DEAR DR. GOTT: Seven years ago, I had bilateral inguinal-hernia repair done by laparoscopy. Before the surgery, I had some pain on the right side of my groin, but there was no visible hernia.
In recent years, I have felt some minor discomfort on the right side. Over the past few months, a large bump has protruded on the right side usually later in the day. There is no pain associated with it, and it disappears when I lie down.
Lately, I have been wearing a hernia belt to try to keep it reduced. I am in good physical condition and very active. Can you tell me if this bump is another hernia?
DEAR READER: I suspect that you have developed another hernia. If it is at the site of your previous repair, it is likely an incisional hernia, meaning that the site of the previous surgery has weakened, allowing the affected organ (most likely a loop of intestine) to protrude through the surgical scar.
Return to your physician or your surgeon for an examination, testing and diagnosis. If you truly have developed another hernia, it is important to have it treated properly to prevent complications.
Such complications vary according to the type and location of the hernia. Inguinal hernias, such as you have had before, occur in the groin and most often involve the intestines. If a loop of intestine becomes trapped in the opening of the muscle, it can lead to blockage, necrosis (tissue death) and sepsis (blood infection) if not repaired.
Treatment depends on the location and severity of the hernia. Most are repaired surgically. There are several types of surgery available, including the standard operation, those repaired with mesh or patch material to strengthen the area of muscle weakness and laparoscopic, which is less invasive.
To provide related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report “An Informed Approach to Surgery.” Other readers who would like a copy should send a self-addressed stamped No. 10 envelope and a check or money order for $2 to Newsletter, P.O. Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.
DEAR DR. GOTT: You have written several times about castor oil for osteoarthritis. I would like to tell you about my experience with castor-oil capsules.
About eight months ago, I started taking three capsules in the morning. After four weeks, I noticed a drastic improvement in my level of pain and finger-joint mobility. I am now able to crochet again without pain.
DEAR READER: This is the first I have heard of castor-oil capsules relieving arthritis pain. With my original therapy recommendation, castor oil is simply rubbed onto the affected joints twice a day.
If the capsules work for you, then stick with the regimen. But I would consider other possibilities, since castor oil can act as a powerful laxative when taken internally. If you’re turned off by the prospect of having oily hands (which isn’t likely unless too much is used), you may wish to try drinking 8 ounces of purple grape juice mixed with 1 tablespoon of liquid pectin one to three times daily. Because grapes are a fruit, they contain natural sugar known as fructose (also found in vegetables) and thus, the labels will always list a sugar content. By purchasing “no sugar added” brands, you can eliminate excess sucrose (table sugar), which is a source of empty calories.
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