What is the truth about chronic pain after hernia surgery?
If I was having hernia surgery, I would be concerned about everything that could happen to me after surgery. Chronic pain, infections, recurrences of my hernia as well as a lot of other things that would never happen (stroke, death, never waking up!). The one I hear in the office the most is “what are the chances I will have chronic pain after surgery?”. It’s a great question and one that I’m always happy to answer. The absolute truth is that I (almost) never see chronic pain in any of my hernia patients. Just in recent memory over the past 2 years, in the 1000’s of cases that we’ve done, there have been 2 patients that I can remember that had extended pain after surgery for several months. In one case, the patient improved with time and is back to normal (one is riding centuries (100 miles) on his road bike routinely). The other was in his 80’s and I’m not 100% sure that his chronic pain was from the hernia surgery. I’m willing to take the blame, but I think the jury is still out on him. I’ve spoken with other hernia surgeons across the country about their experience with chronic pain. With the newest meshes that we are now using, and with having vast experience day-to-day with hernia repairs, hernia surgeons, myself included, don’t see chronic pain anymore. So I feel 100% confident looking a soccer player, or police officer, or even a lawyer, straight in the eye and telling them that the chances of having chronic pain is as close to zero as I can get.
Leave a Reply