Reply To: Had my surgery done finally – Shouldice
I don’t know what weights you were lifting, but I agree that lifting heavy weights should be avoided. Hernia probably isn’t actually the most common damage this causes. I think spine damage is the big one to worry about with lifting.
My understanding is that most inguinal hernias are unavoidable. Indirect hernias are almost always caused by a congenital defect, and direct hernias are caused by tissue weakness.
In retrospect, my parents should have taken me to surgery as an infant because my hernia would have been trivial to fix back then. As an adult, surgery becomes a lot more questionable because the repair isn’t trivial, it can easily be worse than the disease, and the earlier you have the surgery done, the larger the chunk of your life that may be impacted by bad outcomes such as chronic pain. The caveat here is that if you want tissue repair, you may want to pull the trigger on surgery as soon as you notice that the hernia is progressing and becoming worse.
You don’t know how bilateral tissue repair would have turned out in your case. Also, there was no way for you to know that you would end up being one of the few percent with issues after TEP. You made a rational and informed choice about the procedure, and you took your time with the decision. You could have ended up being one of the few percent with issues after tissue repair, and regretted not getting mesh.
I prefer tissue repair to mesh, but I’m not an absolutist about it, and I know that bad outcomes are possible with both. Also, in some cases tissue repair may be a better fit, and in others mesh may be better. One thing I realized late is that hernia repair really should be tailored. For example, it turned out that I was not a good fit for a Shouldice repair, but it was done anyway because of where I went to have it done. That’s not good.
My advice to those who want tissue repair is to first figure out if they have an “easy” case or not. If it’s a large, long-lasting hernia, be careful. Go to one of the few surgeons who do both tissue repair and mesh, and let them decide what is best either before or during surgery. Such surgeons include Dr. Yunis, Dr. Towfigh, and a few German surgeons. Possibly also Dr. Reinhorn.