With hernia surgery being one of the most common surgeries in the world, many people research the process and issues that accompany the procedure. One of the most sought after questions is the pain that you will experience after the surgery is complete. Recently, I had a surgery done to repair my own inguinal hernia injury and was looking for information on that very topic. Startlingly, I found a whole plethora of information and horror stories about hernia surgery, most of which pertained to the surgical mesh that is almost always inserted as part of the procedure.
The claims I found online that up to 30% of all patients that had surgical mesh implanted as part of their hernia repair surgery experiencing chronic pain made me question my intentions of having it done at all. I wasn’t experiencing much pain, so the thought of having chronic pain for the rest of my life from a surgery that was supposed to fix the problem was not appealing at all. Fortunately, I discussed my concerns with my doctor and based on that conversation, I was able to refine my research and come up with some valuable information. To save you time, I thought I’d write this post to help clear any misconceptions and fears.
After doing some digging, I found there was a direct correlation with people complaining of chronic pain with following the rehabilitation instructions. Most of the people who experience long=term pain for the surgical mesh were asked in a survey some questions about their recovery time, and the vast majority either went back to work too soon or didn’t get up and move around during the early stages of their recovery. Personally, I work mainly from home at a desk for a company that sells wedding sparklers and I don’t do much lifting at all. That said, I still needed to take it easy for 3 to 4 days before I could even safely sit at a desk and work on a computer. On the flip side, I was told to get up and walk around for 10 minutes or so at least 5 times a day during these initial 4 days to make sure that everything heals up quickly and properly. People who fail to follow this advice more much more likely to experience pain or problems after surgery.
Furthermore, the longer you wait to get your hernia repaired, the larger the piece of surgical mesh will need to be to patch up the hole. Larger mesh coverage will result in a much more invasive surgical process, and thus the chances of complications like nerve damage or internal bleeding go up greatly. When either of these problems occurs, the mesh can shift position and cause pain or accidentally heal pressed against a nerve causing long term pain as well. Getting your hernia surgery taken care of as early in the process as possible is one of the best ways to avoid complications like chronic pain or needing another surgery.
The bottom line is that there is much misconception about whether or not you will have chronic pain after having surgical mesh implanted to repair your hernia. While it is true that there are risks with any type of surgery, the consequences of letting your hernia injury go can include gangrene or loss of a section of your intestines. The risks of chronic pain surrounding a hernia repair using surgical mesh is very small if you actually follow the doctor’s orders, and the small risk that still remains is negligible compared to the alternative of doing nothing.