Laparoscopic hernia advocate

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Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:05 pm

It has been almost a month since I underwent hernia repair surgery and I thought I would share my experiences for those who find themselves in the same situation.

In 2004 I developed an inguinal hernia on the left hand side that I had repaired with open surgery. The surgeon was loath to use the laparoscopic method because I was so very big at the time. The hernia was repaired: 17 staples, 2 nights in hospital, 1 week off work, 6 weeks recovery. I had nagging issues with the repair for about a year afterwards then it finally settled down.

This year after a 70km (not at all hard) ride I was showering when I noticed a bulge in the right hand side of my groin. Being much lighter and fitter than I was in 2004 I was able to have a laparoscopic procedure done. The hernia was repaired: 3 small scars with dissolving stitches, 1 night in hospital, no time off work, back on the bike in a week. No issues in the short time since.

For what it's worth, laparoscopic surgery wins hands down for hernia repair. Your mileage may vary.

Feel free to ask any questions.

David
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by BNA » Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:21 am

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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby Daus » Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:21 am

Thanks for the positive info I am scheduled for surgery next Tuesday and have been worried about the procedure. I am having both sides done and the surgeon wants to do it the same way as yours as I am very active- the only down side 2 weeks off the bike and the real pain no surfing for 6 weeks.
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby Colin_T » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:56 pm

I've heard of people getting a hernia but I don't know what it is. Can someone explain what it is, (if it's not too embarrasing) :)
Kicked a black cat? Sounds more like ran over one, backed over it, hunted down its mother and did the same.
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:32 pm

Daus wrote:Thanks for the positive info I am scheduled for surgery next Tuesday and have been worried about the procedure. I am having both sides done and the surgeon wants to do it the same way as yours as I am very active- the only down side 2 weeks off the bike and the real pain no surfing for 6 weeks.


Good luck with it. If you were having an open bi-lateral you'd be off the bike for ages. Take it easy when you're meant to be taking it easy and you should have no problems.

Colin_T wrote:I've heard of people getting a hernia but I don't know what it is. Can someone explain what it is, (if it's not too embarrasing) :)


It's not embarrassing at all. 1 in 20 men will have an inguinal hernia at some point in their life.

There are lots of different types of hernia. The term is used to describe a situation where something that should be inside a casing is sticking out of a hole in that casing. You can think of it like a tyre and tube. If there is a hole or cut in the tyre, the tube might bulge out of the tyre with unpleasant consequences. You can have herniated disks in your spine, for example, or part of the stomach can stick through the oesophagus which is called a hiatus hernia. These situations aren't always immediately problematic, but the inside stuff can get caught inside the hole and become strangulated. That's when things become very painful and often life threatening.

The hernia I had, which is quite common for men, is an inguinal hernia. I don't know if I have this 100% correct, but the inguinal canal is the passage way via which the sperm cords reach from the testes to the other parts of the plumbing. Women have the same canal, but obviously it's not for the sperm cords. This is also the canal via which the testes descend when baby boys are forming (I think). Since this is a hole, things can go through it - particularly if there is a weakness there (as in my family; it's often hereditary). The small bowel can protrude through the hole and you end up with a noticeable bulge in your groin.

The two operations I mentioned can be described in terms of the tyre analogy I made before. The open procedure pushes the tube back into the hole and then applies a patch to the outside of the tyre (in the past it would be sewn shut but now they prefer to staple a mesh to the outside and let tissue grow over it). The laparoscopic procedure goes from the inside and puts a patch on the inside of the tyre (in the same way we would boot a tyre). In your body, the pressure from the bowel holds it in place while tissue grows over it.

I think that covers it (no pun intended). If there is something I missed, let me know.

Cheers,
David
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby Colin_T » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:52 pm

it sounds like it would be a little uncomfortable and rather unpleasant when you first notice it. Like, holly crap doc there's a lump in my groin area and it's not from looking at naked girlies :)

does the hernia hurt at all, or is it just a freaky looking lump that feels weird and shouldn't be there?
Kicked a black cat? Sounds more like ran over one, backed over it, hunted down its mother and did the same.
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:26 pm

Colin_T wrote:it sounds like it would be a little uncomfortable and rather unpleasant when you first notice it. Like, holly crap doc there's a lump in my groin area and it's not from looking at naked girlies :)


Absolutely. It's a definite WT?? moment. Then, for me, it was "crap, that's going to cost me", since I had it done privately. I've still got one bill to pay next week - there is quite a difference between the scheduled fee that medicare/health funds pay and the amount I was charged. Still, I had it done at my convenience by a top surgeon in a posh hospital that serves great veggie food.

Colin_T wrote:does the hernia hurt at all, or is it just a freaky looking lump that feels weird and shouldn't be there?


Mine didn't hurt, but it was often uncomfortable. It also went in when I was laying down and out when I stood up again. It felt quite weird when it popped out. It also makes it uncomfortable to push with the muscles down there, such as when your trying to push out a fart. (Yes, I know it's a family show, but we all do it).

