Hernia

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infinitycastle52777

So today I met with my surgeon about my hernia. She told me / Showed me that I don't have one hernia, I have 3. They are in the area of what I call my zipper. The scar I have left over from when they removed my large intestines. And she told me it is going to be very painful for me when she fixes it. But the first surgery is my gallbladder, and she is going to do that one as well because she says where she positioned my re-located stoma is right near my gallbladder and she will have to have an assistant hold my ostomy up while she goes in for the gallbladder. This can't be done until December though and then 1 month has to pass between that surgery and my hernia surgery. Plus she couldn't promise me I won't need additional hernia surgeries because she said you only get 70% of your strength back when you have abdominal surgery and it weakens more and more as you have additional surgeries. Apparently I have 3 holes in my abdominal wall. She will have to go in and stitch them closed and then put in 1 or maybe 2 meshes depending on how far apart the hernias are. In the mean time I am not allowed to lift or press weights at the gym or use the leg press machine. She told me i can only use the bikes. I was wondering as well as updating on my situation if anyone else has had this many problems with regards to previous major abdominal surgery? I was told that it could become serious at any time between now and when it is fixed. She even told my mother if I have any kind of abdominal pain or my ostomy stops producing that she should rush me to the ER as soon as possible. I have had 3 surgeries in just under 2 years. And I am about to have 2 more. So are hernias going to just keep happening?

Frustrated with my day.

Lee  

Cplumber

Well seeing that an ostomy is considered a hernia technically you always have a hernia. But yes you are always prone to hernias. My original surgeon 25 years ago told me I should never lift more than 10 pounds for the rest of my life. being a Plumber and having 7 children I did not listen very well and paid the price. I’ve had seven surgeries all centered around hernias, almost died of sepsis one time. This last surgery I was the most cautious went 12 weeks to make Damn sure I was healed. Well, I always wear the largest hernia belt I can get and a lift very cautiously, but I still move water heaters, toilets and lift my grandkids on a regular basis, and I have avoided hernias so far. ( knock on wood ) 

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Axl

Hi Lee

Are hernias going to keep happening ? Who knows, some seen more susceptible than others. I had two inguinal hernia surgeries with mesh long before my ostomy surgeries and the surgeon told me they will be much stronger than they were before. I have had no trouble since then but I don't lift heavy things anymore after the ostomy, I just find another way to do the job, and I use an elastic waist band during weight training but I don't go crazy with it. As for abdominal pain or stoma not producing, there is nothing unusual there, standard procedure for what would likely be a blockage which can get serious if left for more than 24 hours.

DexieB

Hi Lee. That's so frustrating!  I understand because I also got a hernia soon after my colostomy from a relentless cough - but I feel like I was also lifting a lot of things, so it was probably a combination.  And as Cplumber said, an ostomy is already technically a hernia!  Luckily had my gallbladder out a few years ago, but it's just another surgery that weakened my abdomen along with the huge open emergency surgery incision I had to have during my recent Hartmann's procedure (and I'm about to have a reversal surgery).  Great advice from the others....always watch what/how you lift, wear a hernia belt, etc.

What my surgeon had to say when I saw him a few weeks ago was that he's going to fix the hernia during my reversal on January 30th, but yes - I may have issues with it in the future.  However, he feels if I keep walking daily and keep the weight off, and always watch what I lift, I am far less likely to have future issues.  He won't be using mesh (maybe that is surgeon preference, or maybe it depends on how bad the hernia is - not sure). I asked about wearing the hernia belt - he said I can wear it or not, it was up to me.  He didn't seem like a fan, but I do feel safer walking with one on.  

Do follow your care team's instructions and go in if pain or no output, standard procedure for a blockage as Axl said!  Wishing you the best with your upcoming surgeries!  

infinitycastle52777

Thanks everyone for the comments and advice. Before I knew that I should not, I was lifting 40 pounds at the gym and leg pressing 80. Now I wish I hadn't and had known that it can make a hernia worse. I have PT tomorrow for an ankle injury that is very slow in healing (happened at the beginning of June but still is painful) and I will have to tell them no more leg press machine. I wonder how they will react to that. I have been doing that as part of my therapy.

