Your Experiences Elsewhere

Would you like to share your hernia-related experiences elsewhere? Were they as good as described by our patients’ blog on this web site or were they nighmares?

If so, please report what happened on this page. We will try to publish as many appropriate reports as possible on this web site.

Use this space to tell us of your own experiences with hernia problems elsewhere – i.e. NOT at the British Hernia Centre. We will NOT publish names, identify you, hospitals or other parties so please be frank.

Please note, we cannot respond to you personally from this page. For personal advice etc., please see the CONTACT US link and e-mail us from there.

 

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88 thoughts on “Your Experiences Elsewhere

  1. AvatarTracy said:

    I’ve had a hernia for 28 years, no GP or other doctor has helped me get treatment for it, I’ve always been told to leave well alone! I’m always in pain, it’s ok telling people to get treatment, but how about telling GPs and other doctors that hernias do need treating! It’s not always the patient’s fault for not taking their hernia seriously.

    • AvatarThe British Hernia Centre said:

      You are absolutely correct. It is not always the patient who is at fault. It is and always has been a problem that either the NHS is too stretched to attend to hernias that are not imminently life-threatening or that the hernia is not yet at a stage that is operable. The vital thing is to determine whether or not it IS operable and if it is, then sooner is better than later. HOWEVER, it may be that it is NOT an operable hernia, even in the long term. This is where you need a specialist, expert diagnosis. See also the page on similar conditions that mimic hernia, but may not be. Sport, Groin Pain and Hernia.

  2. AvatarBiotechwoman said:

    I had an epigastric hernia repair done using an e-TEP procedure about 3 weeks ago. I was in good health/55, no medications, about 5 kg overweight but never obese, sportive (rowing, hiking in the mountains, skiing, etc). Sadly I did not research this beforehand as was told it is a “routine” and “minimally invasive procedure. Nothing further from the truth. Required a 4 day hospital stay, emergency CT day after surgery. I have now developed a pronounced distention/bulge that gets progressively worse during the day. Sharp pains (neuropathy), as well as having to eat small meals now. They put in a PVC mesh the size of 20 x 25 for a 3 cm hernia. This is incredibly distressing. Can I get the mesh out? Will this bulge go away? Surgeon lied and said he had performed 80 of these; but this is not possible. Particularly as this type of hernia is 3 times more likely in men.

    • AvatarThe British Hernia Centre said:

      We are unable to comment on the specific nature of whatever your surgeon elsewhere may have actually done as we have no way of knowing, but we sincerely hope he is not, as you say, a ‘liar’. Midline hernias and other related conditions pose a challenge to many surgeons and specialist expertise in that kind of condition has very obvious value. Whilst we number our cases of all kinds of hernia in the many tens of thousands, 80 of that kind of hernia among general surgeons etc is still a substantial number. You might find the page on ‘Umbilical (navel) Hernias ~ & Other Midline Hernias‘ to be of some help to you. It might be good for you to obtain a ‘second opinion’ from experts in the field to have a chance of getting the answer to your question.

  3. AvatarCS said:

    I had a strangulated hiatus hernia where the stomach and part of small intestine got stuck behind my heart. The surgeon waited 24 hours before performing a 4 hour emergency laproscopic surgery with repair and gastropexy.

    I have had continuous pain and upper abdominal bloating since the surgery 8 months ago. The surgeon dismisses it as some swelling that will gradually go away, it has not. The surgery caused me to develope A-fib, which I now take meds for, never had any cardiac or stomach problems in my 68 years of life before this suddenly happened.

    Has anybody had this problem before and what to do? Any suggestions appreciated, I look like I’m preggers now.

    • AvatarBritish Hernia Centre said:

      We do not give personal advice on this Blog and what we say here is only a superficial suggestion based upon our understanding of the very limited information you wrote. We stress that NOTHING takes the place of a proper clinical examination of your case. That said, our immediate thoughts are along the following lines.

      • It seems the surgery you had was life-saving as the stomach and the small intestine could have lost its blood supply and strangulated. It does not get much more serious than that. (Strangulation in this area is not dissimilar to [ibid] strangulation of abdominal wall hernias)

      • The a-fib (atrial fibrillation) might be a consequence of the fact that you must have been quite ill during the episode of incarceration of the hernia. It is possible that period of illness could have been what triggered the a-fib. The hernia lying behind the heart is unlikely to have been the cause.

