Fat hernia. Herniated fat. No matter how many times I say it, I just can't seem to get it through my head. This is just another alligator on the second floor; another thing I don't understand. Almost a year ago I had my first THR (my left side). About a month after surgery, when everything was healing nicely, I noticed a large lump or pocket (as I began to call it) just below my newly healed incision. I wasn't quite sure what it was. Was it residual swelling? Was it infection? I logged on to my online THR support group and asked if anyone had a similar complaint. Some did but didn't worry too much about it. Others said it was probably swelling and would dissipate with time. Because it didn't cause any discomfort, I decided to wait until I saw my surgeon for my second replacement. As you know, however, when I saw my surgeon after my RTHR, I had a much more serious concern to deal with. Therefore, I did not end up mentioning my "pocket" until a month ago.
I went to see Dr. D. about a month ago as a follow up to the nerve damage (R) and my newly acquired bursitis (L). How old am I anyway, 100? But, I digress. As we were discussing my somewhat painful bursitis and my still numb baby toe, I happened to remember to mention my "pocket". I was somewhat shocked and disgusted at what I heard. Apparently, it was a hernia. A fat hernia. According to my surgeon, when they sew a person back together, they are able to sew the skin, the muscle, and the tendons. However, it is impossible to sew together fat. Well this makes complete sense. And considering my luck as of late, it also makes sense that any fat that was in my upper thigh seeped through all of the incisions and deposited itself in one lovely pocket. So attractive. And, to add insult to injury, it appeared as if the same thing was happening on the right side. However, this time, there were two smaller pockets which came together to make a little roller coaster on my outer thigh. Of course, just like the nerve damage, this was the first time my surgeon had seen such a complication. Leave it to me to break norm and show him something he had never seen before. But to be fair, as he explained, all of his other patients were "older" and not as "concerned " with their appearances. So sue me for still wearing a bikini. I'm an almost 40 year old wife and mother with two prosthetic hips but I'm not dead yet.
So, as it turns out, if I don't want to live with my pocket and roller coaster forever, my only option is plastic surgery. Dr. D. explained that, of course, because this was a complication of surgery, he would be happy to send me for a plastics consult and the resulting procedure would be covered. Well, this could be interesting. Do you think the plastic surgeon would believe me if I told him that my inner thighs were much more toned before surgery? What about my tummy? What about those fine lines around my eyes and mouth? Well, that might be pushing it just a bit. Anyway, after my experience in October, I was not chomping at the bit to go under the knife (or cannula) any time soon. So, I told Dr. D. I would think about it and get back to him. Then, three weeks ago, we went to Florida and, there I was, constantly pulling on my board shorts over my bikini in a furtive effort to hide my pocket and roller coaster. I've been home a week now and I have already contacted my surgeon's secretary and asked for that plastics consult. Yes, it's true, I am an almost 40 year old wife and mother with two prosthetic hips but I'm not dead yet.