Monday, March 14, 2011

Before and After Pics of Umbilical Hernia

*Please be aware of the graphic content below* =)

..........and remember I just had a baby 9 weeks ago. That would explain why I have a linea negra (aka the line above and below my belly button). This went away fairly quickly with both girls (within a month post partum) but I just researched and found out some women's stay up until a year pp. Not exactly what I wanted to read.

So without further ado, here is my pre-surgery belly hernia: I developed this after having Nevaeh (our 2nd child) and just assumed it was normal to develop an "outie" considering how much it popped out during the pregnancy. I know, delusional. So low and behold I walked around 3 years with an umbilical hernia without even knowing it.

.....until, my MD informed me I had a hernia all along at my first OB appointment. Swell. And then it exacerbated when I was 16 weeks preg and thought I was going to die of pain. We thought I would need surgery then but avoided that at all costs. We decided I could put my big girl pants on and suck it up until after I had Jackson. And that is where we're at.

I had a consultation last Thursday with MD Dew from Gerig Surgical Associates. He promised me he could work some magic and make this "outie" of mine an "innie". I have not had pain for awhile now so it was more cosmetic from my perspective but he said it definitely needed to be done to prevent further life threatening damage.

So I didn't waste any time and booked my surgery for this morning at very first surgery mind you and I was terrified! I felt very vulnerable in this situation and was kindly reminded by my husband that I will be the closest to death under anesthesia today. Nice.

The last thing I remember was the anesthesiologist telling me to dream of something good and I was out. One short hour later I met Steve and Jackson (the girls were at school) back in the recovery room. I came to very quickly with no side effects at all. Just a super tired feeling. MD Dew said he ended up finding not one but two hernia's. *FYI, umbilical hernia's typically occur in men and infants but is common during pregnancy. A piece of intestine protrudes through weak abdominal muscles causing a "hernia" so during surgery a wire mesh is placed inside to prevent this from happening again.

I felt better than expected the whole day but noticed I was bleeding more than what I should have been. I called the MD on call and he recommended to apply pressure for an hour and to call in the morning if it wasn't any better. Well you guessed it, it wasn't better in the morning (Day #2) so MD Martens put a stitch in to stop the bleeding......right in front of me. He of course used lidocaine to numb the area first.

Day #3 it was still bleeding and I couldn't believe how much pain I was in. I was pretty naive about the whole process and was slapped in the face with reality very quickly. I went in yet again with yet another MD, MD Gerig and he said it was bleeding too deep for him to do anything so I was put on strict bed rest for the next 24 hours along with a belly button packed full of gauze.

So here is Day #4 after surgery. Still very swollen (I looked about 5 months preggo) and bruising is starting to darken. I started anti-inflammatories which helped a lot with the swelling. This day was a turning point and the pain lessened with each day here after. Here is a picture 2 weeks post surgery. Good thing I'm always behind in my blogging so I can put the after pics up! =) I have no pain at all and I can officially start back into light exercising (as of March 28). I was on a 10lb weight lifting restriction so I could hold Jackson and that was about it. I needed help with the his car seat for the past 2 weeks. I'm so ready to be normal again!!!

I'm pretty happy with the outcome so far and hoping it will continue to look a little better each day. The scarring you see above my belly button is from back in my smokin' hot stomach days when I had a piercing. Sadly, those days are long gone. And I'm positive that scarring is here to stay and that it will be more prominent than the scar from the surgical incision.

So there you have it. My lovely hernia story. Now, I must go. work. out! =)


Heart of a Hoosier family said...

Oh my dear Connie,

I just want you to know that I would KILL for your tummy after 3 babies.Even with your belly button sticking out. lol And the comment about the smokin hot bod lol DORK! You can still pull it off. Have you been to Walmart lately? Lord help us but there are some chicks that never could or never will pull off the look and yet there they are sticking all out with a belly ring. You're good to go!:) Somehow being mom changes us and what we think is ok to pull off lol

Bethany Macmanus said...

Hi, Connie. Nice to meet you. I pulled up your blog when I was searching for information about umbilical hernias. My story is nearly identical to your! :) (except I have two kids, not three lol) Ok, surgery is Jan 3. I was wondering, now that you're over half a year post-op, is your belly button area still in good shape? Do you have any follow-up comments you'd like to make? Anything is good. I'm a little nervous and your words would help. Thanks so much!

Archana Shivmani Rao said...

Hi Connie, thank you for informative notes on Umbilical hernia. I have the same condition and I have been wondering whether to go for surgery or not. Please let me know how you feel now. I have a daughter aged 7 years and we do not have plans for extending the family !

Anonymous said...


I was told not to workout for 8 weeks!! Is this how long u waited?

Anonymous said...

This is me too! I have a 6 week old baby right now and am not sure whether to go ahead and do it now or wait till he is older.

Jess Deal said...

My baby is almost 6 yrs old but I have this same issue. Would love to know how long your complete recovery was? And how long for swelling to go down?

Thanks for sharing! I could only find horror stories on the Internet


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post & pictures. Mine looks exactly like yours did. I thought it was a aftermath of having my second baby until a friend/ doctor told me. I have been afraid insurance wouldn't cover if because some of the pics on line are so severe. Now seeing yours I'm hopeful.

Rachel said...

THANK YOU for being brave and publicly posting pictures and details of your experience! Your post is the sole reason I decided to get my 3-year old hernia fixed! Reading about your pain during pg, it reassured me that now is better than waiting until after any possible future pregnancies. My surgery is tomorrow morning - my first one and I'm also terrified! But reading your experience makes me feel better. THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! Could you please share if you had open suture or laparoscopic surgery? Also, did you have a mesh placed? Thank you! Noelle

Anonymous said...

That was most helpful. Thank you for taking the time to share this. I am next and feel most comfortable.
Nice belly by the way!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely identical stories ...I had mine done Wednesday... anxious for the swelling to go down but feeling pretty good otherwise happy that my belly button soon will no longer be so gross . After 3 kids I think we are pretty hard on ourselves but if it gives us more confidence, I say go for it :)

Anonymous said...

I had a belly button hernia back in 2007-2008...shortly after my son was born. It became larger and more of a concern when I got pregnant with my daughter in 2010...I had it repaired at the same time of my c section...double whammy! Anyway, it returned within 2 months and I was more than upset! I wanted to wait a little while to have the repair surgery, I waited till just recently. I had my second hernia surgery in January of this year...and, well, it's April...and guess's returned once again! I'm devastated! Both times it returned within 2 months! I just came back from the Dr.'s office and have to have surgery all over again! Both times, everyone...myself and surgeons, were happy with the outcome...and nothing what I'm doing is wrong/not wrong. I truly hope this surgery is the last! I'm happy for everyone who has had a successful surgery...just wanted to give my experience. I pray all goes well...cause I don't want to continue doing this or continue with the pain.

Supa lady said...

Thank you for sharing this. I had mine almost 4 weeks ago and I still look 4 months preggerz...I guess everyone is different.

Anonymous said...

Any updates from the other ladies who have had yours done. I'm scheduled in a week. I have twins that are 20 pounds each. So most nervous about not being able to hold them for a while.

iqbal khatri said...

Very Nice and Informative Post Hernia and its type