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I'm having an incisional hernia surgery next Friday - anyone had it before?

(16 Posts)
whomovedmychocolate Sat 23-Aug-08 20:56:45

As a result of a buggered up caesarian I've got a fairly sizeable incisional hernia, which I am booked in to have done next Friday.

I've been told it's very similar in recovery to a caesarian and that I'm definitely going to be banned from the wii fit for a few weeks but I can't find anyone who has had anything like this so I am hoping someone can tell me it'll all be fine.

Have to leave DS with DD, DH and MiL and they are going to have to feed him expressed milk as well - he's only six weeks old bless him.

Have requested a spinal rather than a general so I don't have to pump and dump afterwards but have been told that decision will have to be made on the day.

Am a tad nervous

expatinscotland Sat 23-Aug-08 21:01:59

Bumping for you, whomoved.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 23-Aug-08 21:09:13

Thanks Expat. Though I'm sort of hoping I'm on my own in this - otherwise the NHS has fucked up more than once! hmm BTW I got my notes and in them they admit that I had a rectus muscle prolapse during the surgery but then doesn't note they did anything about it shock.

When this was pointed out to them, I was booked into a pre-admission surgery appt the next day for an ECG and booked into the first day the surgeon was working which happens to be next Friday. Surprising how the waiting list just seems to vanish when they accidentally admit buggering up hmm

expatinscotland Sat 23-Aug-08 21:11:02

I'm still so angry about how you were treated, whomoved.

Since they can do a whole csection under regional anaesthesia, I don't see why they can't do this repair as such.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 23-Aug-08 21:16:33

Actually the surgeons don't like to do so (I have spoke to a few off the record on this) and it's because if they discover something scary or indeed if they have fucked up more than they thought, they don't want you listening in to them discussing it. hmm

Now I sort of agree with that - you don't want to hear 'ooh bugger' when someone is rummaging in your innards do you?

Also there is a risk with repeat epidurals within months - of infections in the (is it dural, can't remember) space. Also you can get an epidural headache lasting weeks.

expatinscotland Sat 23-Aug-08 21:23:57

I can totally see that! It's more for the surgeons' benefit. Well, maybe it would keep them more in line if they had to lose their crutch.

I just come for a place where GA is almost NEVER given except when it is totally necessary.


Because of costs, of course. In fact, in the US, if you want a GA and it's not 'medically necessary', your insurance generally will only pay for what is and you have to pay the difference in costs.

Then, of course, there is more post-op cost involved with GA.

That doesn't mean you go in and have the surgery with only the anaesthesia.

You're usually doped to the nines as well and fall asleep or they give you drugs that make you lose your memory or go in and out.

My dad, for example, had a prostatectomy under epidural anaesthetic.

I had an ACL reconstruction with a spinal block. Surgery was nearly 3 hours long, too.

I've heard of people getting headaches.

But is it really taht common?

whomovedmychocolate Sat 23-Aug-08 21:30:28

Apparently it's about 30% of people with repeat epidurals within six months (which raises an interesting question about how long it takes for the drugs to leave the body). I had one after DS for about three weeks but it wasn't too bad.

I've had lots of surgery with locals because I have probs coming out of it anaesthesia in the past. And I loathe sedative drugs - can't stand feeling out of it. I'm surprised they haven't started cutting back on generals too though because they guarantee an overnight stay.

I'm hoping they'll go for a spinal rather than a leave in epidural as well. Although it is a bit more irksome. When I had DS I could wriggle my toes and could feel DS kicking the top of my bump after then had cut into my uterus and were trying to get him out!

expatinscotland Sat 23-Aug-08 21:32:39

Oh, I like the sedatives.

But then, when I was young I used to smoke a lot of pot and enjoyed feeling out of it.

My spinal went great. VERY quick and I definitely couldn't feel a thing not even my feet.

I remember being wheeled into theatre and looking down and seeing my leg in the air, getting covered and Betadine and thinking, 'Weird, I can't feel that.'

whomovedmychocolate Sat 23-Aug-08 21:37:04

Yeah, you see, I could feel the coldness of the swabs on my stomach and the midwife dropped her flipchart on my foot and I yelled (you can see the operation was a total success).

