Tune in to our radio show on your local public radio station, or sign up for the podcast and listen at your leisure. Here’s what it’s about:

Hernia repair operations are among the most common in the world. New techniques and materials have made them quicker and easier, but some patients end up with bad reactions to the surgical mesh that is used. We talk with an expert about hernias, operations and avoiding problems with surgical mesh that might crop up months or years later. (Wonder how to make a wise decision on whether you need a hernia operation? There’s an app for that.) 

Long-term effects can be quite unexpected. Who would imagine that medicines widely used to treat heartburn or GERD (reflux) would boost a person’s likelihood of heart disease? Find out about the long-term side effects of medications and share your own experience by calling 888-472-3366 or emailing radio@peoplespharmacy.com between 7 and 8 am EDT.

Guest: B. Todd Heniford, MD, FACS, is Chief of the Division of Gastrointestinal and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Co-Director of the Carolinas Laparoscopic and Advanced Surgery Program and
 Director of the Carolinas Hernia Center at Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, NC. He is also 
Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The app he and his team invented is called CeQOL

Dr. Heniford was recently awarded “Most Wired Innovator” by Hospital and Health Networks (H&HN’s) magazine for his innovative use of the CeQOL app. He will be recognized at the 2013 Leadership Summit.

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.




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  1. JRW

    I found this discussion very enlightening. This is especially true given that I traveled from Las Vegas to Charlotte, NC to have Dr. Heniford repair my 3 time failed hernia, which was causing significant pain and limiting my life. His direct and patient-first, quality of life concern came through in the office and around the time of surgery. The operation, performed by him and his partner, went beautifully.
    The issues I was experiencing before surgery have completely resolved. The pain, which was impacting my quality of life, had never been discussed by a surgeon in any of the 3 previous operations.
    These are important issues. Dr. Heniford’s app, which I have on my phone, helps to educate patients and prepare them to talk to their doctor or surgeon. It is a reminder that there are doctors that care about more than the standard failure or success.

  2. Terry

    I’m disappointed on your report on the “dangers” of men consuming fish oil.
    Check out this article, which includes a thorough meta-analysis of studies regarding fish oil supplementation, and the benefits of doing so.
    I’ve followed the People’s Pharmacy for a long time. However, this case of your blindly trusting one study, without evaluating the design of the study, has made me take a long step back.

  3. LK

    This is in response to Amy C hiatal hernia. I was diagnosed also but am adverse to all pharmaceuticals. After research and common sense, I followed what I read by Russian doctor advice. Don’t laugh but it is helping. Drink as much water on an empty stomach as you can hold, stand on step and jump down gently. To strengthen muscles there so stomach doesn’t squeeze up, blow a balloon several times a day. Its working for me.

  4. Amy C.

    I have had a hiatal hernia problem for about ten years. For the first six years, or so, I took protonix to prevent the bleeding from recurring that sent me to the hospital for a blood transfusion the first time. Then, for various reasons, I quit taking protonix. It took more than two years for the anemia to re-appear, sending me back to the hospital for another transfusion. My present gastroenterologist has put me back on Protonix (I was taking the generic version of omaprozole until my adverse reaction to it caused the doctor to put me back on Protonix) recently; he also briefly alluded to the possibly having to perform surgery if the bleeding begins again.
    He did an endoscopy when I was in the hospital this time, and told me that it revealed that my hernia has resulted in about 1/3 of my stomach sitting above the diaphragm–much more than the usual small loop of stomach protruding above the diaphragm. Do you know if there is any treatment out there that can return the stomach to its proper position so that can quit taking Protonix?

  5. Shawn

    At the age of 51, in the fall of 2011, I was diagnosed with an inguinal (groin) hernia and my wife and I researched the outcomes of all types of hernia repairs; mesh, partial mesh, no mesh (various techniques). We liked what we found out about the Shouldice Method, especially for inguinal hernias.
    When our friends heard that we were traveling from the Shenandoah Valley to Toronto, Canada for surgery, they thought we were nutty, especially since we paid ‘out of pocket’ for this surgery – approximately 5K. The surgery was performed in early December 2011, and the results to this point have been excellent — truly excellent.
    I’m aware that only time will reveal the true success of the surgery, but everything about their approach impressed us, from the requirement that I get to my optimal body weight, to the focus on movement and exercise in the days directly following surgery.
    Hearing Dr. Heniford equate the risks of chronic pain to hernia recurrence was amusing; when we read the accounts of less than optimal results from many types of repairs, we came to the conclusion that we wanted to leave mesh out of the repair altogether to lessen the risk of chronic pain. I do agree with Dr. Heniford that finding a skilled surgeon is the most important step, but disagree that a recurrence (often times decades down the road) is the main thing you would want to avoid.
    We would say that the possibilities of infections, nerve interference, and irritations from mesh repairs impressed upon us the advantage of a non-mesh approach. I encourage those with hernias to research thoroughly the possibilities, and imagine the outcomes, good and bad, of the various techniques — what could they live with if it did not turn out well?
    As a personal trainer, I knew that I wanted the best results possible since my physical health and abilities are key to my livelihood. I will be happy to keep you in the loop if recurrences happen down the road. (BTW, my clients were greatly amused when Shouldice demanded I lose 10 lbs prior to surgery!)
    All the best, love your show!
    Shawn H.
    Staunton, Virginia

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