Nov 15, 2010 - 5:12 pm
Several people have recently discovered bulges that they feared might be tumors. Here is some information, in its own thread, that might help.
Incisional hernias are VERY common when you have (1) had a "big belly" surgery and (2) had your omentum removed, as is typical of OVCA de-bulking. So....if you suddenly notice a "bulge" in your belly, don't panic. It's probably NOT anything cancer related, but is more likely a hernia.
Incisional hernias usually appear within six or eight months of the surgery - though rarely sooner than three months. The size can vary from golfball to bigger than a grapefruit. And you may discover more than one. I talked to one OC patient who has FIVE incisional hernias!
Whether you have a hernia repaired surgically is up to you and your physician. Small ones do not cause problems (usually). Larger ones can be painful (it feels more like a burning sensation than anything else) and they can strangulate and cause bowel obstructions (not good).
Mine is really large - so large it probably won't strangulate, according to my doctor. However, should you experience a sudden onset of vomiting, chills, fever, etc you need to be seen ASAP, so go to the ER as quickly as possible. Those are signs of a strangulation and/or bowel obstruction associated with the hernia.
If you have a hernia, do not strain or lift heavy objects. These things can cause it to get bigger and/or strangulate.
Generally, a hernia can best be felt when you stand up and tighten your abdominal muscles. It may seem to disappear when you lie down.
Most doctors will not do hernia repair surgery while you are in treatment. I am waiting until my Taxol maintenance is over (January) to have mine fixed. I will let everyone know how that goes, once it's over and done with.