Reply To: Researching surgeons – what questions to ask
I understand why some people prefer to wait and see if they have an asymptomatic hernia. This may be due to fear of complication of mesh repair.
But strictly speaking, asymptomatic hernia cannot exist. Because hernia buldging itself is a symptom (actually a sign).
So it’s just the difference between having or not having pain.
However, the presence or absence of pain and progress of the hernia are not proportional. A large hernia may not have pain at all, and pain in the early hernia may also appear. And a painless hernia can also cause severe pain with sudden incarceration or strangulation at any moment. It’s an emergency.
I think you can wait and see a little when it is a small hernia. But eventually it will grow bigger and require more extensive surgery. So, I think it is better to have surgery as early as possible when considering the hernia itself.
The only obstacle is the risk of mesh repair. But there are actually other options, though not easy to find. Shouldice or Desarda repair is the one that does not use a mesh. These repairs are used for both indirect and direct hernia. However, if you look for these surgical procedures on youtube, most of them show only direct inguinal hernia surgery.
Why not indirect?
This is because these operations, which are known as typical tissue repair, are actually suitable for direct inguinal hernia. Not only these but also other tissue repair methods, such as Bassini, McVay, Ferguson, etc., are the same. It means that indirect hernia, which accounts for 70% of the inguinal hernia, does not have the appropriate tissue repair procedure. I think the limit of existing tissue repair, such as high recurrence rate, is due to this fact.
But in fact, there is an appropriate tissue repair procedure for the indirect inguinal hernia. It is just forgotten and ignored. That’s the Marcy operation.
I am a surgeon who strongly advocates tissue repair. And I am trying to make up for the shortcomings of tissue repair and to get better surgical results than mesh repair in all aspects. As part of that, I have devised and implemented different hernia repair procedures for both indirect and direct hernia. Somewhat similar to Marcy operation and Desarda repair, respectively.
I do not know if there is a doctor in the US doing Marcy operation. (Actually, Marcy is an American surgeon who was active in the early 20th century.)
Anyway, if you have an indirect inguinal hernia, I recommend you to seek a doctor who performs Marcy-like operation, and if you have a direct hernia, find a Desarda repair. I think Shouldice is unnecessarily invasive.
In my experience, I do not think that the choice of surgery should be changed according to the size of the hernia. The patient’s body weight and activity also have no significant effect on outcome.
If you can meet a surgeon familiar with the above tissue repair, you will get the best surgical results without fear of mesh.