Skip to main content

At his fast-paced grocery retail job, Andres experienced an injury that threatened to slow him down. Fortunately, CityMD helped him get the care he needed to get back to business.

While lifting some products one day, Andres lost his balance and felt something unusual as he steadied himself. Although he routinely stretches before moving heavy objects, he assumed he’d pulled a muscle in his lower abdomen.

But when the pain didn’t go away, Andres became concerned. “After a few days, I felt like this was something else,” he recalls.

Evaluation and diagnosis at CityMD

Andres walked into a CityMD location in Bay Shore, New York, for help. His physician performed a physical exam and confirmed Andres had an inguinal hernia. Sometimes called a groin hernia, an inguinal hernia happens when abdominal tissue — often fat or part of the small intestine — bulges through a weak area in the lower abdominal wall.

Inguinal hernias are common, but they can’t be taken lightly. The tissue that bulges out of place can become stuck or incarcerated and be very painful. Worse, the stuck portion can become strangulated. This means tissue can be cut off from its blood supply, or the intestine could become dangerously pinched and blocked.

Given Andres’s signs and symptoms, his CityMD physician recommended he see a specialist and helped him coordinate an appointment. Two days later, Andres met with David Benisch, MD, a general surgeon at Summit Health.

Specialty care at Summit Health

Dr. Benisch performed a physical exam on Andres and recommended laparoscopic hernia repair. Most hernias eventually require surgery, and the laparoscopic technique is a minimally invasive option that would allow Andres to recover faster.

During laparoscopic surgery, a surgeon makes several small cuts in the lower abdomen to insert a tiny camera and tools to see and repair the hernia. Patients receive general anesthesia for the procedure, which typically takes 45 minutes.

As part of the scheduling process, Dr. Benisch’s surgical coordinator, Beth, worked with Andres to secure his employer’s authorization for workers’ compensation. “Beth was so helpful with that process,” says Andres. “She took care of business and made me feel like everything was going to be OK.”

Andres underwent a successful surgery two and a half weeks after his consultation. “Dr. Benisch made me feel very relaxed and comforted,” recalls Andres. “I was walking that day and driving the next day.”

Patients may experience pain or discomfort for a couple of weeks after surgery, which can be treated with pain medication. Your provider may recommend a few weeks of healing time before returning to your normal activity level.

Dr. Benisch scheduled two follow-up visits with Andres to monitor his healing. On the second visit, he cleared Andres to return to work.

“I feel very blessed that CityMD sent me to Dr. Benisch,” says Andres. “I’m thankful to have had good doctors helping me.”

Inguinal hernia: when to see a doctor

According to researchers, about 27% of men and 3% of women will develop an inguinal hernia in their lifetime. Symptoms of an inguinal hernia may include:

  • A bulge in the groin area on either side of your pubic bone
  • Feelings of pain, pressure, or burning in the groin
  • Symptoms that get worse when you bend over, cough, lift, or strain

Talk to your provider if you have symptoms of a hernia, or simply walk right into your local CityMD urgent care.