SOCIAL MEDIA

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Diastasis Recti and Umbilical Hernia Repair Surgery

Oh gosh, where do I even begin with this surgery update? I gave you all a little update yesterday, but I wanted to talk more in depth on how the recovery for this surgery has been.

But let's back track to the day of surgery. I can't even begin to express how nervous and anxious I was. I didn't sleep much the days leading up to surgery and Monday morning I was up at 4:30 ish, but didn't get out of bed til 7. I just scrolled Instagram and let me nerves ramp up. Ha.

I showered, blow dried my hair and then took some before photos.


You can see the bulge where my hernia was. On this photo, it is to the top right of my belly button and leading down into my belly button.

I took it from the front view also, so you can see how my belly button was bulging out due to the hernia.

My parents took me to the hospital, but only one of them was allowed to come back with me. My dad said everyone always wants their moms and my mom hadn't been there for a surgery yet, so she was to go back with me. My dad saw a friend at the hospital and did some reading while waiting for my mom. 

I am thankful for my mom being there to chat with, talk about my sister's baby shower and to keep my mind off the upcoming surgery. Plus when she met my surgeon, she knew him from her work and seeing his name on paperwork all the time. He is such a kind man. And my anesthesiologist was so funny.

Now this is probably different for each hospital, but I had to wipe down my body with 6 warm towelettes that had a cleaning solution on them. Then I put on my gown and socks. Then I had to brush my teeth with this solution and then use it as a mouth wash. Then I had to put iodine swabs up my nose (twice). Then I got my IV. Oh and I wore my mask the whole time other than the teeth brushing and nose swabbing.

At 11:20ish, I said my goodbyes to my mom and then I was wheeled to the operating room. Once inside, I moved from one bed to the operating table. They took my mask off, got me situated, gave me something to calm me down and I was out.

My surgery lasted 1 hour and 17 minutes according to the notes I received. But I was in there for an hour and a half including prep.

Now this is where it gets sucky. I had a hard time coming out of anesthesia. I warned my doctor about it and they took extra precautions for nausea and sleepiness, but this was one of the worst times for me. Last time, they got my mixture right and it was easy. Not so much this time. I spent an additional 30 minutes in recovery before going to the secondary room. And I spent an additional 30 minutes in there too. We just couldn't get my nausea under control nor the pain. But the one thing that changed and helped was these essential oil pods that were used for nausea. They have lavender, peppermint, ginger, and spearmint in them. I still have some of these and they are amazing.

When I had to transfer from the recovery bed to the recovery chair, I thought I was going to pass out from the pain. I had to wrap my arms around my nurses neck and move. It was awful. And I kept almost throwing up which isn't what you want after abdominal surgery.

After a long while, I was able to start getting dressed with my moms help. Then I was ready to leave. They gave me a pillow to keep pressed against my stomach for the pain and pressure. 

In 2016 when I had this surgery, I didn't experience this much pain and nausea. I think the combination of the extra sutures inside me (I was stitched from my sternum to my c-section scar) and being older, it was tougher.

My parents drove me home and Rory met us at the house. I kept thinking I was going to throw up, but it never came. Thank goodness. Once I got a protein drink in me and took a pain med, I was feeling so much better. 

The rest of the evening was spent trying to eat something, controlling the pain and nausea and sleeping. It was a rough night and I spent most of it watching Friends and Sex and the City.

But each day has gotten better. I had some major nausea for the first 3 days after surgery. But those packets above helped a ton. Plus drinking protein drinks and eating protein bars.

Even though I was allowed to shower the day after surgery, I didn't have the strength to do it. I did that Wednesday. And I have showered every day since then. Here are some photos from Wednesday post shower.
Three small incisions and some major swelling going on.

You can see that they pulled my belly button back in. And those marks on my stomach were from the binder that I started wearing on day 2.

On Friday, I was told to take off the bandages. I did this before taking a shower and the bottom one was bleeding a lot. You can see in the previous photos that the bottom incision had blood on the gauze, but once the bandages were off, I think it took part of the scab with it. I couldn't get the bleeding to stop until after the shower and applying pressure to the wound. I had to put on another gauze and tape combo per the nurse. Yes, I had to call my doctor's office just in case I needed to be seen since it was a Friday and headed into the weekend.

