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.

 

Next: How to Contact Us

72 thoughts on “Your Experiences Elsewhere

  1. Pam 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.

    • British 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.

  2. Seth 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.

    • British 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.

  3. KS 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.

    • British 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.

  4. RB 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.

    • British 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

  5. Mrs 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?

    • British 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.

    • Marilyn 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.

      • British 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.

  6. TC 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?

    • British 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?

  7. A 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?

    • The 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.

  8. Monika 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?

    • The 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?

  9. Jane W said:

    I have a large bulging hernia which has resulted from having two abdominal surgeries in the past three months. Last week I had a reversal ostemy and now have another hernia beside the incision site. My surgeon wants to wait two months before she repairs the hernias to give my body time to heal. I am worried that the hernias will strangulate during the wait time, I was given no instructions on what to not do or what limitations I should be aware of. In fact the surgeon was very unconcerned. After doing my research, I am aware of how serious a hernia can be. Any advice is appreciated.

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      You are clearly quite unfortunate to have these hernias after each surgery for other things. Our web site gives general advice on avoiding making hernias ‘worse’. There is also much information on ‘strangulated hernia‘ that should prove helpful – and hopefully put your mind at rest. However, it is odd that your surgeon declined to advise you on what to do in your own case. It is very important that you have a dialogue with her and follow her advice. Only she knows your case in detail so you are in her hands.

      We hope the hernia repairs mark the end of your problems.

  10. KM said:

    I discovered my inguinal hernia 5 years ago (A slight bulge, no pain or discomfort). I’m a keen cyclist and walker and after a month or two considered the mesh operation at a Dudley hospital successful. However, from the start I could always feel the presence of the mesh and when cycling it felt like I was doing so with a pamphlet in my pocket. Five years on the discomfort is increasing (although not yet disabling) just hope it doesn’t get worse. I’m beginning to wonder if mesh is such a good idea?

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      You should certainly not normally be expected to feel the mesh if employed as we recommend. In our experience of many tens of thousands of such procedures, this is not our normal outcome at all. There is no question whatsoever that the use of mesh to repair a hernia is by far the very best approach, enjoying the safest and most reliable results. Since we started publishing our results over two decades ago, just about every surgeon has switched to using mesh now to fix a hernia. Many, however, use the mesh in different ways, with varying results. That said, as is covered on this web site, there are benefits to specialisation and the use of mesh alone certainly certainly cannot be viewed as guaranteeing a good repair. In your case, you describe the discomfort as getting worse. Did you ever go back to the surgeon who did your repair? In any event, you should see a surgeon experienced in hernia repair for an opinion.

  11. Yvonne said:

    I was diagnosed with a ventral hernia and at times in extreme pain. I have waited 2 months for an appointment with a surgeon only to find out that he refuses to do surgery on me. He says I have to lose all my excess body weight before he will do hernia surgery (120 pounds).. Some days I am in extreme pain, it hurts to cough, sneeze and even pick up my 21 mth old daughter. My mother just passed away from complications of a hernia so this really scares me. She had a strangulated bowel and ended up septic.

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      There are two issues here.

      • A HERNIA is serious, potentially very serious and
      • Depending upon your build, your weight might classify you as ‘morbidly’ obese.

      If you are in a ‘seriously overweight’ category then ANY kind of surgery poses an additional, possibly serious risk to you. Urgent weight loss (preferably under professional guidance) might be your most immediate step. In many cases, that also alleviates hernia symptoms to a degree. You need, at the same time to take great care to avoid ANY action that you know makes the hernia worse, ie get bigger or hurt.

  12. Donald G said:

    I was diagnosed with a hiatus hernia in 2013, following a year of tests I was told I need surgery, then my consultant changed his mind as he realised I was 65. He said he had a rule that he doesn, t carry out the operation on patients 65 or over. Despite taking Omeparazole I suffer regularly with reflux and belching and I have now been diagnosed with Zenkers Diverticulum. I have been sent to three different consultants, and each of them said, this is not an operation that they do, so I have to put up with the problems.

