More than 70% of Diagnosed Hernias Are in the Inguinal Canal

7 important questions to ask before having inguinal hernia surgery

The first question to ask before having hernia surgery is a medical definition question. What is an inguinal hernia? It is a protrusion of the intestines into the inguinal canal, which is a 4-centimeter-long passage lying parallel to the inguinal ligament in both males and females.

Are we sure that these are hernia symptoms I’m feeling?
Medical mysteries abound. But a professional abdominal surgery specialist is the best detective to analyze the clues that uncover the true suspect. Since muscle strains mimic hernia symptoms, the specialist will rule out a muscle strain when he or she does not feel a bulge in the canal.

Do I need surgery right now?
If discomfort is low, surgery is not necessary right away. In general, one-third of patients diagnosed with a hernia may delay surgery since the symptoms do not interfere with their lifestyle.

What are nonsurgical treatments for hernias?
Some patients may use a hernia belt or truss to relieve symptoms and delay surgery. Surgery is recommended, however, when the risk of an incarcerated hernia is suspected.

What are surgical treatments for hernias?

There are many surgical options for hernias. These include:
• Suture repair, no mesh device
• Mesh repair between muscle layers
• Mesh repair under muscle layers with general anesthesia
• Mesh repair under muscle layers with local anesthesia and sedative

According to recent international guidelines, mesh repair under the muscles with a local anesthetic is the safest, most effective way to perform the surgery.

What does recovery entail?
The best answer here is that it depends. Some patients may return to work the next day, while others may need more time off. A good statistic is that about 75% of patients who work miss 3 or less days on the job.

What are the surgical risks?
This is the most critical question. Distinct types of surgeries carry different risks. Ask about chronic pain post-surgery and the chances of hernia recurrence.

How many hernia operations do you do each year?
It does not take a surgeon to realize that this is an important question. In life, the more one partakes of an activity, the better he or she becomes. Thus, the more operations a surgeon has performed, the more skilled he or she is, and the better results a patient can expect.



Open Hernia Pathway Reduces Post Op Pain and Visits to the ER

A new study shows that adults in San Diego who went through open inguinal hernia repair experienced reduced post-op pain. Besides, they made fewer visits to the emergency room when the hospital staff adhered to a standard clinical protocol prior, during and post surgery.


The protocols for Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) are usually discussed and mostly applied in hernia repair, even though few published studies show what works effectively and how. Most of the information on ERAS emanates from colorectal surgery with the focus being on the length of stay at the hospital and re-admission.


However, the most unusual aspect of this study is that it centers around hernia repair, and instead of looking at re-admission, it looks at the unplanned visits. In the study’s analysis, the most influential ERAS elements are patient education before the surgery and monitored anesthesia care (MAC).


• First efficiency protocol in 2011 – Surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists developed an efficiency protocol specifically for ambulatory surgery in Kaiser Permanente Southern California region. Their objective was to reduce time spent by patients at the facility. Although this led to over 50 percent drop in time that patients spent at the hospital, the staff was worried that patients could be re-admitteddue to nausea and post-op pain, or they would make more visits to the ER.

• Refined program – So the health professionals refined the program and devised an eight-element bundle based on the best practices and well-known ERAS protocols. Preoperatively, it included patient education, prescriptions, and the need for patients to carb-load prior to surgery. Preoperatively, patients were given analgesia with meloxicam or ketorolac IV, gabapentin and acetaminophen, and MAC, or local anesthesia along with regional and field blocks. The amount of intravenous fluids was below 500 ml. After operation, analgesia was continued and patients received a follow-up call within 72 hours.


During the study period, 2,390 patients went through open inguinal hernia repair and:


• Only 6 percent of patients received all of the protocol’s elements
• 5.6 of the 8 elements were conducted for each patient
• The most completed steps include preoperative prescriptions and education, at 95 percent
• 89 percent of patients received multimodal analgesia
• 38 percent had MAC anesthesia
• Only 24 percent received limited IV fluids
• The 150 people who received the eight elements experienced less post-op pain and their likelihood of returning to the hospital for urgent care was 80 percent.