Lee

 
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Hisbiscus

I had 3 hernias fixed with mesh. 2 were Ostomy sites and the other umbilical. Was an open surgery. The surgery went well. Being I know they were fixed I am very careful not to lift anything over 20 pounds. I either get help or ask someone else or I just won’t do it. Everything from groceries to laundry is better to make more trips than to try lifting it all at once because you can blow the surgery. 
listen to your doc and always be aware you have to stop yourself when thinking of lifting. I hate to say this but I would think twice as to what types of exercise you can safely do without blowing them. 
I always feel a good pair of shoes is important as well as it hits our abdominal area when we walk on the ground. 
I’ve found adidas slides are awesome or a good cushiony tennis shoe. 
I am currently recovering from bronchitis and I’m feeling like all the hard coughing may have blown something in there. 

infinitycastle52777
Reply to Hisbiscus

Yeah I have heard coughing can further or create a hernia. They say when cough you should hold your ostomy/abdomen. Please take care with that cough. Some people say holding a pillow against your stomach can help as well. However I know a pillow isn't always handy wherever you are. 

Yeah I was told to only use the bike at the gym, none of the equipment. So I have been doing 7 miles on the bike and half a mile walking the indoor track. I do miss using the weight machines and leg press. I told my PT person that I am going to just have flabby arms. She tried to comfort me by saying it is only temporary. But what is temporary is hard to work back off. And muscles not used turn into jelly. I guess I am going to follow what I am supposed to do though. I don't want a more complicated surgery then it already has to be. 

Lee

Hisbiscus
Reply to infinitycastle52777

Maybe you can ask your trainer to give you some arm strengthening exercises that don’t require lifting. Yes this cough uggh, I’m up coughing in my sleep. It’s staring to settle down but I just know something got blown in there lol! 
after my hernia surgery I felt so much better though and so will you. It almost feels like you got a tummy tuck. Your bags will stay in better too! Only thing for me was they decided not to make a new stoma and after surgery I had to switch from a flat bag to a convex bag as my stoma went flush flat after. I was upset at first but the convex works great so it’s all good and worth the hernias and blockages being gone. I think mine was the sugar baker method. I was in a study . They were trying 2 different ways to fix peristomal hernias and then checking all of us for 2 years to see which group had more recurrent hernias and which did not. They would not tell me which method I had except that I had the Mercedes of the hernia repairs. After the study was over I was told it was the sugar baker that they had given me. 

infinitycastle52777
Reply to Hisbiscus

I don't have a trainer but i could ask my PT if they know of anything I could be doing at the gym. I go to the gym everyday, even weekends, and if I don't go for a schedule reason I walk outside a few miles. It's important to me and not being able to do the weights machines i find distressing. I feel like a failure at the gym, like i know people aren't watching me or judging me for just doing the bikes but I feel like they are watching me anyway. I am not getting a full body workout. so it is incomplete. i want to hurry up and get the hernia fixed so i can go back to my normal workouts. but it is going to be a while before the surgery because first they have to remove my gallbladder and then a month has to pass before i can get the hernias repaired. and then time after that to heal from surgery. so it will be months before i can go back to what i was working on at the gym.

Lee

Poop A Lot
Reply to infinitycastle52777

You are doing a lot more than I am and many are.  You don’t worry about them- they don’t know your situation and you are doing what you can and probably more. I’m applauding you for continuing and having a set workout. Keep that up! 

infinitycastle52777
Reply to Poop A Lot

Thank you for your support. I do look at others a the gym, that is why I think they are looking at me. I see people doing weights machines at 80 and 120 pounds and I think man they must be in good shape. And then I think, why can't I be like that? Then when I get off the bike at 7 miles and I am all sweaty because I go at 104 watts the whole time I think, what next, and there is nothing. I have to go home then. I see my mom doing weights and I have to come and tell her I am ready to go are you done yet. And she seems to be having a better workout than me. Yesterday I walked the track in addition to the bike because it was something else I thought I could do. I am really pushing it with my still healing sprained ankle but there is some driving force behind me that wants me to do everything and all at once. Maybe I am obsessing. I just don't like to do anything half assed. 

Lee

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