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      Very, very few surgeons specialise in hernia and even less do, or like to do Hiatus Hernia repairs which might explain the last three consultants you went to. The first one might simply know his own limitations. Needless to say, specialists such as ourselves have no problem whatsoever in repairing them on the grounds of your age. The Zenkers Diverticulum is also treatable surgically.

  13. Reginald W. said:

    I have read some of the comments about hernias and consider myself very unfortunate in that my hernia occured when I was 4yrs old in 1940. This was a time when there was no NHS, and the Hospitals were overrun with WW2 casualties.

    Nevertheless, my hernia which had become strangulated was dealt with by a surgical team and a hospital (London Road Hospital Stoke-on Trent) who were unstinting in their treatment of me and thanks to which and whomever they were I can ever be grateful for my survival to my present 80 years of age. I was only hours, possibly less, away from extinction. I have always wanted to thank them but never had the chance….

    ………………………………THIS IS MY SALUTATION

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      This has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with this web site or its purpose, but it is SUCH a charming and delightful account it just had to be included in the blog. You seem a great guy, Reginald. We are extremely happy to see you ‘escaped extinction’ thanks to life-saving hernia surgery.

  14. Maria P said:

    I went to my GP in March 2014 complaining of pain around my tummy button and a small swelling could be felt. I had a severe cough at the time and the discomfort lasted almost a week. I found it uncomfortable to move for a few days. I was referred for a scan and a small hernia was diagnosed. Upon referral to the consultant I was advised to lose weight but offered nothing else. I have and am losing weight but the size of the hernia has increased. Sometimes after coughing I can feel uncomfortable and if I push against my stomach I can push it back in. It feels like pushing jelly or a jel filled cushion and makes me feel momentary queasy. Do I need to revisit my GP. I don’t like to make a fuss but I’m concerned that I wasn’t taken seriously . I’m 51 years old.

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      How sad. You do not say here what your weight/height or BMI is, but there does come a point where a morbidly obese patient invites serious risk in any kind of surgery that must be taken into account. However, hernias are serious – not least the small ones (see our page on strangulated hernia) – and no decision to put off a repair should be taken lightly. You may care to seek a second opinion from a specialist hernia centre.

  15. Karen D said:

    I have had a hiatus hernia from my late 20s (I’m now 44) I was rushed into hospital almost a year and half ago with suspected heart attack – turned out, it was my hiatus hernia.

    I’ve been on numerous medicines for the acid however it has got to the stage almost every single day I am in extreme pain, the burning in my chest along with pain that radiates to my upper back and both shoulders and down both arms, I’ve had the camera test twice and am currently waiting on yet another camera test, honestly, I’m at my wits end with this, have never suffered as badly as I am and have been for over a year now. Would it be worthwhile trying to push for the repair operation?

    I have never had a heart attack, but honestly that is exactly how it feels to me and leaves me feeling so unwell and so weak and it is frightening. I am sick of going to my gp as it has got to the stage where I feel he does not care after giving me the statement of “Well there is nothing more I can do for you” and that was only 4 days ago.

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      As you will see on our page on Hiatus Hernia, your symptoms are exactly as we describe. We hope the page has given you a good understudying on what is actually happening to cause these awful symptoms.

      The page also covers the pathway we recommend for dealing with a hiatus hernia. If you have gone down that pathway as described, then yes – a repair is certainly to be seriously considered. See a specialist in Hiatus Hernia repair as soon as you can. Frankly, we question how you may have been advised to go so long as 22 years with this condition. Long-term acid burning of the oesophagus can lead to other, really serious conditions. Time to get to grips with this properly and without further delay.

  16. Molly said:

    Hello, I am writing this on behalf of my mother who has an incisional hernia due to previous operation where the surgeon perforated her bowel. She has a large bulge where her hernia is and suffers pain from it. Her surgeon recommends not having surgery on it as she will suffer from chronic pain post op as she has weak abdominal wall. He said he thinks ‘she should just continue wearing a hernia belt and live with it’.

