Post Number: 117
|Posted on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 2:03 pm: |
Yeah, I got hurt at work about a week ago, went to the doctor, and I've got a hernia. I wasn't even doing anything overly strenuous. I may have had it -or a predisposition for it for years, who knows?
(Graphic disclaimer notice) For years, I've had a slight swelling or rise or something in the groin area, on either/both sides of the pubic hair triangle, but since it was symetrical and not painful, and there was no apparent issue, I never thought anything of it. I don't really know exactly what other males look like in that area, and have never been overly inclined to ask.
But I felt something pull or pop, and when I get to the doctor, he pointed out an obvious NON-symetrically swelling, and tells me I've got a hernia, and that it needs an operation.
They treated me pretty lousy in the clinic, especially since I got there at the last minute, had peed (never spelled that before, but somehow WRITING "piss" seems vulger) before I left our home, and then they wanted me to be in a cup to dignity test me, and when I told them I didn't have anything, boy, did they treat me like a criminal.
Anyway, my girlfriend and I researched the subject on the internet. I found out they're pretty common. Both she and her brother and several friends have had them. But anyway, it's an "inguinal" or groin hernia, and it goes back in when I push. I guess it's not that bad as far as they go, but it needs to be fixed. No word back from the insurance/workman's comp people yet, but the clinic people treated me with skepticism as a result of (1) me being on the (new to me) job for only a week; (2) not being able to pee on (their) demand, and honestly telling them that the falling boxes I caught weren't very heavy. I don't know if insurance/workman's comp is going to cover it or not. If not, I'll have to pay out of pocket because I don't have insurance.
What I'm looking for is advice from anyone who has knowledge/experience with this. After researching it on the net, it has become clear that I want to use a "mesh" repair -which is apparently somewhat new, yet clearly proven- as opposed to the traditional method of stitching, which is dehabilitating, and tends to have lot's of side effects as well as a high rate of recurrence.
My leading choice thus far is the British Hernia Centre in England, which apparently would cost about $3900 total for a single hernia repair (including airfair and hotel). They use a mesh system, which is a simple outpatient procedure that takes about 45 minutes, and most people walk away and go right back to work. There is another specialty clinic in Florida that charges about $5000 for a single hernia repair (NOT including airfair and other costs). I may actually have a double (or the other one might be waiting to happen) which is more expensive.
Anyway it's unpleasant and scary, although I understand (conceptually) that (at least the mesh procedure) is actually a fairly simple and safe (though financially -for me- crushing procedure. Fortunately, I have no debt, great credit, about $500 in savings, and a partner willing to help in any way.
I was hoping for advice/information on a few things. Can anyone with experience (good and/or bad) in this area share their thoughts? Has anyone else had hernias fixed? With what method, stitch or mesh? What should I expect. Can anyone recommend any particular surgeons/centers that are well-qualified in MESH hernia repair. (I'm totally sold on the mesh system as it is clearly a simpler, safer, and more reliable method. And both the British Hernia Centre and the place in Florida that I spoke with have lifetime guarentees against recurrance which is good. I've got asthma, which is rarely an issue, but I'm reserved about "going under", which is another draw of the mesh system, as it requires just a local.)
I need to take care of this soon. While I am of course interested in the cheapest option, getting the job done right by people with experience is clearly more important.
Also, I'd prefer to do this in the country, but I'll be happy to go outside the country if I can get equal or better treatment for less $ -although it's unlikely I'd go to any non-English-speaking country, just because I'd want to be able to communicate with the person/people cutting me and giving me a repair that I need to last for the rest of my life. I'm going to do more research, but I'm posting this now to get any advice from any who have any to offer.
My girlfriend and I want to see New Zealand (and possibly move there) and I was hoping Steve (CrazyKiwi) or Toby (TBrannon) might know if there are any New Zealand centers that specialize in mesh hernia repairs -although air fare is typically expensive, and I don't know if that would be cost-effective. I will research more of this myself.
I need to make arrangements to deal with this soon. Right now, I'm wearing a very uncomfortable and most undignified "truss-belt" to keep my guts in, and I'm looking forward to dispensing with it as soon as possible.
I realize this isn't a typical thing for this site, but I would be very grateful for any advice/information fellow club members could pass on to me -again, especially regarding specific doctors and or centers with experience in MESH hernia repairs, and places where it can be done cheaply -especially if there were in or near to Nevada, so airfare/traveling would be a minimal issue.
