Steve F. – March 7, 2013
I had my surgery done on February 28th 2013, and am thrilled with the results and experience. Being uninsured, I was quite worried when I began my search. My hernia had become painful and wouldn’t retract. I had narrowed my options to 2 places, and after reading reviews online, and searching everything I could find on Dr. Alan Kravitz, Affordable Hernia Surgery, and Montgomery Surgery Center, felt AHS would be my best choice, and boy was I right!! After hearing the cost, people I know were concerned that this was the only reason I chose AHS. I assured them I had thoroughly researched this and other places who perform hernia repairs, and Dr Kravitz, and although cost was a factor, it was NOT the primary reason for my choice. The hotel they suggested was very nice, and my initial visit to Dr. Kravitz was an indication of things to come. I didn’t wait long in the office after being greeted by a cheerful secretary, and the doctor made me feel very at ease, taking the time to ensure I had an understanding of the methods to be employed in the surgery, and anesthesiology, even letting me handle a piece of the mesh, the same type that would eventually be keeping everything where it is supposed to be inside of me. He didn’t quickly skim over the risks, taking the time to explain all risks, and letting me know that although these risks are remote, they, of course, do appear. He made sure I had his number, and could call anytime, and he would get back to me if out of the office. Dr Kravitz made it very clear that he wanted me fully informed and if I had any questions, to please call so we could talk. The secretary gave me directions to Montgomery Surgery Center, conveniently located just a couple minutes from the hotel. Something I omitted above is that Montgomery Surgery Center had called me at an earlier date to ask questions and schedule the time. They had me answer all questions that would help the anesthesiologist perform his job. They were polite, and thorough. Once I arrived, I waited about 15 minutes, and was led to a pre-op area where I was prepped for the surgery. All of the staff, nurses and secretarial, were polite and friendly, and of course, very professional. The anesthesiologist introduced himself, and went over what I the questions I had answered previously, ensuring everything was correct. I have a close personal friend who does this, and realize the importance of being up front and totally honest with habits, medications etc. so there are no problems. I wish I could remember his name, but I’ve always been poor with names, and once we got down to business, there were more important things to be concerned with. The nurses had begun giving me fluids and an antibiotic earlier as part of the preparation, to help prevent any infection and keep my fluid levels proper. The anesthesiologist explained the type of anesthesia he would be performing, and introduced me to the Anesthetist who, would be monitoring my vitals during the operation. This is a very common practice, I know because my friend does some grueling operations, and the anesthesiologist is there to bring you down and bring you back up, and the anesthetist stays with the patient during the surgery. The anesthesiologist is nearby for anyone with concerns, but this method is safest for the patient for reasons I heard but won’t get into since this is rapidly turning into a book. Dr. Kravitz then came in to greet me as I lay in the pre-op, and with a smile asked if I was all set. And of course I was. I just wanted to have this done, go through recovery, and get back to life. Doctor Kravitz is not someone who does these “on occasion”. This is his specialty. He has done more of these than most specialists, and with that, has encountered just about every situation imaginable. I had complete trust. An hour later, I was babbling to the nurses. I felt good, was told it went well, and the pain was not bad. I guess about what I expected, or maybe a little less. I was a little light headed, but no nausea or anything. After a half hour, I was ready to go!! The doctor stopped in to see me once again, after performing another surgery, and we spoke for a few minutes, he explaining that the surgery went well, and making sure I felt okay. A short time later, I was on my way home, with my driver trying not to hit bumps….more for fear of damage that could be done than pain. I was back in New Jersey in 4 hours laying in my bed. On the drive home, I checked my email and saw the doctor had sent an email with his contact info, and he once again said to call if I had any concerns or questions. I was also asked to call on the Monday following the Thursday surgery. Once home, the pain increases a bit the 2nd day…not much….goes down a bit the 3rd day, and each day after. By the end of day 5, I was walking around outside. I had walked a lot inside of the house from day 1. Today is day 7, and I feel really good, and know I’ll feel even better tomorrow and the day after. Everyone has different recovery time I know, but I have no reason to push things, and every reason to not. My suggestion to anyone receiving this surgery is simply to let time heal the wounds. Follow instructions. Walk as soon as you can. The most difficult time the first couple days is the morning when you wake up. Things seem tight and you have to stand and walk to the bathroom, so using the slow roll, elbows and gravity, learn to move using your lower abdomen on the side of surgery as little as possible. I had the left side done, and found that using stairs had a method. Going down, using the railings and wall if possible, lead with the leg on the repair side, bending the non-surgery side leg to lower the surgery side foot to the next step, and going up steps, the exact opposite, leading with the non-surgery side, planting that foot, and pushing up. If anyone is going to have this done, practice a little. Feel the muscles that tighten and learn to get up and lay down as smoothly as possible. Do the stairs pretending that there will be a little spike in pain if you use the abs on the side to be repaired. The doctor, anesthesiologist, anesthetist, nurses and secretaries all did their jobs incredibly well, and the rest is up to you, so just get it done and feel better!!!! Good luck to all having the procedure done, and Thank you Dr. Kravitz and all the fine staff at your office and Montgomery Surgery Center for a wonderful experience!!!