This gentleman lived with his hernia until he just got tired of it. We do not recommend letting hernias get this big for several reasons. First, he is lucky that he made it this long without a strangulation. Second, some of these large hernias cannot be fixed because once it has gone too far it is not possible to get all of the intestine back into the abdomen. Third, if you fix your hernia when it is smaller the surgery is much easier and the recovery is much quicker.
After surgery the same patient looks like a new man. Now that he is healed he is very happy and feels like it never happened. He tell me he does not know why he did not do it sooner.
This is a picture of a typical umbilical hernia before surgery. The incision to repair this hernia is made inside the belly button and is invisible after healing. Most surgeons will plug these hernias with mesh but we have seen problems with mesh plugs. We prefer to do a pledgeted suture repair which has outstanding results.
This is the appearance of an inguinal hernia repair incision one month after surgery. A plastic surgery closure is preformed with absorbable sutures. The incision is oriented along the lines of Langer which helps the scar to dissappear when healing is complete. Typically patients eventually forget that they were ever operated on.
This is the appearance of a mature hernia scar at one year. The incision is oriented along the lines of Langer which minimizes scaring. The scar is all but invisible.
This the appearance of the greater omentum. This is commonly the first abdominal organ to get trapped in a hernia. It is made of pure fat and is like an apron that hangs over the intestines. It helps to protect the intestines and wall off infections that occur in the abdomen. Sometimes it is necessary to remove it during hernia surgery.
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"Milan—Chronic groin pain after hernia surgery is now considered the most important issue facing inguinal hernia surgeons and their patients. Yet, there is still much uncertainty surrounding what causes the pain and how to prevent it." - Victoria Stern, General Surgery News