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Possible hernia recurrence (or worse)?
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Hernia occurs when part of an internal organ pushes through an opening in the organ’s wall. There are many types of hernias such as Inguinal Hernia (in the groin), Umbilical Hernia (around the belly button), and Incisional Hernia (through a scar). Discuss topics including prevention, symptoms, causes and surgical treatments for hernias.

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Possible hernia recurrence (or worse)?

I wasn't sure where else to put this, but I've got a history of hernias, so here I am.

My medical history is long and complicated.  I had a borderline ovarian cancer in 2004, for which I had a total abdominal hysterectomy.  The following spring I had my gallbladder out with a scope.  The reason is that I had a few stones and it stopped working.  That wasn't cancer-related.  

In November 2009 I had emergency surgery for a strangulated hernia and bowel obstruction.  The hernia was repaired and about 10cm of my small intestine was removed.  This past October I had another emergency surgery.  This time for an incarcerated hernia.  This one was on the same side of my abdomen (lower left) and below where the other hernia used to be.

The left side of my gut has always been bigger than the other.  I'm very overweight and have had problems getting it to go back down.  And, I always gain weight after surgery.  I put on nearly 30 pounds in just one week last October.  About the same amount in '09 but over a period of about two weeks.

The last time I saw my surgeon from October was last December towards the end of 2011.  I told him I thought that the left side of my abdomen was more pronounced than ever.  He checked and said he believed that the contents of my abdomen have shifted over to the left side.  Is that possible?

My hysterectomy incision and the ones from both hernia surgeries are nearly indistinguishable.  I have a history of adhesions too.  The last surgeon I had told me that my abdomen is a "scary place."  I believe him.


My left side seems bigger than December, but I wonder if I'm wrong?  This is probably tmi, so please forgive me, but I can still get into underwear that I wore prior to last October's surgery.  I have another set that are one size larger that obviously fits better.  I can still wear my stretch jeans that I had prior to surgery.  I can still get into a shirt that doesn't give at all (not stretchy) and it looks about the same on me as it did about a year ago.

Moreover, I lost five pounds in the past six weeks or so.  Weight wise, I'm about 20 pounds or so less than when I left the hospital, but still a bit larger than when I had the surgery.

Should I be worried?  As for the borderline cancer, they rarely come back and they didn't see anything out of the ordinary (other than what I already mentioned) when they cut into me last year.  I had cancer markers done sometime last year (can't remember if it was before or after the surgery) and they came back normal, so my doctor said it was ok for me to stop seeing my oncologist.

I think it's more likely that I have another hernia rather than cancer.  My bowels are working good so far, although they still act up from time to time (I also have IBS).

Has anyone here had problems similar to mine after surgery?  Have any of you had a lopsided belly that didn't go away?  Is it possible the hernia repair failed or maybe I have another one?

I would appreciate your thoughts.   Sorry this was so long.  Thank you.
P.S.  I forgot to mention that the surgeon I had last year told me I had "diastasis recti."  I think that's how it's spelled.  I think it means that the muscles in my abdominal wall (towards the middle?) have separated, which I believe is common for people who are heavy.

All the incisions are in the middle of my abdomen alongside the belly button.  The hernias were both on the left side.

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