07172018Tue
Last updateFri, 13 Jul 2018 7am

Under the knife: Having a hernia procedure in Mexico

A common question asked by residents of the United States and Canada is whether or not they should consider heading south of the border for that operation they have been putting off.

pg8Several months ago, I underwent just such a procedure and took notes which you may find useful should you choose to have your surgery in Mexico.

My story begins with the discovery that a bump on my groin was a hernia. I had imagined that all mysterious lumps must be tumors.

“No,” I was told by a doctor, “this is an inguinal hernia probably brought on by you trying to lift something very heavy at some point in the past.”

The second surprise came on the day I discovered my hernia had moved to the other side, just like Igor’s hump in Young Frankenstein. However, better observation revealed that I had not one but two hernias, which – individually or both together – might appear at any time.

The surgical procedure for hernias involves sewing up the hole in the abdominal wall and inserting mesh. A non-surgical approach apparently also exists, requiring you to do certain exercises that would supposedly make the hernia go away by itself. You can learn a lot about this subject by googling “Hernia Bible.” Ultimately the big question is “to patch or not to patch.”

While thinking about what you are going to do, you need to wear a truss (faja, in Spanish) which applies constant pressure on the lumps as you go about your business. This truss I found annoying and uncooperative, moving about with a will of its own and forcing me to go find a private place where I could readjust it.

Just mentioning “truss” in conversations revealed that many of my friends were either wearing one or had once worn one before being operated on for a hernia. It seems five percent of the general population has a hernia problem and the percentage is far higher among men over 75.

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