Incisional Hernia after Total Abdominal Hysterectomy – Margaret’s Story

I had my TAH (total abdominal hysterectomy) 3 years ago (I was 61 years). The reason for needing an op, was not about hysterectomy, but needing to have a 22cm ovarian cyst removed, the doctors thought may be dangerous, they decided its best to also have a TAH.

So really having the hysterectomy op was a precaution. The reason I decided to post my experience here, is this. Two years after the double op, while working towards selling my property, I heard a sound of ‘pop’ somewhere inside me. I did not realise then what was happening. The next day I was in the worst pain I had ever had. In short, because of the op and big vertical cut 2 years previously, I had developed an incisional hernia.

I had to live with this pain for months, it got less as time went on. I was ignored by the hospital for a year! Then I saw their specialists, one agreed it should be repaired but because I had/have liver disease the liver team would have to be present at the op. More time elapsed, then my liver specialist saw me to explain they will not be operating, as it would carry an huge risk ie life or death, this was due to my low platelets etc. So I have to live with this unsightly bulge. Even as recent as last week I was told any operation on it remains “a no no”.

Though I was alone all through this, I coped at home and healed fairly quickly, until this happened. So please be mindful that this can happen, after, not just hysterectomy of course but any big surgery on the abdomen.


in my own words book coverNow available on our online store and all other online book store’s. In My Own Words: Women’s Experience of Hysterectomy is full of many other real-life stories from women the world over.

Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.

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  1. Hi I’m 3 weeks post total abdominal hysterectomy vertical incision I’ve got a bulge on left side of stomach my which seams to get worse throughout the day I’ve also got a hymatoma lower left they said due to clamps is this normal

  2. Hi Margaret,
    Sorry you are suffering so much, I also had a large incisional hernia (a hole the size of a tennis ball plus a couple of other small ones) and it really was painful. I was initially told
    a) they might not be able to fix it and I might need to just “life with it”
    b) if they did try to fix it then it probably would not last.
    As my GP was on holiday I read everthing I could about hernias on the internet and finally found there were a number of Specialist Hernia Repair clinics. I decided it would be worth paying to see a specialist to see what the options were. One clinic didn’t charge for initial consults as they could generally do them over the phone. I talked to a marvelous surgeon who said he was sure my hernia could be fixed but offered to examine me (still at no cost) as it was more complex. I did go on to have surgery and 3 months on it seems to be OK.
    I know your other problems are a factor but it might be worth getting a second or even 3rd opinion. We should not be told to just go away and put up with the pain.
    good luck Elaine