Two important aspects: Researchers discovered two essential elements of the protocol – patient education and use of MAC rather than general anesthesia. Patients who got preoperative education had a higher chance (60%) of not returning to the emergency department.


On the other hand, MAC lowered the scores of post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) by 1.43. It resulted in a 66 percent lower risk that patients would go back to the emergency department to seek pain control.



How Abdominal Cosmetic Surgery Can Help with Weight-Loss Transformations

Obesity is a serious concern across the United States where it is estimated at least a third of the population weighs in significantly over recommended amounts. Strongly linked to serious health conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, obesity is an issue many people choose to tackle head on. As the weight comes off, however, the body may not always readjust in ways that are aesthetically pleasing. Excess skin, weakened muscles and other visual concerns may linger. Abdominal cosmetic surgery can help address these concerns and others.

While the specifics of abdominal cosmetic surgery will vary based on a patient’s unique case, most people seek out this form of assistance when they experience muscle laxity and/or have loose, excess skin on the abdomen. These concerns are common following successful weight-loss procedures, but often also affect women after pregnancy. Removal of excess skin combined with an abdominal wall reconstruction can help create a firmer, smoother abdominal profile. Other areas that may benefit from cosmetic procedures to remove excess skin include the thighs, breasts, arms and back.

Depending on the particulars of a patient’s case, abdominal cosmetic surgery may be covered by insurance. This is simply because these procedures not only improve aesthetics, but they have been proven to help increase the long-term probability of weight loss success. When people look better, they tend to feel better about themselves. This, in turn, can provide the motivation necessary to ensure long-term weight loss and maintenance.

Weight loss surgery is just the first step in a journey to shed pounds, keep them off and create a leaner, healthier appearance. If excess skin and muscle weakening are concerns following dramatic weight loss or in other circumstances, abdominal cosmetic surgery may help. People who are concerned about their post-surgical or postpartum appearances are advised to talk to their healthcare providers about this option.


Do Gallstones Always Demand Surgery?

The chronic pain and discomfort associated with gallstones and gallstone pancreatitis often drives people into emergency rooms or their doctors’ offices seeking help. For many of these people, a simple surgical procedure will be recommended to address concerns related to gallstones once and for all.

While addressing the sometimes-severe pain of gallstones is often a priority, some people may find their symptoms aren’t quite so serious. When that is the case, they may wonder if surgery is absolutely necessary. Researchers have found that it may not always be 100-percent necessary to undergo surgery if symptoms of gallstone pancreatitis don’t warrant intervention.

Gallstone pancreatitis arises when a gallstone or gallstones manage to become lodged in a duct that leads to the pancreas. This may block pancreatic enzymes from leaving the pancreas and assisting with digestion. As the enzymes back up into the pancreas, they may create inflammation and pain. The standard intervention in this case is to remove the gallbladder entirely.

Researchers interested in seeing if the surgery was always necessary with gallstone pancreatitis looked into the cases of more than 17,000 people with gallstone pancreatitis. Nearly 80 percent of the patients had their gallbladders removed. Roughly 2,500 patients did not have their gallbladders removed over the course of a four-year period. These patients were reportedly doing okay that far down the road without major recurrence concerns.

The bottom line, researchers say, is that some people may fare well without surgery. Further study is needed to understand why that is the case and when avoidance of surgery might be advisable. In the meantime, people who are diagnosed with gallstone pancreatitis are urged to work closely with their doctors to find the right treatment for their case. Most commonly, surgery to remove the gallbladder will be recommended to prevent recurrences and further complications.



Hernia Pain? Here’s Why Seeing a Doctor is Important

When a funny bulge appears in the abdomen or other part of the body that serves as a source of pain when lifting, exerting or even coughing, it’s time to make an appointment with a healthcare provider. Most often, these symptoms signal the formation of a hernia. Although highly common and quite feasible for people to “live with” for a time, hernias are structural problems in the body. That means they won’t go away on their own. It also means they are likely to get worse as time passes.


A hernia forms when an organ or other tissue pokes through a weakened spot in the muscles that are meant to keep organs in place. The poking through of the organ may create that visible bulge in the abdomen. It may also promote pain during certain activities.


