T Nation

Inguinal Hernia

Greetings all,

had an inguinal hernia operation on 25th April. Had it done by laprascopy (keyhole)and a mesh inserted.
Involves three incisions and rather bizarrely one of those is basically a pump inserted into your stomach, it is expanded in the same way a balloon is, this creates the space for the Surgeon to insert the mesh. Not ideal but after years of lifting and martial arts it needed to be done.

I’m 42 in good general health. I exercise at least 7 times a week - sometimes twice a day. Weights, Muay thai, BJJ, Boxing and running.

I thought I’d do this post and update weekly so if anyone else has a similiar operation you have a gauge. Everyone is obviously different so do as your Doctor tells you iro recovery, this is just what I was told I could do and how it feels:

Thursday 25th April - Operation day - went well - came round after the operation feeling okay - stomach obviously sore,didnt do much other than walk for the next week

1 week later - saw Doctor all okay (Testicles still Black and Blue!! - interesting side effect is swollen love spuds- this is where the blood pools !!) All looked good was told I can start jogging. Started again on the following Monday 3k, Tuesday 4k, Today 5k (also done 50 facepulls with 7.5kg on the stack) and 50 lateral raises with 4kg DB’s) - 6 tomorrow day off Friday. all feeling good, still a nagging pain/soreness at the operation site but thats to be expected. Feel as though I could start weights again but not going there as Doctor says not for at least a month.
Cheers people

As above - ran 3k Monday, 4K Tuesday 5K Weds, 6K yesterday - day off today - all feels good.
All the above runs were done on a treadmill - going to run outside tomorrow.

Ran outside yesterday - short but hilly 4k run/jog - all well, bit of a dull ache in the are where my hernia was but all good - very tempted to do some light weights but I wont - going to gym today for more running on a treadmilll - DULL

Ran outside yesterday 6k in 36 degrees - betty swollocks - feeling good though. See the surgeon again in 2 weeks - pretty sure I’ll be fit to lift again by then.

Ran 9k yesterday - feeling great - no aches and pains at all

would be interesting how soon you feel fit enough to lift weights again, interesting that you could start running so soon after the op. Good luck with your recovery

Had weekend away, running on beach and kicking football - few dull aches and pains but nothing bad at all - ran 9.25k again today feeling good. Did 50 DB presses with 6kg db’s and 50 lateral raises - no problem at all - seeing surgeon again on 28th May when hope to get all clear to start lifting again. Have decided to do stronglifts 5 x 5 and start light, light, light, thought that would be a good way to get back in to lifting without stressing the injury too much/at all to start with.
Cheers

[quote]Troglo wrote:
would be interesting how soon you feel fit enough to lift weights again, interesting that you could start running so soon after the op. Good luck with your recovery[/quote]

I saw the surgeon exactly 1 week after the op and he gave me the go ahead to start jogging. I waited another 4 days to be on the safe side and all good so far.

Nice to hear your doing well.
Now was your hernia protruding at all?
What seemed to trigger it? or was it constant pain?

Good Luck with your recovery.

Man, I really hate to hear when somebody goes through an inguinal hernia surgery. I know you don’t want to hear this but I’ve had a pretty horrible experience with my surgery.

I had the open inguinal hernia surgery on the right side. I was born with the hernia and over time it got pretty bad. I’m 31 and I also have an extensive fighting background (american kickboxing, muay thai, etc.) I’ve also dabbled in oplympic lifting and power-lifting.

After my surgery I had the worse pain of my life for several months. Keep in mind I’ve incurred a few ruptured disk, broken bones, muscle-tendon-ligament tears, and have passed several kidney stones. Nothing has come close to the post-op pain.

My best advice would be to consider waiting several months before or take several months to regain strength via resistance training. It takes months before the tissue (muscle, scar, etc.) grows over the mesh and it takes up to a year to fully integrate the mesh into the body. Also keep in mind that you need to be active and work on mobility of that area the whole time or it will lock down (shortened range of motion) during the healing process.

