Study Revealing Inconsistent Chronic Hernia Pain Data Highlights the Need for Attentive Doctors, Says Dr. Shirin Towfigh

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Commenting on the recent study, Dr. Towfigh notes that this is further proof that good hernia specialists are those who are perceptive and who truly listen to each individual patient.

It takes an attentive doctor to properly identify and treat chronic hernia pain.

The gap in consensus points to the fact that it is incredibly important for hernia doctors to listen closely when diagnosing and treating each individual patient.

According to an article published July 13 in Anesthesiology News, the percent of patients who experience chronic pain after hernia surgery can vary greatly based on the specific study. The article notes that “estimates of chronic pain after open mesh and laparoscopic [hernia] repairs tend to fall between 4% and 30%,” an admittedly large discrepancy compared to the scientific consensus that often arises when several medical studies are compared. According to hernia specialist Dr. Shirin Towfigh of the Beverly Hills Hernia Center, this gap in consensus points to the fact that it is incredibly important for hernia doctors to listen closely when diagnosing and treating each individual patient. She notes that this attentiveness can be equally important in diagnosis as it is in treatment:

  • Diagnosis – Women especially are susceptible to misdiagnosis of their hernia pain, says Dr. Towfigh. Yet, she explains, this is often due to inattentiveness or an uncomprehensive examination rather than limitations in diagnostic technology. Even when a hernia is not externally visible, the accuracy of MRIs or ultrasounds in detecting hidden (occult) hernias has been well documented, she adds. Although it is true that the vast majority of hernia sufferers are men, this fact may bias a doctor and cause him or her to stop the evaluation prematurely, before the hernia is detected.
  • Treatment – For patients who have already had hernia surgery after a positive diagnosis, an attentive doctor is also vital to ensure that any potential post-operative issues or follow-up questions are addressed. One of the reasons why the percentage of patients experiencing chronic pain varies so much between one study to the next is that different patients and researchers may have different ideas of the frequency and magnitude of pain required to merit a chronic pain diagnosis. This inconsistency is why each hernia specialist should listen closely to each of his or her patients to come up with a correct diagnosis and treatment plan based on their unique conditions, says Dr. Towfigh.

Dr. Towfigh notes that the best diagnosis is the correct diagnosis, and that patients regularly rely on her to properly identify the source of their pain so they can finally begin with the correct treatment. In addition to treating patients and performing hernia repair surgery at the Beverly Hills Hernia Center, Dr. Towfigh is active in research and education meant to push progress in the field of hernia treatment further ahead. For more information, or to schedule an appointment at the Beverly Hills Hernia Center today, patients can call 310-358-5020 or visit them online at today.

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Michael Clauw
Cyberset Corp
+1 (818) 883-7277 Ext: 121
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Shirin Towfigh, M.D.
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