Dr. William H. Brown, III has over 30 years of experience in the treatment of hernia. At Palo Alto Laser and Skin Care, Dr. Brown brings his wealth of expertise and knowledge to provide you with the best of care. His patients have included players from the San Jose Earthquakes, San Jose Sharks, and athletes from a number of NFL, NBA, and AFL teams as well as college teams and athletes from 15 different countries.
An inguinal hernia is simply a hole in the muscles. Occasionally something will pop out of the hole and create a bulge underneath the skin. This can be very awkward and painful. Fortunately, with some gentle pressure, you can push intestines back in.
What Is A Hernia
An inguinal hernia is simply a hole in the muscles. Occasionally something will pop out of the hole and create a bulge underneath the skin. This can be very awkward and painful. Fortunately, with some gentle pressure you can push intestines back in.
If you have a hernia the 2 major questions are:
- Whether or not to have the hernia repaired?
- How to have the hernia repaired?
To answer the first question hernias are rarely dangerous therefore there is no reason to rush to have a hernia repaired. If the hernia is not causing any trouble, one good option is to live with a hernia and wait and see if symptoms develop. If the hernia is causing trouble such as pain and swelling, then just pick a time that is convenient for you to have it repaired.
How To Repair Hernias
There are two basic methods to repair a hernia. The first method uses sutures to repair the hernia through an incision. This is sometimes called a pure tissue repair. The second method of repair involves placing a piece of mesh to patch the hole. The mesh can be placed on the deep side of the hernia using a laparoscope, or the mesh can be placed to cover the outside of the hernia using an incision.
Hand-Sewn Hernia Repair without Mesh
The argument for a hand-sewn repair (i.e., no mesh), is that there is no foreign body placed in the body. It is common for people to develop scar tissue around the mesh. This fibrosis causes the mesh to become stiff and hard. Then when you bend and twist, and the mesh does not bend and twist with you, the sheer stresses causes pain. Sometimes one of the nerves or spermatic cord gets stuck to the mesh, and severe pain can result. Then exercise becomes impossible because of pain, and ejaculation causes a severe burning sensation in the spermatic cord and testicle. Chronic pain after mesh hernia repairs affects 15% of patients. A significant number of those patients with pain have to have the mesh removed with another operation. Even after removing the mesh, the patient is often only about 80% better.
Most Surgeons argue for the use of mesh because of the lower recurrence rate. But their argument is flawed. If you look at the numbers, the chance for a recurrent hernia after a mesh repair is 3%. The chance for a recurrent hernia after a non-mesh repair is about 4%. But to achieve this 1% lower recurrence rate the patient runs about a 15% chance of chronic pain. Dr. Brown strongly feels that since the risk of chronic pain from the mesh is so much higher than the recurrence rate that the best hernia repair is the suture repairs. No Mesh!
FAQs About Hernia Repair
Unfortunately, a lot of doctors in the U.S. don’t think that a sports injury is actually a real issue. This results in many insurance companies refusing payment for a sports injury. Fortunately, the English Hernia Society recently announced that sports injuries are, in fact, real injuries. This has led to more appropriate treatments becoming common, allowing the patient to get back to the sport or lifestyle they love. At Palo Alto Laser and Skin Care, Dr. William H. Brown, III brings his renowned, decades-long reputation as a hernia and mesh expert to patients so they can get the treatment and results they deserve.
Sports hernias happen in all types of active people, from professional athletes to those on intramural teams or the weekend warrior and routine runner. Anyone who regularly makes big or repeated turning motions is at risk of a sports injury.
Spots hernias happen when the inguinal region or groin muscles are torn, which leads to weakness and pain.