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What causes stomach muscle pain in abdominal scar left after exploratory surgery?

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Pain Medicine & Palliative Care Specialist
Practicing since : 1983
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I have been having stomach muscle like pain for the last three days. I am having a hard time getting up, bending over, even standing straight is painful, etc. I have an old scar vertically across my entire stomach from an exploratory surgery that was done years ago so the scar is really old (but it is a keloid). At first i thought i just pulled a stomach muscle but the area (starting at my sternum down past my belly button) now appears swollen and it almost feels like an vertical lump running to the left of my incision. I thought about going to the clinic but honestly don't want to go out at all if it's just a pulled stomach muscle. Although, now it feels as though i just had my stomach surgery and recovery from that - it is that sore. Thoughts?? I tried Aleve which doesn't touch it and early today i tried a low dose muscle relaxer which again just made me sleepy. thank you.
Posted Tue, 28 Jan 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 57 minutes later
Brief Answer: Possible incisional hernia. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for using Healthcare Magic. The nature of your symptoms would suggest that this may be an incisional hernia related to your abdominal scar. This is not a serious condition but is caused by a weakness in the abdominal scar resulting in fatty tissue from your abdomen being pushed into the scar area. These tissues then can become trapped between muscles in the area which causes the discomfort. The concern is that the tissues including bowel may get stuck and this would need emergency surgery. I suggest you see your doctor in the next day or two for examination and further advice. Lying down may help when you have discomfort in the meantime. I hope this is of help. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Regards, Dr K A Pottinger, MBChB FRCA
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