Monday, November 17, 2008

Inguinal Hernia Repair

Well, you may see a flurry of small blogposts in the days to come as I recuperate from inguinal hernia repair surgery last Friday at Maimonides Medical Center. I am feeling just dandy and it went swimmingly, especially since I had the same surgery on the right side a few years back and knew what to expect.

Like last time, I didn't even need to fill my pain prescription, and have made do with over-the-counter ibuprofen. Thanks to my surgeon, Dr. Shahabuddin Ahmad, for doing such a nice job.

Although I didn't live-blog the procedure (they knocked me out, thank goodness), I feel obligated, for the curious readers, to send you here, one of countless YouTube links that shows, in graphic detail, a hernia repair operation. Really, don't watch if you've recently ingested food. It's icky.

I don't have a lot of insight to share, other than some advice to potential hernia operation candidates. Of course, I'm no expert, but two very different experiences in the past few years give me semi-expert status. And, based on the history on my maternal grandfather's side of the family, this may very well not be my last foray into hernia repair.

Pointer 1: If you live in a climate that has actual seasons, avoid scheduling your hernia repair (if possible) between the months of December through March. If it's cold outside, it's psychologically cold inside.

Pointer 2: When they're asking you, as they prep you for the procedure, if you'd like to use the bathroom before you go into the operating room, politely decline. Worse thing that can happen is you urinate in the o.r., and if you're asleep, you won't even know you did it. You'll see why later.

Pointer 3: Remember to ask for tea.

When you're in the recovery area, you're stuck there until you urinate for them. On my first trip, the January weather, the chill in the room, and the performance anxiety kept me there for hours until I was able to satisfactorily micturate. I remember this other patient coming in, and leaving in ten minutes. I had been drinking water and apple juice. He asked for tea. I remembered this and after two cups of tea (plus it combats any possible chill), I was peeing like a spider monkey at the zoo.

I arrived at Maimo (as it is affectionately called) at 7:00 AM, and was home by 1:00 PM. Even my beloved bride would praise the more positive experience that this surgical venture was, compared to my previous excursion.

That's it for me now.

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