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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 28020
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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incisional hernia repair about 4 years..recurrence..bulge..cramps

Resolved Question:

I had an incisional hernia repair about 4 years ago, and as far as I know, everything's fine regarding recurrence, etc. But ever since then there's remained a bulge there, and subsequent exams have turned out ok. I do have a tendency to get cramps in the area, which I believe is gas because the soreness and bloating is relieved when I take a Gas-X. I can relieve the bloating when lying down and gently massaging the area. When I gently press down, I hear a gurgling and usually pass gas soon afterwards which brings relief. I'm also wondering if this is a gas problem which is totally unrelated to the surgery - though the large mesh inserted is right around the area of the colon. Could this just be simple gas? Bowel movement and stools seem normal, I'm not experiencing any other gastrointestinal symptoms, just bloating, gas and cramps in the area of surgery.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 5 years ago.
So you're saying you had a hernia repair with mesh and now have a recurrence of the hernia?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No as far as I know there has been no recurrence.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 5 years ago.
Where was the repaired hernia exactly and are you saying the doctors don't think this is another hernia?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I couldn't tell you exactly where the repair was done. It was abdominal, maybe a few inches above the navel. Subsequent follow-ups over the following year have revealed no recurrence. That was in 2008. I haven't had it checked lately because I have had no reason to believe there was a recurrence.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 5 years ago.
Ok--so there is a bulge that you can press on and push back in the abdomen?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 5 years ago.
OK--it definitely sounds like a hernia--maybe coming around the edge of the mesh. Gas in the intestines alone wouldn't account for such a localized bulging. You need to have this looked at by a surgeon to see if another repair is in order.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for your answer, but perhaps I mis-explained. I never thought that the gas is actually causing the bulging. The bulging has been there for a LONG time, even going back to the follow-up exams, and the doctor had told me that yes he could feel bulging but it was not a hernia - most likely a combination of scar tissue building up over the mesh area, and a flexing of the mesh itself. I was only thinking that the gas was causing some of the cramps and might the presence of the mesh be exacerbating the situation.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 5 years ago.
Have you had a ct scan of the abdomen to look at this?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Not yet.