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Umbilical hernia, nausea, diarrhea, swollen ankles. Who should we see about getting this repaired?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1968
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My husband has had a large umbilical hernia that has been giving him a lot of problems for some time now (years). He has been complaining of nausea over the past few months and has had bouts of diarrhea. His ankles also appear to be swollen. I believe his symptoms are worse than what he is sharing with me as he is hesitant about having surgery because he doesn't want to take time away from work and I also believe he is a little anxious.
My questions are basically #1. Who should he see about getting this repaired? Most of the GI's I've called tell me they don't do umbilical hernias and to see his primary doctor (which he doesn't have) or a GP. #2. He is also a heavy drinker, which I am certain he will not be honest with his doctor about how much he drinks. I am worried his drinking may be complicating his condition. Would something like that be obvious to his doctor without me having to point him in the right direction?
I'm sorry to have gone on so long, but I believe there are other issues than the usual umbilical hernia and want to see that he gets the best care possible.
Posted Thu, 26 Apr 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Andrew Rynne MD 6 hours later

Thank you for posting your question here.

Your husband's nausea and diarrhea are probably not related to his hernia. In order for this to be the case he would need to be getting some strangulation which would be intolerably painful. You make no reference to such pain.

The best person to surgically fix this hernia would be a General Surgeon with lots of experience.

Your husband is very unfit and seems to have many life-style issues. If he could loose weight, get fit and reduce his alcohol intake, this might go a long way towards relieving his all his other symptoms without the need for any surgery.

I hope that this is helpful and that you will accept this answer. If you have more queries then please revert back to me.

Wishing your husband good health.

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