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Hernias No Longer a Truss Issue: November 23, 2013

Mario Patrizi has a history of hernias, his father had them and now he’s had two, himself.

“One in the groin and one right here in the mid-section,” says Patrizi.

There was a time, not too long ago, when men delayed treatment, opting for support garments instead, putting off intervention indefinitely.

“I did not have surgery immediately. I thought maybe it might go away, but it did not,” says Patrizi.

Compression garments may seem like they provide temporary relief from discomfort, but in fact they don’t help the problem. It’s not a ‘truss’ issue’- in fact left untreated symptomatic hernias can be hazardous.

“For patients that had the hernia for a very long time, because things have been inflamed for such a long time, it’s harder to dissect,” says Dr. Bertrand Fonji, general surgeon with Lee Memorial Health System.

A hernia develops when part of an organ pokes through a weakness in the muscle like a bubble peeping through a hole. It’s repaired by pushing the hernia back through the muscle and then securing the opening.

“The hernia is basically a hole or weakness and that hole needs to be covered. So we use a piece of mesh, we just cover it and we use tags which kind of help the mesh stay in place,” says Dr. Fonji.

In some cases a damaged organ needs repairing too. Both can be done laparoscopically, using small tools, operating through small holes.

“The good thing about laparoscopic surgery is the recovery time - it's a lot faster, quicker return to work and the patient overall gets a better experience,” says Dr. Fonji.

Making many patients wonder why they waited and put trust in their truss.