The real pain comes when/if it becomes strangulated. I didn't experience that, thankfully, but have been told it's excruciating.

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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby Colin_T » Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:08 pm

bigfriendlyvegan wrote: there is quite a difference between the scheduled fee that medicare/health funds pay and the amount I was charged. Still, I had it done at my convenience by a top surgeon in a posh hospital that serves great veggie food.

LOL, I picked this hospital coz the food is good :)

bigfriendlyvegan wrote: It also went in when I was laying down and out when I stood up again. It felt quite weird when it popped out. It also makes it uncomfortable to push with the muscles down there, such as when your trying to push out a fart. (Yes, I know it's a family show, but we all do it).

it sounds really gross, a thing popping in and out when you lie down or stand up :)
:blurk: we need a little smily face that throws up
Kicked a black cat? Sounds more like ran over one, backed over it, hunted down its mother and did the same.
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby Daus » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:57 am

I feel better about the surgery now, the hernia is more noticeable when laying down paddling on my board and I have some discomfort on my bike when pushing hard- I am really looking forward to having it sorted and getting back to normal. Thanks for the info.
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby ireland57 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:53 am

I had a double hernia in the groin area (just above the hair line). I think they were inguinal. The lumps got bigger over a couple of years so I got them operated on by laproscope.

11 days after the op I went for a walk... was going to be 1km. I walked about 2kms easily then jogged 1 km. Did 4 kms in total.
No issues next day.

Day after that I went back to martial arts training.....no full contact just cardio training.....light.

Best recovery I could have done. That was about 5 years ago.

I had minor issues where the internal repair gauze would "catch" something inside but it was just discomfort for a short period; no hospitals/ambulance or anything.

I just realised you've probably had your op already and this maybe too late for you.

Hope you came out of recovery with a smile on your face. :)
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby Colin_T » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:04 am

ireland57 wrote: Hope you came out of recovery with a smile on your face. :)

the smile was from the morphein :)
Kicked a black cat? Sounds more like ran over one, backed over it, hunted down its mother and did the same.
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby Apple » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:56 pm

bigfriendlyvegan wrote: (a) I'm a cheap arse and (b) I'ma cheap arse.


I am so impressed with you, so you are not a cheap arse after all. Private health care. Well done. :)
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:52 pm

Apple wrote:
bigfriendlyvegan wrote: (a) I'm a cheap arse and (b) I'ma cheap arse.


I am so impressed with you, so you are not a cheap arse after all. Private health care. Well done. :)


Actually, we have private health care because I am a cheap arse. I work on contract, so if I don't work I don't get paid and I have to work when the work is available. I simply can't wait for the public system to fit me in, I need things done in between contracts. It's "cheaper" for us to spend the money on insurance.

Aside from which, we're 100% covered for the fancy posh hospital through our health fund.

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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby twizzle » Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:13 pm

bigfriendlyvegan wrote:...or part of the stomach can stick through the oesophagus which is called a hiatus hernia.


Not quite. Hiatus Hernia is where the diaphragm that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity is torn and your stomach etc. can push up into the chest cavity. I've been living with one for nearly five years, can be a frikken nightmare at times - heart palpitations, shortness of breath, other weird issues. :(

You can also have a sliding hiatus hernia, where the oesophagus is sliding up and down in the hole in the diaphragm - apparently quite common in older people.
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby ValleyForge » Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:50 pm

Apple wrote:
bigfriendlyvegan wrote: (a) I'm a cheap arse and (b) I'ma cheap arse.


I am so impressed with you, so you are not a cheap arse after all. Private health care. Well done. :)



Our public hospital does laparoscopic hernia repair publically. Wait is about 6 months for a free operation. Queensland Health might even be paying the doctors & nurses by then.
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby Daus » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:43 am

I am back after a cancellation the night before the first attempt due to bed shortage at the hospital I finally had the procedure yesterday even though I was waiting a the hospital prepped and ready to go for 8hours due to the patient before me having complications with some type of surgery. I came home today even though I am in some pain but panadol forte seems to be doing the trick I am having the rest of the week off and lounging around- the surgeon suggests I stay of the bike for 2 to 3 weeks or possibly longer if I can hang out to make sure everything heals and not to surf or lift anything for 6 weeks. It looks a little odd now that my lower abdomen is flat again- I am glad its over now and when its all healed I will be able to do things without the discomfort I was feeling before.
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby Colin_T » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:17 pm

good to hear you made it through ok and there were no complications for you. Here's hoping you heal quickly and cleanly and don't get back on the bike too soon, but only so you heal completely :)
Kicked a black cat? Sounds more like ran over one, backed over it, hunted down its mother and did the same.
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:11 am

Colin_T wrote:good to hear you made it through ok and there were no complications for you. Here's hoping you heal quickly and cleanly and don't get back on the bike too soon, but only so you heal completely :)


+1 from me as well. Keep within your limits until you feel comfortable. You really don't want to have to go through all that again, do you?

