A Hernia The Size Of A GrapefruitI had gall bladder surgery in January 2006. Within a year of that surgery I developed a ping pong ball sized lump right under the incision above my belly button. During the last few years I've experienced several long bouts of bronchitis, an acute asthma attack and as a result experienced pain throughout my chest and abdomen from the strain of coughing. The lump in my abdomen has been progressively getting larger and the recurring pain gets more and more intense and comes back more often.
I spoke to my family physician about it and she gave me a list of things it 'could be', but she wouldn't even touch it. When I described how it's harder and more prominent some days and nearly undetectable others, that I can push on it with my fingers and push it inside, that pushing on it reduces the pain, she told me it was likely "fecal matter'.
At my next visit, three months later, I again addressed it with her. She told me I'd need an Ultrasound. I was supposed to make some calls to see where I could get it done for the least cost and get back to her. When I called her back the receptionist said she wrote in the file that I was to have a CT Scan. The receptionist told me that because of my size I exceeded the weight and size restriction on the machine, so I should see a general surgeon, perhaps he could examine me and make a determination without the CT Scan.
I saw the surgeon who determined I definitely had a hernia, but he wanted to get a scan so he could see what needed to be done and determine the best course of action.
After the CT Scan, on a newer machine that accommodated me well, he sat down for a consultation and informed me I have a 5.5 cm tear in my abdominal wall and a 'bubble' somewhere between the size of a grapefruit and a cantaloupe pushed through.
He tells me there is a one in three chance it will recur. He's putting surgical mesh in my abdomen. He told me I'd need to have someone with me for the first week and he could schedule a visiting nurse to come by daily to look after the wound. He warned me that I could hemorrhage, get an infection, or have a much more serious hernia should it recur.
So I'm having hernia surgery on June 18. I'm concerned, as anyone would be, but I also have to consider all of my other diagnoses. Time on the operating table, regardless of how long, will be debilitating. I'm nervous... but know it has to be done to avoid something much more serious.
I've not been here much because of tests, appointments, pain, etc. and I likely won't be here a whole lot for a while yet, while recovering.