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. AvatarLiz 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.

    • AvatarThe 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.

  2. AvatarBeth 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.

    • AvatarThe 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.

  3. AvatarVanessa 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.

    • AvatarThe 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.
  4. AvatarCandice 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.

    • AvatarThe 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.

  5. AvatarCoco 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?

  6. AvatarViviane 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.

    • AvatarThe 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!

  7. AvatarBenjamin 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

    • AvatarThe 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.

  8. AvatarA 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

  9. AvatarA 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.

  10. AvatarA 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….

    • AvatarThe 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.

  11. AvatarPaul 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…

    • AvatarThe 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.

  12. Avatarfred 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.

  13. AvatarJ 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.

  14. AvatarA 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.

  15. AvatarA 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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