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Can ayone who's had a hernia op give me your experiences pls? Need more info...

(11 Posts)
tearinghairout Mon 19-Oct-09 10:02:00

I've had a hernia since Feb (next to my belly button). It's getting to the point where I can't exercise - even fast walking - without it pulling, so I've got a hosp appt next week to discuss sorting it.

So, please tell me - did you have to wait long for the op? How long were you in hosp, what kind of operation did you have, & how long did it take for you to recover? Could you drive straight away or not?

Many thanks smile

copycat Mon 19-Oct-09 12:50:16

Hi tearinghairout, I have had surgery twice for two separate hernias so I will try and help.

The first operation was for an inguinal hernia (in my groin) and I had to wait nearly 18 months from first seeing my GP. The delay was getting to see the Consultant. It turned out that the original referral from my GP either got lost or was never done so several months passed before I chased it up. Once I had been seen at the hospital the operation was scheduled within a few weeks. It was a day surgery op and I was home within a few hours. I had little pain to be honest and I think I was driving within a couple of weeks.

In March last year I had a hysterectomy and I was left with a large incisional abdominal hernia which was diagnosed before I was discharged from hospital. I didn't have surgery to repair the hernia until November as other health issues took priority and I had two other (more urgent) operations between March and November which delayed the hernia repair. Once you have been seen at the hospital next week I believe that, under NHS guidelines, there is an maximum 18 week wait for surgery.

I don't think my recovery experiences from this surgery will be much of a guideline for you as I had two other non-hernia related surgical procedures carried out during the same operation as the hernia repair (which went from hip to hip - wider than my ceasarean and hysterectomy scars). I was in hospital for 4 nights and I drove for the first time in an automatic car (and out of necessity) 3 weeks and 1 day after surgery. I wouldn't have been able to drive a manual car at that point I don't think.

On a more practical note I found that wearing an abdominal binder both before and after surgery really helped to hold in the hernia and alleviate the pain. I wore it at the gym as well!

Sorry this is long (and mostly irrelevant!). Good luck with your appointment.

tearinghairout Mon 19-Oct-09 17:22:03

Copycat - many thanks, it sounds as though you've really been through the mill.

Interesting what you say about the binder. I asked my doctor about wearing a 'corset' type thing and he said 'we don't do that these days' or words to that effect, but maybe I can find something. I'll ask when I go to the hospital.

OK, one question - when you had the hernia op, was it keyhole surgery? you say it was a 'day' op, so did they put you under? How long did the op take and how long before you came round?

thanks very much. (You can see I'm a bit ignorant here. I've read loads of stuff on t'internet, much of it conflicting, so need anecdotes now!)

Romanarama Mon 19-Oct-09 18:49:57

My dh had an inguinal hernia op (privately so as not to wait at all because he was in quite a lot of pain). He had heavy sedation though I believe not general anaesthetic, and about 14 staple stitches. He was in hospital for one night and ended up taking about a week off work, contrary to his expectations, as found it very painful. He's a bit of a hypochondriac though, so not sure whether that would apply to everyone. There was another man there the same day who got up and walked home after the same operation. But the incision was pretty long I thought, and looked quite dramatic.

whichwitchisthis Mon 19-Oct-09 19:03:24

I had an epigastric hernia due to having three kids and the fact that my stomach muscles have seperated

I got referred for a scan, then saw a consultant and was booked in for a repair within 4 months

It was a day op, I was put under and out by tea time, I went out for a meal the night after and was a bit tender but no really bad pain at all

Had 3 months off work but I do a pretty manual job my incision is above my belly button and only an inch long, it's horizontal

I found that wearing spanx helped and still fo as my back is still unsupported as my stomach muscles weren't repaired and I'm waiting for a refferal for physio to help bring them back together

HTH grin

copycat Mon 19-Oct-09 19:26:07

The first inguinal hernia operation was not keyhole, no. I had a general anaesthetic and the incision was about 3cm. I can't remember how long I was in theatre but I do remember that DH was annoyed that he had to leave work earlier than he expected to come and get me! Well not annoyed exactly, but we both expected that I would be in hospital until late afternoon and I think the nurses wanted to kick me out about 2.30 or 3pm. I had to be there very early though - about 7am as I recall. With a 'short' op time I came round from the anaesthetic quite quickly. Once I was back on the Day Surgery ward the nurses were keen to get me to eat and drink so that they could discharge me. It was all a bit hurried for me to be honest. I wanted to sleep not eat a sandwich!

