I simply learned to ignore it, and it was diagnosed during a routine exam--much to my surprise. After the operation the surgeon said both hernias (right and left) were large and would have caused problems further down the road. I'm glad I had it done because I'm physically active (even at 62), and didn't want to find myself stranded in the mountains, for example, with a sudden hernia problem. FWIW.

  48. #48
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    short on time so I havent read the thread but will, meanwhile just talked about surgery after 5+ years with an IH. Top dog surgeon here told me best to have a bilateral patch with central overlap. Almost no failures and best recovery as things are symetrical and that decreases pull and therefore pain and recovery time.
    I'll try to get back to this tonight but just wanted to add this incase it hasnt been mentioned
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  49. #49
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    Reading this post surgery...I am day 15 after the surgery, the issue of numbness in the nuts is weird but getting better and other than no riding for at least another week or two I feel MUCH better. I had the Shouldice procedure done due to the size of the hernia. Great Dr and nurses, and I am not a fan of the DR's office let me tell you!!!
    Enjoying the walks and just want to take it slow and have a full recovery even though it means missing friends and bikes. It could be alot worse...
    Take care everyone.

  50. #50
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    It's five weeks now and due to tenderness in "the area" I decided to wait until this past week to ride my bike. Using the MTB on the paved path (no real hills) and riding 30-45 mins every other day.
    You will feel better...it just takes some time.

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