Hernia surgery: why you shouldn’t delay
For years, Rita Hanna of Medford Lakes, experienced
an occasional sharp pain that shot from her abdomen
to her shoulder while exercising. She dismissed it as a
sign she was overexerting her body. However, when the
bulge in her abdomen finally caught her attention, she
knew it was something more serious.
That's when she turned to her primary care doctor,
Ryan McCormick, MD
, of Virtua Partners in Primary Care. He diagnosed the hernias and then explained to
Hanna a hernia is a weakness in the muscular wall
through which an organ may protrude.
"As a primary care doctor, I'm on the front line
fielding patients' concerns, diagnosing early and referring
them to the right specialist when follow-up
care is needed," says Dr. McCormick. Confident in
Virtua's high level of surgical care, he referred her to
Miguel de Leon, MD
, of Virtua Surgical Group.
Too risky to ignore
"It's important not to delay the repair. Hernias can
pose potentially detrimental risks, such as intestinal
obstruction, or even strangulation of the bowel," says
Dr. de Leon.
There are many types of hernias, and both men
and women of all ages can get them. Inguinal (groin)
and femoral (upper thigh) hernias are more common
in men. Incisional hernias occur from incisions or
scars from previous surgeries. And umbilical (belly
button) hernias are common in babies but usually
close on their own by age 1. Umbilical hernias
in adults, however, usually need repair.
To repair a hernia, Dr. de Leon
returns the protruding organ back
to its original position and places
a mesh-like patch over the weak
spot in the muscular wall. Dr.
de Leon's minimally invasive
approach offers little scarring
and a fast recovery.
Dr. de Leon performs most of his hernia repairs
in Virtua Marlton's advanced surgical suites for
minimally invasive surgery. The suites offer a voiceactivated
computer system, high-definition digital
imaging and two-way video linkages. These features
allow surgeons to operate with greater ease, more precision
and with a more defined view of the
surgical field than before - improving overall
quality and patient care.
"I was glad I had surgery right away. Now, it's a
thing of the past," says Hanna.