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CamilleRN, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4183
Experience:  Experience: 20 yrs experience in ER, ICU, Neuro, OR, Chemo,Cardiology, Dermatology and MORE.
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My husband is a 40 yr old white male experiencing problems

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My husband is a 40 yr old white male experiencing problems with a large hernia. Past surgery history is gallbladder 1989, Liver transplant 1996 due to psc, 2 umbilical hernia repairs using mesh under the belly button not due to surgical incision. 1997 roux en y bile duct reconstruction this reopened the right side of the healed incision. Fast forward to 2011. For the last 2 or 3 weeks he has had a very wet cough. Primary phys says it is just allergy/sinus drainage that he is hearing/coughing up...when he coughs he can feel something (not sure if it is intestine, muscle, fat layer, permanent sutures, etc) that bulges up like a balloon but luckily so far it has retracted and not stayed. He can't see his reg phy until next week, but is wondering can this area that is a hernia cause internal bleeding if so would the blood exit the body anywhere? OR would it stay in the abd cavity. Would there be any way of knowing that he is bleeding other than weakness, low hemat and hemogl?

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  CamilleRN replied 5 years ago.

CamilleRN :

Hi and thank you for your question. I am a verified Expert and I am happy to help you today. Yes, that does sound like a hernia. If it inflates and deflates, this is good. The problem comes in when the hernia becomes trapped in an inflated state and can not retract. If this occurs, the area will remain distended and may become painful. That is a medical emergency as a strangulated hernia can lead to bowel death and serious infection. The coughing is not good... because it is causing the hernia to expand with every cough. Tell him to hold a pillow over the hernia when he coughs. Can you call the Doctor for a cough suppressant?

CamilleRN :

Hernias don't typically cause bleeding.


Thank you for your reply. The cough suppressant is usually not an option due to his risk of frequent pneumonia. His phys wants him to cough deep and frequently to keep the mucus/phlegm moving. He also takes guafenasin (sp?) to keep it thinned. Is surgery the only option or do hernias "magically" repair/heal themselves.

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