Reply To: Pope Pius XI Hernia Repair

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quote kaspa:

That’s it, but how can one explain that simple ligation in adults was that successful in Poland until the 1950’s, including Pope Pius XI in his sixties?

I can think of several potential explanations of such phenomenon, NONE of which I have any actual evidence to support (they are just general ways to explain this type of discrepancy):

1. Population homogeneity. I doubt anyone has ever done a study on different hernia characteristics across demographics (other than, perhaps, sex and age) and perhaps there was something inherent in ethnic Poles making them less susceptible to the dilation Dr. Brown references above. You wouldn’t see that in the U.S. today, given the heterogeneity of the population.

2. General health/nutrition. Not sure how, but they’ve linked dietary changes over the years to all kinds of other health changes, so perhaps it had an impact on muscle elasticity/tissue quality?

3. Recording of statistics. Perhaps there was a 35% recurrence rate, but if there weren’t good records kept, then we wouldn’t know that today.

4. Life expectancy. If it was shorter (and I’m sure it was) people probably retired, and reduced physical activity, earlier, meaning the repair didn’t have to last as long.

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