Elvira Solis – Hernia Surgery Success Story

‘I feel like a new woman’ – Elvira Solis, minimally invasive hernia surgery success story

A minimally invasive gastroenterology procedure ends years of agony for Elvira Solis.

Elvira Solis

Enjoying family and sharing her cooking specialties were among Elvira Solis’ plans for her active retirement. But worsening health was sapping her energy and limiting her life.

“I had been going to a doctor for years and started being careful about what I ate after they told me I had acid reflux,” she explains. She struggled with nausea and stomach-viruslike symptoms, avoided certain foods, and endured pain and pressure in her chest.

“At times I felt like I was having a heart attack,” the longtime Oak Cliff resident says. Last November, this feeling prompted a trip to the emergency department at Methodist Charlton Medical Center. From there, she was referred to Preeti Malladi, MD, independently practicing surgeon on the medical staff at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

Extensive testing revealed that her years of misery were caused by a football-sized hernia.

“Basically, her stomach was mostly in her chest,” Dr. Malladi explains. “There is a hole in the diaphragm that the esophagus goes through, but it’s usually snug around the esophagus. For some patients, that hole is larger than it should be. We call it a hiatal hernia, and it can be large enough for the stomach to pass through and up into the chest.”

Suffer no more

To bring Solis relief and healing, Dr. Malladi combined multiple extremely complex procedures into one minimally invasive surgery, in which she returned the stomach to its correct position, repaired the large hernia, and prevented further acid reflux.

“Usually, this kind of surgery is done through a large open incision, which requires a long recovery,” Dr. Malladi says. “But I was able to perform the procedure laparoscopically with minor incisions, so Mrs. Solis was able to recover really quickly. I’ve seen her multiple times since, and she’s doing fantastic.”

Solis, a very active great-grandmother, now says she needs no medications and has returned to the things she loves, such as gardening, crafting, and cooking for her family and friends.

“This is the first time in at least five years that I have felt good,” she says, beaming. “I can bend, water my garden, bake again — I feel like a new woman. I can do anything!”

From the fall 2012 edition of Shine magazine.