I think it was one of the best choices…lee
I had my hernia successfully repaired by Dr. Kang on the 26th of October, 2016.
This is a detailed account of my experience.
My name is ** Lee and I teach Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
I was originally diagnosed with a right side inguinal hernia in September of 2016.
I felt a bulge one evening in the shower and this was confirmed to be an inguinal hernia at a local hospital the following week.
I started reading about hernia surgery on the web and soon realized that while the required surgery is considered a relatively simple operation, there were many subtle aspects to consider.
I also started looking at the professional medical literature at the University and decided that a few key points would be important.
First, if possible, I did not want to put a mesh inside me.
Not only because of the potential for near term complications, but I was only 42 and not convinced that a plastic mesh would last 40+ years inside my body.
I wanted to have it done by a surgeon with ample experience specifically at fixing hernias.
Of course, I also wanted to recover quickly but that was not necessarily the top objective.
I would rather get it done properly.
In early October, I was referred to a general surgeon near the University who suggested surgery with robotic probes.
He told me that an extra large mesh would be used to prevent any recurrences and the entire surgery would take about 2 to 2.5 hours.
Although the surgeon was very nice and took his time to explain the procedure, I did not want to go under for that long and the extra large mesh was also of concern.
I really started to do my research and also asked a couple of friends in Korea who recommended Gipum hospital.
When I looked into it, I realized that the new technique used by Dr. Kang suited all my expectations.
I was also relieved that Dr. Kang operated on a very large number of patients over the years and I could not find any negative post-surgery reviews (believe me, I tried).
I flew into Seoul on the evening of a Wednesday (October 25th) and went straight to Gipum hospital Thursday morning.
I had spoken to the nurse at the hospital quite extensively prior to the visit and did not have a lot of questions for Dr. Kang.
When I mentioned the robotic probe to Dr. Kang, I think he just smiled.
After meeting with Dr. Kang, the morning was spent on running a number of tests including an ultrasound (which confirmed an indirect right side inguinal hernia), blood tests, and a urine test.
I was also given antibiotics in preparation for the surgery.
I ate a light lunch and then was called into the operating room at around 12:30pm.
I lay flat with a curtain separating me from my lower torso. Dr. Kang came into the operating room, asked how I was doing and went right to work.
Local anesthetic shots were given near the groin area (slight pain from the needle here) but then the entire process was entirely painless.
I was fully conscious the entire time and I could hear the surgical equipment clattering away and felt slight tugging and pulling every now and then.
Within about 20 minutes Dr. Kang casually said ‘all done’.
I remember thinking that it must have gone well because the sound of the equipment was constant whereas I figured that if something did go wrong, Dr. Kang would have hesitated and stopped to assess the situation.
After the surgery, I got off the table and walked back to my hospital bed on my own power with absolutely no pain.
The first hour I was told to lie in bed.
For the next three hours I had absolutely no pain as the anesthetics was still working. Read a little and dozed a little due to jet lag.
After about 3 hours I started feeling a little pain as the anesthetics starting wearing off.
The discomfort was local and the nurse had told me painkillers would be available but I was able to do without it.
It did hurt quite a bit when I coughed. Near the end of the day, Dr. Kang came by and looked me over and told me I could go home if I felt up to it.
I was given a shot of painkiller before leaving, after which I was able to walk out and take a cab home on my own with very minimal discomfort.
I was able to eat normally right after surgery.
The next morning, there was a dull pain in the surgery area and I took two painkiller pills throughout the day (hospital provided me with 3 pills a day for four days).
I was able to walk around in the house with very little discomfort.
If I really had to, I would probably have been able to go to work but I rested at home the entire day.
The hospital provided me with stool softener to ease the trips to the bathroom.
Two days after the surgery, I took two pills throughout the day but I felt a lot better and I could really move around.
I took my first shower and took off the bandage (I was given two additional bandages and told to change every two days).
There was a small incision (34 mm to be exact) which was enclosed in some type of clear adhesive. It was clean with no trace of blood.
Three days after surgery, I felt dramatically better.
I took only one pill on this day and felt so good that I took public transportation to downtown Seoul and spent time with a friend until 11pm before taking a cab back home.
I was under no pain the entire time unless I started walking too fast or coughing.
I had actually planned on recovering in Korea for two weeks but was so much better after three days that I changed my flight and left Korea after one week.
From day three, I spent most of the time meeting people and traveling around Seoul.
I really felt no need to stay at home.
I left Korea pain free with my hernia fixed and knowing that there is no mesh inside my body. I think it was one of the best choices I ever made and I am grateful to Dr. Kang and the kind staff at Gipum hospital