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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby vitualis » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:17 am

bigfriendlyvegan wrote:For what it's worth, laparoscopic surgery wins hands down for hernia repair. Your mileage may vary.


That isn't a very fair comparison David... it's amazing what losing weight and being fit will do to your post-operative recovery time too! :wink:

Cheers.
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:42 am

vitualis wrote:
bigfriendlyvegan wrote:For what it's worth, laparoscopic surgery wins hands down for hernia repair. Your mileage may vary.


That isn't a very fair comparison David... it's amazing what losing weight and being fit will do to your post-operative recovery time too! :wink:

Cheers.


Absolutely true. My opinion was...an opinion. It is almost as if the surgeries were done on two different people. Having experienced both, however, I still advocate laparoscopic surgery. As mentioned in the original post, your mileage may vary.

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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby sogood » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:17 am

bigfriendlyvegan wrote:Absolutely true. My opinion was...an opinion. It is almost as if the surgeries were done on two different people. Having experienced both, however, I still advocate laparoscopic surgery. As mentioned in the original post, your mileage may vary.

Suitability for laparoscopic and traditional open surgical repair also depend on the exact clinical circumstance. There are certain situations where minimally invasive technique is contra-indicated or offers poorer outcome. So the choice isn't all laparoscopic. Choose your general surgeon wisely and be advised what's most suitable.
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby headset » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:27 pm

I've had a inguinal hernia fixed on my left side a couple of years ago. It was only a minor one and was found by my surgeon while I was visiting on another matter. He decided to fix it only because I was having another procedure at the same time.

Mine wasn't done laparoscopically. No dramas in the short term recovery (aside from the usual pain of surgery etc). I had one night in hospital and two weeks off work. I can't remember when I got on the bike again but it was a while.

I have a couple of lingering issues. First after long and/or hard rides I get an ache in the region of the surgery. It's under the skin - it feels muscular and goes away after a while. It's not a debilitating pain but I can wince if I get a movement wrong (getting in or out of a car for example). The second thing is that I have a region below the 8cm long scar (about palm sized) where the skin is still numb. The incision cut through a number of surface nerves and that region is still numb. Paradoxically the region seems more sensitive to pressure as I can feel pressure it in the deeper tissues.
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby Nico » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:24 pm

bigfriendlyvegan wrote:It has been almost a month since I underwent hernia repair surgery and I thought I would share my experiences for those who find themselves in the same situation.

In 2004 I developed an inguinal hernia on the left hand side that I had repaired with open surgery. The surgeon was loath to use the laparoscopic method because I was so very big at the time. The hernia was repaired: 17 staples, 2 nights in hospital, 1 week off work, 6 weeks recovery. I had nagging issues with the repair for about a year afterwards then it finally settled down.

This year after a 70km (not at all hard) ride I was showering when I noticed a bulge in the right hand side of my groin. Being much lighter and fitter than I was in 2004 I was able to have a laparoscopic procedure done. The hernia was repaired: 3 small scars with dissolving stitches, 1 night in hospital, no time off work, back on the bike in a week. No issues in the short time since.

For what it's worth, laparoscopic surgery wins hands down for hernia repair. Your mileage may vary.

Feel free to ask any questions.

David


Thanks for the info David,

I am getting a double laparoscopic mesh repair done this friday (yes, its the 13th!!) and was wondering how long I will be off the bike for. I know each case is different and that there are all sorts of things that can go right or wrong but at least I have an idea of a best case outcome.. Here's hoping!
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:43 pm

Nico wrote:Thanks for the info David,

I am getting a double laparoscopic mesh repair done this friday (yes, its the 13th!!) and was wondering how long I will be off the bike for. I know each case is different and that there are all sorts of things that can go right or wrong but at least I have an idea of a best case outcome.. Here's hoping!


Good luck Nico. Having a double will probably take longer to heal, but it won't be as long as a broken collar bone or something like that. Make sure you tell the surgeon what you plan to do and get his/her go ahead. I rode to my appointments before and after the surgery. The surgeon was a sports person (not a cyclist, though) and understood the need to get back on the bike.

David
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Re: Laparoscopic hernia advocate

Postby Nico » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:54 pm

bigfriendlyvegan wrote:
Good luck Nico. Having a double will probably take longer to heal, but it won't be as long as a broken collar bone or something like that. Make sure you tell the surgeon what you plan to do and get his/her go ahead. I rode to my appointments before and after the surgery. The surgeon was a sports person (not a cyclist, though) and understood the need to get back on the bike.

David


I was hoping to ride to my appointments also but couldn't find any info on secure (yes I'm paranoid) bike parking around the hospital =\ plenty on car parking though! Oh such a car-centric society we live in.
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