I never thought I would get an inguinal hernia. I don’t know why because I have certainly done a lot of strenuous exertion in my life.  Is it because I think I’m Superman? Yeah, it could be that. But regardless, I got one, and I immediately started looking into what to do about it.

If it’s mild, as mine was, there is always the option of doing nothing and just living with it. But, that doesn’t make sense because it’s not going to go away, and it’s likely to get worse. Plus, there is the psychological factor of constantly living with the thought, “I have a hernia; I am broken; I am not intact” and it plagues you night and day. So, one should get it fixed, and the sooner the better.

I knew before I started investigating that I did not want mesh. And that’s not only because of what I’ve read and heard about it, including the lawsuits, but from hearing directly from men who had mesh repairs and regretted it. One young man I know went back and had a second operation to have the mesh removed.

So, mine would not be a mesh repair, and I knew that going in. There are several non-mesh repairs that use the body’s own muscles to form a new floor. The two most prominent are Shouldice and Desarda, both named after doctors. Dr. Shouldice was a Canadian surgeon who developed his hernia repair method during WW2.  The Shouldice hospital is still located in Ontario and receives patients from all over the world.

Dr. Desarda, who is still living, is an Indian surgeon, from India, and his technique, which he has been doing since the 1990s, involves a simpler method. It consists of dividing the External Oblique muscle and moving part of it “from the ceiling to the floor” i.e. from above the inguinal opening to below it.  The Shouldice method involves cutting and overlapping several muscles, and it involves much more cutting and much more suturing. And all that extra trauma results in a slower recovery, and so they keep you at the Shouldice hospital for 5 days after surgery because of the pain and delicacy. With the Desarda method, you can go home the very next day.

I watched both surgeries online before I decided, and from that I knew that I wanted to go with Desarda. In a word, the muscle looks very happy to be put where it is put, and it looks like a solid trampoline of support.  It all looks very comfortable when it's done.  But, with Shouldice, it really looks tense and uncomfortable the way they reconfigure the muscles.

So, I watched both surgeries, and the Desarda looked much more appealing to my eye. 

So, after that decision was made, the next was where to have it done. And it turns out that there is only one surgeon in all of America who is certified by Dr. Desarda to perform his technique, and that is Dr. Robert Tomas of the UFirst Rejuvenation Center in Ft. Myers, Florida.

And besides watching videos of Dr. Desarda operating, I got to watch videos of Dr. Tomas operating, and I was equally impressed with both of them.

So, I hoped on a plane to Ft. Myers and let Dr. Tomas fix me. It went very well. I don’t remember anything from the surgery. I was told that I was woken up and asked to cough to test the strength of the repair he had made, and I apparently did that, although I don’t remember it.

The thing I feared most was the post-surgical pain.  But, here it is the 3rd day after surgery, and I am in very little pain. And what pain I have isn’t constant. It’s mainly getting in and out of bed, and it does hurt a lot when I cough or sneeze. But, I’m not doing that all day, and as I sit here typing, I’m not feeling anything at all. At this moment, I’m as comfortable as you are.

In fact, the pain is so mild that I have already discontinued the pain meds. I took them for a couple days, but I don’t need them anymore.  And you know how I am: I don’t like taking drugs.

So, this has been a good experience, and I am very impressed with Dr. Tomas and his whole team. He is very dedicated. He charges a very reasonable price. It was less than $4000, and that’s for everything, including the pain meds. The pre, the post, the anesthesiologist, everything is included. And I say to get abdominal surgery for that little in this day and age is amazing. But, Dr. Tomas told me that he wants to make it accessible to people of ordinary means.

So, to any man who has an inguinal hernia, I would strongly urge you to go to Dr. Tomas. This is not a paid endorsement. I wouldn’t dream of doing that. I am offering this advice because I think it’s valuable, and the fact is that 25% of men will get inguinal hernia in their lives.

So, my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Robert Tomas and his staff, and here is his website: