Dr Ulrike Muschaweck is the surgical chief and founder at the Hernia Center Dr. Muschaweck Munich, the largest European centre that exclusively specialises in hernias of the abdominal wall and groin region. Since 1989 Dr Muschaweck has worked solely on developing techniques in hernia surgery and has developed some new hernia repair techniques in recent years that have revolutionised patient care.
Could you explain the differences between the Minimal-Repair-Technique and conventional hernia surgery?
"With the Minimal-Repair-Technique only the localized defect in the inguinal area is repaired. Meaning: intact, sound tissue stays intact and only the weakness in the groin is repaired, making it the most sparing technique performed in hernia surgery today!"
What lead you to develop the Minimal-Repair-Technique?
"With the experience of having performed more than 14,000 groin repair surgeries, I developed the Minimal-Repair-Technique in the need of an extremely sparing technique for high-performance athletes with a sportsman´s groin or other patients with only a small hernia. These groups of patients have been overtreated so far with the old, known techniques. Also, with the formerly known techniques, there have been longer periods of rest after surgery and also more pain.
"With the sparing Minimal-Repair-Technique, the athlete can walk and lift weights right after surgery and start training after 2 days. Full recovery occurs between 10 and 14 days! (A major difference to 5-7 weeks like with the other techniques, especially for a professional football player!)"
Could you explain your concept of Tailored Repair?
"Tailored surgery means, each patient gets his/her individual surgical repair depending on the needs (Athlete? Fireman? Model?) and findings at medical examination. In a patient who does not need a mesh, I will not implant one! But, sometimes, when the patient is elderly, heavier and has increasing weaknesses around the inguinal canal and a sedentary lifestyle, he might need a mesh and of course will receive one. The judgement of tailored-surgery implies great and long-standing experience, the surgical ability and knowledge to perform a wide variety of surgical techniques!"
Note: 'Mesh' techniques have been developed for patients who have large defects in the wall of the Inguinal canal or for older patients where the abdominal wall is weak. A square surgical mesh is stitched onto the muscle layers of the abdominal region in order to repair the hernia.
What is the typical recovery and rehab period following hernia repair at the Hernia Center Dr. Muschaweck Munich?
"After being operated with the Minimal-Repair-Technique, the patient can return home right after surgery, walk around normally and also, already lift weights up to 20 kg.
"Out of town' patients fly back the same evening. Businessmen/women can start to work the next day and athletes can start to train after 2 days. Footballers can play again after one week!"
What are the potential complications of day care hernia repair?
"Complications are extremely rare, especially with the Minimal-Repair-Technique and can be disregarded. Day Care Surgery, in fact, has only advantages without any disadvantages. We know from clinical studies and our own experience over the past 15 years, that day care surgery has absolutely no increased risks of complications and/or recurrence of the hernia. On the contrary, the risks of hospital-induced infections and the occurrence of thrombembolic complications (blood clots) are greatly reduced in a day-care environment! "