The Herniabible Blog

advice from people who have had an inguinal hernia

Risks of Groin Hernia Surgery

These reports come from some of our survey respondents

Case 1: non-mesh repairs

I had two hernia operations, one 12 years ago, it was a non mesh inguinal hernia repair. After this I suffered from a femoral hernia due to weak connective tissue (genetic) and had this repaired as well. After both repairs I was in some pain afterwards and I experienced numbness over my collar bone for about 5 years after the last surgery. This was due to severed nerves. I had a hernia recurrence when I was 21 and have not had another operation since the pain and uncomfort with a hernia are not more than after an operation. If I had been better informed at the time I would have never had surgery in the first place. The information above I gave based on my memories of one to two years after each operation. Currently I do not experience any numbness, there are activities that I do not do because of the bulge getting bigger though.

Case 2: laparoscopic repair | nerve damage

I had a laparoscopic “repair” in which the surgeon accidentally stapled one of my sensory nerves. I’m in constant pain, walk with a limp and am trying to find someone in my area who will remove the staples. So far, no luck. I found a doctor in Canada, but he refused to treat me because I don’t live there. Not only that, he would not refer me to anyone who does his procedure here in the States.

Case 3: testicular atrophy

My hernias on both sides have come back and need operating again plus I have testicular atrophy.

Case 4: mesh errors | severe post-op infections

I thought I was all alone! Thank God for this website. I had my first hernia surgery in Aug of 07 it was a open inguinal on my right side with mesh. On Jan 30 of 08 while lifting I experienced severe groin pain. My original surgeon sent me for a cat scan which showed free floating mesh. He removed the mesh with open surgery and put in new mesh at same time. Within two days I had a severe infection and extreme pain. I was admitted into the same hospital where I stayed for about eight days. The infection worsened and the small hospital I was in sent me to the university hospital by ambulance about an hour away. I remained there for another 5 days until my infection was under control. I lived in extreme pain until May of 08. My new surgeon at university hospital removed my second mesh witch included a portion of my abdominal wall a nerve and my right testicle. He then put in a large piece of Alloderm instead of mesh. This was once again a open surgery witch lasted 5 and 1/2 hrs. Within a week I was back in university hospital for 7 days with another infection. My pain was still bad but less extreme. I returned in June 08 for another surgery for removal of a seal in my scrotum to reduce unbelievable swelling of scrotum. It has been almost a year since my last surgery. I have had much physical therapy and started attending the pain clinic to try to get my chronic pain under control am 49 years old, I made a good living as a drywaller was a avid outdoors man hunting and fishing. My quality of life since Jan 08 is extremely limited and my pain is chronic. I am not sure were I will go from here?

Case 5:  mesh removal | loss of testicle

I had surgery in 05. Had another to remove scar tissue 6 months later, then had the mesh removed in Jan of 08. Caused loss of left testicle. Am now on constant pain meds and injections. Loss of feeling on upper area of skin – cannot feel the needle going in, just when it gets to a certain depth. Walk with a limp. Hate my life, cannot do what I used to. And I am 36 years old.

If you had inguinal hernia surgery more than a year ago, please consider filling in our anonymous online survey.

June 17, 2009 Posted by | Case reports, Surgery issues | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Loss of Orgasm After Groin Hernia Surgery

This report comes from one of our survey respondents

It’s now 365 days since my right inguinal hernia repair, open using mesh. From the morning after surgery there has been complete loss of orgasm and all erogenous/erotic feeling. The doctors are in total denial. This happens more often than they care to admit. Apparently we need all the sensory nerves in order for the brain to produce the sexual high and orgasm. Pudendal and perineal nerves often yanked in removing hernia sac… pull a nerve 15% and it never comes back, except as pain. Iliohypogastric and ilioinguinal also contribute to sex feelings, especially if you are circumcised. If only I had known.

More details

During open inguinal hernia repair, the pubic tubercle is the bone landmark which surgeons use to tell how far to cut. Two centimeters in from this point is where the spermatic cord changes course and a finger is used to separate it from the floor. The hernia sac is a part of the interior lining enclosing the bowel that is forced out through the inguinal canal. Typically it adheres to the cord and must be cut free. The surgeon can only go those two centimeters before encountering the suspensory ligament of the penis.

This is a wide band that circles and encloses the penis very much like a ‘marital aid’ or constriction band. It is firmly attached to the pubic bone and is what makes an erection point up and supports it for sex. It also helps the veins close off to maintain the erection.

The penile dorsal nerves lie under this sheath and are also exposed in the area inside before the penis enters the encircling ligament. If the surgeon pokes through this area in any of the three steps (exposing the cord, dissecting the sac, or suturing the mesh to the pubic tubercle) you can end up neutered like I was. If the suture ties into the ligament you can get the often-described-but-never-explained loss of firm erections, or often described ejaculatory or erection pain.

In my State medical malpractice claims have been legislated out of existance in the name of tort reform. I cannot be fixed, there is no way to protect yourself from incompetent surgery, and no way to make the doctor pay. Lack of informed consent likewise does not exist as a legal barrier.

If you had inguinal hernia surgery more than a year ago, please consider filling in our anonymous online survey.

June 16, 2009 Posted by | Case reports, Surgery issues | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments