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epigastric hernia


My mother had a strangulated incisional hernia removed at laparotomy, in Nov 2007. The emergency operation lasted over 4 hours followed by ICU for a week and hospitalization for 5 weeks. Doctors signed her off in late May of 2008.

The inability to control constipation and subsequent strained bowel movement has been a problem.

2 weeks ago my Mother noticed a large rugby ball (American football) shaped bulge which developed following any meal. This seemed to go down overnight, but has become tender and painful over the past 7 days. Yesterday the doctor diagnosed epigastric hernia, which does seem to pop back into place until food is eaten.

My mother is 89 years of age, and at the time of operating the surgeons remarked on her strength which on the operating table with no problems.  This latest condition is a worry, our doctor says that surgery can be avoided and the hernia treated by careful eating and care of the stomach lining. To this end it has been suggested avoiding Aspirin, Caffeine, fizzy drinks, spicy foods and hot foods.

I would be very interested to know a number of things from you please:
1.. Is there are any treatment options available without invasive surgery, especially as keyhole surgery has been so much in the news over the past decade, is there a small surgical procedure that does not involve general anaesthetics and hospitalisation.
2..how can we treat or prevent the problem with diet or light exercise.
3..what foods should be avoided AND what foods would actually benefit?
4..Should I juice as much as I can in place of solids?  What foods should I juice for maximum benefits?

I have been told to cut out the above mentioned and allow a month for results to be seen. I do not want to simply do no more than that, as I need to build up her strength and enable her to prevent any more of a serious problem developing.

Your advice is much appreciated
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