I was diagnosed with a small, left inguinal hernia this afternoon. I've read most of the stories here and not sure what to make of all of it because I've never had anything like this before so I figured I'd just ask some questions that I had concerns about.
(1) After surgery, where is the first place you start to notice the most pain?
(2) I read that your balls can swell and/or turn purple and was wondering if this ALWAYS happens or if it just happens to some people and not to others. Also, how long does this last and is it painful or does it just look worse than it really is?. Also, how long does this usually last?.
(3) Does the penis also swell or get sore (I'm uncircumsized and worried about the skin swelling around my privates)
(4) How does it affect you sex-wise?
(5) When they inject you, do you feel them injecting you down there are are you asleep first? (I HATE shots!!)
(6) Who does this kind of surgery and are there other ways of dealing with it besides cutting on you?
I'm sure I'll have more questions as this thing develops. I'd also appreciate some links to information if anyone has some.
I had a hernia that the first GP called inguinal but was not actually in the scrotum. The repair is just above the scrotum in the pubic hair. There were no shots in that area before I was put to sleep. The pain afterwards was not too bad (easily controlled by painkillers) but my ENT specialist had both sides done at the same time and complained about the pain. They can give you pethidine on the first night if the pain is bad. I didn't get any swelling or bruising of my penis or testicles. There was some numbness under the cut but that gradually improves as the years go by. There were some positions I had to avoid in sex for some time but that is a matter of months only. Otherwise sex was unaffected. General surgeons do this surgery. The first repair was done laproscopicly but that failed. They don't do it that way anymore. There have been no problems with the second repair.
Thank you for the reply. It is very much appreciated!
Yes, I'll be having mine done in the states here and my general surgeon is the past cheif of surgery at two major hospitals and has 34 years in practice so I'm guessing this means he's pretty handy with a scalpal (hopefully!)
Not to push my luck or anything but I have a few more questions about this procedure (if you don't mind)...
1) What is the most pain-free, complication-free type of inguinal hernia repair with the fastest post-op recovery time?
2) Does someone usually provide you with a brochure explaining exactly how the procedure is performed and what I can expect?
3) What are the risks of damage to the spermatic cord or other complications from an inguinal hernia surgery?
4) When they do a local w/ sedation, can you tell them that you want VERY heavy sedation (ie; general, spinal, local w/sedations, etc)?
5) If I feel pain or anxiety during the procedure, will I be able to let someone know right away?
6) How much exploration is done and do they automatically explore the other side and other parts of my body or is it just limited to the left inguinal area?
7) How extensive is the dissection and are the nerves, arteries and other structures preserved?
8) I've heard some people say they came out of this and were walking around the same day and others claim that their testicles and penis swelled up and turned purple and were in horrible pain for months. What's the "norm" for an operation like this?
9) During recovery, where does one usually experience the most pain..the testicles?...the incision site?
10) I've heard that when they inject you with anesthesia in the spermatic cord, it feels like someone punched you in the testicles as hard as they could. Is this true and what can be done so I don't feel this at all?
11) I've heard that because they inject you down there, some people have numbess that can last for quite awhile. Do they completely anesthetise the penis, testicles and insicion site and what exactly becomes numb and how long does the numbness last after the surgery has been performed?
12) Should I have a hernia repair specialist or a general surgeon?...who would be the best
[This message has been edited by jimbrown (edited 04-22-2003).]
1. I think you are stuck with the traditional method, as the most pain free method is laparoscopic. That method fails often, as in my case, so most surgeons no longer do it. They now sew the gauze they used to use in the laparoscopic procedure to the outside of the body wall to make the repair stronger.
2. The doctor answered all my questions verbally. There was no brochure.
3. I have no idea.
4. I never heard of anyone having a hernia repaired under local. There was no mention of it even being an option in my case and I would not have thought it was possible.
5. Not applicable if you have a general.
6. No idea.
7. They do as little damage as possible but there is usually numbness from a cut nerve below the incision.
8. Iím not sure what the norm is but can only say I didnít experience much pain. It was a much better experience than a sinus operation.
9. My testicles were not affected so I canít comment.
10. I had a general so the only injection was in my arm.
11. As above.
12. My general surgeon was very good but it is up to you if you want to find a hernia specialist. Obviously he will have had more practice on hernias.
Thank you very much. All this has been very helpful. I see the surgeon tommorow and feel like an animal being lead to the slaughterhouse. Gosh, I'm so scared. I have a lot of questions written down for this surgeon but I don't want to make him think that I'm going to be a problem customer...er...I mean "patient" and yet I REALLY need to ask these questions. How should I handle this?. Anyone?
Surgey is the only way to fix it. You need to relax a bit as it is very common and routine surgery. Ask your questions by all means but try not to be too anxious. He or she will look after you. The main question to ask is what sort of anaesthetic is used. Go for a gereral if offered. By the way my closest friend is intact and had no trouble with his foreskin when he had a hernia repaired.
Gosh, you people are so totally cool to write such detailed and helpful responses to my concerns and in a way that was even humerous and uplifting:-). There sure are a lot of horror stories out there but it seems that the "norm" is the usual soreness you would expect from any surgery that lasts for about few days and maybe some constipation from the pain meds (and not being able to strain). One other question, since several of you have already been through this...did you experience any testicular shrinkage, swelling or tenderness on the side where the hernia occurred prior to the surgery?. I've always had a bit of a bulge there (for years) but never really paid attention to it until it started itching like crazy for about a week and after numerous poking, prodding, ultrasounds, CT scans, etc, I was told I had epididymitis and put on Cipro for two weeks. Finally, it went away but now both ultrasounds have shown a small hydrocele (fluid) on both testicles which I have read can be associated with an inguinal hernia. I can also see how that tube of intestines (the hernia) hanging down there might cut of the blood supply to the testicle on the affected side and cause it to shrink. Any of this sound familiar?