Dealing with Hernia After Surgery: Any Advice?


Hi! I'm a 64-year-old wife and a mom to three grown sons. In addition to being a fellow "bag" lady, I also have COPD and wear oxygen 24-7. A double whammy. I had my ileostomy surgery on Dec. 24, 2022, and the emergency surgery on Dec. 31, 2022, because my incision started to open up. Praise God, I survived both. My doctors were reluctant to perform surgery at all. I had 2 surgeons refuse to operate on me because of how bad my breathing is, but thank God, my doc finally agreed to do the ileostomy surgery versus the reconstruction surgery, which wasn't an option because of the COPD. Long story short, I had the surgery and spent 5 weeks in the hospital and then 3 weeks in rehab. When I came home, I had an ostomy nurse come, and when I asked her about this "swelling" around my stomas, yes, I have two stomas (another long story). She said it was just "swelling". When I saw my surgeon, he said I had a very large hernia. It's so large, I look like I'm pregnant! Anyway, he said he won't be able to operate because, as he put it, "you already rolled the dice twice, I don't think a third would be wise."

I was just wondering if anyone else was dealing with a hernia after surgery? Thanks so much, sorry for the long explanation.



G'day Debbinmiller, yes, I had a parastomal hernia and it had to be operated on. I also had cancer in my right kidney, so I had to have two surgeons operate at the same time. One to open me up and then the other went in and removed 1/2 of my right kidney. After that, the other surgeon worked on the parastomal hernia and after 9 hours, he closed me up. After a few weeks, I was feeling great and a big weight was lifted from me. I know you're in a much more urgent and bigger problem than myself, but if you think life would be uncomfortable with this hernia, then think hard about doing it, and I hope you come up with the right decision. Regards, IGGIE

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Yes, I've had my hernia for around 5-10 years now. Mine is not as big as yours; mine is the size of a melon. I have desmoid disease, so surgery is to be avoided in almost every case, as I'm not expected to survive. I'm starting to have a few problems with the hernia now, getting a bit uncomfortable at times.

Reply to IGGIE

Wow! God bless you! You sure have had a bumpy ride as well, even worse than mine. Unfortunately, the severity of my COPD prevents me from having any long surgery. The concern being they wouldn't be able to get me off the ventilator, which is why I'm pretty much stuck with my hernia. The surgeon said it being so large is good since they don't usually cause problems....I pray he's right!

Reply to Ben38


Let's see, if I had to compare the size of my hernia using melons, I'd have to say it's probably the size of a honeydew or a large cantaloupe. I'm relieved to hear you've had it for so long without problems, hopefully mine will stay "quiet".

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

I have one and I'm holding off to have it fixed as long as I can.

Reply to AlexT

How do you handle being so uncomfortable? It's been 6 months since my surgery, and the hernia bothers me more than the colostomy. I've had to buy new clothes at least twice as large as normal to try and conceal the bulge. Fortunately, it hasn't been painful.

Reply to debbinmiller

Mine isn't really uncomfortable at all. Makes my stomach lopsided and I'd love to have it gone. However, I've read that hernia surgeries are not highly successful for the long term. So, for me, I'll tolerate it as I don't really want to take time off of work/life right now. I figure the longer I wait, the better (or longer) I'll have a "fixed" stomach until it happens again. &zwj

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