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Diaphragmatic hernia?

Joel C's picture
Joel C
Posts: 172
Joined: Mar 2011

 

Hello,

My latest ct-scan showed I have a diaphragmatic hernia (hole in diaphragm) that has allowed part of my bowel to pass into my chest cavity and in-turn not allowing my left lung to inflate properly.  I’m three years post MIE and this has just started over the past year and is now in need of being repaired.  I was curious if any of you have had hernia issues since your surgery and have you had it repaired?

Thank you,

Joel

 

CarolandJoe
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2013

My husband had his surgery January 2013 and a similar hernia showed up in July.  He is scheduled for surgery to repair in December.  His surgeon explained that this is not uncommon.  When they remove the esophagus, they resect tissue from the opening in the diaphram to make sure the cancer hasn't spread to that area.  The enlarged opening sometimes allows the bowel to move up into the chest cavity.  His surgery will move the bowel back where it belongs and then reduce the opening to prevent it from happening again.

LauraandLarry's picture
LauraandLarry
Posts: 184
Joined: Sep 2012

Wow, I have never heard of that. At least not explained like that. I know of a few people from our support group at U of M that had hernia's after surgery. It was fairly soon post op. I assumed as they all have, that it was from doing too much too soon. What were your symptoms?

Joel C's picture
Joel C
Posts: 172
Joined: Mar 2011

Laura,

The only symptom I have is I feel short of breath when I exert myself.  I also have a lot more acid reflux and nausea than I did a couple of years ago.  I sure hope repairing the hernia helps with the reflux and nausea.

 

 

Carol,

It’s comforting to hear that Joe’s surgeon says this is not that uncommon.  I haven’t met with my surgeon yet but I do have a few questions for him.  Do you know if Joe’s repair will be done laparoscopic and do know if they will use sutures or a mesh patch?  I plan to use the same surgeon that did my MIE.  I figure he knows my anatomy better than any other doctor.  Is Joe going back to the doc that did is MIE?

 

Thanks,

Joel

CarolandJoe
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2013

Yes, Joe's surgery will be done laparoscopic with the same surgeon.  When we briefly discussed the surgery, it seemed like he would use sutures but we have our detailed surgical consult a few days prior to the surgery so I'm sure we will know more about the procedure at that time.  The surgeon said Joe should be in the hospital no more than 2 days and recovery should be quick. 

It is difficult to tell how much this hernia may be affecting Joe since he has only been off the chemo for a couple of months.  It does seem that if he eats too much at any one meal he has greater pain for longer until he finally digests all the food.  I wonder if this condition is slowing the movement of food through his bowels.  Joe doesn't have acid reflux any more and since getting off the chemo very little nausea.

Thanks,

Carol

Joel C's picture
Joel C
Posts: 172
Joined: Mar 2011

I met with my surgeon today and we have the surgery scheduled for next Thursday (10/24).  He plans to start the surgery laparoscopic and if necessary he may have to change over to an open surgery.  He feels it’s a 50/50 chance that he will be able to do the surgery laparoscopicaly.  He says I should plan on being in the Hospital for five days and a good month or so to recover.  Here we go again.

Joel

CarolandJoe
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2013

We will be sending positive energy and prayers your way that the surgeon will be able to fix the hernia laparoscopically.  When you are able, we will be anxious to hear how it went.  Our best wishes to you and Tammy. 

LauraandLarry's picture
LauraandLarry
Posts: 184
Joined: Sep 2012

Will be thinking positive and saying a prayer on Oct 24th! Hope all goes well.

Joel C's picture
Joel C
Posts: 172
Joined: Mar 2011

Thank you for the well wishes I really appreciate that.  The surgery date has been changed from 10/24 to 10/30.  The scheduler said that the time slot on the 24th was only for two hours and the surgeon wanted more time so the surgery had to be rescheduled.  The more I read about this surgery and recovery the more worried I get.  It seems the recovery is long and difficult.  I’ll post how things went when I return home from the hospital so Joe and others that may find themselves in this situation will have an idea of what to expect.

