Surgery Not Always the Answer for Hernias

Full story: Healthscout.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 17 -- Men who have a hernia without pain or discomfort may have no need for surgery, a new study concludes.
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C J Beatty MD FACS

Great Neck, NY

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#1
Jan 18, 2006
 

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This is the most irresponsible and inaccurate article I've ever seen! I've been practicing Surgery for over 32 years and have repaired over 3000 hernias.

There is no question that a hernia should be repaired as soon as it is diagnosed. Most hernias do not cause pain. Repairing a hernia on an elective basis carries minimal risk and contrary to the article, post operative chronic pain is rare.

The risks of not repairing a hernia and allowing it to become incarcerated or strangulated range from infection to death.

Not repairing a hernia is the wrong decision and those who recommend this are most assuredly incorrect.
RKOUL

Since: Dec 05

Philadelphia, PA

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#2
Jan 20, 2006
 

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C J Beatty MD FACS wrote:
This is the most irresponsible and inaccurate article I've ever seen! I've been practicing Surgery for over 32 years and have repaired over 3000 hernias.

There is no question that a hernia should be repaired as soon as it is diagnosed. Most hernias do not cause pain. Repairing a hernia on an elective basis carries minimal risk and contrary to the article, post operative chronic pain is rare.

The risks of not repairing a hernia and allowing it to become incarcerated or strangulated range from infection to death.

Not repairing a hernia is the wrong decision and those who recommend this are most assuredly incorrect.
I agree there is no question that Hernia left unattended, misdiagnosed and uncorrected has led to suffering and even death. People making statements on their individual case (due to belief, practice or mere luck) need to keep these suggestions private.
Marc

Exeter, NH

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#4
Mar 9, 2006
 

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I tend to agree with article. A reducible hernia poses no risk other than perhaps getting larger if untreated. In this case, the rush for surgery only lines the pockets of the MD with $$$$.

There are non surgical alternatives to hernia repair that should be persued before having non bio materials permanently implanted in your body, posing long-term discomfort and risks to your health.
kenneth

Kaneohe, HI

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#5
Mar 11, 2006
 

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I had hernia surgery 3 years ago - I wish I hadn't. Having no symptoms, I wasn't even aware I had a hernia. The doctor cut something during the surgery that caused my R. testicle to hang lower than the other and I have been in testicular type pain and miserable ever since. When they say there are risks to surgery - belive them!
shon

United States

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#6
Apr 20, 2006
 
hi i have a pain in my genital aria but not always only when i touch there deep there is something like a cord but it is so tensed what is that please help
Julian Clegg in Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan

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#7
Apr 22, 2006
 

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RKOUL wrote:
<quoted text>

I agree there is no question that Hernia left unattended, misdiagnosed and uncorrected has led to suffering and even death. People making statements on their individual case (due to belief, practice or mere luck) need to keep these suggestions private.
I have to disagree with that.

I cured my own inguinal hernia in less than a month through a combination of fasting and yoga. I then took Chinese herbal medicine to consolidate the cure. That was more than two years ago and the hernia has not come back.

Hernia surgery is very common and the cost to individuals and national health services must be astronomical. I don't think any surgeons will find themselves unemployed if some hernia sufferers manage to cure themselves. Many people will still opt for surgery, and there are plenty of other surgeries that need doing.

I am trying to collect as much information as possible on non-surgical approaches to inguinal and similar hernias. Please visit and join my on-line group "Hernia Alternatives" - the web address is:

http://groups.msn.com/HerniaAlternatives/
Hank

AOL

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#8
May 16, 2006
 

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Always better to get a hernia repaired. As has been said they can only get worse. Always better to have surgery when you are younger rather rthan older. Just had mesh installed for an incisional hernia. Only 10 days have passed and I am ready to climb mountains (I am not a mountain climber). Feel great and it was the right decision.
marcel

