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Does weight gain lead to hernia recurrence?

Answered by: Dr. Sanjiv Saigal
Gastroenterologist,
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital,
New Delhi

Q. I am going to have my third umbilical hernia operation. The last 2 were done within the past 3 years. I have gained 40 lbs in the past year and a half. This time the hernia has made me very ill, causing my colon to swell and press on my kidneys. I feel swollen all over and am feverish and sick most of the time. Sometimes when I eat, it feels that there is no place for more food, but my body still feels hungry. Could this be the patch that has made me sicker this time? It comes out a lot at night when I lay on my side and wakes me up with pain.

A.  I note that your main problem is overweight. You have already had two operations for umbilical hernia repair, and are now due for the third surgery. I also note that you have gained 40 lbs in the recent past. It is most important for you that you control your weight in order to have a successful outcome of the surgery. Your surgeon is the best judge to guide you regarding the technical aspects of the surgery. However, if you continue to gain weight, then the problem of recurrence will be of concern. You should also have complete health check up including thyroid check up. Take the help of a diet consultant as well regarding losing weight.

A.  I note that your main problem is overweight. You have already had two operations for umbilical hernia repair, and are now due for the third surgery. I also note that you have gained 40 lbs in the recent past. It is most important for you that you control your weight in order to have a successful outcome of the surgery. Your surgeon is the best judge to guide you regarding the technical aspects of the surgery. However, if you continue to gain weight, then the problem of recurrence will be of concern. You should also have complete health check up including thyroid check up. Take the help of a diet consultant as well regarding losing weight.

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