Inguinal hernia

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jiminbartow
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Inguinal hernia

Post by jiminbartow » Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:14 pm

Since The end of December, beginning of January, I have been having a sharp burning pain just to the left of my groin that especially hurts when I strain, such as when I cough, or sneeze, lift anything or sit down or get up.

One week ago, on March 9, I went to the VA emergency room and I spent most of the day undergoing tests. Blood test, urine test, prostate exam, COVID test and CAT. The Doctor diagnosed that I had diverticulitis and put me on antibiotics, which have not helped. Last night, I did an online search using the key words: “ Burning pain in left groin area in men” and “inguinal hernia” appeared on the Mayo Clinic site. I was amazed at how all of the symptoms are exactly what I have been experiencing, so that I am pretty much convinced that an Inguinal hernia is what I have.

Is there anyone who has had an inguinal hernia?. Is there a way to treat one without major surgery? One of the treatments suggested was to get a “inguinal hernia support undergarment” that has a firm pad that is positioned over the painful area that will apply pressure to keep the hernia from getting worse and coming through the abdominal wall, creating a bulge. Mine has not started to bulge yet. I went online and ordered one of the support garments, but, in the mean time, it was burning so much this morning, that I decided to try making a support of my own. I found a small round ceramic bowl about the size of a tennis ball and took apart my tool belt and, using the wide web belt, I positioned the round side of the bowl over the painful area and tightened the belt over my jeans, pressing the bowl tight against the area. Incredibly, after an initial brief, sharp burning pain, I felt relief. Is it possible that, with constant support, the hernia and weak spot in the abdominal wall, could heal itself?

What has your experience been with your inguinal hernia? Thank you. Jim Patrick

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Humblej
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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by Humblej » Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:45 pm

There is no healing itself. Surgery and mesh and life goes back to normal. Mine got so bad that any activity would cause pain and I would have to lay down to take pressure off it to feel better. It will not heal on its own and will only get worse over time. Forget the support garments, get it fixed, your body is running on a babbit thrust bearing.
Last edited by Humblej on Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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aDave
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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by aDave » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:02 pm

Jim, with all due respect to you...and so that you will be able to live more pain-free years and contribute more words to the Forum, do as Jeff suggests.
I, too, have had one....there will always be the chance that the intestine will slip thru the crack again,,,and if it becomes enlarged enough so that it cannot be pushed back into position, you run the risk of a VERY serious situation.

Go get it surgically repaired now... and live in peace thereafter...the operation is not nearly as bad as a joint replacement.

Good Luck!

Dave


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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by Sarikatime » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:11 pm

I fully agree with Jeff and David in the above thread. I had to wait six months last year to get it fixed since it was not a life threatening emergency operation during this crazy COVID thing. My doctor preferred to do the operation the old fashion way which is cut open and repair, not with the scope. He believes he has more control of the mesh placement and better outcome in the long run. After six weeks of not lifting anything heavy, it was back to normal and no more pain. Unless you are an exotic dancer the scar won’t bother anyone, lol. Frank

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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by StevenS » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:32 pm

I agree with all the post above. You need to get it fixed with surgery. I had both sides done over 30 years ago and had no problems since. I can do everything as normal.
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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by Dan Hatch » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:35 pm

I had one back in the 1990’s. It was done in morning and was home by lunch. Don’t even have scar, went in at belly button. One thing to note. If you have one on one side will not be long before you have one on other side. My doc put in 2 “boots”, one on each side. Knock on some wood, I have been fine. Dan


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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by 2manyprojects » Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:08 pm

I had had one about 12 years ago. If the internal tissue pokes out though the rupture, the tissue can become strangulated which causes bigger issues. It will not heal on it’s own and like another poster said, if you have one you will likely have two. Laparoscopic surgery is a really nice option. That’s the belly button incision referred to by a previous poster. I was out of service for about 2 days more or less and fully back up to speed in a week or so. If you get it done soon you will not miss any of the late spring and summer.

