INDIANAPOLIS — Pain and stomach cramps are common symptoms of a hernia, and they are sensations Paul Jones is all too familiar with.
The 64-year-old Fishers man is now gratefully back on the job as head chef at The Wellington after a hernia repair.
The hernia in his abdomen is a complication of colon cancer surgery from more than a decade ago. The tear in his abdominal wall was troublesome, especially since his job requires him to be on his feet all day and manage inventory.
"I had quite a bit of pain."
"[The pain came] especially when I got a delivery, and there were a lot of boxes that needed to be put away in dry storage, in the freezer and in the refrigerator," Jones said. "I had quite a bit of pain in my stomach. It was sharp pains. One time it was so bad, I ended up in the emergency room."
Jones' doctor recommended a surgical repair but with non-essential procedures stalled during the coronavirus pandemic, he had to wait.
Hernias occur when a weak spot allows a part of an organ or fatty tissue to bulge through the tear. The most common hernia is an inguinal hernia, which occurs in the groin area. Hiatal hernias are the result of a hole in the diaphragm.
Jones was diagnosed with an incisional hernia, which developed as the result of a failed healing from surgery.
Dr. Christine Gupta, MD, a surgeon at Ascension St. Vincent, says while not all hernias are serious, some do evolve and cause serious issues if left untreated.
"The hernia is never going to go away or get better on its own."
"Surgery is not always required. In general, we usually say if people are symptomatic, meaning they start feeling pain, discomfort, or start having other symptoms like bile obstruction, we definitely recommend repair," Gupta said. "What patients need to remember is that the hernia is never going to go away or get better on its own. The most worrisome complication of having a hernia is if a piece of intestine were to get stuck in the hernia, which could cause a bowel obstruction and cut off the blood supply to the intestine. That becomes a surgical emergency."
When non-essential surgeries resumed in late May, Gupta performed a robotically-assisted laparoscopic hernia repair with mesh for Jones.
Now as events resume at work, Jones is back in the kitchen and grateful he is pain-free.
"A hernia is no fun. I had it for a while, and I'm glad that this is over and done. Thank God I recovered very quickly and had no issues," Jones said. "If you have a hernia, I would recommend getting it taken care of."
If you suspect you have a hernia or know you have one and would like a free medical consultation, Indiana residents may register on July 13, 2020 for a free hernia check, courtesy of Ascension St. Vincent and Check Up 13.
Learn more by clicking here.