Oesophageal Patients Association
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Bellybutton hernia post total gastrectomy

I am a lady of 63 years old. I had a total gastrectomy in July 2017 due to adenocarcinoma of stomach, diagnosed Stage 2B cancer due to pervasiveness in one of the 14 nodes removed. I also had 6 sessions of EOX Chemo and struggled with multiple side effects until December last.

I had a pet scan in Jan 2018 which revealed no sign of cancer but hernia at bellybutton.

There is an inward growth at the belly button. Doctor says I cannot have a surgery so soon and I have to live with it. I take a B12 injection once a month and 1 multi-vit and 1 calcium per day only. The hernia is uncomfortable and painful when I have eaten slightly more. Otherwise I am doing fine

I shall be grateful for any advice how to cope with such hernia or any solution.

Thank You

13 Replies
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Sorry this is not a short answer. I had three umbilical hernia surgeries in two years by a transplant surgeon. The third one turned out to be most of my small intestines trapped in a hernia. This last time another general surgeon assisted the transplant doctor and laced me up like a football. It sounds like you need to do your homework and find a really, really good surgeon. And then wear an abdominal binder for a very long time.I was down to eating less than a cup of food a day. I pray you get some good advice as pet scan gave a vague answer to you. I turned 69 eleven days ago. Best wishes, cheryl

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Hi, Duchess of Peru, thank you very much for your quick reply and genuine advice. As I just out of a major surgery I am really scared of another one too soon. However, I will start gathering info re future surgeon and look for the abdominal binder. I am still not quite even with the food intake, being Vegetarian I have to eat more and it impacts on my hernia.

Happy birthday. You are very brave. God bless you.

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You're welcome. Thanks for birthday greeting. Good luck with this belly trouble. Stay strong!😉

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I fully agree that you have to proceed with extreme caution. I always have Plan B in the hallway standing by. just bought a 🎻 violin never too old to learn, right?

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Hi Duchess, so glad to hear from you! Ever since you told me I am using an abdominal binder, and let me tell you. It helps.

Congrats for the violin. Age is just a number. We r still young to fulfil our wishes. Enjoy the music 🌷

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Hi, I am 79 and had a total gastrectomy coming up 6 years ago now and have a hernia above the belly button on the scar. Didn't have it initially but then appeared, so far have not had any pain and been told they wouldn't want to operate again on that area but assume if does become painful something will need doing. I have B12 every 12 weeks and will do so ongoing as not producing B12 anymore, also on Sanatogen A-Z multivitamin, omerprazole and domperidone tablets. Not very helpful for you as mine isn't painful and I guess you seeing your consultant or upper GI nurse on a regular basis who will be keeping an eye on the hernia. Just be sure to tell them everything when do see them and I hope there is a solution for the pain.

Rob

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Thank you very much Evans for your kind reply. U certainly have a longer experience in dealing with post surgery issues and this hernia business. I started using an abdominal binder and it helps in reducing the pain. In fact I saw my Consultant in mid February and he said I should forget the hernia and see him in 3 months. He also said that I should not manipulate it, and that it will disappear with time. Actually without a stomach anymore, we no longer produce B12 and are dependent on injection or equivalent for life. Thank you for guidance regarding Sanatogen, and others.

My blood test in Feb revealed low platelet count and high AST/SGOT, ALT/SGPT & GGT. Doctor said it is due to Chemo as I finished my last session only in end of Nov last year and that it will stabilize with time. In fact I was so ill with the chemo that I was hardly eating or drinking liquids.Is the blood result any cause of worry?

Regarding side effect of same, I have a sudden fall in energy and I need to take Glucose in water or mint sweets or equivalent. These really help.

Thank you all again for sharing.

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The only experience I have of this was a good friend whose specialist Upper GI surgeon insisted on doing the hernia surgery himself because of the re-arranged insides after an oesophagectomy. I suspect that it is something that a general surgeon would think of as being complicated as your anatomy would not be in its normal place. But if it needs attention, it may well not be something that sorts itself out just by waiting, so you may have to ask for a second opinion.

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Thank you AlanM. I am a usual follower of your posts. I will certainly take your good advice.

Regards

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Hi, I had surgery 12 + years ago and have lived with an incissional hernia on my scar line for probably 10 years now. When first apparent my surgeon was against any further operation unless it troubled me. So far I have been lucky. Being a keen golfer the only precaution I take is a home made truss when I play. I also hold it in when I cough but no idea if these are issues in my mind. Very good luck to you.

Sportsman

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Hello Sportsman, I thank you very much for your reply. Your experience is highly encouraging, especially the hernia did not deter you from practicing your favorite sports, golf. I also hold it when sneezing and the like and do wear a binder when necessary.

Can you tell me if you had liver issues and are you still taking B12 injection or otherwise and at what frequency please? How did you deal with any cancer, if it was there. I sincerely wish you had none.

Thank you in advance.

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Hi Kalindeeb, No liver issues that I am aware of. I have B12 injection every 12 weeks and my surgeon was very insistent on this. I had OC operation in November 2005 and my hernia is on the scar line just below my ribs I guess for 10 years now. As stated my surgeon was very reluctant to operate providing it was not troubling me. I think it was leave well alone at that time. Best of luck

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Hello Sportsman, thanks for your encouragement. I will leave my hernia alone also, that's the advice of the Doctor too.

How soon after your operation were u able to start your golf? I had my total gastrectomy in July 2017 and I want to start driving my car and resume my swimming. Do you think I can do so? I have some numbness in both feet otherwise I am doing fine with appropriate diet control, etc.

Thanks for caring. And good luck to you too.

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