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neek
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PostThu Jan 09, 2020 8:37 am 
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Anyone care to share recovery stories for inguinal hernia repair?  Things you wish you had known or asked going into it?  They are planning to install a mesh via open surgery with local anesthesia.  Probably won't see any TRs from me for a while.
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Chief Joseph
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PostThu Jan 09, 2020 8:38 am 
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neek wrote:
Anyone care to share recovery stories for inguinal hernia repair?  Things you wish you had known or asked going into it?  They are planning to install a mesh via open surgery with local anesthesia.  Probably won't see any TRs from me for a while.

That sucks, going to miss your TR's...did it happen from one of your "Casual" Dayhikes?

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neek
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PostThu Jan 09, 2020 8:53 am 
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Chief Joseph wrote:
That sucks, going to miss your TR's...did it happen from one of your "Casual" Dayhikes?

Who knows, probably just a function of getting older.  Very minor at this point but I figure it's best to take care of in the off season.  (I have rapidly worsening Raynaud's and can't ski so don't get out in the cold much anyway.)  Having something "pop" when I'm in the middle of nowhere would be bad news.
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RichP
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PostThu Jan 09, 2020 9:33 am 
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Best of luck with that, neek. Both of my brothers had it done but so far I've managed to avoid it.
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ale_capone
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PostThu Jan 09, 2020 10:48 am 
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I had it done a couple winters ago. had the hernia for a couple years, but it got worse just before the operation. Almost 50, wear and tear.

I went to evergreen in monroe.  All around really good experience. Opted for a little more then local anesthesia.

Recovery was way less then I thought it would be. You'll be ready to hike before the snow melts.

I was on the couch for about a week. Coughing was excruciating. Prescribed 20 oxy, but 10 was enough.   Most pain was gone in a couple weeks, hiking at 4 weeks, and snowboarding at 6 weeks. Lingering funny nerve feelings from the operation for a few months.

I really dont even notice it anymore. Glad I had it done.
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Bowregard
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PostFri Jan 10, 2020 10:12 am 
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I had this surgery last June.

Surgery:They put me out with general anesthesia and installed a catheter with a pump full of local anesthesia that lasted 3 days. If they give you this option by all means take it because it allows you to avoid the opium based meds until the pain backs off. In my case I was able to go with less and weaker opioids until I switched over to alternating between Advil and Tylenol. You just remove and toss the catheter/pump in in the garbage when it runs out.

Recovery: I had a hiking trip scheduled just one week after the surgery but I was able to push it out a couple weeks. That was just enough. I had a little bit of pain now and then but nothing that interfered with our trip. As you heal, adhesions form where they shouldn't and pull apart later when you move. That caused me some pain that made me worry the issue was not fully resolved but the pain went away just as quickly as it came on.

Afterwards: This condition has been really strange for me. I still get brief pain spells that I can't explain (by movement or anything) but as time goes on it is less often and less severe. I am glad I had it done right away. Surgery in June and I was still able to have a full hiking summer starting in July (we ended up taking 3 trips in weeks). The worst thing that came out of it was a renewed anger at my grandfather. He died of the same condition because his religious beliefs did not allow him to get it fixed. I can't believe he suffered through that without getting help.

Good luck to you.
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neek
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PostFri Jan 10, 2020 10:20 am 
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Really interesting feedback so far, thanks!
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NWtrax
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PostFri Jan 10, 2020 11:22 am 
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Is laparoscopic an option for you? I had a double hernia done a couple years ago that way and the healing process was super slick. I took it easy for a couple weeks and a little more than month later was good to go. No lingering side effects whatsoever.

Like yours mine wasn't too bad to begin with, but didn't want to risk it a couple days from a trailhead. Best to you...
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Bowregard
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PostFri Jan 10, 2020 12:19 pm 
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I checked around before my surgery found that the process (laproscopic vs open) is mostly dependent upon the surgeon doing it and there is pretty even mix. I asked my surgeon about laproscopic and he said has done them that way in the past but in his experience the recovery is about the same. From his perspective there is no justification for complicating the process and doing the open surgery reduced risk. That made sense to me and I wasn't concerned about the scars so I went with the open process.
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neek
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PostFri Jan 10, 2020 12:26 pm 
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That's more or less what I'm hearing, and want the surgeon doing what they're most comfortable with.  Also open is a bit quicker and doesn't require general anesthesia, so is cheaper.
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Navy salad
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PostFri Jan 10, 2020 5:28 pm 
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So from a hiker's perspective, aside from getting old or lifting heavy objects, what are the risk factors for getting a hernia?
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Bowregard
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PostSun Jan 12, 2020 9:26 pm 
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Anything that increases abdominal pressure or creates a weakness in the abdominal wall.
Obesity
Coughing (i.e. smoking, etc.)
Sneezing
Pregnancy
Gender (male is higher)
family history

Not much of anything you can do beyond maintaining a healthy weight, eat right, and avoid activities that can create undue pressure or weakening. At least that's what they told me.
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Cyclopath
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PostSun Jan 12, 2020 11:13 pm 
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If we're talking about spinal hernias, you can't guarantee you won't have one but some things you can do to stack the odds in your favor:

1 control your weight
2 lift heavy things
3 keep your back straight under load, don't round it
4 don't bite off more than you can chew (moving furniture etc)
5 don't spend too much time sitting and slouching
6 run, maybe

#2 - The job of your core muscles is to protect your spine.  Lifting helps people become more aware of their bodies moving through space (kinesiology) which translates to safer movement patterns, lifting also improves neurological control, improves bone density, and even improves confidence.  Squats, deadlifts, and renegade rows are excellent for strengthening core muscles.  As long as they're done with good form.

#4 - Bones and soft tissue adapt to the loads they're regularly put under.  If you don't regularly lift heavy things, don't move furniture.

#6 - Running also improves bone density.
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Stefan
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PostMon Jan 13, 2020 8:08 am 
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girlfriend had hernia surgery in April 2019 with the mesh thingy you are talking about.  She was laid up for two days.  Third day, she was back to normal.

she also went backpacking with me for a week in August 2019 in the Wind River Range.

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ale_capone
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PostMon Jan 13, 2020 9:09 am 
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Bowregard wrote:
Anything that increases abdominal pressure or creates a weakness in the abdominal wall.
Obesity
Coughing (i.e. smoking, etc.)
Sneezing
Pregnancy
Gender (male is higher)
family history

Not much of anything you can do beyond maintaining a healthy weight, eat right, and avoid activities that can create undue pressure or weakening. At least that's what they told me.

You forgot one.. I mean #2. Constipation, or trying to hard to push a hot one can cause a hernia. Take fiber.

Pretty sure mine was from prolonged boughts of sneezing and coughing caused by pet allergies. Dont get pet.
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