Brantford, Canada

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#9
Jun 18, 2006
 
Hank wrote:
Always better to get a hernia repaired. As has been said they can only get worse. Always better to have surgery when you are younger rather rthan older. Just had mesh installed for an incisional hernia. Only 10 days have passed and I am ready to climb mountains (I am not a mountain climber). Feel great and it was the right decision.
11 years ago I have worked to a company lifting packages all day (for a few months only) and at that time I think I got hernia.
I don't have pain, just sometimes I feel discomfort, I get tired easy if I walk more. Should I have a surgery to repair hernia?
Dianne

AOL

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#10
Aug 22, 2006
 

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I've had phlebitis in my arms and legs. I've also had hematomas and blood clots following other surgery. The surgery is a greater risk than "watchful waiting". See Jama.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/29...
mattie

Greenville, SC

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#11
Sep 30, 2006
 
i have a incisonal hernia Ive had for 15 years.Doctors dont want to repair it till it strangulates.Its is as lager as a basket ball. I dont think its right because its not them in the pain.So my should people have to suffer.
Sue

Bethlehem, PA

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#12
Oct 1, 2006
 

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I agree with Dr. Beatty that this article is inaccurate as it does gives the impression that it's no big deal if you need to have surgery because you now have symptoms. A strangulated hernia is an emergency and it is a very big deal if you are the patient and an intestine ruptures. Having elective surgery vs emergency surgery definitely increases your survival and recovery rate so why would anyone wait? There is only one way to repair a hernia and that is through surgery.I could get real technical here but basically a hernia is caused by your intestines pushing thru your stomach wall that has torn and is forming a pouch which is what you see or feel on your skin. So your intestines are now outside your body instead of being in the cavity of your body where they belong. Due to gravity and movement causing pressure, the hole in the wall gets bigger over time and more of your intestines come out. As more intestines fill the pouch the risk increases that they can twist and strangulate and rupture and that will require emergency surgery to save your life but infection will have already begun so there is a high risk of complications. No amount of herbs or supplements can repair a hernia. I am not a doctor so don't think I'm trying to line my pockets with money as some say and I have had a large incisional hernia repaired successfully with mesh by open surgery. Millions of hernias are repaired successfully in this country every year. Yes, there are people who have had complications and that can be said with any surgery. Find a good surgeon, research thier background, speak with patients that have had hernia repair by the doctor, talk to the nurses, staff at the hospital that the surgeon uses, etc. Do your research until you find a good surgeon that you trust and get the hernia taken care of as elective surgery. Unless there is a valid medical reason where surgery cannot be performed on a patient there is no reason not to have it taken care of. Everyone is afraid of any surgery but it's much better to have surgery when you feel well than when your body is compromised. If you do not agree with one doctor get a couple of other opinions. I definitely would never wait until a hernia strangulates before I had it repaired. Recovery from any surgery can be difficult enough without introducing infection your body will have to fight off.
Sue

Bethlehem, PA

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#13
Oct 1, 2006
 

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C J Beatty MD FACS wrote:
This is the most irresponsible and inaccurate article I've ever seen! I've been practicing Surgery for over 32 years and have repaired over 3000 hernias.
There is no question that a hernia should be repaired as soon as it is diagnosed. Most hernias do not cause pain. Repairing a hernia on an elective basis carries minimal risk and contrary to the article, post operative chronic pain is rare.
The risks of not repairing a hernia and allowing it to become incarcerated or strangulated range from infection to death.
Not repairing a hernia is the wrong decision and those who recommend this are most assuredly incorrect.
I agree, see why on my post
Mazdak

New Zealand

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#14
Oct 17, 2006
 
I had a hernia operation, lower left abdoman, back in 2000 in England, which is still painful. Dr said one nerve is stuck and I need another operation to free that nerve.
But wouldnt another operation cause additional physical damage on that area with possible associated complications?
Any suggestions?
Mary