      • The bloating and the pain lasting for 8 months is quite unusual. The bloating may have been a result of ‘air trapping’ if the surgeon has also performed a full fundoplication (a new valve at the junction of the gullet and the stomach). However, you say that the surgeon has performed a Gastropexy (whereby the stomach is attached to the abdominal wall or the diaphragm), and surgeons who perform the latter do not usually also perform a fundoplication. Sometimes people already have a mild form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome which may be worsened by the surgery.

      In order to understand the reasons behind the pain, one needs more information than can be given here. Some questions would be:

      • Where the pain is situated in the abdomen?
      • Is it associated with eating?
      • Is there any heartburn?

      You need to have a proper examination and consultation with a specialist in the field and we do not recommend you make any decisions about management of your condition based upon anything less than that.

      The lesson learned here is that one needs to deal with these conditions before they reach such emergency conditions.’Emergency’ surgery is extremely undesirable and tends to prove more problematic for the patient during and after the procedure and carries more risks generally.

  4. AvatarCW said:

    Please help. My dad got admitted to hospital yesterday. He had severe stomach pain. Referred to A and E. Diagnosed with strangulated hernia. They won’t operate as it is complicated with a pacemaker and a defibrillator being fitted

    Now twenty four hours later. The prognosis is his physical orbs have got worse principally his sats and reaps are not good. Any ideas please. We are desperate. We don’t mind paying to give him any chance.

    • AvatarBritish Hernia Centre said:

      This is a most unsatisfactory situation and we are very sorry to see what you write. At this point we would not recommend moving him elsewhere as the first priority is to have him stable and hopefully to manually manipulate the hernia to ‘reduce’ it (push it back inside). The next step would be for him to be fit enough for the surgery to fix it properly.

      We cannot overstate the importance of our advice on these pages to avoid at all costs getting to this stage. ALL hernias are serious and this risk is just not worth taking. See the page on Strangulated Hernia.

      We do hope the hospital caring for your dad manage to treat him successfully. In the event that they manage to manipulate the hernia back without surgery and he is discharged from the hospital, he might consider the benefits of seeing a specialist hernia centre as soon as possible who would be happy to see him with a view to ensuring it does not happen again. We would be happy to take a look at him should he so wish.

      We wish him well

  5. AvatarPR said:

    Hi, I was recently in hospital for six weeks with eschaemic colitis, apparently out of the blue my bowel was blocked by a blood clot. I lost a lot of blood and had several pints of blood transfusions. Prior to this I had been suffering for months with sciatica and when I came out of hospital after several months of pain in the groin and down the leg I had a hip scan which showed up a small inguinal hernia. My doctor has completely dismissed this as being the reason for my groin pain (which is getting worse and hinders my walking) and he has now referred me for a spine scan as he thinks the pain is disc related. I am now having to wait another 3 months for this and meantime I am convinced my hernia is getting worse. My question is how do I get to see a hernia specialist if my doctor is dismissing it and won’t make a referral?

    • AvatarThe BHC said:

      We cannot, of course, comment on the findings of the doctors who have had the benefit of examining a patient, but to answer the actual question here, in the UK one is always at liberty to consult whoever one wishes. If one seeks such a consultation on the account of the NHS, as indeed is the case with private health insurance as well, one needs to accept that the NHS or insurer will only choose to pay for care that they consider appropriate. It appears that in this instance they do not judge that to be the case. Unless one can convince one’s doctors that his or her hernia is in need of attention then the only way of obtaining a consultation with a hernia specialist is to see one and cover the cost one’s self.

      In any event, the NHS do not actually treat hernia as a specialised area, instead it falls under the umbrella of general surgery, normally not even performed by surgeons of consultant status, let alone specialists in hernia.

      We are deeply sorry to read of this patient’s complex problems but if the hernia is in need of repair, then taking all other factors fully into account, it should be attended to as soon as possible and as well as possible.