The second hernia repair was obviously a much longer op because of the other two concurrent procedures and, as I said, the incision was hip to hip. I was in the recovery room (awake) for about an hour and a half before being taken back to the ward.

The abdominal binder was given to me by a consultant I saw a week after my hysterectomy in March and he insisted that I wear it until the hernia was repaired. After the eventual repair surgery in November the (same) Consultant/surgeon fitted me in a another binder immediately after operating and I therefore came back to the ward wearing it. I think I continued to wrap myself in it for several weeks as I felt it protected my tummy and provided support.

Hope that helps. Good luck.

tearinghairout Mon 19-Oct-09 21:30:43

Hi, yes, it does help. whichwitch mine is due to the muscles separating too, after I had dtwins. I was fine for 15 years, then felt it 'go' when I was throwing the ball for the dog back in Feb. A good tip about the spanx, too - I'll go and dig mine out (well, they're cheapo copies from New Look hmm) but will help, I'm sure.

You say you were off work for 3 months - do you drive? If so, did you have to stop at all? I'm a bit worried because I live in the back of beyond, no buses etc. so depend on the car.

Many thanks to you all.

tearinghairout Mon 19-Oct-09 21:34:14

Have also never thought about physio for the muscles - interesting! I met someone who had the op but was warned it could 'go' again if she isn't very careful. She'd had twins too. But this is less likely of the muscles are repaired, no doubt.

whichwitchisthis Tue 20-Oct-09 09:47:33

hi sorry I don't drive but I think it was a fortnight on my pre-op notes they gave me

dh is self employed and could only take three days off work so I had to look after our then 7 month old (massive very heavy baby) which was a bit scary trying not to pick him up too much etc, but it wasn;t that bad, they gave me some good painkillers!!

I only found out about the physio cos someone on here mentioned it helped them, if you google diastasis recti (sp?) it should bring some stuff up, there's also the Tupler Technique which is really really low inpact exercises to help bring the muscles back together, basically in involves you sitting with your back to a wall and pulling you stomach into your back, I think that would be fine after you've recovered from your op

I just mentioned it to my gp when I went to get signed off the sick so I could return to work and he said yep that's a good idea wil help with the backache etc, I'm off next Tues now so will let you know what it involves if you want

I'm not sure how likely the muscles are to actually return to where they should be, you can have them stitched back together, but they won't do this on the NHS as it's considered "cosmetic" sad

tearinghairout Tue 20-Oct-09 13:05:04

Golly. I wonder if you did yourself further damage picking up the baby? You can't tell him that you can't, and my family don't seem to understand either that I can't do any 'heaving' these days.When I think of the massively heavy sewing machine, crates of dogfood, and all the other stuff I've heaved about since the birth...

I SO wish someone had told me about the dangers of getting a hernia. They don't mention this at the NCT clsses, do they?! After my dtws were born I put my hand right in, up to the back bone! (Well, might not have been, but I convinced myself it was hmm) Anyway, told my doc and he just smiled indulgently. I tried sit-ups but the muscles bulged outwards, which was a bit of a worry, so gave up. So... thanks whichwitch, I'll do some googling & also ask the consultant. Thanks, I feel much more informed.

whichwitchisthis Tue 20-Oct-09 13:55:44

You should not do any sit ups or any abdominal exercise as that can "fix" the stomach muscles so they don;t move back

My stomach muscles were already seperated before the hernis so lifting the baby won't have done any harm, just not recommended after an op lol

If your muscles are making a king of point when you do a situp the muscles are seperated

I went to about three docs before they would believe me about the muscles let alone the hernia angry in fact one told me that the lump would go away if I exercised!

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