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Double hernia repair done. Getting severe pain. How to get relief?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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i had a double hernia repair (laproscoptic)on 11/21/12. it was a horrible surgery and they ended up having to admit me due to the pain. since then my pain has gotten worse. i cannot stand or sit without pain to the right of my stomach. sometimes a small bulge appears. i had a ct with contrast and it shows no further hernia, no infection and no blockages. the surgeon that performed the surgery just wants me to take pain meds...i don't want pain meds...i feel there is a problem, but after 5 office visits, they will not take a look at other options since the ct was negative. what could this pain be? I have been to the ER due to not being able to tolerate the pain and they have dismissed it and sent me back to the surgeon. I went for another opinion, but they will not talk to me for fear of a "surgery gone bad XXXXXXX My gut is telling me something is there another test that can be done to see? i have tried muscle relaxers, lidoderm patches and meds. nothing kills the pain.
Posted Sat, 16 Feb 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 1 hour later

Thank you for the query.

What kind of hernia repair it was? Inguinal or abdominal hernia? Was it transabdominal surgery or groin surgery?
Generally chronic pain after hernia surgery is something what appears at some part of patients. There is nothing surprising in that and your surgeon should be aware of that. The exact cause is not clear, however it is believed to be due to entrapment of the nerve in the sutures. This causes permanent nerve irritation and hardly any medicines can help with this pain. Moreover, you have a right to feel comfortable after the surgery as this is what it were performed for. Lack of comfort, which is the pain at your case, means that the surgery wasn't successful. Therefore, you need another surgery to fix the problem. Diagnostics of such chronic pain is quite challenging and in some cases it is impossible to give exact answers.
If your hernia were repaired through the abdominal cavity, there is great possibility that you have intraabdominal adhesions (especially that it was not the first abdominal surgery). Such adhesions can make your intestines narrow and lead to partial intestine obstruction. This adhesions can be completely invisible for CT or ultrasound and the only way to have it checked is to put a camera in to your abdomen again. Usually it causes also nausea, constipations/diarrheas, however pain can be the only indication of it.
In conclusion, you have a right to have no pain and that was the idea of the surgery. That is why, if nothing really helps, you should have another surgery to fix the problem.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
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Follow-up: Double hernia repair done. Getting severe pain. How to get relief? 2 hours later
it was transabdominal. is it normal to wait 120 after surgery before going back in? basically the surgeon will not touch me surgically again for that amount of time. i guess i don't feel i need to be in pain for that long of a time. they are also trying to force me to a pain clinic for you think that's a better option? I'm not a big believer of pain clinics, but the surgeon refuses to help me until I go through that program too.

I do not have nausea, but I have diarrhea (most of the time)

what can i do to get this procedure done if the surgeon won't listen and just wants to push the pain clinic and drugs?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 2 hours later

It is quite common to wait 3-4 months before next surgery. This time is necessary for healing process (tissues rebuilding) and sometimes the pain goes away in that time. But it looks like you do suffer a lot and most likely there wont be no significant improvement in that time, especially if there was no improvement from surgery till now. Pain clinic is something worth to try. In such clinic they have great experience in pain treatment and can give you some relief. But this relief can be only temporary in my opinion. The benefit you can get from such pain treatment is that you will be able to wait necessary period of time for the next surgery.
Sometimes, when one doctor tells that he wont do the surgery, it is advisable to have another opinion from different surgery clinic.
By the way, diarrhea can indicate that there is some narrow place in the intestine caused by adhesions.
Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Double hernia repair done. Getting severe pain. How to get relief? 8 hours later
how do you repair abdominal adhesions? what is the recovery time for this?

do you recommend doctors? also, do you feel this surgery was unsuccessful even though the hernia was repaired? and if so, do you go back to the same doctor for repairs?

I cannot stand fully upright, sit for more than 20-30 minutes at a time and can't raise
my arms over my head...are these symptoms of what your describing i (May) be experiencing
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 6 hours later

Abdominal adhesion can be simply cut with laparoscopy. Sometimes there is a need of regular surgery with open abdomen. Adhesion is like a ribbon which can be easily incised. Usually recovery time after such surgery takes about a week or so.
It is very hard to judge if this surgery were unsuccessful not knowing the reason of your sufferings. I can only mention some possibilities from my point. Being unable to examine you, take a look at performed tests it is very hard to give exact reason of your symptoms. So please do not expect me to tell if the doctor did everything right or wrong.
Inability of stand strait or raise your arms can be caused by tissues increased tension due to mesh implantation and scar tissues appearance. Moreover, still stitched nerve is possible. So the answer is yes, this symptoms can be caused of previously described reasons.

Hope it will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Double hernia repair done. Getting severe pain. How to get relief? 18 hours later
do you feel with the amount of pain i'm in it is a good idea to wait for another surgery?
Do you recommend any non-narcotic medicines that could be taken to relieve the pain?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 1 hour later

In my opinion, your state of being is the most important thing. If you do suffer from pain, and no medicines do help, this means you should not wait anymore. This is the most important indicator of surgery success and the main reason to have another one.
You can try to easy your pain with:
- Mebeverine 200mg once a day
- Buscolisyne 10 mg 3 times a day
- Metamisole 1000 mg twice a day
All mentioned medicines have smooth muscle relaxing effect. Muscle spasm is the main reason of gastrointestinal pains. I do not know if you have tried them. If yes, than there is nothing more I can advise to you.
One more thing. Some patients with symptoms like yours and without any findings in many tests, have great benefit from laparoscopy and adhesions removal. That is why I am keep talking about it. Laparoscopy is widely used method of diagnosis.

Hope this will help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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