    My question is don’t they get larger and more complicated over time? And why does he not want to operate when he is this region’s top surgeon for hernia repairs. I’m just really confused and my mum is very depressed to say the least. Any advice? Should she get second opinion?

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      This BLOG is not really the place for general questions and enquiries. They should be addressed to
      experts@hernia.org

      HOWEVER, as the questions asked are so commonly put to us, we will comment in this blog, this time.

      The general answer is that Incisional hernias should be repaired as they only grow larger and, if untreated, are likely to lead to complications at some point. See the page here on Incisional Hernia.

      The surgeon may be reluctant to operate due to other reasons, for example her fitness for surgery.

      Incisional hernias can be operated by open or laparoscopic surgery quite successfully in competent hands. Your mother should seek a second opinion.

  17. Dianna K said:

    I have just returned from Cuba where I had a Strangulated Hernia – I didn’t know I had one – the pain was rapid and acute. The repair was carried out within 3 hours of the initial diagnosis the procedure was the stitched version – my concern is that I find it difficult to swallow and then the food feels like its stuck just above where the outside stitches where will this subside in due course or should I see my GP again – he told me the wound site is lumpy and I have a blood clot at the site not sure what to do

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      You will have gathered that the best way to deal with a Strangulated hernia is to avoid getting one in the first place. Clearly, as luck has it, when problems occur they tend to happen at the WORST possible time. You were very lucky to be able to get help in time.

      Sadly, it seems the emergency repair you obtained in Cuba might not have been quite the best. Whilst correcting any issues now might be more challenging, you must not ignore your symptoms. The blood clot might be a serous issue indeed on its own. Your GP must have advised on that. Consult a hernia specialist as soon as you can.

  18. Mazleen M said:

    I lost my dad because of strangulated hernia yesterday he went through everything calmly

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      We are SO sorry to see this. Losing life to strangulated hernia is tragic.

      If anybody has a hernia, to stop this happening, let us (or somebody else) see you BEFORE letting it get to this stage. You must never let a hernia strangulate. See the page on Strangulated Hernia.

  19. Karen S said:

    My dad has just had emergency surgery on a strangulsted hernia, I’ve been told he is doing fine. My worry is now having read about it is that this is really dangerous & it can happen again, I need to know what the prognosis is for this is it just a matter of time before it happens again & can kill him.

    I don’t live near my dad & not sure what to do ?? Can someone please give me some advice as I am beyond worried.
    Many thanks

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      Please do not worry! The really serious danger was during the time up to the moment they repaired the strangulated hernia. If your concern now is of a recurrence of the hernia, the chances of recurrence are about the same as following any other hernia repair. That largely depends upon the technique that was used. You can see pages on this web site on both Recurrent and Strangulated hernias.

      They said your dad is doing fine which means you have NO cause for worry. But if he or anybody has pain from any hernia, do not hesitate at all. Get it seen as a matter of priority. The very best way to deal with strangulated hernia is to AVOID it in the first place.

  20. Joanna A said:

    My mother actually passed away due to a strangulated hernia

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      We are SO sorry to read this kind of thing. We are very sorry for your loss, but if it convinces just one person not to ignore a hernia that could potentially strangulate, it will be an honour to her memory.

  21. David M said:

    In 2002 I underwent an Inguinal hernia repair on the NHS Swansea after waiting for almost 1 year for the operation.

    There were complications during the open surgery which I was not informed of.

    After the surgery I was in extreme pain and had a stay in hospital. Since then I have suffered numbness in my lower areas for many years – and here I am now the hernia has returned, but this time not only has the original returned I have another hernia on the opposite side.

    I feel that the NHS made a total mess of the original hernia repair. Having lost confidence in the NHS I am reserching a private operation.

