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Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Hernia Repair without Disability

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 12 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3294
  1. Martin Kurzer, surgeon, private practice and the British Hernia Centre, London
  1. m.kurzer{at}

    In 1964 Irving Lichtenstein, a Californian surgeon, presented a new way of dealing with inguinal hernias at the American Medical Association meeting in San Francisco. He encountered a mixture of disbelief and outrage and was bombarded by so many angry questions that the moderator suggested continuing the discussion outside the hall. “I was shocked,” he recalled. “So many people followed. Physicians were shouting questions at me, criticising me, challenging me. There was a great deal of confusion and disorganisation.”

    The routine at that time was to keep the patient in hospital for as long as a week …

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