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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by TWrenn » Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:29 pm

I know I'm late, but figured one more concurrent post can't hurt! And yep, SURGERY pal!
Don't wait too long like I did...I lived with mine over the summer months cause actually the boat line
I worked for absolutely couldn't operate without me at the helm of the cruise boat I operated 5-6 days a week,
so I put it off til fall. Took the surgeon an extra hour fighting with all the scar tissue formed by waiting too long.

So get it done ASAP buddy! You'll be glad you did. In a week I was back to "light work" like riding on my
lawn tractor to mow, month later it was like nothing happened.

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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by david_dewey » Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:22 pm

I had a similar hernia, mine showed up via the belly button (which became an outie instead of an inne). GET the operation. Mine was such that the doctor said it didn't need to be done until something happened--but when something would happen, it would be a "do it NOW" event. Since I had good health insurance at the time, and I suspected my job might get eliminated in a budget cut (it was too!), I went for the operation. I was out of commission for a few days, but that was mostly because I don't react well to anesthesia. Not well at all, the last "simple" operation I had put me out for three weeks because of my body's peculiarities. So when I say GET the operation, I do so with a real personal desire to avoid operations. It is too bad that you were not diagnosed properly before, I would be looking for another physician to take care of it! But DO take care of it! NOW, especially while things (Covid-wise) are good.
T'ake care,
David Dewey


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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by Norman Kling » Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:39 pm

Before you decide you have a hernia, which the doctors who examined you ruled out, I would strongly suggest you get another opinion. Find a specialist who is very familiar with the problem to have it checked.
When I was 5 years of age, I got whooping cough while in Kindergarten. I coughed for about 6 months and was then diagnosed with hernia on the right side. In those days they did not use mesh, and maybe because I was still growing when they did surgery. I think all they did was sew it up. They went through the abdomen and left me with a scar which is about 5 inches long. I am sure the length of the scar must have grown with my body. It is not very noticeable today, because of the pubic hair in the area. I had to be in the hospital for 2 weeks and couldn't even get up to use the restroom. Then I went home and spent another 2 weeks in bed. Finally the doctor checked me and I was allowed to walk again. Now I lift heavy objects and act just as anyone else would do. Now I am sure that surgery has changed, over the years, because one son had it done my father had it done when he was over 60 and one grandson had it when he was a boy and all 3 of them came home the next day and could walk around. It has now been 80 years since my operation, and I have not had a recurrence and not had one on the other side either.
Anyway, I would follow what your doctor diagnosed and the treatment he prescribed and if you still have problems, get another opinion from a specialist.
Norm

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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by TRDxB2 » Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:04 pm

Norman Kling wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:39 pm
Before you decide you have a hernia, which the doctors who examined you ruled out, I would strongly suggest you get another opinion. Find a specialist who is very familiar with the problem to have it checked.
''''''
I agree 100%. Both a Hernia and Diverticulitis involve the intestine and share similar symptoms.
This from the Mayo Clinic on Diverticulitis https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-con ... c-20371758
This from the Mayo Clinic on a Inguinal Hernia https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-con ... c-20351547

[quote="jiminbartow" Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:14 pm
I found a small round ceramic bowl about the size of a tennis ball and took apart my tool belt and, using the wide web belt, I positioned the round side of the bowl over the painful area and tightened the belt over my jeans, pressing the bowl tight against the area. Incredibly, after an initial brief, sharp burning pain, I felt relief. Is it possible that, with constant support, the hernia and weak spot in the abdominal wall, could heal itself?[/quote]

For a Hernia t he "weak spot" is actually a hole in the the wall of intestinal cavity and the " lump" is part of your intestine bulging through it. A truss is intended to try an keep any more from falling out if you unduly strain yourself again. So a truss is not be perceived as a fix just a band-aid while your waiting to have surgery.

The diagnosis of Diverticulitis was likely confirmed by blood tests/urine tests and detected that you have an infection. Blood tests don't detect hernias. More importantly the CAT scan (likely you had a CT scan, modern form of a CAT) which would easily detect the difference.
For Diverticulitis the "week spot" is a blister on the intestine itself. If you pop it with your "fix" it will become infected, stop it.

