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Dick Keigley – Hernia Surgery Success Story

Closing the gap

Hard work. Heavy lifting. Long hours.

Dick Keigley knows them all too well. He spent more than two decades running Italian restaurants throughout the country. After that came a full-time pool construction and maintenance business.

Then about two years ago, pain in his left groin started slowing him down.

“The pain hindered my work. In the end, it was so excruciating I could hardly walk.” “At first it was just a little twinge,” the Kennedale resident says. “I thought it would subside, but I was wrong.

An MRI found an inguinal hernia, which is a gap in the muscle near the groin. In Dick’s case, part of the bowel protruded through the gap near the testicle.

Dick turned to general surgeon Gary Alexander, MD, FACS, at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, who had treated him in the past.

“He’s such a good guy, and his technique is awesome,” Dick says. “He’ll give you all the time you need and explains things very thoroughly and to the point.”

A common concern

Dr. Alexander says inguinal hernias are common in both men and women, because the groin is a naturally weak space in the human anatomy.

“We usually recommend surgery, because once you have a hernia, it doesn’t go away,” Dr. Alexander says. “If your job requires heavy lifting, as Mr. Keigley’s does, the hernia will just get bigger, leading to more complications.”

Dr. Alexander performed a classic hernia repair, which required only one 4-centimeter incision near Dick’s waistline. During the outpatient procedure, the surgeon places mesh over the gap in the muscle, and over the next couple months, scar tissue forms to keep the gap closed.

Life without pain

Dick was only in the hospital a few hours, and as the weeks passed, his pain disappeared.

“I feel awesome,” he says. “It used to be that every day I’d dread getting up, even walking down the hallway. And now I get up and get ready and go to work and do my thing, and I’m pain-free. I’m happy with the surgery and especially with the outcome.”

From the winter 2014 issue of Shine magazine.