Hernia Repair: Kevin’s Story

Kevin Veeneman has a new addition to his Christmas card list: Jonathan Schilling, MD, The Christ Hospital surgeon who performed Kevin's hernia surgery in the summer of 2017.

An unusual addition, to be sure. But Kevin, a special education teacher and coach of baseball, basketball and football in Mariemont, Ohio, is happy to give credit where credit is due. He met Dr. Schilling at the Cincinnati Sports Club where Dr. Schilling was presenting on hernias and robotic-assisted hernia repair and immediately felt at ease.

"Right off the bat, I was highly impressed with Dr. Schilling," says Kevin. "He was very patient, very hands on, and really thorough in his presentation. And I was so interested to learn that the robotic hernia repair was the least invasive hernia surgery option available."

He adds with a laugh: "Plus I got to try out the robot myself. It was awesome."

Hernias and a New High-Tech Surgery Option
A hernia occurs when an organ or body part pushes through the surrounding tissue, causing a bulge. It oftentimes is caused by straining the muscles or muscle weakness. Common sites of hernias are the groin, belly button, upper stomach or previous surgery sites. Hernia surgery fix the tear and puts the organ back in the correct location.

Typical hernia surgery requires a medium-sized incision and significant recovery time. However, with the da Vinci Surgical System that Dr. Schilling uses to operate at The Christ Hospital, the procedure typically results in only three small incisions – the top and bottom for the robot and the middle for the camera. The robotic-assisted surgical device allows for a greater range of motion and greater precision, as well as less pain, shorter hospital stays and a quicker recovery.


A Partner Every Step of the Way

A shorter recovery sounded great to Kevin. He's a diabetic, meaning he's slow to heal and prone to infection. Dr. Schilling's expertise combined with the robotic-assisted surgery was a home run in Kevin's book. He scheduled an appointment with Dr. Schilling and after a detailed consultation, decided to move forward with the surgery.

The surgery went exactly as Kevin expected, except for one thing – Kevin's single hernia was in fact a triple hernia. Dr. Schilling handled the unexpected development beautifully and walked Kevin through the recovery process, staying available for questions or concerns on every step of the journey.

Kevin is now two months post-surgery and healing well. He cautions other patients who are considering hernia surgery to do their homework and attend an information session like the one he attended at Cincinnati Sports Club.

"I feel really great about my choice to go with Dr. Schilling and Christ Hospital," says Kevin. "I did my due diligence in checking out the medical team and the equipment. It wasn't a walk in the park—it is major surgery, after all – but if you want to be in the best hands at the best hospital, you need to go see Dr. Schilling at Christ Hospital."

That ringing endorsement might just end up in Kevin's Christmas card to Dr. Schilling this year.  

Looking for more info? Check out Jeff's and Burnett's hernia stories as well!