  22. Ro H said:

    I’m so scared. I had severe pain and had gone to the emergency room where I was told I had a hernia. They kept me for a day and sent me home on no meds. I sought out a surgeon who said I didnt….2 months later it’s in my groin. I’m so terrified

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      What happened to you is all too common. First of all, it is a great shame your hernia was allowed to reach the stage where it could do this to you. But it is quite the norm for an emergency doctor, faced with a trapped or perhaps strangulated hernia to reduce it (meaning to manipulate it back in with his hands) and, with the pain gone, send you on your way. As you will have seen on our page on Strangulated Hernia, you really need to get it repaired properly at the very earliest opportunity. It could happen again at any time and is always a serious emergency.

      Please do not be terrified. Just get it seen to as soon as possible and as well as possible, ideally by hernia specialists if you have any within reach of where you are.

    • Karen F said:

      Just after my 2nd daughter was born, I returned to the OB/GYN for follow up visits. A few days later, I was having increasing abdominal pain that became excruciating. I went to the ER and was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (no imaging was taken).

      Several days later, I returned to the ER and waited in agony as they took care of everyone before me although I told them this occurred after a cesarean surgery.

      Finally a CT was taken, revealing a strangulated hernia with gangrene and I had to have emergency surgery with removal of several feet of intestine. I didn’t realize until later this was life-threatening. After surgery, recovery was very very slow, but I was able to recover and three years later had another heathy baby with no complications.

      • The British Hernia Centre said:

        What a nightmare story! We are delighted that it had a happy ending, not least that you went on to have another baby three years later. Great news!

        As you clearly realise, you describe a really close call. Strangulated hernias are as serious as it gets and really are extremely dangerous – clearly ‘life-threatening’ is an accurate description.

        IF we accomplish nothing else, it will be enough to know that our advice saves lives. We hope everybody with a hernia, particularly if they are painful or small, takes heed. Its all there, clearly explained on our web page on Strangulated Hernia. If anybody would like our opinion or advice or to let us repair their hernia before it reaches that stage, our contact details are on the Contact Us page.

  23. Jennifer said:

    Thank you for this page and preceding article. I have had four attacks of excruciating pain from hiatus hernia in recent weeks. I now realise this may be serious and my 5cm hiatus hernia may need attention. Phoning my GP tomorrow

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      That is great news. Even if people are unable or choose not to come to us, we are so happy that our web pages are helpful and especially that it encourages you to get these things seen to. In the right hands, corrective surgery for all these kinds of hernia can be life changing – for the better! There is no need to suffer.

  24. Liz said:

    I had 4 children in 5 years. When i was pregnant with my first, around the 5th month I was at dinner and felt the most dreadful sharp pain. I subsequently found out I had an umbilical hernia. I am oscillating between days, sometimes weeks without and issue and others when if I eat more than I do normally I have sharp, severe pain. It’s physically evident and protrudes above my belly button. I have had 2 doctors say I need to have it operated on and others say ‘if I can manage it not to be concerned’. I have a fear of going under the knife / but I think I know what I need to do.

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      The alarm bell that rings loud in what you say is the phrase “the most dreadful sharp pain”. That begs the question why any doctor would advise you ‘if you can manage it not to be concerned’. We would seriously question that advice for reasons well covered on this web site. Nobody should tolerate pain from a hernia, let alone pain such as you describe. Apart from the unpleasantness, that kind of pain is an important warning that something is very wrong and potentially very serious indeed.

      You have seen our advice on hernias during pregnancy. Even if one waits until after the baby is born and if the pain goes away, you might now agree that it is an extremely bad idea to ignore it in the belief that the defect has somehow ‘gone away’. But, you say you went on to have 3 more babies after that without fixing it. Oh dear!

      Please treat ALL hernias as serious. Once diagnosed, they need to be fixed as SOON as possible and as EXPERTLY as possible.

  25. Beth said:

    I’m glad to find this page!

    I had emergencey hernia strangulation surgery 8 wks ago. I have to say I never had a worse pain in my life before – and I had a heart attack at age of 30 and 2 c sections but this pain was the worst in my life.

    After 4 hrs of pain, I decided to go to the Hospital and in less than 1 hr they had me ready for surgery. The surgeon needed to cut 2 different parts of my intestines and part of my stomach wall. After that I got a bacterial infection and needed to take antibiotics and the doctors had to drain my insision 4 times. Now I’m doing much better but still have pain in my abdomen, and I do not know if that is normal. I also do not know how long it will take for me to feel 100% again.