I can't believe I am showing you these photos, but I want others to have a true account of this surgery as I looked for posts like this pre surgery. And yes, my belly is still very swollen and will be for weeks.

So here we are a week and a day out from surgery and this is what it looks like now.



So I wasn't allowed to drive for the first 5 days post surgery. I didn't drive until I was a week out. I can't lift more than 10 lbs (basically a gallon of milk) for 4 weeks. I was told to try to go on small walks until I was 4 weeks post surgery. Then I could start the elliptical and long walks. At 6 weeks, I can start running and the stair stepper, but no weights until at least 8 weeks. Now all this could change and be extended tomorrow when I go to my post-op appointment. 

The area where my hernia was is very tender. I can't even touch it without pain. So I am hoping it is just my nerves reconnecting and healing. But it is something I am asking my doctor about. Oh and sneezing, laughing and coughing are awful. They engage your abs and hurt so much. Rory had me laughing at something funny I said Monday night and I paid for it dearly on Tuesday. I could barely move all day. BUT I did get my short walk in that day.

I plan to do another update maybe a month or so out just to see the progress.

Have you had any major abdominal surgeries?

26 comments :

  1. Oh my sweet friend bless your heart! I always assumed the incisions were made right around the belly button so it’s very neat to see that they do it from the side. Thank goodness your incisions are small. It really does look so much better and I hope your healing process is swift and easy! I’m so sorry about all the problems with anesthesia. I am going to save this post in case I ever need to have this procedure done someday. You’re a trooper and so strong.

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    1. My first surgery, he did right under the belly button. The second one, he went through the old scar to correct it. Now it being my third, he went through the side to make sure nothing died like my belly button. Thank you so much!! I am trying to journal my journey for others because I was always looking for blogs on it too.

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  2. I had no idea that it wouldn't be done near your belly button, surgery is truly amazing. I'm sorry for all the nausea after surgery and coming out from anesthesia. I'm glad that you're feeling better every day and hope that continues!

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    1. My first surgery, he did right under the belly button. The second one, he went through the old scar to correct it. Now it being my third, he went through the side to make sure nothing died like my belly button. And thank you. I sure hope so too. It has been rough!

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  3. Oh no I am sorry to hear about the issues with anesthesia and nausea. I am sure that coupled with the general pain of surgery hasn't been fun. Hopefully this is your last surgery for awhile and you get a good report when you go back! I hope you continue with a fast recovery!

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    1. It hasn't been fun at all. I sure hope so. It has been a journey for sure.

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  4. I was also nauseous after my surgery but luckily it didn't last too long. I had a very different cut than you - basically hip to hip in the same place as my c-section scar. The incisions you got look much better than mine did! Hope you continue to heal!

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    1. I had the option of hip to hip, but I chose to have it robotically done. Otherwise I would have had hip to hip or a long vertical scar at my belly button. I just hope I made the right choice. The hip to hip would have been a lot more pain for sure. Did they take any skin off when they did yours?

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  5. I'm so sorry you had so much trouble with the anesthesia. I was shocked to see that your incisions are on your side... isn't it so crazy how they can repair something near your belly button all the way through your side?? Your belly button looks so different after the surgery. You are going to look fantastic when everything heals!

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    1. The only reason for that is because it was done robotically. Otherwise they would have cut a vertical incision at the belly button or a hip to hip scar by my c-section scar. I went with the least invasive way and I hope it was the right choice. And thank you. It does look so much better.

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  6. I am so glad your mom and dad were with you and that your mom could go back with you. Thanks for sharing an update. I have been thinking about you as you went through this all and recover, Danielle.

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    1. It was sooo helpful. I am glad that I have a good support system here. I couldn't have done this without them. Thank you so much. It means a lot to me!!!

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  7. I'm so sorry you've had to go through this and had a tough time coming out of anesthesia. They gave me an anti-nausea patch that helped. It's amazing how they do some surgeries in areas you wouldn't expect. I hope your healing continues to go in the right direction and you don't have to worry about this anymore.

