Chronic groin pain can follow many different surgical interventions, mainly inguinal hernia repair, C-section and hysterectomy. Despite successful surgical treatment of these conditions by surgical specialists, it is estimated that at least 5% of these patients may end up with chronic groin pain persisting beyond the expected recovery time. Pain can also include testicular pain in males and vulvar pain in females. A numbers of different treatments are offered to patients by many different specialists. Since the vast majority of these “treatments” are focused on treating symptoms, a long-term solution is seldom found. Unlike other specialties, peripheral nerve surgery is focused on treating the anatomical cause of the chronic pain, ensuring best possible chance for a cure.
You should see Dr. Ducic for chronic groin pain following surgery if your symptoms persist:
- After common reasons for prolonged post-operative pain (infection, bleeding, tumor, hernia recurrence, and others) were excluded by your initial surgeon
- Despite the medical care prescribed to you by your surgeon or primary care physician
- Despite supportive care, such as activity and work adjustments
- After six months of prescribed medical and conservative care
In addition to groin pain, patients may feel skin hypersensitivity around incisions, pain radiating to the upper inner thigh, vulva or testicle. These patients often have an adversely affected sex life as well as the inability to perform a number of routine physical activities due to pain. The extent of this presentation may vary, depending on the number of nerves involved and intensity of pain. Failure to intervene in timely manner risks evolution into a more complex presentation; including depression, weight gain, relationship and professional problems. Therefore, peripheral nerve surgery has important role in treating chronic groin pain, giving patients a chance to eliminate dependence on pain medications and improve their quality of life. Based on patient presentation and my findings on physical exam, involved damaged sensory nerves are surgically removed so they can no longer continue to generate pain.
During surgery for chronic groin pain:
- You receive anesthesia so you won’t feel any pain during the surgery.
- An incision is made over the involved groin area to access damaged painful nerves. They are removed from scar tissue to eliminate their pain generating function. Excision of these sensory nerves is not associated with any motor or sexual deficits.
- The skin is closed in anatomical layers.
- Ambulation is allowed immediately following surgery, while heavy lifting is limited for 6 weeks.
- Peripheral nerve surgery for groin pain is an outpatient procedure; your dressing will be removed about 4-5 days after surgery, while sutures are removed two-three weeks later.
If you are not sure about your eligibility for surgery, and if you are not in the Washington, D.C. area, you can send me your records so I can determine if you are a good candidate for treatment. Visit my patient forms page for a downloadable form.