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Our Patients Say It Best

Your friends and neighbors from throughout southwest Michigan and beyond share their experiences at Lakeland Health. Do you have a story to share? Click on the "What's Your Story" button and complete the form. 

Quit Running From Pain Share
John Ruder

Nov, 2017

Physicians: Michael Webb, MD

A typical day for John Ruder, 66, includes lifting weights, going for a run, working on his house, and running his web design business. To say John leads a busy life, is an understatement. But all of these things started to slow down three years ago when he began to feel a pain in his abdomen.

“Standing for more than five minutes was extremely uncomfortable,” said John. “I would have to stop what I was doing and sit down.”

John continued to deal with the discomfort until one day he noticed a lump, bulging out from the painful area.

“When I saw the lump show up, I knew right away it was a hernia,” said John.

John was no stranger to this feeling. In 2001, he had a hernia repaired through traditional surgical methods and while the procedure went well, the recovery had been somewhat difficult.

“I was laid up for two weeks,” said John. “I couldn’t carry anything over five pounds, the stiches made me hunch, and there was a tightness in my abdomen when I tried to stand up straight.”

So when John met with general surgeon, Michael Webb, MD, and learned that the da Vinci® robotic surgery was an option this time, he was curious to learn more.

“Dr. Webb was so thorough with his explanation of how the surgery would go and what to expect — I learned so much about the surgery I think I could have done it myself,” laughed John.

 In June of 2016, John underwent minimally invasive surgery. While Dr. Webb was repairing the original hernia he found two other areas where the abdominal wall had weakened, which could have become problematic later on. To avoid future surgeries, Dr. Webb repaired these areas as well while John was still in surgery.

“If I had the hernia repaired through traditional methods, it is not likely Dr. Webb would have seen the other two spots,” said John. “But because he was using the robot, he was able to get a more clear picture of the surrounding areas and potentially saved me from having two future surgeries.”

Before being discharged, Dr. Webb explained that John should wait a couple weeks to do any heavy lifting, but anything else would be fine as long as he didn’t overdo it and continued to feel good.

“The recovery from da Vinci surgery was amazing,” said John. “In fact, two days after surgery I was shingling my garage roof.”

John is now back to his busy schedule and shows no signs of slowing down.

“I let the pain from the hernia disrupt my life for too long,” said John. “Since having the surgery I am able to stand, run, lift, work, and live my life pain free.”

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