You say the antibiotics haven't helped. Have you and are you still taking them as prescribed?
Do you have any left or need to renew your prescription. People who have had it had pain from time to time later in life..
The past is a great place and I don't want to erase it or to regret it, but I don't want to be its prisoner either.
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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by jiminbartow » Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:43 pm

Thank you everyone for your advice and experiences. You have all been most helpful in helping me to chart my next course of action. I was prescribed enough anti-biotics (21 tabs of amoxicillin 875/125mg) for one week. No refills. I took three per day, religiously (one each 8 hours. 9am, 5pm and 1am) and have one left which I will take tonight at 1am. My fix, using the round part of a small smooth bowl held tightly against the painful area with a wide belt serves to stop the intense burning pain and makes it bearable. I think that if it was diverticulitis, pressure at the painful area would not stop the pain as it has done. I am guessing that it is doing what a compression garment would do and is preventing the intestines from pushing through the abdominal wall, so I think to “stop it” would not serve me well and would incapacitate me and stop me from being able to function. In that pain is the way the body tells you something is not right, to stop doing something that would invite back the intense pain and prevent me from being able to function, would not be a good thing for me, since I am very comfortable and pain-free at the moment, with my fix in place. To stop, and allow the hernia to emerge through the abdominal wall might be more dangerous than holding it in.

Since my prescription of anti-biotics runs out tonight, I will heed the advice of virtually everyone who has responded and not put it off, but will get up early tomorrow morning and head on over to the Tampa VA hospital to get more tests done and hopefully, a more accurate diagnosis and get whatever it is, taken care of ASAP. Thanks again. Jim Patrick


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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by Jerry VanOoteghem » Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:44 pm

Jim,

If you're anything like me, you are your own worst physician. Don't diagnose yourself on the internet, plain & simple. See an actual doctor. The ones you saw may have been wrong in their initial diagnosis, so maybe now they know what you don't have, and they'll dig a little deeper. Or, get another opinion. But, self diagnosing, then sitting around stewing over it, then asking "car mechanics" about it, isn't going to solve a darn thing. What it will do, is waste your time, allowing it to get worse. I'm sure you'll feel better once you consult an actual doctor. Wishing you all the best! ;)

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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by TRDxB2 » Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:06 am

Glad to hear that your headed back to the VA. Just so you know. Infections are caused by bacteria and the prescribed antibiotic may take time to cure it. Surprised that you only got a one week prescription (usually 2 weeks is it). BUT not all bacterial infections react the same to one antibiotic versus another. or if you were expected to contact them if there was no improvement. Usually 2 weeks is the norm for a prescription BUT again antibiotics need to be administered with scrutiny so don't be surprised if they change the prescription to another antibiotic.
Trying to putting things in perspective.
Lets say you had a 2nd degree burn on the back of your hand and it got infected. You got bandaged up and they prescribed an antibiotic. Painful as it would be, even worse when you bump it into something. How long do you think it would take to heal? How long for the pain to go away?
Even after the area would be healed it would take time for that are not to be sensitive to bumps and bruises.

Be sure to ask them about what you can expect once you recover (weeks or months later) from whatever the re-diagnosis is.

In any case, please be sure and tell them about your fix. It may help them with their diagnosis. Keep in touch, we are all pulling for you to have a speedy recovery.
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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by david_dewey » Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:56 am

Good to hear you are going to get some more medical opinions. Your commentary (and others') about medication and lack of renewal options made me think of a story of an elderly lady who went to see her Doctor, who prescribed a medication to cure her ills. She picked it up and she read the instructions she called her doctor,
"Doctor, I had no idea my health was so bad"
"Bad? why do you think it is bad?"
"Well, didn't you tell me I would have to take this new medication for the rest of my life?"
"Um, YES, that is very true! Why do you ask?"
"Well, the bottle says "No Refills!"
T'ake care,
David Dewey