  6. AvatarLH said:

    I want to add my two cents. If you have any thought that it is a strangulated hernia, you will know the minute the pain starts. It is excruciating. I have had several since having small bowel by pass for obesity in 1974. On one of them I went to ER and because dr could not see anything in xray, sent me home with pain pills.

    When that was no good, I went back that same day. Different dr. When he saw my medical history, he asked the nurse (who had been on duty that morning when I was there) if the doctor was crazy. By that time I had very low blood pressure and was mostly out of it.

    They had to remove part of my intestines and was in ICU for several days.

    Another time I went to a different ER. Place was packed. They weren’t going to take me out of line until I vomited all over the ER. Not intentionally. This hernia (I’m presuming) I have now keeps getting larger. About two years ago they did a CT scan and said it was not a hernia and it was not a soft tissue tumor. They said it was nothing, except nothing is now growing larger and becoming more uncomfortable. Waiting on insurance to approve new CT scan. I hope I can get it repaired under normal circumstances. Lesson learned: do NOT wait.

    • AvatarBritish Hernia Centre said:

      Thanks for this report. Whether a strangulated hernia is ultimately diagnosed or not, you are SO right in your advice – ‘do NOT wait’. It is further regrettable that your dealing with this is being further delayed while you await clearance from an insurer. Good luck with all this and we hope you enjoy a good outcome and complete recovery.

  7. AvatarKay Bryan said:

    I just had been rushed to the ER with a strangulated hernia. People were laughing and talking in the ER while I was screaming and would not take me serious. Until I started screaming louder. One Nurse Practitioner (NP) told me to quit tensing my muscles while he gouged on me. Another NP came in and finally got it to go back in. I am home now but I’m having some pain in my lower abdomen. Should I be worried? It was strangulated for probably an hour and a half.

    • AvatarBritish Hernia Centre said:

      Sadly, what you describe is all too far from a rare experience. YES, you should deal with this properly as a serious priority, if not to say urgently.

      You should read our page on Strangulated Hernia very carefully.

      Good luck.

  8. AvatarPam said:

    I suffered a strangulated hernia and the experience was horrendous.

    After having a huge tummy for years I tried to get it fixed and expressed concern of strangulation.

    I was told my hernia was so big ‘it won’t’ or is ‘highly unlikely to strangulate’.

    A few months later I was rushed to hospital. I was in hospital for 12 hours before I was operated on, my mum was told no-one had the expertise to carry the out the op. The following morning my hernia was fixed,but over 3 metres of small intestine was removed. It had died. I became tachycardic under the op, thankfully I have full use of bowel and all is well now, but could have been a very different outcome.

    • AvatarBritish Hernia Centre said:

      Yes. It certainly could. Losing 3 metres of large intestine is bad enough but you are right.

      Yet again we can only warn of the very real and very serious dangers of ignoring a hernia. Thank you for posting your experience which very succinctly supports that view.

  9. AvatarSeth said:

    I’ve been dealing with some discomfort in my groin region for a couple months now. I decided to go to the doctors and the Nurse Practitioner checked me and she said that was unable to tell whether I had one or not. She said that I should treat it like a pulled groin muscle and gave me some stretches to do.

    This morning I woke up with extreme pain in my lower abdomen that felt as if I had to take the bowel movement of a lifetime but I couldn’t do anything. Suddenly I vomited, the pain subsided, it started up again a few minutes later and once I vomited it stopped again.

    This happened two more times over the next hour until I was finally able to ‘go’ which caused it to subside almost completely. I’m still having discomfort in the region and I’ve been able to have bowel movements a couple more times today.

    I’m worried because I’m not sure what it was and I don’t want to die.

    • AvatarBritish Hernia Centre said:

      You say you went to a Nurse Practitioner who was unable to diagnose what was causing the symptoms you describe. Her advice to do ‘stretches’ based upon a guess of it being a ‘pulled muscle’ was immediately followed by the terrible conditions you describe.

      It seems clear that what you have, (hernia or otherwise) involving your bowel, is very serious and needs immediate, expert attention, ideally by a specialist in hernia.

      You should go NOW to be examined by somebody who is able to give you a proper diagnosis.

