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Is this normal after an umbilical hernia repair? Dr. Goodyear..

January 18 2012 at 3:32 PM
from IP address

Hi Doctor Goodyear.. you did 3 hernia repairs on me roughly 3 and 5 years ago.
First was a right inguinal repair using PHS mesh about 5 years ago.

Second was a left inguinal/left varicocele and an umbilical.. all done at the same time using UltraPro mesh about 3 years ago.

So far everything seems to be going good.. I am very active.. I'm in my 30's and I lift weights, play aggressive basketball, do competitive rowing, etc...

Once in a while I get some cramping and pain that lasts a couple weeks around the left inguinal surgery area but I'm assuming this is normal.

anyhow.. my question is regarding my umbilical repair.. ever since the surgery I have noticed that I have a 'hard round ball-like" area in the center of the umbilical region about the size of a pea... is this possibly my 'real belly button?" it feels very hard under the skin..

above this hard round shaped mass I can sort of stick the tip of my finger in and feel the 'walls' of my muscles.. almost like there is a valley there where the muscle walls come together.. and when I cough I can sort of feel a little bit of tissue pushing out... when I lay down on my back the hard round lump seems to get a bit softer and sinks into my stomach.. but if you push your finger in you can still feel there is a round hard small lump in there... again don't know if this is my real belly button or possibly scar tissue? the incision scar is BELOW this round hard lump.

I'm just concerned that when I cough I can feel a little bit more 'hardness/tissue protruding' in and around this round hard bump area.. it's very slight... you can only feel it with the tip of your index finger but still I'm not sure if this is normal after an umbilical repair or if this is some problem? I never really noticed this until recently because quite honestly I guess I was just never checking.. the belly button region seems to have always looked the same after the repair was done by you..
I just don't know how far under the entire belly button there is mesh to reinforce this area..? is it common to ever get a re-occurence in this area?

Thank you very much doc!

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James Goodyear, MD,FACS

Re: Is this normal after an umbilical hernia repair? Dr. Goodyear..

January 19 2012, 7:44 PM 

The hard "pea size" area may be scar tissue, but without an examination it is difficult to sort out what you are describing. Additionally, the "valley" sensation between the walls of the rectus muscles may be quite normal as well in active individuals such as you who "lift weights, play aggressive basketball, do competitive rowing, etc..."

Recurrence is extremely rare in this repair. The mesh generally extends 2-3 cm or more beyond the under edges of the defect. I am not sure where you live, but i would be more thn happy to see you for an examination if you are ever in this area.

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Thank you!

January 20 2012, 12:54 PM 

Thank You Doctor Goodyear for your response!

You are probably right about the 'hard pea-size lump' being scar tissue. Because even when laying down flat on my back I can still feel this hard lump in there if I push in enough with my index finger.

Regarding the 'valley'.. I looked at an up-close pic of my belly button area before the surgery.. and where you could see the hernia sticking through.. that is now the area that has the 'valley' where you can feel the edges of the muscle wall with the tip of your index finger. this 'valley' follows the radius of the top of my navel area ABOVE the pea-sized hard lump.. (like an upside down smiley face mouth (minus the eyes and nose if that makes sense haha).

unfortunately I am 3.5 hours away from you so it's hard to get there :-)

thanks again for your help!

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