Mark Porter had open hernia repair surgery at Benenden Hospital on 18 July after initially thinking he’d pulled a muscle in his groin. Read on to learn how Consultant General Surgeon Mr Fazal Hasan and another Consultant Surgeon helped Mark return to work and his yoga practice after only two weeks.
What symptoms were you experiencing?
“I was struggling with a dull ache in my groin that was twinging. Initially, I thought I’d pulled a muscle! I went for an ultrasound scan at the NHS when the symptoms persisted and I was diagnosed with an inguinal (groin) hernia. This occurs when the fatty tissue, or part of the bowel, pushes through the abdominal wall and into the groin.”
How did you get a referral to our hospital?
“I visited my GP and explained my diagnosis and that I was a Benenden Health member. Our family all have membership with Benenden Health and have been loyal members for 20 years. My GP then wrote a letter which Benenden Health approved and sent to Benenden Hospital requesting an initial consultation to discuss my treatment options. I was amazed at how fast and efficient the process was, as I had my initial consultation in May and my surgery on 18 July!”
How did your initial consultation go?
“I had my initial consultation with Mr Fazal Hasan and he was great! He explained everything to me every step of the way and I felt incredibly supported and safe. I asked if there were any treatment options available, and Mr Hasan discussed options for open or laparoscopic hernia repair.
“I opted for open hernia surgery as the chances of recurrence of the hernia were much less than if done laparoscopically (keyhole). He was honest with me: ‘If you don’t get this operation done now, your symptoms will persist and you’ll probably return in the next six to 12 months.’
“I was also told that a different Consultant would do the actual procedure. Being notified of this allowed me to research the Consultant and discover their specialities, experience and training.”
What was the timeline of events on the day of your inguinal hernia repair?
“On the day of my surgery, my wife drove us to the hospital from our home in Upminster, approximately 50 miles away. We arrived at 12:30pm in good time for the afternoon theatre list. At Benenden Hospital, your experience starts at the main reception desk with the friendly receptionists who directed me to the correct area.
“Once I arrived at the ward, I was greeted by a nurse and shown to my bedroom. There, she explained what would happen during my procedure which really reassured me and I met with a professional and friendly Consultant Surgeon for the first time and they were the one who would be carrying out my inguinal hernia repair that day. I was fourth on the list that afternoon, so was aware I wouldn’t be seen until 5pm. This gave me the opportunity to read my book and listen to some relaxing music. The Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Kate Murray visited and discussed the general anaesthesia and how it all works.
“A nurse walked me down to theatre and I really appreciated their support at it was quite a nerve-wracking time. It meant so much for all the staff to take the time to talk to me, and before I was administered any anaesthetic there was some humorous chit-chat. Once on the theatre bed, Dr Murray put the cannula in and told me to take some deep breaths from the oxygen mask – which I’m good at now because I practice yoga!
“I felt like I’d blinked and woken up in recovery to a lovely nurse who reassured me that everything went well and that I was safe. Despite not undergoing anaesthetic since the age of nine, I experienced no after affects, which made my recovery so much smoother.
“Only one-hour post-procedure, I was encouraged to get up and walk to my private ensuite room. Dr Murray checked in with me and explained the steps of my recovery and aftercare, such as the risks of stitches and caring for my dressings. I was given a cup of tea by a lady in Catering and was discharged and picked up by my wife not long after. We arrived back in Upminster at 9:30pm, where I began my journey to recovery.”
How was your recovery?
“The day after my procedure, I went for a walk to the top of our road with my daughter thus following the advice I’d been given: just keep moving! I received a phone call from the ward staff to check in on me and see how I felt. Three days after my hernia repair, I was instructed to change the wound dressing. However, when the time came, I couldn’t find any stitches.
“With it being such a small scar, I thought I’d ripped them off, so I phoned up to clarify. The nurse explained that my Consultant had stitched my wound internally so they would not be visible and would dissolve. Over the following weeks, I experienced very little discomfort and I returned to my work after two weeks sick leave. I didn’t need any strong painkillers and having this operation hasn’t restricted my activities at all – I’m back to yoga now too.”
Would you recommend Benenden Hospital and why?
“I will always recommend Benenden Hospital, the quality of care is amazing, from when you walk through the door to recovery. Every step of the way you feel fully acknowledged and treated as a friend, as a real person.”
What would be your advice to anyone struggling with hernia symptoms?
“Go and get your symptoms checked out straight away by your GP. There’s no point in struggling with discomfort and the quicker you’re diagnosed, the quicker you can recover and return to your everyday life.”
Hernia treatment at Benenden Hospital
If you suspect you have a hernia, we offer fast access to diagnosis and treatment. Book a consultation by completing our online booking form, using our Livechat or by calling our Private Patient team on 01580 363158.
Published on 31 October 2023