      For those reading this unfortunate report, note his first sentence, “I’ve been dealing with some discomfort in my groin region for a couple months now.”. Once you know something is wrong in your body, seek proper expert advice. In a case like this, where a diagnosis was reduced to an ‘educated guess’ you might care to seek a more expert opinion from a doctor, if not to say a specialist hernia surgeon.

  10. AvatarKS said:

    My mum had a hernia for years, it never bothered her and her doctors constantly told her not to worry about it if it wasn’t bothering her.

    Two weeks ago she started being sick violently and complained of pain in pit of her stomach.

    Several doctors’ visits later, Mum was still being sick and becoming weaker by the day.

    Eventually she was admitted to hospital and passed away last week, she had only been in the hospital for 7 hours.

    The hernia had become strangulated causing bowel perforation and multiple organ failure, myself and my family are still in shock how quickly mum became ill and died. Please please if you have a hernia get it seen too ASAP it may mean life or death.

    • AvatarBritish Hernia Centre said:

      We are SO terribly sorry to read this sad report. Thank you for sharing it and for your SAGE advice, so sadly arising from tragedy. We hope, by helping others, as you are doing here, you find the comfort to deal with your loss.

      Please, people, how many warnings can we give? Avoid strangulated hernias at all costs! KS’ experience is not as unusual as we would like to think.

    • AvatarAngela said:

      So sorry for your loss. I just lost my sister the same way
      She went very fast. Not able to do surgery and just had to let her go without a flight. My heart is broken

  11. AvatarRB said:

    Hi I’m in hospital right now after having emergency surgery for a strangulated hernia. I have been repaired with mesh and closed back up. I had been complaining for 6 weeks to my Dr about this hernia being painful after my c section caused it. They just ‘kept an eye on it’ so to speak.

    I phoned my doctor on Friday with severe pain told she will order another scan on Wednesday morning.

    I was rushed in and nearly died. One ambulance worker told me take paracetamol and stop screaming!

    Will this be fixed now or should I continue making them check it? I don’t want to die – I trusted them and I nearly died. He already ammitted that to me.

    • AvatarBritish Hernia Centre said:

      What a terrible experience. Based upon what you report here, please do not worry about dying. The biggest danger connected with strangulated hernia is when it is left untreated, ie before the repair. Clearly, once diagnosed, we take the view that a strangulated hernia should be repaired as a matter of urgency and it seems that the delay in attending to yours was probably down to the doctors not being sure of the diagnosis until you were taken in by ambulance. The remark by the ambulance crew member was, of course, highly regrettable and, as we see, wholly inappropriate.

      Given that the repair was carried out and, one assumes successfully, you should put thoughts such as you describe out of your mind. There should not be any need to keep ‘checking’ it. As long as you are making a good recovery, have no particular post-op problems, infection, inflammation, fever etc, then you should be fine. If any such symptoms occur then you should be seen without delay.

      Yet again, we cannot overstate our advice that the best way to avoid these awful situations is to avoid letting a hernia strangulate in the first place. In cases such as you describe, where you say it was an incisional hernia that strangulated following a caesarian, that might not have been so easily predicted. However, any hernia, particularly small ones can (potentially) strangulate with little or no warning so ignoring them is a very bad idea.

      We hope you and your baby will both be absolutely fine!

      For further information see Strangulated Hernia

  12. AvatarMrs S said:

    I am 35 in a few weeks and have been diagnosed with an umbilical hernia. I have no pain just a very strange feeling in my tummy. Should I be worried?

    • AvatarBritish Hernia Centre said:

      That depends upon what you do next.

      What you need to do is see (ideally) a hernia specialist if you can, for an expert opinion on what to do about it, or if not, a general surgeon who is experienced in hernia. What you must NOT do is ignore it because it does not hurt. Take a good look at this page which covers this very point.

    • AvatarMarilyn said:

      Hi – I had an umbilical hernia over 40 years ago when my daughter was born breech. It strangulated my small intestine and I ended up in the hospital for almost 3 months, losing all but 18″ of my small intestine (almost 20 feet).

      My daughter was born on 3 November and I was admitted into the hospital (in California) two weeks later. So for 2 weeks my intestines began to develop gangrene until I almost died.