Thanks again,

Joel

 

birdiequeen's picture
birdiequeen
Posts: 329
Joined: Mar 2011

All week i have just stopped in my trackes and wished you and your family well with the up coming surgery.  I thought it was time I posted it as well.

May your upcoming week go just as planned and may you have the the strength to press forward.

 

Take Care

Lee Ann

Hockey Wife
Posts: 15
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Joel,

I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as you prepare for surgery on Thursday.

All the best to you and your family!

Janet

Joel C's picture
Joel C
Posts: 172
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks for the well wishes guys, I really appreciate that.  I can’t believe I’m voluntarily going in for another major surgery tomorrow.  In many ways I really hope that something goes wrong during the surgery and this nightmare finally ends but I don’t think I’ll be that lucky.  I’ll check in a couple of weeks and you know how things went.

Joel

Hockey Wife
Posts: 15
Joined: Jan 2013

Joel,

I am sorry you are facing yet another battle, it just sucks! There are no words I could write to make it better, but please know that because of you and your honesty and compassion made it better for me on some very difficult days. Thank you.

Fight On!

Janet

 

 

birdiequeen's picture
birdiequeen
Posts: 329
Joined: Mar 2011

Hope your recovery is going well!

 

callerid
Posts: 99
Joined: Dec 2012

Prayers and positive thoughts for your surgery tomorrow.

Joel C's picture
Joel C
Posts: 172
Joined: Mar 2011

The recovery is not going so well.  The surgery was done laparoscopic but I had lot of pain the first few days post op followed by nausea and vomiting that continues still today a week and a half out.  It seems like food is not moving past my stomach and I have no bowel sounds.  I think I have a kink or blockage (Ileus?).  I have a follow up appointment on Tuesdays and doubt I’ll make it out of the appointment without getting admitted.

Joel

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1105
Joined: Apr 2010

Joel,

I am so sorry to hear that your recovery from surgery is not going well. I hope there is something simple and non invasive that can be done to correct the issue. You will be in my thoughts and prayers over the next few days. Hoping for a quick resolution on Tuesday.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams

McCormick, South Carolina

 

birdiequeen's picture
birdiequeen
Posts: 329
Joined: Mar 2011

I will be hopeing for that quick non invasive resolution!  but, don't wait until Tuesday if you know things are not right.  Take CARE!! 

JaneO's picture
JaneO
Posts: 42
Joined: Dec 2011

Joel,

So sorry to hear you had to have surgery and you are having so many complications. Sending prayers and healing thoughts your way.

Jane

CarolandJoe
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2013

Joel, how are you doing?  I hope your recovery is going better since your last post.  Positive wishes and prayers to you and your family.

 

Carol

Joel C's picture
Joel C
Posts: 172
Joined: Mar 2011

Carol,

I’m doing much better than a week ago.  Eating is still an issue and if I eat even just a little too much I’ll vomit.  My surgeon set up an upper GI this past Tuesday and I have very delayed emptying.  In normal people as soon as you swallow the contrast some should start to trickle past the pylorus and into the duodenum.  In my case there was nothing exiting the stomach.  We waited 10 minutes (delayed study) and again nothing trickled out so we tested again at 20 & 30 minutes and the result was the same.  The plan is to meet with the surgeon again on 11/26 and see how things are going.  I have a feeling a pyloric dilation is in my near future.  I hope Joe has an easier go of it when he goes in for his hernia repair in December.

Joel

CarolandJoe
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2013

I am sorry you are having these problems.  Were you experiencing any delayed emptying prior to the surgery?  Joe has experienced nothing unusual in his eating except he seems to have increased pain with a longer duration if he does over-eat.  He has just been more careful about quantity and he has been fine.  The only way we even knew about his hernia was it showed up in a scan for something else.  His surgeon has been pretty casual about it except for giving us symptoms to report to him immediately.  I have great trust and faith in Joe's surgeon.  His esphagectomy went so smoothly and Joe's recovery was amazingly quick.

I hope you can get come answers and resolution when you next meet with your surgeon. 

Carol 

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