Join Date: May 2005
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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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.
Mama to Boy (2) and Girl (5)