T Nation

Hernia Thread...

I’d like to hear from any of you out there who have experienced an inguinal hernia. I’ve been having some pain in the lower left ab. Occasionally my left nut aches almost like I’ve been racked. Neither pain is constant and only rarely is the ab pain sharp. I guess I’d like to know what caused you to seek help/treatment? Also how painful was the surgery? And how long was your recovery period?

Epididymitis is another alternative. This is an infection of (you guessed it) your epididymis (connects testis-singular?-to ureter?). They feel (to you, not a good doctor) the same or largely similar. The good news, Epid… is curable w/antibiotics. The bad news is it often a symptom of clamydia and/or gonnarhea (sp?). Also bad, is that it can also be that it is a largely permanent defect which results from excessive strain (e.g. lifting), much like a hernia. I don’t know if such a condition is operable. You best bet is to see a urologist.

As to treatment. My internist said hernia, i went to a surgeon, and he said epid… I’m waiting to see a urologist. I’ll post more details after the appt.

I had one over the summer-actually had it for a while but my surgery was in July. Get this taken care of ASAP! Doc initially told me 4 weeks off, but I ended up taking off two months just to be safe. Post-op is going to be very painful for about a week, lots of swelling and if you laugh or cough you’re gonna probably end up in tears. You don’t want the hernia to strangulate, if it does you’re screwed. Get it taken care of though.

Thanks for the replies Teddykgb and t. Teddykgb,were you able to do anything during the two months off-cardio, etc.? Did you get soft? I will schedule a trip to the doctor tomorrow, but I’m scared of the possibilities. Gonnorhea? Yikes!

Well the first week walking is difficult enough much less any activity. You’ll barely be able to do this and it will be at a snail’s pace. It gets better after that, but you’re gonna have to intentionally make yourself cough quite a bit (can’t remember reason why, doc will tell you) and this hurts something fierce. You’ll be more mobile the second week, and gradually get better. Activity wise you’re pretty much SOL for at least three to four weeks. I wanted to move out of my apt. a month after surgery and the nurse told me no way I could do heavy lifting. I could’ve gone back to the gym sooner than the eight weeks I was off but you know how it is when you get inactive and start eating crappy, motivation is down and it’s easy to say, "Well maybe I’ll go tomorrow. In retrospect I’m glad it worked out this way so I was assured full recovery. I hope this didn’t scare you too much. It’s really only the first week that really sucks, but just get plenty of rest and you’ll be “back in the game” in no time. Hope everything goes well, keep me posted.

You should be able to detect a hernia yourself by palpitation around the inguinal canal. Like stated earlier it could be epididimytis. It is commonly seen in lifters and is not sexually transmitted in this case. Urologists claim that it is due to urine being pushed from the bladder through the duct which leads to the epididimis. This type of epididimytis tends to be a chronic form and persists along with a dull ache sometimes for years. Evidence of this can be seen on numerous urology message boards. Palpitate the aching testicle and see if pain is detected along the superior-posterior surface or if it is slighly swollen, since this would be a prime indicator.
(M)

Thanks again guys. As a matter of fact my left “boy” is tender to the touch. Initially I thought it had somehow gotten twisted around in the cord and that that was the reason for the discomfort. More and more the pain seems to be concentrated around there while the lower abdominal pain is not as constant. I’ve got a 3:30 appointment Monday so I can quit guessing and address it.

S_Thick, you say that epididymitis from weightlifting (thanks for the explanation by the way) is chronic… Do you know what is typically recommended for this situation… Does one need to stop lifting or just get used to the discomfort and occassionally take anti-biotics to keep it from getting too inflamed?? I’m hopefully going to see a doctor next week, but I’d like to know what I’m getting into… Thanks

Don’t get the surgery - yet. I thought I had a hernia - felt all the symptoms you have. Went to a specialist, and yep , I had a hernia. So I left and thought and waited and thought and waited, but continued to moderately train, and the pain I was feeling - right there in location where the hernia is/was - suddenly was no longer paining me. So just maybe, if you think the pain is not all that bad, try holding off awhile and see what happens.

I disagree with this advice, John. When I had mine it would go away for a couple months at a time, sometimes even longer. Then out of nowhere it would resurface. If you are sure it’s a hernia, get it taken care of. This is not something you want to put it off and I’m sure that the people on here that are more into the medical stuff than I am will back me up on this.

