The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Food & Health

October 18, 2013

TIA episodes launch search for cause, anxiety

(Continued)

Aggrenox is a combination of aspirin and dipyridamole, which make the platelets less “sticky” and reduce the risk of a blood clot and stroke. It’s a reasonable choice to prevent further TIA and stroke. Some authorities recommend a statin to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.

Finally, something that’s easy for me to say but hard to do: relax. Being anxious all the time isn’t good for you. It sounds like your doctor is doing the right things and that you are on a good medication to prevent further problems.

Dear Dr. Roach: Several months ago, I developed a hernia on my right side, but with no pain. My doctor said I do not need an operation, because there is no pain. Do you agree? I am 74 and in exceptionally good health.

ANSWER: A hernia is a weakness or defect in the abdominal wall, through which abdominal structures can pass. Watchful waiting is a reasonable choice for an asymptomatic hernia — one that causes no symptoms — since only a minority of people with a diagnosed hernia will need surgery due to development of symptoms. The biggest risk is part of the intestine coming through the hernia and becoming stuck, which is called a strangulated hernia, and is a surgical emergency. Since most people do very well with surgical repair, many surgeons recommend surgery even on hernias with no symptoms in order to prevent this complication.

How YOU feel about it is the critical issue. If you feel more comfortable getting it fixed now to prevent the chance of future problems, tell him so, and ask to see a surgeon.

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