I had to go back into physical therapy about 9 months after surgery to have the therapist break up scar tissue (myofascial release, massage therapy, ultrasound, stretching). It was absolutely miserable!

It’s been 1 year and 4 months and I still can’t do martial arts and can barely lift anything for lower body. Keep in mind that I’ve done martial arts for the past 17 years and have competed at every level. The hardest part has actually been the mental side of it all. Realizing I can’t defend myself or my family is depressing.

If you have any questions on rehab, healing, etc. feel free to ask.

I pray for a speedy recovery for you and God bless!

Will be following this log. I was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia but will be waiting until November to get surgery. Any advice for my lifting/training leading up to November?

My simple advice is not to do anything that hurts during or after the movement. 2 things that could happen are increasing the size of the hernia or strangulating your intestines. Mine ended up getting so big that intestines and fat came through on my leg!

Pretty much avoid anything that causes a deep stretch at the site (deep squats, vertical pulling movements, etc.) and avoid anything that causes shearing (planks, dead-lifts, etc.).

I found that I could basically do inverted rows, dips, step-ups and hip bridges. Obviously you’re not going to get hyooge doing these exercises but you can maintain conditioning, some strength and with enough volume a lot of size.

Again, simply avoiding what hurts during and or after goes a long ways.

RyuuBane - that sucks mate - I’d seriously consider seeing a surgeon again to see if the surgery actually worked/mesh still in place. The pain you describe sounds unlike anything I’ve discussed with the surgeon/other people who’ve had the op, also after 1 month you should’ve been able to lift light weights again. I had my surgery 4 weeks ago tomorrow and I can squat down (bodyweight) without any pain at all, run and jump - was kicking a ball around on the beach - I seriously, seriously think you need to have it looked at - it just doesn’t sound right at all.

Young N - yes, it was protruding about an inch but I could actually press it back in - it generally popped out when I was squatting - doing deads with the trap bar didn’t affect it - only reason I got it fixed was so it didn’t create a problem later in life. I think it was probably caused by a lot of lifting (I’m 42 now) and just doing too much training in general - its reckoned that 70% of males have a hernia of some type during their lifetime.

Dsmith1231 - I had a boxing match on Sat 20th April and was training like a demon up until 5 days before the fight, I did cut down on my weights for the 4 weeks leading upto the fight but was doing sprints, bodyweight circuits (burpees, press ups, tuck jumps etc etc) and occasionally had to pop it back in but it didn’t stop me rom doing anything) - One question - Why are you waiting? I had my first session with the Surgeon in Feb - told him I was fighting in April and he said fine we’ll do it after - if you can get it done now then I’d do it and get it out of the way.

Cheers people
RH

I actually did go back and got MRI’s, cat scans, etc. I was told that it healed properly and the mesh wasn’t going anywhere. They explained that I developed scar tissue faster and harder than anyone they had ever seen before. That is why I had to go through so much physical therapy to loosen it up.

If you look up inguinal hernia surgery results you will see that it’s a hit or miss type surgery. There are 1000’s of people that don’t do well with it.

I’m hoping one day I’ll get back to normal but I’m not expecting it to happen.

My physical therapist told me that anytime I increase volume, resistance, frequency of training, or speed of movement that it will hurt until it adjusts.

[quote]robinhood55 wrote:
Young N - yes, it was protruding about an inch but I could actually press it back in - it generally popped out when I was squatting - doing deads with the trap bar didn’t affect it - only reason I got it fixed was so it didn’t create a problem later in life. I think it was probably caused by a lot of lifting (I’m 42 now) and just doing too much training in general - its reckoned that 70% of males have a hernia of some type during their lifetime.

Dsmith1231 - I had a boxing match on Sat 20th April and was training like a demon up until 5 days before the fight,
Cheers people
RH

[/quote]

Thanks for that info, I’m really surprised that you just pushed it back in, I mean didn’t it bother you or hurt?

As for the boxing was the pain severe to hinder or bother you? Seems like it wasn’t.

I have something called a promixal adductor tendinosis or inferior rectus abdominus protective tension and I can barely move with it.

