Recently, I started having quick pains on the left side of the lower abdomen area. Sometimes the pain will be so severe that Standing and sitting becomes very difficult. I consulted a physician and he has recommended me to do the hernia repair from the Shouldice hospital near by. Is my symptoms only specific for hernia? I just wanted to see if anyone has been in a similar circumstance and what they were told by their doctors. What will be the recovery period for this?
A muscle strain can produce similar symptoms and occasionally spine problems can. However, if your doctor found a hernia on examination you can be confident that's the problem and in any case the surgeon will also examine you. The Shouldice clinic has excellent results with a very low recurrence rate. Hernia repair is all they do. The clinic uses a different repair than most surgeons these days--most of us use mesh. I have had Shouldice repairs on both sides with no recurrence and no chronic pain despite a lot of heavy lifting (wish I could say the same about my back). I had Shouldice repairs at my local hospital becaue that's the type of repair the surgeon I wanted did at the time--I picked the surgeon, not the repair. You'll be in good hands at the Shouldice clinic; you should not feel that is the only option. Be aware that the main complication of hernia repair is not recurrence but chronic pain--as high as 5-10% in some studies--lower in my personal experience.
As far as recovery it depends. I always tell patients 2 weeks back to work, 2 days if self employed, 2 months if they work for the state. Seriously, about a week or two for sitting down work, 2-4 weeks for walking around/ on your feet all day work, 4-6 for heavy lifting and high level sports like skiing. It varies enormously from person to person and even from side to side. I had hernias on both sides repaired by the same surgeon using the same technique a few years apart and one hurt a lot more after surgery than the other. Interestingly the one that hurt a lot more before surgery hurt a lot less after. The surgeon told me in recovery room he was worried that side was going to give me a lot of pain but it didn't,
Don't be afraid to take Vicodin or codeine--you won't become an addict by taking it for a week or even two--but not longer than that, so taper off of it if you're getting close to two weeks. Use an antiinflammatory as well. By using a combination f meds you avoid the side effects of each because you take less of each. And stay ahead of the pain--it takes less meds to prevent pain than to stop it.
My partner did a shouldice repair, same surgeon who operated on me, on a skinny 19 y/o who worked in a warehouse. I saw him a week later because he wanted to go back to work; my partner was in the OR. I told him he could be released to work if he could pick up the electrocautery machine--about the size and weight of a dishwasher. He did and got his note. Most people take longer. I was good to go back to the or, standing for 6 hours or more without a break at 2 weeks. (Then was another partner of mine--had her 3rd child, first son, by Caesarian section. 3 days later I'm at the mall and some idiot is parked in the fire lane in front of Nordstrom's. Turns out to be my partner, buying a new hat to wear to the ritual circumcision, and her mother, who had had her broken hip pinned 2 weeks before. Tough folks.)