Fear of pain and surgery prevented Peter Russo from doing anything about his hernia.
"As it got worse, it became more painful," he said.
Eventually, the pain got so bad that Russo could not stand it. That is when he finally decided to have surgery.
"Hernia surgery is much less invasive that it has been in the past," surgeon Dr. Dan Iannettes said.
A hernia occurs when part of an organ or tissue protrudes through a hole in the body. Traditionally, surgery uses surrounding muscle tissue to fill the hole. Many surgeons now use mesh plugs or patches to fill the hole. The mesh devices eliminate the strain on surrounding muscles and ligaments.
"The hernia surgery can be done now under local anesthesia and the operating time is much less," Iannettes said. "The advantage for the patient is the recovery time is much less. There is less pain."
"It's in and out. You don't have to worry about spending a lot of time in the hospital," Russo said.
Most patients leave the hospitals within two hours of surgery and can resume normal activities within three to five days.
The chance of a hernia returning after having the patch or plug is less than one percent. Hernia surgery can also be performed using a laparoscope. General anesthesia is required for that surgery.