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      We have stressed how serious a strangulated hernia is, as well as how urgently it needs to be treated. The operation, once it strangulates, is more challenging and carries more risks. The post-operative course is similarly more fraught with risk and pain. It is SO important NOT TO LET THINGS GET TO THAT STAGE.

      We wish Beth a speedy and complete recovery. She is fortunate she was able to have surgery so quickly.

  26. Vanessa said:

    Back in 2001 after suffering from undiagnosed pain for 3 years, it was eventually discovered that I had a hernia. It is not one that I have seen mentioned on this site so thought I should write about it.

    The pain I experienced was terrible, much worse than childbirth without pain meds. I would spend an hour or more each time lying prone on my stomach with my fists in a ball underneath me. This would eventually make the pain subside until one day when it would not.

    If it hadn’t been for my 10 year old daughter I’d not have survived. She called for an ambulance at 5 am and I was rushed in but not operated on till the following day. They said they couldn’t find a hernia so pumped me full of pain meds and did a laparotomy the next day. They found a hernia in the cheek of my behind and it was referred to as a spagaelean hernia (nnot sure of spelling).

    They removed parts of my bowel that had twisted and repaired the front incision without a mesh due to infections present. 2 incisional hernia repairs later I was left with necrotic flesh and a massive wound cavity that would not heal. This took over 5 years to close and only got as bad as it did because the hernia repairs were not carried out in time but left by the doctors who treated them as non urgent surgery. How can a patient get past a surgeon who decides this.

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      What a distressing series of events. This highlights several key points, not least the vital need to correctly diagnose a hernia in the first place and not all hernias present as obviously as most. Then, once diagnosed, hernias need to be repaired as SOON as possible and as WELL as possible. All these important points are well covered and explained on this web site and it is important to note them before, rather than after things go too far. Your case sounds like it could very easily have had a less happy outcome.

    • Never ignore symptoms of something you know is ‘not right’
    • Always try to see a hernia specialist if you can identify one.
  27. Candice said:

    I am 6 weeks on after a strangulated hernia. I had a hernia for more than 13 years and it never bothered me. The pain came on suddenly and I managed to make it to my GP who had me immediately transferred to a hospital. I had emergency surgery and a large part of my small intestine had to be cut away and bowel resection done because a part of the intestine had died. Not even my surgeon was optimistic that I would survive the operation. I spent a few days in ICU and several more days in a recovery ward afterwards. Do NOT ignore a hernia no matter how long its been there. I nearly lost my life and am grateful to still be around. Recovery is slow but I had the most wonderful surgeon who fought for my life.

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      You are, indeed, lucky this had a happy outcome and we are very happy for you that it did. Your advice is spot-on. We hope your experience, that you kindly shared here, will encourage EVERYBODY with a hernia to get it repaired as SOON as possible and as WELL as possible. Strangulation is covered on this site, as are the different options for repair today.

  28. Coco said:

    I don’t understand what went wrong; I had no idea that my friend had a hernia for as long as I found out he had it. In the last months and/or last year, it probably got worst. His belly was really swollen, he looked really paled. He was taken to the ER this past Sunday. They stabilized him and were going to do emergency surgery on him. The Dr informed his friend that he would be receiving blood transfusion. Two hours later or so, the ER called this friend (who had driven the patient to the ER) and was informed that his friend had passed away. ??? The Dr. mentioned that when attempting to give blood transfusion, that “the blood was coming out faster than what was going in”. What happened?

  29. Viviane said:

    A patient’s blog titled “PARASTOMAL HERNIA (With Ian’s 1st Hand experience)” was once linked to your website.

    I want to thank the patient Ian for this blog as it helped me in my recent hernia and stoma reversal surgery in Canada. I was afraid of ongoing surgery again after emergency surgery resulting in a colostomy in 2010. A perastomal hernia then resulted. I read and reread Ian’s blog months before my recent surgery and he gave me courage.