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TRDxB2
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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by TRDxB2 » Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:26 pm

Jim, How are you doing? 🙏
The past is a great place and I don't want to erase it or to regret it, but I don't want to be its prisoner either.
Mick Jagger


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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by Dave Sullivan » Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:05 pm

Jim, are you already fixed up? I did not read the entire column. About the last year, I had a lump in my groin, it wasn't very painful, but got bigger. I finally asked my Dr. about it, she said "Yes you have an Iguinal Hernia. I went to another Doctor, who a couple of my friends recommended, he said" yes, that's a big one". Scheduled the surgery soon, no issues, he pronounced me well after about thirty days. I will be 79 here shortly, and am in above average health. Good luck, Dave in Bellingham, Wa


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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by jiminbartow » Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:55 am

Thank you everyone for your concern. I went back to the VA emergency room the next day, early on March 17 and they did a blood test and several doctors reviewed the CT scan that was done during my first emergency room visit on March 9. In a nut shell, the blood test showed no infection in my system so that ruled out a diverticulitis flare up and the review of the CT Scan showed no indication of an inguinal hernia, so that too is ruled out. That all should make me happy, but I still have the severe pain to the left of my groin that is especially bad when I strain in any way such as when I cough or sneeze, or sit down and get up, or am on my feet too long and not knowing what is wrong is disconcerting, so I am making an appointment with a gastroenterologist at the VA to see about doing a colonoscopy and/or more tests to see what is going on in there. I received the inguinal hernia compression undergarment I ordered and the pressure it applies to the painful area does seem to help lessen the pain. Thanks again everyone. Stay safe. Jim Patrick

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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by John Warren » Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:32 pm

Jim, just had mine fixed, It sure sounds like you have a hernia. Go to a hernia doctor and get it checked! Mine was done roboticly. ( Laparoscopy) Three small incisions, 4" each side of belly button an one in belly button. Easy fix, no pain, wake up fixed. Your symptoms are exactly the same as mine were, easy to self diagnose, if when you cough or sneeze it helps to hold yourself together, you have one. My Dr had me hold my self next to my groin, and cough, you could easily feel the pressure on you hand. The support will help for now but can actually cause problems. See a specialist!! your doctor can refer. My Dr says the robotics is the best for two reasons, none evasive and it is easy to see and repair. It is great having it fixed! jw
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jiminbartow
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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by jiminbartow » Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:45 pm

Thank you John. On Saturday, March 20th, my doctor called me from the VA and said he had reviewed the CT scan from the emergency room visit and thought he saw evidence on both sides of my groin of a double hernia. I have an appointment with the general surgical department at the Tampa VA hospital on April 13 for consultation. Hopefully, at that time it will be determined whether or not I have a hernia and will go in for surgery. I will keep you posted on here, but until April 13, I won’t know anything more. Take care and stay safe. Jim Patrick


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Re: Inguinal hernia

Post by otrcman » Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:39 pm

There's not much funny about having somebody come at you with a knife, even if he is a surgeon. But one of my co-workers hernia procedure did give him a humorous story to tell.

Jim was scheduled for a hernia repair and was told it would be a one-day affair. Surgery in the morning and bring a friend to drive him home in the afternoon. He woke from the anesthetic right after lunch. The recovery room nurse soon appeared and and told him that all had gone per plan and he would be able to head home soon. Then she pointed to the clock on the wall and asked him what time it was. He replied that he couldn't read it. Nurse said that was normal and she would be back in half an hour to check on him again.

Thirty minutes later the nurse reappeared and asked him what time it was. Again, he said that he couldn't see the clock very well.

Another thirty minutes went by and this time the anesthesiologist appeared to check him. Still unable to tell the time, the anesthesiologist checked him over and said that he seemed to otherwise fine and was surprised that his vision hadn't returned to normal.

Jim replied that he thought he would be able to see OK if the fellow who took his glasses in pre-op would bring them back.

Shortly thereafter he was on his way home.

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