Don’t take my word for it if you wish, but you are getting a knowledgable medically based opinion from myself. Although I am not yet a doctor I am presently working on my DMD, MD degree. If it is indeed a operable hernia then by all means get it fixed, but if your doctor is not positive then don’t go through with anything that may potentially open doorways for more complicated problems down the road. My advice is to schedule an appointment with a Urologist rather then a general physician. One problem with gen docs is they continually treat urinary, prostate, and epididimis infections with 10 days of antibiotics even though any urologist would take a more aggressive route and typically utilize a 30 treatment. Epididimytis is thus generally recurrent in most cases because of ill-advised treatment plans to begin with. (t), the residual pain or aching in the testicle is primarily due to damaged nerve tissue which resulted from the inflammation during the initial infection. Peripheral nervous tissue can and will regenerate and heal itself but the time it takes varies from each individual. What most will experience is pain more towards the end of the day or after strenuous activity and the only intervention in this case is 800mg of ibuprofen to stop the swelling, which usually does the trick but is not the answer one wants to hear. Other than the ibuprofen you can avoid these agrivating activities, try hot baths, elevation of the testicle by a jock-strap, or simply learn to live with it. As for your thought that there may be some residual infection still at work is not the case. An infection of the epididimis manifests itself rather quickly and will typically tend to wreck havok within 24-48 hours, which brings antibiotics as the only rescue. The advice I’ve given only pertains to problems involving infections obviously not to hernias which are completely different problems, it’s just that it is very easy for most to detect a hernia on their own. Palpitate the lower abdomen, trace the inguinal ligament to the inguinal canal, cough…etc…, if its not a hernia most likely it is epididimytis, especially since you claimed the testicle itself is a bit sore and tender.
(M)

Go to two or three docs and get their opinions. If it is a hernia, get the surgery. I had surgery 14 years ago and did not have a problem then, or since. The doc told me not to lift weights for 4-6 weeks. I was in the gym doing light benches, curls and shoulder presses one week later. Pretty foolish, but I didn’t have a problem. If you do have the surgery, make sure you take laxatives IMMEDIATELY after the surgery. Due to the surgery in the abdominal area, and the effects of the anisthesia, taking a dump will be impossible. Trust me on that one.

s_thick, thanks… My doc did exactly what you said… 10 days of antibiotics… I appreciate your response, and will soon be seeing a urologist.

maybe someone here can help me out on my prob too. i really dont have too much money, and i can’t waste it on a doctor visit.
ive had a dull ache in my right testicle for several monthes, it comes and goes. the only way to induce the pain is dugging on the testicle, palpitating any part does nothing. this sound like hernia?

It’s hard to discerne what you mean as to dugging the testicle but I’ll assume you mean sqeezing or tugging. It’s hard for anyone including a doctor to diagnose without an examination, but even if money is tight I would still go see a urologist. If you don’t you could be looking for trouble later (infertility, removal, complicated hernia, or severe infection…) It could be a number of things; hydroceol, varoceol, epididimytis, torsion, cancer, or even a hernia as you mentioned. How long has it been a problem? Did you notice it after strenuous activity or did it arise out of the blue? You can typically rule out hydroceols and varoceols if you do not have any large or abnormal masses associated with the pain. If it has been awhile and you can’t feel a lump you can most likely rule out cancer, since testicular cancer metastisizes at a very fast rate. A small lump will often double in size in a matter of a month. Although it progresses very quickly this is what ultimately allows it to be treated so successfully. Seriously see a doctor if it is causing pain and grief. Even if money is tight you have to set some reasonable priorities. Scrap the supplements, protein or entertainment fund for a month in order to see a doctor. Your health is much more important than a lb or 2 of muscle, besides treating a problem early is much less costly than later on.
(M)

thanks for the advice man… sorry about the typo also, i meant ‘tugging’

Well I went to the doctor today.In the words of JP he went dugging around on my boys and then palpitated my abdomen and said unequivocally that I do not have a hernia. As for epididmyitis(sp?) he ruled that out too. He said the epididymis was probably irritated by some vigorous activity. He gave me some samples of Vioxx,a pain reliever and told me to make sure I wasn’t holding my breath when lifting-which I don’t. Hooray! No surgery and no v.d.!I would have had trouble explaining that one to the wife or vice versa.

Good deal, Mike! Wish I would’ve been so lucky, although at least mine wasn’t “the gift that keeps on giving.”