The following content is created in consultation with Sentara. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Washington’s editorial staff. To learn more about Sentara, visit Sentara.com.
Joshua Goad and his wife are always on the go.
“We are very active. I’ve got a sailboat, a kayak. We enjoy going to the gym and working out. It keeps us young,” says the 56-year-old, smiling.
It was during one of his usual workouts when something unusual happened.
“I was at the gym and overexerted myself lifting. At first, I didn’t think anything of it, but then, I started to notice a bulge near my groin region,” he recalls.
Like a lot of people, Joshua Goad thought the problem would fix itself and heal on its own until it didn’t. It was about this time, he started to realize he might have a hernia.
“I would get to the point where I was lifting, exerting and I could actually feel it tightening up on my intestines, the intestine that was hanging out. At that point, I said, if I strangulate this thing, I could be in a world of trouble,” he says, remembering.
That’s when he made an appointment with board-certified, Sentara Medical Group surgeon, Dr. Steven Nakao. Dr. Nakao quickly diagnosed Joshua with an inguinal hernia. Dr. Nakao says hernias aren’t that uncommon, “A hernia is when an intra-abdominal organ, or fatty tissue, protrudes through a muscle defect. This can occur in numerous areas of the body, the abdominal wall, diaphragm and in the groin. Patients can have a single hernia or numerous hernias at one time.”
While asymptomatic hernias can be observed for some time, Joshua and Dr. Nakao discussed the options and decided surgery would be best. That’s when Dr. Nakao shared with Joshua, he was a candidate for robotic surgery, “We can tackle all types of hernias using this method. We can approximate the muscles due to the advances in technology and be able to sew easily in the abdomen and then place mesh, if appropriate, through the small incisions. So we get both a return of muscle function and repair of a hernia through small incisions. This is great for both post-op pain and time off work.”
Joshua had his surgery at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in December 2017. He says he suffered some discomfort those first few days after his procedure, but it wasn’t long until he was back to exercising.
“The weekend after my surgery, my wife and I went to the gym and I was pretty much able to do a limited workout,” says Joshua smiling.
Now, three months later, he says he’s doing better than ever before and doesn’t know why he waited so long.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything better, I was very confident in Dr. Nakao and his abilities. And, he and his team were very helpful. The whole process was smooth,” says Joshua.
And, he has this advice for people living with a hernia: “I should never have let it go for so long. I guarantee it (your hernia) will not get any better. What are you waiting for?”
You shouldn’t live in pain, that’s why Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is hosting three, free hernia screenings over the next few months on the mornings of March 17th, April 14th, and May 19th. The screenings are free, but you must register here.