Before leaving the operating table, a patient under local anesthetic can help the surgeon check hernia repair, abdominal surgeons were advised at a recent clinical meeting.
"The repair is tested by ordering the patient to cough, perform the Valsalva maneuver, and lift his head and shoulders off the operating table," Irving L. Lichtenstein, MD, told a scientific session of the Seventh Annual Clinical Congress of Abdominal Surgeons.
These efforts are approximately equivalent to lifting a 75-lb weight, he said, and "early in our experience, produced unexpected frequency of suture or tissue rupture."
But, he said, this can be effective in showing the surgeon, while the operation still is in progress, whether the repair is likely to hold or if more work must be done.
Then, Dr. Lichtenstein said, the patient sits up, puts on slippers and robe without assistance, "and may even jump down off the table if