If you have never experienced a hernia before, you need only speak to someone who has to get a small glimpse of what it feels like.
“I had a friend ask me how I was doing while I was waiting for my hernia surgery,” says Tom McDonald, a London man who has suffered from reoccurring hernias for much of his adult life. “I just looked at him and shook my head. I didn’t even know where to begin to describe the pain. And to top it all off, each time I go for surgery, I hope its the last, but it keeps coming back.”
Sadly, this happens quite often. A patient will go in for the standard tissue to tissue surgery to repair the hernia, and a few months or years later, it returns.
A hernia occurs when part of the lower intestine breaks through and causes a hole in the abdominal wall. This is often the result of pressure or stress caused by such things as lifting heavy objects, persistent coughing and even constipation.
As mentioned earlier, tissue to tissue surgery is the standard, with surgeons ‘sewing’ back together the tear in the abdominal wall with surgery, as it simply won’t heal itself. That is until now.
Doctors in London have pioneered what seems to be the perfect technique for hernia sufferers, and it only involves minor surgery.
“It’s beautifully simple and the benefits are huge,” says clinic director Dudley Rogg. “Instead of stitching the two sides of the abdominal wall together, we tuck a sterile piece of mesh at the hernial opening and the body does the rest.”
What he means by the body does the rest is that the muscles and tendons in the area sense the presence of the mesh. From there, they start to produce their own fibrous growth that intricately weaves itself through the mesh and secures it to the abdominal wall.
“They literally repair themselves. It’s completely tension and distortion-free. There are no stitches to pull apart. It works on the same basic principle as reinforcing concrete with steel,” says Rogg.
So how successful has this surgery been? Well according to Rogg, his patients are able to climb stairs immediately with some even using an exercise bike with 40 minutes of the surgery.
From a reduction in harmful scar tissue, to lower recovery time, and less of the inherent risks that come with have a more complicated surgery, this new method is proving to revolutionize the treatment of hernias the world over.