Thanks in advance, Mark, the "8-String King".
Post Number: 1046
|Posted on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 3:05 pm: |
i know someone that had the mesh and had to go back for a "repair" or retair... not to joke
ive had 2 hernias but i was 3yrs old for the last one and i dont know what they did, but i have never had a problem since. had both an inguinal and a strangulated..
my prayers are with you
Post Number: 602
|Posted on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 3:15 pm: |
I had a right inguinal back around '85 or '86. Got stitched, as outpatient surgery, and was home for four weeks before returning to work. Three was the recommended minimum, and that definitely wasn't enough. Mesh certainly seems much more attractive, and since that's not what I had I'll spare you the details.
Just a few general thoughts. First and foremost, I can't imagine wanting to sit on an airplane all the way to New Zealand, or even the UK. As you must know by now, sitting is the worst position (laying down is great, standing is still much better than sitting).
Second, are you wearing the truss on the advice of a doctor, or was that your own idea? At the time, I was told not to use one unless it became really necessary (not sure how that was defined). I believe the idea was that the truss might actually work to enlarge the tear.
It was only about a week until the repair, so I took it easy, let things kind of ooze out while I was up, and then laid down to get repositioned. Be gentle about pushing it back in - better to just lay down, relax, maybe massage gently, and let it happen (may take 5-10 minutes or so).
It's hard to believe you should have to travel much, if at all. These things happen all the time - the guy who fixed mine was averaging a couple a day, several days a week. That's a key point, though: you want someone who does them regularly, not some brain surgeon trying to fill in some spare time.
For me, it was kind of a big deal, having never been in a hospital, or even had a broken bone. Fortunately, I got some great advice from a friend (e.g. keep the painkillers and glass of water next to the bed, because you won't be able to get out of bed the first morning until they've had time to kick in...). But it turned out fine, no problems since (so far).
The mesh sounds so much better, that I almost envy you. You'll be fine.
Just to get back on topic... it happens that this was when I decided to try switching from guitar to bass. Knowing I was going to be home for at least three weeks, I went to some local shop and rented an Ibanez or something. Had to have the guy at the store lift it into the trunk for me, and of course it turned out that I really couldn't have anything pressing against the incision for most of my "vacation", so I extended the rental a little, and shortly thereafter bought myself a cheap fretless Hohner to mess with for a while.
Anyway, do take care of it soon, and good luck with the payment coverage.
Post Number: 50
|Posted on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 3:30 pm: |
I'm clueless in terms of mesh hernia repair here in NZ. I will do a quick search and see what I find however.
In terms of NZ healthcare....everything is free so long as you injure yourself while you are in NZ or if you're a NZ citizen who is overseas. I haven't the foggiest idea about a non-citizen travelling to NZ to have a surgical procedure done. I do know several people who live in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands who travel to NZ to medical treatments, so it must be possible.
I am a permanent resident and had back surgery this past Dec with no hang ups. My wife and I moved here when she was 7 months pregnant and we had zero problems with care during the childbirth either.
I'll do some research and get back to you.
BTW: I'd take Bob's advice and not push on it....
(Message edited by tbrannon on March 27, 2006)
Post Number: 51
|Posted on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 3:35 pm: |
Here is the best link to the mesh repair in NZ-
I found several other sites and it sounds like the laproscopic procedure is pretty widely used. I've had my fair share of surgeries....opt for the laproscopic if you have a chance.
Post Number: 588
|Posted on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 4:36 pm: |
I had the mesh repair done on my double inguinal hernia about a year and a half ago. Everything went very well. However, I wasn't up and around the next day. It was more like a few days before I felt like doing anything and a couple of weeks before I went back to work (mainly for risk management reasons.)
The mesh repair is a fairly simple process. They make a small incision and insert the mesh. It is inserted rolled up like a cigarette and unrolled inside you to about the size of a playing card. It is positioned and then stapled into place to keep it from moving. Over time your own tissues grow through it, thus the repair.
I'm sorry you were treated the way you were by the clinic staff. My treatment (in Colorado) was very good. Good luck to you finding someone you feel comfortable with for the procedure. E-mail me if you like and have more questions.
Post Number: 118
|Posted on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 11:24 pm: |
Jeff, Bob, Toby, Rich, thanks all for your responses, I just did a quick read and will reread again, may contact you for further info.