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    1. I have had those in the past and I should have asked for one this time. I just didn't and I regret that. I hope it does too. Surgery sucks!!

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  8. I'm SO sorry you were so nauseous and in so much pain. Praying for your continued healing sweet friend, and glad your momma was able to come with you inside. We do all need our mommas <3

    Green Fashionista

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    1. Yes we do love our mommas. Everyone needs their momma in times like these. And thank you so much for your continued prayers!

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  9. I would have thought they would have gone through your belly butty on c section scar for that, I was surprised to see it was on your side. I am so sorry you had so much trouble with the anesthesia. Glad the patches helped. Wishing you a swift recovery!

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    1. Me too, but I chose the robotic route. Otherwise I would have the option of a hip to hip scar or a vertical scar around my belly button. Those are the options my plastic surgeon who did repair number2 was telling me. He recommended this doctor to me because it was less invasive and had amazing results. So now we shall see. I hope it holds and works!!!

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  10. Oh Danielle! You’ve been through A LOT! I’m glad your mom could go back with you, but so sorry you had so much nausea/difficulty after surgery. I think the peppermint would really help! Stay strong and hang in there!

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    1. I really have and I hope this is the end. I had a hard time this time and hope it works! Thank you for your prayers and thoughts! I am sooo glad that my mom was here for me!

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  11. I am so glad you got to have someone with you! I was dropped off at the front door for my surgery which was really weird feeling but it does sound like every hospital had such different procedures as I didn't have to do much prep and they gave me something to relax me before they even took me back into the OR. I can not remember switching beds even though I know I did. My surgery was at 7 I didn't wake up until nearly after noon. I never have nausea but I take forever to come out from under the effects of anesthesia (which I always warn them about!). I totally know what you mean about the bloating from the air though and the pain with laughing and sneezing! My hysterectomy left me quite sore for several weeks and I was amazed at how much just walking around the house tired me right out. It had been my first "real" surgery ever and I felt so unprepared for just how long it was going to take to feel like I was back to my old self and even began to fear that I never would and had made a huge mistake. But I do feel great now and I am praying that you too will feel fantastic by the 8 week mark and hopefully you will never ever have to go through this again.

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    1. I am thankful I had someone with me. I was nervous that I wouldn't as they only just recently lifted those restrictions. I am so sorry that you had to go through it alone. That is just awful. It is funny how different hospitals are. I didn't get my relaxing potion until I was in the ER. I wish I had it sooner. I had warned them about anesthesia too, but it was still a problem. We have to speak up for ourselves for sure. It is so tough. that feeling comes to me every single time. Mind over matter for sure. I am healing and some days are bad and others are good. I definitely feel the set backs. I just hope I chose the right procedure and that I continue to heal. I worry about the pain and tenderness where my hernia was. Hopefully I get good news today.

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  12. Oh it sounds like a pretty rough recovery, how difficult for you! I've never heard of anyone having this kind of surgery - my belly button does look a little different post babies but I haven't worried about it I don't think it's a hernia as it hasn't caused me any pain. I really hope you continue to heal well and you are pain free soon so the surgery was worth it!

    Hope that you are having a good week :)

    Away From Blue

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    1. That is good news. Pregnancy can change your belly button without a hernia. When you have pain and a major bulge that is when it is time to consult someone. And thank you. I hope so too. I should know more today!

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  13. Bless your heart. I just cringe reading about it all & the idea of pain after a surgery. It really blows my mind you have such pain & just HOURS after being cut into & you go home. Not sure if that's good or not :( ... I have such a hard time with nausea & not being able to wake up from anesthesia. My last rounds of surgery, I made sure to tell them & the anesthesiologist that worked with me on colonoscopy was amazing - no nausea - that was a first. I asked her if I could take her everywhere. ... I'm glad this is behind you now & healing straight again

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    1. I have no idea either. It seems like staying there overnight would be better to give you some rest and make sure they can control the pain and nausea, but they didn't do that. It sucked. I had the same experience my last surgery, so I told them to look up that mix and they said they would, but I am not sure if they did. Or if my body just reacted differently to it this time since it has been a year or two. I am so glad that it is behind me too. Now to heal fully and rest!

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