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Forum Name: Surgery Topics

Question: Symptoms of Umbilical Hernia


 mayers05 - Tue Dec 28, 2004 5:10 pm

Hello. I have seen my primary care dr and a surgeon. There seems to be a differing opinion on my condition, so I'm looking for additional info to better understand the possible concerns re. a small umbilical hernia. According to my pc I should get it taken care of because the fat on the liver which is currently blocking the opening could move causing another severe abdominal attack, which I've had two (one lasting about 15 min. and the 2nd One hr) and if the attack doesn't subside, I could be endangering my intestines if they get caught within the opening. According to the surgeon, who seemed to be more concerned about my usage of 4-6 percocets per day to control chronic pain from spinal arthritis (prescribed by a well recognized rheumatologist in Tucson-as needed) the hernia is small, which was represented before hand on the CT scan; is a medium level concern and will probably get larger. I didn't feel like I was getting a solid answer from the surgeon as far as whether this was something that could be managed for awhile as per my symptoms or if it needed to be handled more expeditiously. I was uncomfortable on the exam table (back) and a little nervous expecting that his poking into the navel would initiate another abdominal attack, which is the worst pain I've ever felt in my life. He proclaimed no less than four times that he didn't think he could control the pain since I couldn't withstand his poking at the navel and that I was about to jump off the exam table- I felt that was an exaggerated reflection, but didn't indicate such to him. I explained that it was a fear of possible pending abdominal attack and I was nervous and indicated that he could try it again, but he didn't. He also said that he thought I had a low threshold for pain since all his other patients seem to do well on a max of 4 perc during the entire recovery (this was my initial mtg with him). I replied that I always thought that I had a rather high pain threshold. I advised him that I reside in an area 1hr away from med help and that during these attacks (I use this term to reflect the severity of the experience) I can not move. During these two experiences I was nausiated, felt over-heated, like I could pass out and severe abdominal pain (ex. being kicked in the belly and smacked on the back as the pain wraps around. Over the last two wks, I can feel a pulling in two areas (1-slightly left of the navel and 2- upper right feels between where ribs meet in chest cavity). One day I spent most of the day doubled over to try to manage the pain. I sought the services of the surgeon to get facts re. the procedure and what to expect afterwards, but somewhere the mtg went poorly. He said that I wouldn't be able to handle the pain. Being that I've handled quite a bit of pain at all degrees over the last 10 yrs or so, I don't doubt that I can handle this, but I would like to know more about what to expect. If by some chance, since I'm no stranger to the perc's, they didn't help for the 3-4 days recovery are there alternative methods of managing the pain (ie. warm shower, heating pad) and is it really any worse than what I've already endured with the abdominal attacks themselves and AS flares when they are at their peak. Also, sometimes when I eat I can feel some pressure like maybe the food entering the stomach....lasts for a bit and then deminishes. Do these symptoms sound like that of an umbilical hernia or more like something not yet discovered? I'm going to seek out another surgeon, but I'd like some helpful hints in the interim to minimize pain should another attack occur. I have been watching what I eat as well as activities since the AS diagnosis and am trying to learn as much as possible to be a well educated patient so that I can better understand the physicians for the term for which I will be waiting for a cure for the AS. Thank you for any suggestions you'd like to share. Your generosity in sharing your knowledge with those like myself is appreciated beyond words. Thanks. Michelle :D
 Carolyn Merritt, LPN - Tue Dec 28, 2004 8:14 pm

User avatar Dear Michelle:
Pain control is always a concern when one undergoes surgery. It seems from your explanation that the surgeon does not want to prescribe stronger drugs to control your pain. In that case, you may find seeking another surgeon who is more familiar with current views on pain control. There are stronger drugs than percocent that can be given. Your primary physician is right to be concerned about your hernia. There is always a danger that a portion of the bowel could get caught in the herniated area and blood supply to it be cut off. If this occurs gangrene could develop. Whether your hernia is at that point only your physician could tell you. It is important however, that you feel comfortable with the one who is doing your surgery and if you feel you can relay your needs to one then you of course have the right to go elsewhere.
Let me know how things go.
Carolyn
 mayers05 - Tue Jan 04, 2005 9:18 pm

Hi again. Thanks for all your help. I'm waiting to hear back from a surgeon in re. to sched. an appt to fix the umbilical hernia. I have a question re. something that happened this morning and whether it is a symptom of the hernia. This AM I was awakened to a tearing sensation about an 1" or 2" upwards from the naval (between the ribs in the soft area), but it felt like a horizontal tear; I wasn't moving at the time. It hurt, but just for a few seconds and then subsided. I'm told that the hernia has blocked by a piece of fat on the liver or kidney (I've forgotten, but the primary care indicated that it is something that everyone has at birth on this organ). As time progresses the pulling sensation (1-just left of naval, 2-the area where the horizontal tear feeling was this AM) is more frequent and some days I must be careful when bending at the waist as it is uncomfortable. I don't feel any different today, but I was just curious if this is part of the progression of the hernia, or if it's just a strange fluke. I've never had it happen before. I have been sleeping sitting upright for the last couple of night as it seems to help my intestines (working diagnosis of IBS) which haven't been very happy with me, regardless of the measure I take to keep them from unpleasantness. If I sleep flat or on my side my abdominal area has slight pain. I still am hopeful that maybe after the hernia is repaired that the intestinal discomfort and pain will subside seeing as they both started within a few months of one another. Any info that you can provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks again and have a nice evening. God Bless You for All Your Efforts. Michelle :D
 scaredstiff - Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:34 am

I had an umbilical hernia while pregnant with my 2nd child. It is 2 months since i had her(c-section) and i have a bulge next to my navel and it is tender. it isn't real painful but uncomfortable. i notice after i eat that i feel movement in that area and when i have gas, i feels like it's right there on my skin like there is something there. is this a normal feeling????? i always carry my children on that side also. that side(right) seems more puffy than my left side. i always think the worst like i have a stomach tumor or something life threatening. please answer as quick as possible. i just need to know if what i'm feeling is part of the hernia i was diagnosed with when pregnant. i do have a 2nd appt. in a few days, but i need an answer (yesterday) to ease my mind. please help me!!! :cry:
 Theresa Jones, RN - Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:56 am

User avatar Hi scaredstiff,
If you were previously diagnosed with having a hernia then I would be most likely to consider that's most likely what's due to you experiencing those symptoms. Stomach tumors generally exhibit other signs and symptoms. Good luck with your evaluation.
Sincerely,
Theresa Jones, RN

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