Old 11-26-2019, 19:07   #1
FishOnHisHead
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Question regarding hernia before airborne.

I have a REP-63 contract and just finished basic training. During the last weeks of BCT I developed an inguinal hernia. I decided to push through it until AIT because I knew during my recovery time at AIT I would have access to my phone and access to a gym to properly heal. I also didn’t want to risk being chartered in BCT. I am currently in hold before my AIT starts (88m) and awaiting my consultation with the surgeon to hopefully get my surgery scheduled and over with. Today I was told that I will need a waiver to pass my airborne physical before being shipped to Benning. I was curious if anyone has had any experience with this type of issue or if anyone has any insights.

Respectfully,
Fish on his head.
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Old 11-26-2019, 20:44   #2
PSM
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Originally Posted by FishOnHisHead View Post
I have a REP-63 contract and just finished basic training. During the last weeks of BCT I developed an inguinal hernia. I decided to push through it until AIT because I knew during my recovery time at AIT I would have access to my phone and access to a gym to properly heal. I also didn’t want to risk being chartered in BCT. I am currently in hold before my AIT starts (88m) and awaiting my consultation with the surgeon to hopefully get my surgery scheduled and over with. Today I was told that I will need a waiver to pass my airborne physical before being shipped to Benning. I was curious if anyone has had any experience with this type of issue or if anyone has any insights.

Respectfully,
Fish on his head.
I can't speak to the military question but I've had two different inguinal hernia surgeries and can be some help there. My first one was in 1991 and the surgeon performed what he called the Canadian procedure. It consisted of actually repairing the muscle. (It's the kind that Rand Paul went to Canada to have done). The recovery took a long time since exercise was limited and eventually the muscle had to be stretched out again. That sucked!

The second one was just a couple of years ago. The surgeon suggested mesh this time. There are at least 2 types of mesh, fabric and metal. She used fabric. The immediate recovery period there was no pain at all. I was able to lift and exercise in a much shorter period of time. Nine months later I was in the ER for a blocked intestine. The bowel had hook the mesh and, as I healed, it the flipped shutting off the flow. They had to remove 2.5 inches of intestine. Two years later I still have pain and my gut is still distended at bit and I feel bloated. I'm going back for another eval after the holidays.

BLUF: Do your homework! There should be some docs adding info shortly but I wanted to give you some first hand patient experience. Good luck!
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Last edited by PSM; 11-26-2019 at 21:44.
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Old 11-30-2019, 15:33   #3
ender18d
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Originally Posted by FishOnHisHead View Post
I have a REP-63 contract and just finished basic training. During the last weeks of BCT I developed an inguinal hernia. I decided to push through it until AIT because I knew during my recovery time at AIT I would have access to my phone and access to a gym to properly heal. I also didn’t want to risk being chartered in BCT. I am currently in hold before my AIT starts (88m) and awaiting my consultation with the surgeon to hopefully get my surgery scheduled and over with. Today I was told that I will need a waiver to pass my airborne physical before being shipped to Benning. I was curious if anyone has had any experience with this type of issue or if anyone has any insights.

Respectfully,
Fish on his head.
Relevant Section of 40-501
g. Abdominal wall. Hernia, including inguinal, and other abdominal hernias, except for small asymptomatic umbilical hernias, with severe symptoms not relieved by dietary or medical therapy, or other hernias if symptomatic and if operative repair is contraindicated for medical reasons or when not amenable to surgical repair

So yes a symptomatic inguinal hernia would not meet medical standards for Airborne, but if repaired successfully it would be a fairly easy waiver, and given the relative wiggle room in the language of the regulation possibly even something that could be filed "information only." (IE not even requiring a true waiver). A successfully-repaired inguinal hernia does not even require a waiver on a flight physical, so I doubt the waiver authority at Benning would feel much differently.

Your surgeon is probably going to want you on a dead-man's profile for +/- 6 weeks or so after the repair, and then a gradual return to activity. Anticipate the surgery and subsequent convalescence to take more out of you than you would expect. I would not plan on going to selection or any other strenuous events requiring your best immediately after you come off profile. Additionally, a sensible doc is not going to fire off your flight physical until you're both off profile and passing a PT test.

Inguinal hernia repairs are a common surgery that has a relatively low rate of complication or failure. Discuss the various options with your surgeon but as a general rule go with whatever approach/technique your surgeon uses most often.

-Your friendly neighborhood flight surgeon
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Old 12-03-2019, 13:37   #4
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Relevant Section of 40-501
g. Abdominal wall. Hernia, including inguinal, and other abdominal hernias, except for small asymptomatic umbilical hernias, with severe symptoms not relieved by dietary or medical therapy, or other hernias if symptomatic and if operative repair is contraindicated for medical reasons or when not amenable to surgical repair

So yes a symptomatic inguinal hernia would not meet medical standards for Airborne, but if repaired successfully it would be a fairly easy waiver, and given the relative wiggle room in the language of the regulation possibly even something that could be filed "information only." (IE not even requiring a true waiver). A successfully-repaired inguinal hernia does not even require a waiver on a flight physical, so I doubt the waiver authority at Benning would feel much differently.

Your surgeon is probably going to want you on a dead-man's profile for +/- 6 weeks or so after the repair, and then a gradual return to activity. Anticipate the surgery and subsequent convalescence to take more out of you than you would expect. I would not plan on going to selection or any other strenuous events requiring your best immediately after you come off profile. Additionally, a sensible doc is not going to fire off your flight physical until you're both off profile and passing a PT test.

Inguinal hernia repairs are a common surgery that has a relatively low rate of complication or failure. Discuss the various options with your surgeon but as a general rule go with whatever approach/technique your surgeon uses most often.

-Your friendly neighborhood flight surgeon
I really appreciate the response. It’s good to hear that I should be good to go once I am healed. As for now I will wait to hear when the surgery will be scheduled. I am hoping for a date before our scheduled HBL so that I can use that time to recover at my own pace, as well as not wasting any time that I could be recovering. In the event that I do get surgery before HBL my plan is to recover the full length of my profile, following doctors orders as far as output is concerned then use my 6-7 weeks of AIT as a build up and hopefully be back to where I was by my graduation there. I am also under the impression that I will be stuck here after AIT waiting for an Airborne date, as well as other various holds before SFAS. Once my body is healed I plan on using those holds as well as my time in Airborne to continue my training before SFAS.

Thank you,
Fish on his head
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Old 12-05-2019, 13:33   #5
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Just a little follow up. I got very lucky and am going into surgery on the 9th of December. Between HBL and my time on profile I should be ready to train at “full” capacity by December. Allowing me to be ready to go again by airborne. This will leave me with almost three months of recovery under my belt.

Lucky,
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