Auburn, MA

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#16
Nov 1, 2006
 
What is the difference between a child having a hernia (inguinal) and an adult? Last month my 2 1/2 yr old was crying and had a large grape sized bulge in his groin area. It went away within 10 mins. I went to his dr. and they said my story was convincing but could not feel anything abnormal. They then referred us to a surgeon to be safe. Well the surgeon was not able to see anything or feel anything but recommended surgery based on my story. I am not so quick to put my 2 1/2 year old under so this article caught my eye.
Diana

Brooklyn, NY

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#17
Nov 3, 2006
 
C J Beatty MD FACS wrote:
This is the most irresponsible and inaccurate article I've ever seen! I've been practicing Surgery for over 32 years and have repaired over 3000 hernias.
There is no question that a hernia should be repaired as soon as it is diagnosed. Most hernias do not cause pain. Repairing a hernia on an elective basis carries minimal risk and contrary to the article, post operative chronic pain is rare.
The risks of not repairing a hernia and allowing it to become incarcerated or strangulated range from infection to death.
Not repairing a hernia is the wrong decision and those who recommend this are most assuredly incorrect.
Hello, My mom is in need of a surgery but her doctors don't think she needs one. I want them to treat her since it has only been getting wrost and is growing more. I want to know how much would a surgery cost if this is why the doctors are not so willing to do it.
Lorenzo

Albuquerque, NM

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#18
Nov 27, 2006
 
kenneth wrote:
I had hernia surgery 3 years ago - I wish I hadn't. Having no symptoms, I wasn't even aware I had a hernia. The doctor cut something during the surgery that caused my R. testicle to hang lower than the other and I have been in testicular type pain and miserable ever since. When they say there are risks to surgery - belive them!
I have the same issue with the right testicle and associated pain, although not nearly as bad as you describe. I am a 50-year-old male who exacerbated an asymptomatic hernia while playing a wild paintball game with my boys. Surgery was my only option due to severe pain. The surgery cured the hernia as well as other symptoms I was having - decreased urine flow and decreased sexual performance. I'm glad I had the surgery, but, but I'm going to look into the lowering of the testicle and pain. Any suggestions would be welcome.
Bill Chapell

AOL

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#19
Dec 6, 2006
 
The article recommending "watchful waiting" was published in the peer-reviewed "Journal of the American Medical Association" and among the authorities quoted are a professor of surgery at the University of Chicago. Its findings are not to be lightly dismissed. Medicine is constantly changing and evolving. Remember when physicians routinely placed postmenopausal women on hormore replacement therapy until studies indicated the negative health benefits? Get three opinions (including one from a primary care physician) before electing to have hernia repair.
Sherwood

AOL

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#20
Jan 19, 2007
 
I am a stroke victim with brain damage. My family was instructed to not allow anyone to put me out for 2 years as I may not wake up again. The part of the brain that tells us if we are awake or sleeping was destroyed by the stroke. What other risks do I face? The hernia is there but is not painful YET. The surgeon says it must come out. Family Dr. says to wait. Any suggestions or comments?
Buzz

Onsted, MI

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#21
May 21, 2007
 

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Sherwood wrote:
I am a stroke victim with brain damage. My family was instructed to not allow anyone to put me out for 2 years as I may not wake up again. The part of the brain that tells us if we are awake or sleeping was destroyed by the stroke. What other risks do I face? The hernia is there but is not painful YET. The surgeon says it must come out. Family Dr. says to wait. Any suggestions or comments?


You don't have to be "put out" for this type of surgery. Ask your doctor about getting a spinal anesthetic.
cathy-houston tex

Bakersfield, CA

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#22
Jun 14, 2007
 
I have 2maybe 3 incisional hernias 2very protruding, 1 not. they do get larger. I had one repaired in 99 from surgeries from diviticulitis, which left me with a colostomy for 7 months and then I had a reversal. Does anyone know if having diviticulosis. The hernias I have now were there in as little as 2001, however throught the years they have enlarged, I have had 1 GP and 1 Internist tell me don't worry about it, any help out there?

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