Embarrassing Bodies’ Russell has ‘football’ hernia removed by Hitchin doctors

DOCTORS at a Hitchin hospital have come to the rescue of a man who had a hernia the size of a football, with the operation to remove the biggest growth they’d ever seen aired on TV on Friday night.

A Channel 4 film crew captured the moment Ramsay Healthcare consultants at Pinehill Hospital performed a delicate operation to remove a hernia from a 47-year-old’s man’s stomach, as part of the first episode of the channel’s fourth Embarrassing Bodies series.

Patient Russell Vaughan attended the Benslow Lane hospital after enduring eight years of pain, and only had the hernia dealt with after his daughter noticed the Embarrassing Bodies team were appearing near his home in Spain’s Costa del Sol.

Consultant Sanjay Gupta, who performed the operation on ex-pat Russell, said: “This was one of the biggest hernias you would come across in a surgical practice.

“This chap has lived with this for almost a decade, it’s almost like a baby if you look at his belly. I don’t know how he managed to carry it along, how he managed to continue working.

“Hernias of such enormous proportions are very prone to strangulation - where they effectively block the bowel, requiring an urgent operation. He’s unusually lucky that he’s never had any problems over all these years.”

A considerably slimmed down and more confident Russell, who was on his way home just two days after the hernia was removed, added: “I’d tried to do it on the National Health but I got bumped down the list and just chickened out.

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“Initially the prodding and the messing about put me off, and then a consultant said it wasn’t life threatening.

“I wore a hernia belt and didn’t notice it getting worse and worse. I got so used to seeing it hanging there that I didn’t notice how big it was.

“They did a great job of fixing it. I’m now starting to get myself back together.”