    Two weeks after my successful surgery, I am grateful for Ian’s sharing his experience and want to thank him and your organization for allowing your patients to post their views and experiences.

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      This is excellent news. We are very happy that people have access to high-quality information on the subject of hernia, wherever they might be in the world. We are delighted to play a part in helping . Thanks to BOTH correspondents for posting their experiences. Our patients are normally so delighted with the results that they are happy to share their experiences on our page for Our Patients’ Blogs.

      Keep them coming, good OR bad experiences with Hernia. The only thing NOT to do is ignore them!

  30. Benjamin said:

    Last June I had an umbilical hernia strangulate.

    I had this hernia for 3 years and every time I asked a doctor for advice on it they said ‘as long as it doesn’t hurt it’s no big deal’! Not once did they say get it fixed so I went about my life like I was fine. Then I was at my grandmother’s funeral and suddenly I was in the most severe pain in my entire life – and I’ve had a few badly broken bones and a few surgeries but nothing even came close to the pain I was in.

    I was clueless though still, I thought I had horrific gas or something of that sort and all because I never felt any pain from this hernia. After an hour of laying down in my car crying I happened to put my hand on my belly button and my intestine was protruding out about 3 inches and it was kinked just like a garden hose! I knew right away that I had to be rushed to the hospital. Luckily there was a hospital right up the road and I was in surgery within 45 min. Thank God my intestine and tissue only was bruised so I was truly blessed not to have my intestine removed then attached again.

    This is such a serious thing, please, if you have ANY type of hernia get it fixed immediately, it can be a matter of life and death and I promise you that you don’t want to be in the situation I was in. The doc said “If you acquire sepsis you have 3 days and that’s it – you’re done!”, all for a simple surgery that takes literally a half hour. God Bless all of you

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      This is such a frightening, yet typical, situation. It is often really bad advice to ‘do nothing as it does not hurt’. That is why we would liken it to playing Russian Roulette.

      As you see on our page on Strangulated Hernias, they can happen without warning at any time and the result can all too easily be VERY ‘final’! Even when successfully repaired, the pain can be unimaginable and the risks of post-operative problems are very much higher after a strangulation.

      PLEASE heed the excellent advice of this correspondent. We are most grateful for his report and comments.

  31. A Reader said:

    This page was extremely helpful and has helped me understand my father’s death. It has also highlighted how the doctors failed to treat him as an emergency.

    My father died 4 days ago of a strangulated hernia. He was 78 and in good health (never been ill, never taken medication, not even painkillers). Six years ago he had an operation for his strangulated hernia.

    • On Thursday he went pale and was sick (vomiting) in the night he was taken to A&E where they put the hernia back in place.
    • Friday GP said he had a virus (the vomiting caused the hernia prob).
    • Friday to Sunday he was vomiting 3-4 times a day, not eating anything.
    • Sunday night at A&E he was told these virus can go on for a week even two. He felt a bit better on Monday so they thought this was good news..
    • But he then went downhill and died on the Tuesday when my mother got the referral for a hernia operation

    5 days for the referral and no one took the Thursday hernia seriously. Reading this page it is clear how serious the hernia should have been taken (with the vomiting, his previous op and his age). He should have had an emergency operation. The virus was nonsense, particularly when he had no diarrhea. In inquest won’t bring him back. Doctors did fail him. Thank you for this information

  32. A Reader said:

    I recently had a strangulated hernia, it came on suddenly one Sunday morning. My wife and son got me to hospital and I was taken straight through. After the relevant checks I was taken to another department and was operated on within a couple of hours. I was allowed out of hospital on the Tuesday but of work for at least 8 weeks.

    It was my own fault as I have had the hernia for a couple of years but no problem with it so like others didn’t think anything of it, I would suggest to any one else reading this if you have a hernia go and get it seen to straight away.

  33. A Reader said:

    My 97 year old grandmother was diagnosed with a hernia 16 years ago and her doctors advised her against surgery as she was “too old” then. Despite me trying to convince her to do it she listened to the doctors recommendations and elected to not have it.