[quote]RyuuBane wrote:
I’m hoping one day I’ll get back to normal but I’m not expecting it to happen.
[/quote]

You will, you will brother, it sucks because its a long road, but everything that is worthwhile always has a long road to it.
Stay strong

[quote]RyuuBane wrote:
I actually did go back and got MRI’s, cat scans, etc. I was told that it healed properly and the mesh wasn’t going anywhere. They explained that I developed scar tissue faster and harder than anyone they had ever seen before. That is why I had to go through so much physical therapy to loosen it up.

If you look up inguinal hernia surgery results you will see that it’s a hit or miss type surgery. There are 1000’s of people that don’t do well with it.

I’m hoping one day I’ll get back to normal but I’m not expecting it to happen.

My physical therapist told me that anytime I increase volume, resistance, frequency of training, or speed of movement that it will hurt until it adjusts.[/quote]

I seriously have never heard of anyone that’s going through what you’re experiencing. I did a lot of research beforehand and didn’t come across anything like what you’re suggesting. On the fact sheet rom the Surgeon this is mentioned : Nerve Injury - Small nerves running in the groin may be cut or caught in a stitch or scar tissue causing lack of sensation, persistent pain or burning sensation." The amount of pain you’re in bearing in mind you’ve had MRI’s etc to check the mesh is still in place I would fathom a guess that this is the issue?

Young n - no it didn’t hurt but was in the back of my mind so it hindered a bit in that respect but didn’t stop me from doing anything physically.

Had the open surgery when I was 16, I am 27 now and still have problems with pain and tightness. I have started to develop a hernia on the opposite side, which there is apparently a high risk for if one side goes. I had a protrusion approximately the size of a golf ball before seeing the doctor.

As a teenager I was highly active in both the gym and combat sports. I would literally just stuff the lump back in and hold it with my abs while doing things and as the “popping” frequency and size continued to increase I finally saw a doctor (after about a year and a half of just living with it).

Recovery time was slow, I attempted to train the day after and that was a definite mistake (typical stupid teenager). I was able to begin light workouts after about 2-3 weeks with weight that was light enough to not hinder or restrict breathing. After about 3 months I was starting to get back into a groove of being able to push myself a bit more each week. It took about 4 months before I could do any kind of real training at an intensity level that I could start making gains again.

Keep in mind that this was a time in my life when training was all about moving the weight, it didn’t matter about form and breathing, which most likely attributed to the hernia in the first place.
Current day I try to train a little more intelligently, but there is still the odd time that I am doing direct core work and if I stretch a little too much or move a certain way I can feel a tightness like something is about to tear, oddly never when sparring or competing.

This is most likely because of tissue build up around the screen, and I believe that I have issues with the screen itself. There are times when the area will ache for a few days and it just feels like something is stimulating nerves in the area. I may have to get them to open it up in the future when I decide to get the other side checked out. There is an edge that pokes out towards my skin and seems to be the origin of the pain.

The pain is not debilitating, just annoying, and nothing had prompted me to visit the doctor about it since. Just another setback and obstacle to overcome.

-Builder

I had hernia surgery with mesh implant when I was 24 (I’m 33 now). Really sucky thing to happen. You can get better, but I feel like your never 100% the same after a surgery.

Last year, I was doing a rotational lunge with a sandbag and felt a serious pulling pain in that spot. The pain lasted for a few days so I went to the Doc but after an examination he said I didn’t have another hernia. I was still feeling the pain so I went to see a surgeon. He gave me another examination and said the same thing but said that I “sprained” the scar tissue.

He explained that the scar tissue is very dense and unforgiving and this sort of thing is actually common and the pain associated feels like a hernia injury. Took about 6 weeks to feel better. All I could do was rest, take motrin, and use a heat pad. But after about 3 week I was able to go jogging.

I will say that during periods of inactivity, I feel more soreness there than during period of when I am very active. And when I had the 2nd injury, it was during a pretty inactive period. I’ve been lifting consistently for several months now, and haven’t had any issues. In fact I would say it feels really good, almost back to normal again…almost.