Choosing The Right Surgeon To Repair Your Hernia!

The decision as to who should repair your hernia is critical to your surgical outcome, and it is dependent on what can be an overwhelming experience. To help you through that process, here are the key issues you should discuss with your surgeon:

  • Is surgery necessary now, or is watchful waiting a better alternative? Get a complete understanding of the risks of waiting to have your hernia repaired;
  • How many hernia repairs have they performed, and are they fluent with all the current medical literature surrounding hernia treatment options, repair techniques and complications associated with the use of mesh? Ensure your surgeon specializes in hernia repair, as there is no substitute for training and experience. All studies confirm that surgical outcomes improve with surgical repetition and volume. This is especially true, and critical, when it comes to surgeons who use the Laparoscopic approach;
  • What kind of hernia repair do they plan to perform, and why? Your surgeon should be able to outline all the surgical alternatives and the benefits and risks associated with each. In particular, ask about the use of mesh, and why a natural tissue alternative is not appropriate;
  • What are their rates of hernia recurrence, post-operative complications and risk of chronic pain? Surgeons should know these, and the good ones are willing to discuss their results. Be sure to ask how long they track their patients, as your hernia repair should last a lifetime;
  • What are their hospital’s infection rates? Hospital / facility acquired infections can be serious, and your surgeon should strive to minimize these risks whenever possible.
  • Is their Hospital / facility appropriately licensed, do they follow best practices, and is their operating room staff fully qualified and trained? All these factors can have an important impact on the success of your surgery; and
  • What level of post-operative support can you expect from both your surgeon and the hospital / facility staff? Although post-operative complications are rare they can happen, and you should ensure you have adequate access to care and support after your surgery. In particular, ask, if mesh is to be used, what is the prognosis if you experience chronic pain?

At the end of your consultation, make sure you have had all your questions fully answered before you commit to surgery. If you do not have absolute confidence in your decision, get a second opinion.

After careful consideration of the factors above, we are confident that you will entrust Shouldice Hospital and its experienced team of surgeons, nurses and support staff to perform your hernia surgery and post-operative care.