Dear Dr. Brown,

It’s now precisely 7 days since I arrived at your clinic – at 09:30 last Thu September 10. You began the hernia repair surgery shortly after 10 am.

I am not your regular young athlete patient; I am a retired Swiss businessman, soon 69 years of age. I did lots of research and was convinced before we met that the open surgery repair without mesh was the best solution for me; I already have difficulties tolerating polyester on the outside of my skin! In Switzerland – and also in Canada’s famous Shouldice hospital – they would have kept me hospitalized for 3 to 4 nights. In your case, I was on my way to our San Francisco home in less than 5 hours after I arrived to your clinic!

The entire experience included a number of positive surprises: First, the local anesthesia. I expected to be awake during surgery, but the tranquilizer that you made me drink knocked me out solid for almost 10 hours. I can’t remember how I got dressed, how I walked out of your clinic nor the drive home – luckily I wasn’t the driver. Second, the healing of the incision. By 10 pm I removed the dressing, there was no leak, no problem. Today, 1 week later, it’s healed completely and beautifully. Third, the minimal pain. I took 5 regular 200 mg Nurofen pain tablets in total: One at nighttime on day of the surgery, 3 (in 8 hour-intervals) on Friday and the last one Saturday morning, i.e. the 2nd day after surgery.

I did need a strong Starbucks coffee on Friday  afternoon to get rid of the last bit of drowsiness. Since then I have been functioning pretty normally, walking and driving as much as I needed and wanted to.

According to your operative report I had a right direct inguinal hernia with a large indirect hernia, which had an unusually large proximal opening. Verbally you told me that I made you work harder than you had intended to :-).

I appreciate all the more how problem- and largely pain-free the surgery and recover phases went. I will take your advice and now begin to slowly work on strengthening the various muscles under professional P.T. advice, and I expect to swing my golf clubs much more freely in 2 – 3 weeks’ time.

A cordial thank you, Dr. Brown. Your very warm, personal treatment, especially also the many phone calls during the first 5 days following surgery, the way you respond to emails – all highly appreciated and making the entire operation a memorable, surprisingly pleasant experience!


Rolf Hess