Studies show that hernia surgery is riskier than doctors say

04-17-2012
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Just as there’s no such thing as a free lunch, there is no such thing as a risk-free surgical procedure.Doctors, however, don’t always make that clear.

Consider hernia-repair surgery, a procedure to correct a fairly commonly occurring protrusion of intestine or fat at a weak spot in the abdomen. More than a million patients a year undergo hernia repair; it’s among the most common surgical procedures. What many of those people don’t know, though, is that the surgery, widely considered a minor procedure, poses a major risk: chronic post-surgical pain. Studies show more than 30 percent of patients who have surgery to fix a hernia suffer from chronic pain and restricted movement afterward.

Doctors should not understate the risks of this procedure by telling patients, as they often do, “it’s just a hernia,” B. Todd Heniford, president of the American Hernia Society, recently told the Wall Street Journal. “This is not a 100-percent benign procedure,” he said. “We need to help patients weight the potential risks and benefits of surgery and say no if they need to.”

Did your doctor minimize a surgical procedure’s risks? Contact Hodes Milman Liebeck for a free case evaluation. We’re aggressive personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers based in Orange County, serving all of California. We have the experience to take on the medical industry and have achieved multi-million dollar verdicts for our clients.

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