"Hernia Repair Anxieties"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

I had a laparoscopy hernia repair two days before Christmas 2013. As so many people do, I looked at the various reviews and opinions, and my view is that they were rather negative. I have only the highest praise for the Royal Berkshire Hospital and the staff involved. A seemingly unnecessary 7.30 start found us queuing to get in, but a super-efficient system kicked in and the time required soon became obvious. My base nurse showed me to a cubicle and explained exactly what was involved, and her great experience showed clearly that everything has to be checked, and double checked. Various professionals came round doing checks and asking questions, including the surgeon himself, who marked the area of the hernia with a felt tipped pen. Now I was really reassured. I was given a cocktail of painkillers - routine measure, I was told. Time seemed to fly by. I read a book for a short time and at around 10.30 a porter took me on a trolley to the theatre, all the time talking and reassuring me. It seemed a long way, but on arrival, the anaesthetist checked me over and put a needle into my hand. I next remember coming round in my cubicle, feeling quite good and ready to go home. The rule is you must pass water before you are allowed to go. The system must be back to normal. I had three plasters where the laparoscopy entered; very neat and tidy. My nurse was insistent that the duty doctor should check the one where my belly button was, which took a while for him to come. He said there was a bit of inflammation, but this would settle down in time, and that was that. I left to go home at around 4.pm. There was minimum discomfort and, taking normal painkillers, I was able to enjoy Christmas. I was even spared the washing up. I write this seven weeks after the operation and am back to all my previous activities - swimming daily, running and gardening. Although I was aware of the gauze implant early on, it was never as painful as some others have said. Compared with the ache my hernia gave me before the operation, it was heaven and I feel I can live my life to the full again. Royal Berks Hospital and the NHS have scored a very big hit in my estimation. Thank you all so much.

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

Thank you for your positive comments surrounding the day surgery that you had to repair your hernia. Whilst we understand that there is a lot of anxiety attached to the processes and procedures, our teams do try to minimise this by talking to our patients and keeping them informed. We are delighted that you experienced this working well and really pleased that you have recovered so well after your surgery. There can be a lots of waiting around with day surgery as the doctors managing the lists need to see our patients prior to the list starting. This means everyone is asked to attend early and at the same time. We have been trying to think of ways we could improve this experience for our patients but it has proved quite difficult to change. We would like to thank you for your understanding and for recognising the excellent work that our teams do in order to provide a good service to our patients. The matron for the area will ensure your comments are passed onto the unit and the teams involved in your care. Thank you again and we wish you continued good health.

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