Getting a hernia properly diagnosed by a doctor is important for a few reasons. Firstly, it is important to make 100 percent sure a hernia is the cause of the bulge and pain. Secondly, doctors are often able to help patients control the pain and discomfort that may arise from hernias through medications, dietary changes and other options. When hernias are severe or continually getting worse, surgery is indicated to repair the concern once and for all. In most cases, a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure will be used to reinforce the muscular wall to prevent tissue from poking through.


Although surgery to repair a hernia may not be necessary at the onset, people who suffer this type of pain will find this condition does not repair itself over time. If a hernia becomes severe, the organ that pokes through the weakened spot may become “strangled.” That means its blood supply has been cut off, which is considered cause for emergency surgery to save the organ and prevent further damage.


While hernia surgery may not be indicated at the onset, people who suspect they have this condition should get checked out by a healthcare provider. The only surefire things with a hernia is that this structural complaint will only get worse as time passes. Earlier intervention can prevent the need for emergency surgery down the road.

Stomach Surgery in Dallas: How to Explore the Options

Whether there’s a need to repair a hernia, remove a gallbladder or address obesity through a bariatric surgery, finding the right doctor is important. While many surgeons offer these services, it can provide peace of mind to work directly with a physician who specializes in abdominal procedures.

Finding the right doctor to perform stomach surgery in Dallas is both an objective and subjective pursuit. Here are some things to consider when making a final choice for someone to perform hernia repair or another abdominal procedure:

• Experience and expertise – Look into a surgeon’s background, level of experience and the type of procedures he or she typically performs. Those who specialize strictly in stomach surgery in Dallas are likely to have a great deal more experience in procedures like gallbladder removal and bariatric surgery.

• Techniques used – For people who require stomach surgery in Dallas to remove a gallbladder or repair a hernia, this can be an important question to answer. These procedures can now be performed in a less invasive manner using laparoscopic techniques. When this type of surgery is indicated and a surgeon is skilled in its use, the benefits to patients are well worth exploring.

• Bedside manner – This is where the subjective part of the search comes in. If a procedure is considered an emergency, like repairing a strangulated hernia, the point will be moot. Should time be afforded, however, it’s often best to work with a surgeon that a patient feels comfortable with. This can be important, for example, if bariatric surgery is being considered. Patients should feel like their surgeons have their best interest at heart, provide them the information they need to make informed decisions and will provide necessary support before and after a procedure is performed.

Stomach surgery in Dallas offers patients with a lot of options for choosing the right physician to handle their case. Taking a little time to explore the possibilities can provide people with peace of mind as they work to address concerns like hernias, gallbladder complaints or obesity.

Minimally Invasive Treatment Offers Help For Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is common condition that is estimated to affect millions of Americans at any given time. While some people will find relief from the concern through the use of medication and lifestyle alterations, the same cannot be said for all patients. When the burning, painful symptoms associated with this condition interfere with sleep and daily living, it’s time to take action. Doctors now have a new tool at their disposal that can address the concern once and for all. Known as the LINX system, this treatment stops reflux at its source.

Acid reflux is a condition that arises when the sphincter muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach fails to work properly. Rather than closing to prevent stomach acid from seeping into the esophagus, this weakened muscle allows a back flow. When acid enters the esophagus, it can give rise to a painful, burning sensation. Over time, stomach acids can damage the esophagus permanently and even lead to an increased risk for esophageal cancer.

The LINX system addresses reflux by enabling the sphincter to function as it was designed to. The procedure is minimally invasive and is performed laparoscopically. LINX involves the placement of a small ring of magnetic beads around the bottom of the esophagus. These beads open to allow food to enter the stomach, but close to stop acid from back flowing into the esophagus. Once placed, people who suffered from reflux will not experience the symptoms associated with the condition.

While heart burn is a common complaint that many people face from time to time, chronic heart burn could very well be caused by a weakening of the sphincter muscle. If this condition is suspected, it is best to get checked out by a doctor. Acid reflux can lead to serious complications is it’s left unchecked for a long period of time. LINX provides a way to address the concern once and for all.