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JamieAnn
02-04-2011, 03:47 PM
Hi Everyone,

I am a little over 4 months post op and doing really great. I'm working full time, started VERY light pilates exercises, and really living life 95% normally. I say 95% because there are still times I have to lay on the heating pad at the end of the day or ask someone to pick up something for me because my back just gets tired. But, overall, feeling very great.

I still am noticing swelling though in my very lower stomach and in my lower back. The stomach swelling I can see - it's a little pouch that I've never had before. I even lost a bit of weight since surgery and can still see this funny little pouch.

In my back I cannot see swelling but I can feel it when I put shoes on or off. It feels like a pulling sensation. It's not painful but very annoying and after 4 months I feel like it's abnormal.

I asked my surgeon at my 3 month visit and he shrugged his shoulders and didn't think it was a big deal. I am just curious how long others experienced swelling and if there is a reason to be worried.

Thanks :)

LindaRacine
02-04-2011, 04:32 PM
Hi...

Is the swelling on one side of the belly, or across the entire belly? Did you have anterior surgery, and if so, how long is the incision?

--Linda

JamieAnn
02-04-2011, 04:50 PM
Posterior only.. And along the entire belly. It looks like a pouch of fat but it wasn't always there!

bluestone
02-05-2011, 10:11 AM
Hi there,
Im 13 weeks post-op and have a pouch like swelling in my groin-the back of my hip that side is swollen too.

Over the phone my dr said it could be a hernia but when my surgeon looked at it he said it could be a weak muscle,Im going to let my dr have a look at it on Monday as it hurts 1st thing and when I go on a longish walk it gets very tight.

golfnut
02-05-2011, 03:21 PM
I'm only 4 weeks post surgery, but have a stomach pouch I've never had before. It's not as bad as a couple of weeks ago, but it's still there. It is actually firm to the touch, but just not flat as before surgery.

sarahcant
02-06-2011, 08:20 AM
Wow not happy that Dr. Errico shrugged his shoulders and didnt have an answer...whats up with that? I would keep pressing him until I got answers I would'nt think that its normal to have something there now that wasnt there before. Keep us posted! Good luck!

LaurieAnne
02-06-2011, 03:44 PM
I'm only 4 weeks post surgery, but have a stomach pouch I've never had before. It's not as bad as a couple of weeks ago, but it's still there. It is actually firm to the touch, but just not flat as before surgery.

Hi Karen - do you have swelling in the center of your back (mid way up)? Mine had developed a pocket of swelling there and it hasn't gone down at all yet. When I saw Lenke at 5 weeks he commented that is was unusual to see the swelling like that in response to the bmp material but didn't seem overly concerned. He noted it but didn't act like it was a big deal. I'm sorry to hear about your stomach problem. Does it hurt at all? I wonder if your stomach swelling could be swelling under the abdominal wall muscle or could possibly a hernia. I've heard that can happen with all the rearranging they do in surgery. Hope u get some answers and it gets better!

golfnut
02-07-2011, 10:13 AM
LaurieAnn,
I don't have much swelling in my back although it is numb in places. Kelly said once that it takes your body time to absorb all of the fluids pumped into it during the surgery. I used to do ab exercises almost daily and I can't even guess when I can do that and whatvstomach exercises would even be allowed. My stomach may never be the same as itbwas. My back sure looks better.

karena
02-07-2011, 08:03 PM
I still have a pooch on my right lower ab. Bottom line is I have a stretched nerve from the XLIF surgery. A 1% chance of occuring, yay me huh? It will take at least a year to heal. Surgeon prescribed a special ab brace to wear, certainly in private at home. It is quite ugly and you certainly don't want to be in public in it, but it helps support the non-working muscles until healing begins, let's hope soon. I do tons of ab work daily. No sign of improvement yet and the PT guys say yeah it takes a long time, be patient. Nerves heal at a rate of about 1 cm/month. I even got measured to have a guideline of healing time. I was also prescribe Neurontin (or gabapentin generic) to help in the stabbing pain which can occur. I also wear a TENs unit every night, take silica, b12, ginko which my homeopathic MD says helps in nerve healing. Also take extra Magnesium liquid and use it to massage on the parts that are numb. Pulling out all the stops, hope that helps.

JamieAnn
02-08-2011, 10:04 AM
Wow, seems like there are various types of post-surgery swelling that can occur!

It seems like no one really has what I'm talking about though. Golfnut - your swelling is still very normal as you're not far out. I'm over 4 months out though.

I don't know if this is something I should bring up again to the surgeon or just wait and see.

Thanks everyone.

