Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hernia Repairs

September 6th arrived and it was the first day of school for the girls.  Marietta headed off to Grade 6 and Rebecca to Grade 4.  And Matthew was left at home for another year.  While the girls headed out the door to the bus Matthew prepped for a day at the hospital to have his hernia’s repaired.

We had not talked much about the procedure.  He had been put on the surgery waiting list in February and since you only get a 1-2 week notice before the surgery we never said anything to him.  His belly did not hurt him so there was no use prepping and making him worry about something he could not understand.  It was much different from when Marietta went for her hernia repair.  Marietta was three and a half  and had been in pain for quite some time and finally we were able to convince them to repair her hernia since it would need to be repaired eventually anyways and we suspected that to be the problem.  She counted down the day until her surgery so that her tummy pain could be fixed … only to have the first surgery cancelled when she developed an cold and ear infection.  So she counted down the days again until she finally went in for the repair … just on time because only the day before her surgery the hernia area tore increasing the size of the hernia and making it fairly large … the doctor was quite surprised when he completed the surgery how large it was.  Marietta’s pain took about 6 month to get better after the hernia, causing us to see various doctors and have various tests as they thought maybe there was something else wrong … but in the end she just needed time to heal.

Now for Matthew we didn’t tell him about the surgery until about a week before … more because he overheard a conversation about it.  Not wanting him to worry for days about what they were going to do I just didn’t say anything and figured I’d prep him the day before or so.  Well even though he found out the week before it did not fizzle him much.  He declared he was getting his belly button fixed and away he went.  He had no pain so the concept of pain or the pain that would come from the surgery was foreign.  He just knew they would fix his belly button so it wouldn’t stick out anymore.  We explained some basic stuff, as he does have some vague memory of when he got his arm casted after he broke it.  But he didn’t seem to concerned either way.

Matthew also had two hernia’s.  We were not 100% sure of the second one until he went into surgery but it was suspected he had an inguinal hernia as well as an umbilical hernia.  The plan was to go in laparoscopically through the incision in the umbilical area to see if there was another hernia and then if there was a hernia to proceed to repair it.

Matthew’s surgery was schedule for 2pm, which meant no eating since 12am.  He was allowed to drink  first thing in the morning so we encouraged him to drink as much as he could to tie him over.  He did well.  We left for Hamilton earlier on to keep him distracted and went to the library so he could play for a bit and pick out some videos to watch after his surgery.

We had to be at the hospital at 12pm … thankfully there was a TV at the waiting room to distract him and that did pretty good. 



Just before the surgery you get a chance to talk to the people involved in the surgery, including the doctor.  At this time we found out that they DID NOT have him scheduled for the inguinal hernia check and repair, but only for the umbilical repair (even though I had discussed this at pre-op to make sure he was scheduled for both).  In order to do the inguinal repair they need the proper laparoscopic equipment and the time to do the actual repair if it was needed.  It was a little bit of time of frustration … some things just never change!! It being a minor surgery I wasn’t too worked up about the need for the surgery, just the frustration with the system and how they never get it right.  I was not going to have them do the umbilical hernia repair if they could not check for the inguinal and have time to repair it … minor surgeries or not we weren’t going to do anaesthetic more then we had to.  Thankfully it all came together and they were able to get the equipment needed … and rather quickly too … so we were able to proceed as planned.

Here you can see his nerves acting up … as well as his lack of food I’m sure.  This is just before he went into surgery … he refused to look at the camera or the people who came to talk to use before the surgery.


Everything went well with the surgery, he did indeed have a moderate size inguinal hernia which they repaired.  They had to make an incision near his groin area to do this, but now he’s all fixed up.

I was expecting a miserable boy, thrashing, crying and throwing himself around after the surgery, but he was calm and sleepy.   No complaint about pain, if you asked him if it hurt he said no.  Recovery room was slow when we got there and so they let me just crawl up on the bed and snooze with him for a while.  After a while they encouraged him to wake up a bit by letting him have a popiscle … actually three popsicles.  Before the surgery the nurse had told him that his hospital band meant he could have FREE popsicles.   He understood this to mean THREE popsicles and he was going to hold them to this.  He inhaled those three popsicles and then was moved over to Same Day Surgery recovery … where he received another popsicles.   Here also they were not the busy and were completely encouraging about letting him sleep for a while, so we snuggled up on the bed again and had another snooze.  Around 6pm we decided to wake him a bit and see how he was doing and if he was ready to go home.  By this time the morphine would be wearing off, but he still said it didn’t hurt, until he tried to get dressed, then he realize he had some pain.  What a trooper!

Wheelchair ride to the van … not so thrilling when you’re not feeling well.


We made a bed on the couch in the living room with a view to the TV


For the next few days he had free access to the TV … and if you know Matthew, you know what this means.  Surprisingly even Matthew gets tired of TV and stops watching from time to time.


Recovery went amazingly quickly compared to what we expected.  For Marietta it took some time before she could get up and walk or do stairs.  Matthew on the other hand surprised us by crawling up the stairs that same night while I was busy putting the girls to bed.  Proud as a peacock he showed us how he could walk and crawl up the stairs.  A few days of tylenol and within a few days you would never have guessed that he just had surgery … that weekend we headed off to Chatham and he was playing like normal, we had to remind him that he had to be careful, walk slowly, don’t run and jump, no trampoline, etc.  Picking him up and carrying him had to be done careful but overall he was mended.

The old belly button


The new belly button … they did an excellent job of hiding the incision in the folds.  He doesn’t have a nice innie now, but it definitely looks better and we’ll see with time how it develops.  The other incision is low in the groin area and healed up nicely, which I’m sure over the years will fade to almost not being noticeable.

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1 comment:

Lisa said...

His belly button looks much better! What a brave little man :)