Up and about again after surgery done under local anaesthetic

A Hartlepool man is up, about and enjoying his walks on the coast again after having his hernia operation done under local anaesthetic.

Harry Robinson, 86, from Clavering has a heart condition which meant he would have been unable to have a general or spinal anaesthetic , However his second hernia in 30 years was making him uncomfortable. Associate specialist surgeon Manuf Kassem discussed the possibility of surgery under local anaesthetic with Mr Robinson and it was agreed this should go ahead.

Harry said: “I knew with my heart condition I wouldn’t be able to have a general anaesthetic but my hernia needed to be done and when we discussed having the surgery under local anaesthetic I was happy to go ahead.

“I was a keen golfer and walker and, though I can’t get around as much as I used to, I still enjoy a short walk by the sea and I was keen to get back to being able to do this.”

Manuf Kassem said: “The surgery took about 45 minutes and, because I could talk to Mr Robinson all the way through, I could carefully anaesthetise the area I was working on and check with him if he could feel anything. Our amazing theatre team also talked to him as I was operating and he didn’t feel worried at all. He was up and about, drinking tea and having a sandwich shortly afterwards and within three hours he went home.

“For me as a surgeon it is fantastic to be able to offer this because someone with multiple or severe medical problems would have not to live with something as uncomfortable as a hernia and its potential life threatening complications of bowel obstruction and strangulation. It was good to see Mr Robinson in clinic recently and see how well he is doing.”

Mr Robinson added: “When I had the other hernia 30 years ago I had stitches and an overnight stay in hospital. This time I was asked if I wanted to stay but I felt well and, knowing my wife May was at home, I wanted to go home to recover there. This time there were no stitches to take out; the wound is healing well and I’m getting back to normal.

“I know some people might prefer to be asleep during their operation but for me there was no choice because of my heart condition. I’d say don’t let being awake put you off. The doctors today can do your operation while you’re awake and, if like me you’ve got other medical problems, this is far safer. The staff took really good care of me and I wasn’t worried at all.”

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