What about complications from hernia surgery?
Any surgeon who has no complications isn’t operating enough. Every surgeon in the world has outcomes that they didn’t want. This includes infections, recurrences, bleeding, etc. No surgeon is perfect, no ones body is perfect, and no one heals perfectly. However, by doing the same surgery over and over and over, we can minimize our complications to as low as medically possible. That being said, I just had a complication this week on a patient we operated on earlier this year. The patient had surgery several years ago for cancer in his colon. The surgeon at that time sewed him back together but over time a hernia formed at the incision site. We treat a lot of patients with incisional hernias and complex recurrent hernias. Fortunately we have a very low recurrence rate, infection rate, and overall complication rate. But despite the fact that I think we do a very good job, this particular patients’ hernia came back. The best thing we can do as surgeons is to try and postulate why the hernia came back. What could we have done differently to try and minimize the chances that this would have occurred? In this patients case, I think the muscle surrounding the hernia was weaker than I had anticipated. At the time of his surgery, I tried to sew healthy muscle to healthy muscle back together. (The CT scan images below are an example, not his actual images) But, in this patients case, we must not have gotten healthy enough muscle back together. I think my take home point would be to ensure, without question, that the muscle I was closing was as healthy as possible and strong enough to hold the repair. Plus, this has been shown to increase muscle growth after surgery: Comparative Radiographic Analysis of Changes in the Abdominal Wall Musculature Morphology after Open Posterior Component Separation or Bridging Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair We have some additional pictures on our website showing some of the techniques that we use for the repair of complex hernias. Visit our ‘Unique Cases‘ page for some of these types of patients.
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