    3 weeks ago she was hospitalized with terrible bowel pain and the hospital again refused any surgery and said her pain was more likely caused by her diverticulitis than the hernia. They sent her home and 2 days later she was returned with a worse pain 11 on scale 1-10.

    They now have agreed it is a strangulated hernia but due to her age, the anaesthetist refuses to sedate her for surgery so they are going to put her on a course of antibiotics and “see if that helps” and if not, will perform surgery next week as a last resort.

    That spells death by septicemia to me, so I wish you had more information on surgery outcomes for even elderly patients and how much lower the risk is when managed (more stressed than casually mentioned?).

    Thank you for this page, I have forwarded it to her carers (my mom and dad in law) and can only pray for a comfortable and painless passing for my gran….

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      This is a tragically common story we are presented with. Her case was very badly handled from the start.

      We guess this story originates in the USA, but that only proves that bad surgical advice is available in the very best of places. Always try to take advice from respected specialists.

      The writer wishes we gave more information about outcome. The reason is that we can only speak for OURSELVES and the outcomes experienced by our own patients. The outcome elsewhere varies from excellent to surprisingly awful. See the page on hernia repair for the elderly HERE.

      We wish your grandmother well.

  34. Paul said:

    Around 5 years ago I had an inguinal hernia repair by a Royal Naval Surgeon.
    A month after surgery I found myself in Chronic Pain.

    For the last 5 years I have had 2 Ultrasound scans and 1 MRI scan, and around 4 months of physio. Because I can pass fitness tests and act “normal” the NHS are not interested in me and I have still be suffering with pain.

    The NHS pain management service told me the pain was in my head, but I am not convinced I have received the most appropriate investigations.

    Now in 2013, I find myself torn, between paying for myself in a private hospital because my GP says they are not allowed to refer me to a private hospital. So I have a second opinion appointment in a few weeks with yet again another General Surgeon who will tell me he can’t operate.

    I just don’t know what to do, I just want this pain to end…

    • The British Hernia Centre said:

      This is a sad, but not uncommon story. UK Military and NHS treatment is often world class, but sometimes it pays to go privately when the level of specialisation offers something unavailable elsewhere. Its YOUR body.

      In cases where the NHS cannot achieve the results, it can be arranged for the local NHS authority to refer the patient to The British Hernia Centre for specialist care on the NHS.

  35. fred jones said:

    My hernia suddenly strangulated. The pain came out of the blue and was terrible. I was in tears and I am a big man. I went to the hospital and they took it very seriously. I was seen quite quickly by a doctor in Accident & Emergency. He pushed and poked until he squeezed the hernia back inside and instead of operating on it to fix it, he said ‘You had better get that seen to before it happens again’ – and sent me on my way!

    I did have it repaired a few weeks later, but everybody I know, myself included, was disgusted that they did not repair it when it strangulated. After all, it comes on without any warning whatsoever and I was lucky to be near the hospital.

  36. J smith said:

    I waited months for my appointment at my local hospital and when the day finally came, they cancelled my operation and asked me to re-book. I was all ready for the thing and this really upset me and my plans. I got the clear impression that they were not interested in hernia cases because they had more ‘important’ things to deal with.

  37. A Reader said:

    My son has now had an emergency operation for the strangulated hernia last night. Very quickly diagnosed by the GP who got immediate hospital attention, operation very successful, has been discharged this morning and now needs the rest to get over the trauma which was very very painful. Obviously something not to be neglected.

    The information contained here is very informative.

  38. A Reader said:

    My brother-in-law has been diagnosed with a strangulated hernia. He was sent to xxx Hospital (in the south of England). They kept him in all day saying they would do an operation then sent him home in the evening, telling him to return the next day.

    He arrived back the next day to be told by a different consultant ‘You’re not an emergency we’ll put you on the waiting list, go home’.

    My brother-in-law is so fed up with the way that hospital has treated members of his family in the past and now himself he is saying he will just carry on working – which as a plumber would surely be potentially dangerous.

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