Mind you the epidural with DD was worse, could feel nothing from the shoulders down and my boobs were shooting milk continually which was bubbling like a fountain all over my chest hmm

expatinscotland Sat 23-Aug-08 22:01:19

OMG! How dreadful.

I felt jack shit with that spinal. And I was shocked at how FAST it was.

I didn't feel anything with the one I had for DD1, either.

The midwife had to feel my uterus and tell me when to push whilst the consultant did the forceps bit.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 23-Aug-08 22:09:21

hmm mine took 30 minutes to take hmm

expatinscotland Sat 23-Aug-08 22:11:48

Oh, my spinal, for my ACL, took minutes.

I literally rolled into a ball on my side, the anaesthetist put in a numbing injection.

Then he did the big one.

Told me to try to roll over a minute or so later.

Only my top half moved.

They rolled me straight into the theatre.

With my epi with DD1, the anaesthetist came in, DH held my hands and the midwife kept me sitting up in position, she put the numbing stuff in, and she was done with the epi in minutes.

aliasdictus Sun 24-Aug-08 23:20:36

Dear Chocolate, a little bit of info for you. Hernias occur as a result of weakness in a layer, when pregnant the tummy wall stretches and you can develop a hernia which may be noted at operation. Afterwards, if you are too vigarous, especially at 10 days when the wound is particularly weak, the wound stiches can pull out causing an incisional hernia. It is NOT caused by the surgeon. Hernias don't get better, they get worse so the fact that your surgeon is planning on repairing it sooner rather than later is good news and reflects well, it is nothing to do with having made a mistake. Having a spinal or epidural or GA is dictated by the size and position of the hernia and the patient, if the hernia is too large then the spinal or epidural will not reach high enough before it affects the breathing. A knee or prostate is much lower down so the effect on breathing is not an issue. So, as you can see, there are lots of factors.

Now, the last reason for a surgeon deciding on a GA is that he doesn't want to give you any further cause for grumbling. By your own words you feel they have buggared it up, you want a spinal, the NHS has fucked up, they didn't repair it at the time,you don't want repeat epidurals, you don't want sedatives, you don't want headaches, you don't like cold swabs, you don't like a chart being dropped on your foot, you don't like not feeling anything from the shoulders down etc etc etc

Perhaps you could be a little less critical, you will find all NHS staff will respond to positive comments rather than continual harping and unjustifed criticism. However, if you go into hospital next week spouting all these accusations you will seriously piss a lot of people off and that cannot be good for your health or psyche.

expatinscotland Sun 24-Aug-08 23:33:13

I still say go for the fentanyl .

Seriously, if I didn't have a pre-op all those times I'd have been a wreck. I don't know how you do it, chocolate, you must have nerves of steel.

Again, I've had 3 epidurals now in three different hospitals and surgical centres so perhaps ask the anaesthetist.

I have genetic hyperthermia which was discovered in one op but since then I've gone on to have a GA and they managed my condition whilst I was out with some drugs.

expatinscotland Sun 24-Aug-08 23:39:05

I just thought of one other benefit to GA: only one needle.

If you're not a needle-lover, this is a good thing.

Regional blocks and you're looking at two for the block plus the cannula.

whomovedmychocolate Mon 25-Aug-08 11:27:58

aliasdictus - I know about hernias thanks. If you want to defend the hospital that's fine - actually a lot went well in hospital but:

(1) despite me mentioning it on a daily basis - no one looked at the large blue lump on my stomach.
(2) No midwife visited me when I was discharged so no-one checked me then.
(3) When I raised the matter directly with the surgeon when I was readmitted for a post partum infection he shrugged and told me to see my GP rather than telling me what the problem was delaying treatment for two weeks.
(4) I'm only getting the op now and not in 18 weeks because I questioned the above.

I've been more than fair to the people involved. Whether they caused the hernia or they didn't (and actually since they note that they cut through the muscle layers to get through an adhered previous scar I don't actually think it's necessarily true that this is a result of muscle weakness which was there because of pregnancy) is beside the point.

It's nice of you to try and defend the docs - I actually think they are under a lot of pressure and things go wrong now and then, which is why I'm trying to get it sorted out rather than doing what a lot of people would do and hiring an ambulance chasing lawyer.

All I want is to be able to pick up my newborn without pain. If that makes me cranky - so be it. hmm

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