Thanks again, Rich I'm encouraged that you personally had a good experience, and I'd be grateful if you could e-mail me info about the center and price, phone #, etc. Colorado isn't too far away. Toby, I'll look at your link as soon as I complete this, and thanks.
If anyone else has other mesh repair experiences and/or recommendations, I'd love to hear them. Personal experience(s) from others/word of mouth is priceless for something like this. Again, thanks all!
Post Number: 583
|Posted on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 1:26 am: |
I had a hernia when I was 4 and had it stiched. Can't remember much else about it although I still have the scar. In 1997 my (then) six year old son had one and was in and out of hospital in a day so I assume it was a mesh repair. He has no scarring and has subsequently led a normal active life. (both were done under the national health in england - no idea how a US citizen would be treated)
Good luck with it Mark and I hope you don't have to give up the heavy lifting otherwise we might be seeing 8strings of power on ebay.
Post Number: 363
|Posted on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 10:11 am: |
I had a inguinal hernia repaired about 18 months ago, they did the mesh patch on me..so far so good.
It was done as out patient, I was in and out in less than 6 hours. That included prep, being knocked out, the operation, and recovery room. And I walked out under my own power. I was down a total of 2 weeks. Except when you cough, there was no major pain (they give you good stuff for the pain). Of course you won't be bowling or horseback riding for a bit.
I had mine for awhile so the tear in the muscle wall was good size.
I'd say the mesh patch is the way to go, adds alot of support in there and helps prevent reoccurrences. I was 52 when I had this done, and you're a little younger so it should be easier on you, unless you have other problems. The mesh procedure isn't all that new, it's just getting more popular the past few years.
Oh, here's an important safety tip I got from a nurse friend. When you get home, make a 'pain pillow'. Take like a hand towel, roll it up, tape it..whenever you feel a cough coming on, or get in a postition that could be painful to get out of, press the pillow against the wound (you'll know how hard) BEFORE the event happens..it works.
Good luck..it really wasn't half as bad as everybody, including my doctor made it out to be. But then again I've been acused of having a neanderthal nervous system.
After re-reading alot of this, I'd just have it done locally, at home. It's not a difficult or involved procedure. See your GP and ask for reccomendations, there has to be several doctors in the Vegas area familar with the procedure.
Hope that helps.
(Message edited by gare on March 28, 2006)
Post Number: 80
|Posted on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 2:36 pm: |
Mark, I sent you an e-mail.
Post Number: 590
|Posted on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 5:15 pm: |
Mark, I sent you an e-mail, too.
Post Number: 119
|Posted on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 9:49 pm: |
Everybody... thanks again so much. Paul, Rich, I read your e-mails.
Graeme & Gary, thanks for adding your thoughts and experiences.
Your support means alot, thanks for taking the time to help, I sure appreciate it.
Post Number: 3553
|Posted on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 6:57 pm: |
Mark; I don't have anything useful to add, I haven't had this problem, and it sounds like you've gotten a lot of great advice from the other members. I just wanted to express my wishes for a successful outcome.
Post Number: 124
|Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 10:57 pm: |
Thanks, Dave, and thanks again to everyone else for your sympathy & support -and responses!
Post Number: 151
|Posted on Sunday, April 23, 2006 - 10:50 pm: |
Well guys, I go in for carving tomorrow -locally. By the time most of you read this, I'll be being sliced and diced. Oh, boy!!!
If all goes well, I'll be posting again before too long. If not -well, it's been nice knowing you.
Thanks again for your support, comments, e-mails -and especially your honesty and candor.
I'm told it's a routine and unexceptional procedure, and that I should be fine, and be playing bass again in just a few weeks. I guess we'll find out.
Again, thanks all!
P.S. extra double thanks for not "god-ing" me, everyone!!! I'll recover with the help of reality and reason -or not at all. But your sympathy is appreciated! Take care, you're a great bunch!
Post Number: 1233
|Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 7:24 am: |
Good luck. Knowing nothing about this subject myself, all I can do is suggest that you don't start moving heavy equipment immediately upon return from the hospital. Also, I am reminded of a saying my dad used to tell me: "The definition of minor surgery is surgery on someone else!" Get well soon.
Post Number: 619
|Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 4:07 pm: |
Mark, hope yours goes as well as mine did, fast recovery, not much pain, etc.
Post Number: 153
|Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 - 10:32 am: |
First day wasn't too bad, second was much worse, third isn't as bad, walking around a little. Thanks again everyone!