Lilysaidwhat
02-09-2011, 07:58 AM
JamieAnn, I've heard from friends who have this surgery that you get a post-op pooch that you can't really get rid of.

I have been doing ab strengthening for lower belly like crazy (T minus 2 weeks to surgery) and if that doesn't do it, screw it, I'm getting lipo next winter.

JamieAnn
02-09-2011, 03:56 PM
Do you happen to know the medical reason as to why you'd get a post-op pouch?? That sounds odd to me.

Also, the "pouch" is very low - below my stomach. Yes there are muscles there and I'm sure it's affected by my ab muscle strength but it's not the main ab area. Not sure if it's muscular at all, it really seems like it's fluid.

Very frustrating!

finallydidit
02-10-2011, 07:04 PM
"Do you happen to know the medical reason as to why you'd get a post-op pouch?? That sounds odd to me."

Me too, but I can tell you that I definitely have one. And I have always had a flat stomach. There doesn't seem to be anything that I can do to get rid of it. I am 1.5 years out from my scolio surgery. I had front and back, but the incision in my abdomen is literally 1.5 inches. I had a procedure where it is done orthoscopically, I think that is the term. The dr. used special instruments to limit the size of the incision, etc. Anyway, I still got the pouch. Would love to hear if anybody knows what the reason for this is.

Lilysaidwhat
02-10-2011, 07:35 PM
I think it has to do with weakening of the lower ab muscles.

JamieAnn
02-11-2011, 08:31 AM
Hm.. maybe I will address this with my PT then.

I can (sort of) understand the pouch with the anterior incision but I just had posterior so this is why it baffles me so much :).

Anyway - thank you for all of your replies. At least I'm not alone in this!

finallydidit
02-11-2011, 10:43 AM
Lilysaidwhat: OK. Maybe my abdominal muscles are weakened... But when I went into surgery, my stomach was flat with normal muscle tone, and by the time I got home 10 days later, my muscles no longer hold my belly in? It is just weird, how does that happen overnight?

Texas Marine Mom: Any ideas? Thanks!

DebbieM
02-12-2011, 04:33 PM
Hi all, interesting how we have this belly issue. I am over 3 yrs. out and it still has not gone back to the way it was pre-surgery. I would love to know what we could do to fix this. I am seriously considering lipo surgery. I have to hold my stomach in when I go out, otherwise I look pregnant :-/

Confusedmom
02-12-2011, 09:04 PM
Do you think it could have anything to do with the added lordosis they give you? i.e. if your back is curving in more, your belly is sticking out more?

I am not looking forward to this added "pouch" thing, as I already have one I'm not too happy about!!!

Lilysaidwhat
02-13-2011, 07:06 AM
Confusedmom, I read up more on this yesterday and yes, it looks like Lordosis correction definitely plays a part in it.

My lordosis and kyphosis degrees were within the normal range, but I have next to no "small" in my lower back. My surgeon said I will now have "only a slight" small, but not much of one since I'm already basically in-range. So I wonder if I will have this issue or not?

Did any of you guys have a lot of lower curvature/sway to your lower back pre-op? I swear, I feel like every one of us is such a unique situation that I can't even hazard a guess as to what my outcome will be like. Argh!

finallydidit
02-14-2011, 06:01 PM
OK. I just talked to my scolio surgeon about this as I am unhappy about going from a flat belly to what I have now. This is what he said:
There is a lot of swelling and fluid initially after surgery. Sometimes it just never goes back to what it was before. This is from the cutting, etc. in the anterior part of the surgery (in my case), and it is partly the muscles and partly the abdominal wall parts that hold a person in/up, and also just plain stretching (from the swelling). He said that had I been younger when I had this surgery, I might have noticed less of it. He seemed to think it was very common. I also talked to the nurse and she said that she has heard complaints from other patients. He said at 1.5 years out from surgery, mine isn't going to go away or go down :-(

LindaRacine
02-14-2011, 06:18 PM
OK. I just talked to my scolio surgeon about this as I am unhappy about going from a flat belly to what I have now. This is what he said:
There is a lot of swelling and fluid initially after surgery. Sometimes it just never goes back to what it was before. This is from the cutting, etc. in the anterior part of the surgery (in my case), and it is partly the muscles and partly the abdominal wall parts that hold a person in/up, and also just plain stretching (from the swelling). He said that had I been younger when I had this surgery, I might have noticed less of it. He seemed to think it was very common. I also talked to the nurse and she said that she has heard complaints from other patients. He said at 1.5 years out from surgery, mine isn't going to go away or go down :-(

Hi...

What your surgeon is referring to is an incisional hernia. If you do a search here, you'll find several other threads on the topic.

Regards,
Linda