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When To Get A Second Opinion

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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

It was about eight weeks after having my third child when I had a surgery to repair an umbilical hernia. It has been nearly three years since that time and every now and then, it becomes painfully clear to me that something is still wrong.

It was only a year after having the surgery when I again began having a pain just beside the area where the repair was made. I went back to the same general surgeon to express my concerns and suspicions. I dreaded having another hernia.

The doctor took a look and felt the area of my skin where he had made the repair. He told me that the lump I felt next to the surgery spot was scar tissue. I was relived to hear that I wouldn’t need another surgery. He didn’t think I had another hernia. Still, my mind was uneasy because something still did not feel right.

I still continue to experience pain from time to time. I can feel a small lump just under my skin. The pain increases when I perform uncommon activities like continuous heavy lifting such as during travel. I have not been able to narrow what triggers the strain to this area, but I always know a day afterwards or sometimes hours after it occurs.

Something feels wrong but I don’t know what to do. I don't want to go back to the same general surgeon. He doesn’t believe anything is wrong. I am reluctant to go to someone new. A new doctor will not know what repair has already occurred, not to mention, it takes much time and effort to find someone and make an appointment. Life just doesn't slow down for pain or sickness.

So, for more than a year, I have done nothing and suffered with the occasional episode of pain. I take some Advil and make another broken promise to myself that I will have it checked out.

I believe that my general surgeon did a good job. But doctors aren’t perfect. Only you know when it is time to get a second opinion. No one knows your body quite like you. When your body is trying to tell you something, you have to listen.

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Thanks so much for posting. I once suffered with a condition for a number of years to be told by my doctor that it was all in my head. I knew something was wrong and finally found a doctor who was able to correctly diagnose the condition so I could get needed treatment. I just want to encourage you, and anyone else in the same boat, that you know your body best - if you think something is wrong, then it probably is and keep seeking help until you get an accurate diagnosis.

August 3, 2011 - 10:07pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.