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Thread: Worried...incisional hernia?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    71

    Worried...incisional hernia?

    Hi all,

    I'm starting to get really worried. I was feeling pretty fine about my upcoming surgery (April 27) until I read about this problem in another thread. I'm having an anterior approach surgery fusing T12-L3 and my main motivation was cosmetic althoough there were other considerations as well. But now I'm scared that the result after surgery will be worse than now as I'll have a bulging belly which is harder to hide than a curved spine. Losing weight after surgery to get rid of it seems scary too since I'm already of a pretty small build and don't really want to become a stick or anything. I have two university exams before the surgery and I think the nerves are getting the better of me. If anyone can give me some details about incisional hernias (how common they are, how long they last, getting rid of them, etc) I'd really appreciate it. I can't contact my surgeon until tomorrow afternoon.

    Thanks

    Edit: Forgot to add that I'm not sure why an anterior approach surgery is being used since my curve is 46 degrees. From what I've seen, it seems that people with bigger curves are the ones who usually have the anterior approach done since it is a bigger recovery and all. Or is it just a surgeon's preference? Would a posterior approach not be suitable for me? Didn't think to ask my surgeon this in the early appointments
    Last edited by Cimbom; 04-14-2009 at 07:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    There's no sense in worrying about what might happen, although I was an expert at doing just that before my own surgery, LOL. Just to reassure you, I have a very long anterior incision and I do NOT have an incisional hernia. My tummy looks flat even though the belly muscles are still a bit numb on the incision side.

    I will warn you though that my belly was bloated and stuck out for two or three months after surgery. This is normal and it takes a good long while for your body to adjust to its rearrangement.

    In my case, the anterior release approach was used to get a better and more stable correction on an aging spine. I got really good cosmetic results with it. The recovery from an anterior approach is more challenging but I feel it was worth it. The reasons for different approaches vary for each patient and each surgeon.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,102
    Quote Originally Posted by Cimbom View Post
    Forgot to add that I'm not sure why an anterior approach surgery is being used since my curve is 46 degrees. From what I've seen, it seems that people with bigger curves are the ones who usually have the anterior approach done since it is a bigger recovery and all. Or is it just a surgeon's preference? Would a posterior approach not be suitable for me? Didn't think to ask my surgeon this in the early appointments
    Some surgeons prefer the anterior approach, while others prefer the posterior approach. There is no clear research to say one is any better than the other. Since you're concerned about the incisional hernia, you might want to ask your surgeon about what percentage of his patients end up with this issue. You might also talk about why s/he feels the anterior approach is better than the posterior approach.

    Good luck.

    Regards,
    Linda

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