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Is it safe for my father to undergo surgery for umbilical hernia?

Q: My 80 years old father has high blood pressure and blood sugar for the last 15 years. He is also suffering from umbilical hernia for the last three last three years. Though it did not pain at any point of time, we thought it is better to get it operated through a surgery. But due to his age and other health concerns like hypertension and diabetes, we are in a state of dilemma. We consulted a surgeon who asked us to go for surgery. I would like to ask the following questions:- 1. Is it advisable to go for surgery at this age? 2. What are the possible side effects of the surgery? 3. Will there be any problem for digestion? 4. Will there be any kind of urinary troubles after the surgery?

A:I can offer advice, but remember that I haven't seen the patient myself. The surgeon who has seen him will give the best advice. 1. Is it advisable to undergo surgerh? I think your father should undergo surgery. The reason for surgery is this: if the hernia complicates, the situation is very dangerous. If it is operated while still uncomplicated, the operation is much less dangerous. The risk is obvious. The operation itself has no risk, but the general anesthesia has definite risks at this age. If your surgeon can do this procedure under a local anesthetic, that would be best. 2. Side effects. Surgery has hardly any side effects, after recovery. There may be some local pain for some time. Rarely, the pain persists for a long time. If your surgeon uses a "mesh" the risk of recurrence is only about 1%. If your surgeon does not use a mesh, the risk of recurrence is 10% or more. 3. Problems with digestion: very unlikely. 4. Urinary problems: very unlikely. Sometimes an elderly person lies down for too long after an operation, and develops prostate problems. This should not happen if he starts to walk soon after surgery.


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