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Umbilical Hernia repair and 2nd pregnancy

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Has anyone worked with a pregant woman who has had a mesh repair surgery for an umbilical hernia?

The hernia was a result of her first pregnancy and now she is wondering whether it would be better to wait until after she is finished having children before having the surgery or to have the surgery before getting pregant again. The specialist said there are risks both ways. Apparently the mesh placed in the body during surgery does not "grow" with the pregnancy and causes great pain and eventually tears for some women during pregancy. On the other hand, without surgery the umbilical hernia can become incarcerated more frequently as the woman's body grows.

Any advice would be greatly welcome.
post #2 of 8
No advice but I am in the same situation. I have an umblical hernia that got worse with my most recent pregnancy 19 mos ago however I was told by my PCP to wait until I stop having kids before I get it fixed. The thing is the last pregnancy made it worse and now I have to wear an abdominal binder at home 24/7 to keep it from getting worse.

post #3 of 8

I experienced an umbilical hernia during my 2nd pg, and had it repaired at 4 months pp, and there was no mention of any mesh used in the repair.

The surgery was done w/ a shot of lidocane for numbing, and I watched.

The surgeon asserted that I could have another pregnancy, whatever, it would be fine.

HTH.....doesn't quite answer your question, marisombra, but possibly offers you another perspective, shayinme.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
The specialist said the mesh is only necessary when the hernia is large. Small umbilical hernias do not require mesh and can just be repaired more easily. It sounds like your hernia was small enough for them to repair without the mesh.

I've researched the subject more and talked to several doctors since I first posted and apparently women facing this have decided to go either way - repair before the next pregnancy or wait until they are finished having all their children. Either way, there is a little more discomfort and risk to the pregnancy. The one thing the doctors seem to agree on is that it would not be good to have the surgery during the first trimester because of the drugs they need to put you to sleep, pain relief, antibiotics, etc.
post #5 of 8
interesting info from the specialist--thanks for posting
post #6 of 8

umbilical hernia postpartum

I am interested in if any of you who posted here have updates. I have a very small, though sometimes painful, umbilical hernia resulting from my first pregnancy. My doctor suggested that I wait a few more months to get it repaired (until my daughter requires a little less picking up and is a bit more independent to make recovery easier), but seemed to suggest it would be best to do it BEFORE another pregnancy. I am getting another opinion of a surgeon. My research does suggest that the mesh is the way to go even in small cases as stitching poses a greater chance of tearing later, repeat or even new hernias. I expect to get pregnant again in the next couple of years and I would love to know other experiences!
post #7 of 8
well how snazzy is this--I'm 34 wks pg now, and my repaired hernia is broken (it started bulging again around 30 weeks.)

I guess I'll have to get it repaired again sometime postpartum.

I'm just royally annoyed about it, because now it's clear the repair I had done after my 2nd pg was pretty junky all the way around--both under the skin (since apparently mesh was supposed to be used, like you say) and the cosmetic stitching job is HORRIBLE.

Needless to say, I will shop around for a surgeon this time. I didn't last time--I thought it was such an EASY surgery, who in the heck could do it it wrong, YKWIM?
post #8 of 8
I didn't have a hernia but I did have a large portion of my abdominal wall reconstructed with mesh after the removal of a large tumor (about 10cm round).

The reconstruction was necessary, obviously, so I didn't have the option of waiting until after pregnancy. The mesh itself doesn't grow with you, so that's a downside. If the repair area is large, though, they can use a product call AlloDerm which is essentially a "cleaned-up" piece of donor tissue. It does stetch with you, reducing the chances of the area opening up.

I was told to wait a year of the reconstruction before getting pg again, but well, stuff happens and I got pg after about 5 mos. The site of the repair has been very tender all throughout my pregnancy, some days hurting quite a bit. My surgeon just said it's a result of all my muscle and tissue stretching to accomodate the baby. I haven't gotten a hernia with it, thank goodness, but he said that even as large as mine is, repairing it post-baby wouldn't be a problem at all.

I'm sure some of it is chance, but I think the skill of the physician is important too! I would definitely seek out a surgeon who has a lot of experience with abdominal wall recontruction. Mine is a surgical oncologist and he was fantastic.
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