nerve damage and scar tissue

on 3/15/11 1:22 am - Charlotte, NC
Hiatal hernia repair and gastric bypass were 12/14.  Gallbladder removal 1/17.  I have had pain across my stomach area since.  I cannot lift my laptop even, without pain.  After being on pain meds (narcotics) for cpl months, the surgeon told me its not surgery related and referred me to a pain clinic.  This morning the pain clinic told me that it sounds like I have some nerve damage and scar tissue from the surgeries.  If they do surgery to repair it, it will only get worse.  He said that if I was 70 they would put me on narcotics for the rest of my life.  Since I am 37, they obvoisly cant.  Since there is no real "cure", all they can do it treat my pain long term trial and error with some things that are not narcotics.  He said it will probably only "take the edge off".  Everyones posts on here are mostly very positive.  Has anyone ever heard of this?  This is crazy to me.  I am so depressed lately with all my issues.  The only thing that makes me feel a little better is the 60 lbs I have lost.  But, I barely feel like any of this is worth it.  I cant work.  I cant function the way I need to.  Thanks for listening.
Lady Lithia
on 3/15/11 1:26 am
Sounds like adhesions, and a lot of people get them. I am not sure about people being referred to a pain clinic for them. you might get more responses if you post on the main board and title your thread "Adhesions" because people will know what that means who will have information to help you. (I'm lucky an don't have much issue with them)

The problem is that they can trap your guts and cut off circulation so they can be very serious. Post on the main board and see what you learn. Good luck.

~Lady Lithia~ 200 lbs lost! 
March 9, 2011 - Coccygectomy!
I chased my dreams, and my dreams, they caught me!
giraffesmiley.gif picture by hardyharhar_bucket

on 3/15/11 1:27 am - Charlotte, NC
Thank you - hope you are feeling better!
Cicerogirl, The PhD

on 3/15/11 1:34 am - OH
When you had the hernia repair, did you have mesh put in?  I ask that because when I had mine put in, I had pretty severe pain along one side where the mesh was sewn to the muscle for about 4 months (and you are still within that timeframe).  My surgeon told me that I would just have to wait for it to heal.  Eventually it did, but it took what seemed like forever!

I have a somewhat similar problem with intermittent severe pain.  My surgeon said it is likely adhesions but refuses to do surgery to clear them since any new surgery may create new ones.  She also referred me to a pain clinic.  I tried steroid injections into the area with the most external scarring (which is above the DEEP area where the pain is), but that gave me additional horrible pain for about 24 hours and didn't help the deep pain at all.  I have tried a numebr of different things but will, once we get back from vacation at the end of the month be seeing a different surgeon for a second opinion about going in and moving the adhesions.  That might be your only recourse.  (At least my pain is intermittent so most of the time I am able to work... but I have used up all my sick time so I have been having to take time without pay.)

I hope you can find a solution.


10 years out; 190 pounds lost, 165 pound loss maintained

You don't drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

on 3/15/11 1:47 am - Charlotte, NC
Thanks Lora.  No, no mesh.  My surgeon says its not surgery related pain....grrr... The pain clinic thinks otherwise.  When I lie down its no where near as bad.  When I sit, bend or pick up anything its sky high.  It feels to me like the worst possible pulled stomach muscle you could ever have.
on 3/15/11 2:02 am - Raleigh, NC
It seems like it would be worth it to do an exploratory laparoscopy with lysis of adhesions. This means they go back in your belly button and clean out any scar tissue they can see. This might help decrease the pain if it is constricting your bowels or muscle tissue.

Wishing you the best


on 3/15/11 4:37 am - Charlotte, NC
on 3/15/11 2:17 am - Columbia City, IN
Have you tried wearing some kind of binder or compression garmet?  You mention lying down helps.  If you have any panni (hanging abdomen) it causes heaviness from gravity and movement would make it worse.  Some compression might help.

Usually pain from adhesions comes and goes.  Pain from a blockage is there whether you are up or lying down.

Have you thought about alternative or integrative medicine to help with the pain?
Highest Weight 255  * Wt loss includes 19 lb lost before surgery

on 3/15/11 4:38 am - Charlotte, NC
yes - I have a spanx type tummy thing......
No, I have not thought about that.....thank you
on 3/15/11 5:45 pm - Suffern, NY
You have really gotten me thinking.  Since October 26, 2010 I have had 4 abdominal surgeries.  1 lap and 3 open.  The most recent was February 15 for reversal of an iliostomy (rest of story is very long and can tell you another time, if interested).  My pain has been terrible but pretty much from the beginning.  If feels like it from the nerves.  It is like the skins burns and even when my shirt skims across the skin, it really hurts = burning pain.

Also, like you said, when I change positions - trying to get out of bed from lying down/sitting up (I have an electric bed - so I have the head propped up as high as possible - I could never get up from a totally lying down position.)  Just sitting up, standing up from a chair or the toilet.  The worst is getting dressed - having to lift my left leg even 2 inches off the ground to put on my underwear or pants is excrutiating and then to put on my socks and sneakers is another traggic moment.  I have been on Dilaudid (Hydromorphone ) since the surgery.  IT was in the box when I woke and the IV.  When they disconnected the box, they switched me to the pills but in high doses and slowly decreased the doses but I couldn't decrease them much and I was taking them every 3 hours, on a good day, I lasted 4 hours.   When I went home at 1 week, they sent me home with a prescription of the pain medication and said use as needed but said the max. that I could take and that was alot.  Unfortunately, I have needed most of it and told me to follow up with my pain management doctors.  I already had a pain management doctor for spinal problems and other stuff prior but that is the least of my problems now.

I usually go to pain management once per month just to get my pain medication - duragesic patch and percocet as needed.  I wish I could go back to that.  So, now that I am on so much more, I have to go every 2 weeks so he can monitor me.  The pain management doctor doesn't like the fact that I am on so much.  When I was there last week, he wanted me to cut my dose in half and to take it less often (all at once) and I flat out said no.  There was no way I could do that.  I was having a hard time as the current level. It turns out I went back to the surgeon 2 days later to get the staples out and found out they suspected a wound infection.  She had to open it up to let it drain and heal from the inside out.  A nurse comes every day to pack the area but the pain for the next few days got excrutiating and not only couldn't I cut my pain medication, I had to increase it.  Thankfully, most of the pain is gone except for the burning pain that you talk about.  I really do think it is nerve related.  I am going to ask my pain management doctor for something like Neurontin - it is a medication I took for sciatica that blocked nerve pain.  I know it worked because when I had shingles, I had know pain.  We shall see what he says.

I wish you the best.