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Issues following Umbilical Hernia Repair

Really hoping someone can help. I had emergency surgery on 5th March 2019. I have had an umbilical hernia for a few years and until 5th March it never bothered me. On this date it got really sore, red and wouldn't go back. Thus requiring emergency surgery. The OP went well. No mesh was used. I was allowed home the following day.

A day or so after coming home when changing my bandages I noticed the wound seemed to be oozing, yellow and green.  Went to my doctors whom did a swab and sent it for testing.  In the meantime he prescribed me with co-amoxiclav and told me to take them and he would be in touch when the swab results were back, just in case the bacteria was resistant to the antibiotics he had given me.  I also informed him of the chest pain I had been having since the operation, just under the breast area, and the excessive burping. He told me that due to them operating in the abdomen that it could be a build up of gas. Bare in mind the surgery was open and not laparoscopy. I was confused. My anxiety was through the roof. Pulse was 140 as I was panicking so much. He claimed me down and sent me on my way.

It took 7 days for the swab to come back, by which time I had finished the antibiotics and the infection was still present. The bacteria was resistant hence why the first lot didnt work. I was then prescribed fluxoxacillin for a week.

I have finished those and the infection still looked like it was present. I felt like I was getting nowhere and my anxiety was sky rocketing. I managed to get in with a consultant I was under for abdominal surgery who also fixes hernias. He looked and said the wound has a seroma. He drained it and redressed it. He isn't sure why I am burping or what the chest pain is but said he will send me for a CT scan.

I have been told it is IBS and been given tablets. They haven't worked or made a difference. I have been diagnosed in the past with silent reflux and used to take lanzoprazole 30mg daily but found I didnt really need them. I tried them to see if that would help but they didnt. Doctor then prescribed me with ompremazole 40mg which I have been on for 3 weeks and they are doing nothing.

I have no idea what is going on but it is freaking me out. I had no issues until I had the emergency surgery to fix my umbilical hernia. I will list below the current symptoms I have.

Excessive burping.
Recently started burping and sick is coming in my mouth.
Chest pain and back pain just under the breast.
When I eat food it hurts when it gets to the section just under my breast.

One other thing when i was diagnosed with silent reflux many years ago they also mentioned I have a hiatal hernia. But again this has never caused my any problems.

I feel like my life is ending and nobody seems to be able to shed any light.

Thankyou for taking the time to read this lengthy post and I am grateful for any replies xx

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Because you're seeing so many doctors you're theoretically seeing people who would know post-operative problems when they see them, but my experience with surgeons is that they often just don't much like talking to patients.  What they like is doing surgery.  I say this because it's possible just from my reading what you wrote that you might have two problems going on -- the pain under your breast might be from the surgery.  If it is it's likely temporary.  The rest might be a reaction to the anesthetic used for the surgery or to meds used post-surgery.  Antibiotics can also cause digestive problems, and you've now been on quite a bout of them.  Something you can try as you continue to see docs to try to figure this out is to go to the best health food store you have in your area and buy a multi-spectrum probiotic from the refrigerated section of the supplement section.  Make sure it emphasizes bifidus, which helps with digestion.  Antibiotics and other meds kill off the beneficial bacteria that populates your intestinal tract and is a large part of your immune system and digestive system.  Another problem is the meds you're taking for your reflux and "IBS" alter the proper balance your stomach needs to digest protein and minerals, as they suppress acid production and your body needs an acidic environment to digest these substances so it just tries to make more and more acid.  There are natural remedies that probably work better in the long term, along with trying to figure out what in your diet or the way you eat that is causing this problem.  For example, lying down too soon after eating can cause reflux.  Not chewing enough can make digestion difficult.  Some foods just don't agree with us, and the older we get sometimes it catches up to us even if it didn't bother us earlier in life.  Surgery is also stressful both physically and emotionally, and hospital food if you were in for very long will kill anyone.  Some things that might help are aloe vera juice inner filet, DGL, and peppermint enteric coated gel caps.  But there are other things as well that can help without suppressing acid.  Because you just had surgery, though, I'd still exhaust the possibility the surgery or the meds used because of it might have triggered this and make sure any natural product you use doesn't conflict with any meds you're still using -- most of them, for example, shouldn't be taken near in time to when you take meds because they can block them from absorbing.  If this goes on, you might want to consult a holistic nutritionist or naturopath or practitioner of integrated medicine if you need guidance on how to possibly fix the digestion problems you've developed in a way that doesn't make them worse. Hope at least this gives you some other things to think about as you consult with your specialists.  Hope you recover soon.
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Arlington, VA
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