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So I had a hernia repair on Wednesday . . .(15 posts)

So I had a hernia repair on Wednesday . . .bill
Dec 29, 2001 12:25 PM
Some questions:
Anyone been through this? How long off the bike? I've got to say, when they told me that it was going to be "out-patient" with a "local," it made me think that I'd be back in the proverbial saddle pretty quick, but I was entirely under with an IV anesthetic, and I was back in the hospital that night (reaction to Percodan, I guess), and it's been pretty much sucking.
Although no one can venture why, some have assured me that I developed the hernia (inguinal, which is, I understand, virtually always congenital to some extent) now instead of earlier in my 43 years because of riding. Any thoughts?
been there...C-40
Dec 29, 2001 4:01 PM
When I had an inguinal hernia repaired 2 years ago at age 46, I took an entire week off before returning to work and another week before riding, as I remember. Wasn't too big a deal.

I still had a little discomfort for several months after the surgery, but not enough to slow me down.
Don't rush it!Steve98501
Dec 29, 2001 5:57 PM
Bill,

Guys not only don't ask for directions, we tend not to follow directions given by our doctors, either. I had a hernia repair 16 years ago, and was told to take 3 weeks off work. It seemed excessive, but I had tons of sick leave built up, so I did as I was told. One time I actually did the right thing. A friend recently had a vasectomy and only stayed off his bike one week. Bad idea, got a hematoma, and is presently screwed up in a very uncomfortable location.

Before you ride, ask yourself what you've got to lose by waiting a couple weeks or so.

Good luck!
improved repair methods...C-40
Dec 29, 2001 7:53 PM
The method of repair has improved a lot since yours was done. New mesh materials are now used to reduce downtime and complications. My doctor gave the OK to return to office work in only a week.
what exactly is a hernia? what's it feel like when you have one?cduck
Dec 29, 2001 7:55 PM
Just wonderering.
it really didn't feel like too much at first. I noticed anbill
Dec 29, 2001 8:13 PM
asymmetry in my lower abdomen. One side looked and maybe felt a little different from the other when I did crunches or whatever. We're talking months, maybe years. Then, about three weeks ago, the weird side started feeling a bit sore. Particularly when I lifted things, coughed, etc. Not really all that sore, either. I just had a feeling that if I didn't get it checked, it was going to get worse. Sure enough, a hernia. Apparently, there is only one way to fix these things. Got the mesh. It hurts, although it's a little better every day. Got really messed up the first day -- it had to be the Percodin; I've never felt so bad. I got sucked in by thinking it would be no bid deal, but in retrospective, it's pretty much nuts to let anyone out of the hospital two hours after slicing him open. I wasn't out of the anesthesia, I probably was in a bit of shock, and I was dehydrated. The narcotic just sent me higher into orbit. It sucked.
Good question!KurtVF
Dec 29, 2001 9:55 PM
It is a defect in your fascia (the tough lining that holds you together) and for example holds your guts in. The most common kind by far is the inguinal or "groin" hernia. When males are fetuses, their testicles start in the pelvis and slowly migrate down into the scrotum. There is a defect in the fascia that allows this to happen but should close up afterwards. This leaves a weak spot and the potential for a hole or defect. There is also a potential weak spot at the umbillicus (belly button for non medical types) that can result in a hernia. The intestines eventually find this weak spot and push through the defect, most often "popping" in and out. Sometimes they pop out but won't go back, this is a medical emergency. Most of the time they pop back and are just annoying. Due to the risk of incarceration(not going back) all hernias should be repaired.
Take it easy Billdjg
Dec 29, 2001 8:03 PM
Really. Try to kill yourself and I'll tell C. (yes, be afraid, be very afraid...)
She who must be obeyed actually took an oathbill
Dec 29, 2001 8:15 PM
about not speaking ill of me or something. I assured her that neither God nor I would hold her to it.
Sounds like betting pool time.djg
Dec 31, 2001 10:33 AM
She's a fine woman, Bill, but not speaking ill of you is contrary to her nature. If she tries too hard she'll snap for sure. Five bucks says it's all over by Friday.
This Friday, or last Friday? B/C if you're thinking thisbill
Dec 31, 2001 12:07 PM
coming Friday, you don't know her very well.
You're not getting my $5 that easy.
Very unlikely caused by riding, but it may have been a factor...KurtVF
Dec 29, 2001 10:07 PM
Indirect inquinal hernias are congenital(congenital weakness in the fascia that can cause hernias at any age-I've seen them in old men)) or direct inquinal hernias that are caused by the fascia simply wearing out.(both are fixed the same way) Unless you really stomp on the pedals I can't see where bicycle riding could be the only causing factor. If the repair was done with mesh there is really no need to worry about when to resume riding since its strength comes from the presence of the mesh and not the sutures. If it was done the traditional way you need to let it scar so all of the stress is not on the sutures which are not strong enough to hold on their own. Double check with your doc on the first post op visit. The worst part is over.
Surgeon said that 90% of doc's use mesh. Mine's a mesh.bill
Dec 30, 2001 7:53 AM
What you said about the mesh is reassuring that I haven't opened anything up. I've been trying not to be too much of a couch potato, and I'm a little worried that I've overdone it (nothing too dramatic, just time on my feet, a little coughing, blowiing my nose, that sort of thing -- I've had a cold). Kind of hurts all over again. Time for some more Vicodin.
Take my advice,,,,,,,,rest a littleDWridesGT
Dec 30, 2001 5:46 AM
I had a direct inguinal hernia at age 29, I am now 32. I got it from lifting heavy objects incorrectly. The hospital stay was unbelievably painful and the drugs they gave me to take home made me delirious. I can't remember the name of the medication I was prescribed, but it really altered my well being (physically and mentally). I stopped taking it, I would put up with the pain of surgery rather then feel like I did while on that medication. Nasty stuff.

Anyways, still to this day, I have to lift my left leg off the ground before I cough forcefully or sneeze. There is a noticeable pain if I don't. People think I am crazy, but they don't have chicken wire mesh stapled to their insides. Like others have posted, I too, can't believe a hospital is legally allowed to discharge a person an hour after a hernia operation. It is mindboggleling.

My advice, stay off the bike, two weeks at least. Don't rush it, it's cold out anyways. Think of it as a forced downtime. Your body will respond kindly if given the needed rest.

P.S. The area of your hernia repair is now the strongest part and least likely to rupture again. The mesh will be grown into and weaved with new tissue making it far stronger then other areas. Give it time to heal, trust me.
Your abdominal muscles have just been cut into, give 'em time.Twilight
Dec 30, 2001 3:39 PM
I went through the same thing two years ago, I was off the bike for almost a month.

When they repair the hernia, the hole that was opened up gets sewn shut. What you've got to do is wait for the internal and external wounds to heal. If you don't wait, the hole will open again and you'll be back in surgery.

Three weeks post-op, I was able to spin around the neighborhood. Five weeks I was back to my regular riding. Your results may vary.