      Please make sure you keep on top of your umbilical hernia. You don’t want to end up like I did. No pain for about a week, then the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced.

      • AvatarBritish Hernia Centre said:

        We get so many posts like these that we cannot possibly print them all. We can only urge people never, ever to ignore a hernia. We cover so many aspects here. For example:

      • Strangulated Hernia,
      • Hernias and Pregnancy,
      • Is Having NO Treatment an option?
      • …and more.
        We cannot begin to imagine how many LIVES we might have saved in the tens of thousands of hernias we have repaired. The procedure is SO quick and easy, ignoring it makes NO sense.

  13. AvatarTC said:

    I am 33 years old and 9 yrs ago I was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia after going to the ER in extreme pain. I was referred to a surgeon but never went because it stopped hurting.

    All this time later it is hurting worse than ever so I went to ER again and they did a ct scan and told me it was strangulated and I need surgery. I start a new job this week that I worked hard to get and cant take 4 wks off work. My question is how dangerous is this? Can the surgery wait?

    • AvatarBritish Hernia Centre said:

      What a shame you cancelled that original referral. What happened next is one of the consequences we do our best to warn against in this web site.

      Now you have been diagnosed with a strangulated hernia and you are seriously contemplating putting it off again?

      YES, putting it off now IS dangerous. The consequences of doing that could result in an outcome far more serious than taking time off your new job. But where on earth are you going that will keep you off work for 4 weeks after a hernia repair?

  14. AvatarA I said:

    My brother has excruciating pain in his groin which radiates to his thigh and knee. The pain was so extreme he couldn’t breath properly and actually thought he was going to die. He went to hospital in an ambulance and was sent away and told to take paracetamol!

    He had to wait 2 weeks for an emergency scan. He has been informed that the scan showed nothing out of the ordinary. Is it possible that the hernia was missed? A friend who is a nurse is certain that my brother has a strangulated femoral hernia and needs immediate medical attention. His GP has told him to see an osteopath. What would you suggest we do?

    • AvatarThe British Hernia Centre said:

      This is a very difficult situation and, sadly, far from uncommon. Two very different opinions from health professionals.

      It could, of course, be nothing to do with hernia at all but most important here is that the risks associated with it being a strangulated hernia, as suggested by the nurse friend, are EXTREMELY serious and if he or she is right, your brother could well be in very serious danger.

      Apart from the terrible symptoms you describe, the danger makes it worth pursuing. Your brother should consult a hernia specialist for an opinion at the very earliest opportunity. The GP, whilst undoubtedly skilled and possibly perfectly correct, is not a hernia specialist nor is the (possibly junior) medic who saw him in the A&E at the Hospital.

      If, as we would all hope, your brother does NOT turn out to have a hernia (of any kind) then Osteopathy may well be the answer, but at this stage, the course he should take might be to see an expert in hernia for a proper ‘expert’ diagnosis.

      See Strangulated Hernia for more information.

  15. AvatarMonika said:

    My husband had a bowel obstruction operation seven weeks ago. After it he became very bloated, which is still around but significantly reducing. In my opinion the surgical staples used to close the wound were not massive enough and the constant bloating exercised too much pressure on the outside wound on the abdomen resulting in the thickening of the skin thus he developed an incisional hernia. The wound is next to the belly button, which is clear and visible, but the wound is dry and in bad condition.

    There is a dressing on the wound to prevent infection, he takes medication to reduce the inflammation (Ibuprofen) and he feels better now.

    When we recognised it three days ago, we immediately went to the surgery where he was operated. They stated the hernia has to be operated and they would contact him to arrange an appointment to discuss treatment asap.

    The hernia is only on the surface, the buldge is not big, and when lying the belly is soft and the hernia going back. My husband wishes to fly abroad, a two-hour flight, to have it operated.

    Is it risky to fly with an incisional hernia, may it become deeper during the flight?

    • AvatarThe British Hernia Centre said:

      An incisional hernia certainly needs expert attention. As for travelling abroad with it, see our page specifically on Travel with a Known Hernia.

      However, if he is in the UK, why on earth would he choose to fly abroad for treatment when the best specialised hernia care on the planet is right here in Britain?

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