A 47-year-old singer and guitarist based in Danville, Mike Archer keeps a busy schedule. He travels the country playing covers of hit songs at weddings, parties, festivals and other events. In January 2019, he started to notice something strange while performing.
“I’d hit a certain high note and feel pain in my lower abdomen,” Archer said. “A small bump developed below my bellybutton on the right side, and it got bigger as the year wore on.”
Archer ignored the symptoms for months, but they eventually became impossible to disregard. Research led him to conclude he had a hernia and would likely need surgery to repair it, so his manager scheduled an appointment with Daryl Nisbett, MD, general surgeon at CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Surgery in Lexington.
An Impressive Performance
Archer saw Dr. Nisbett on December 26, 2019. Dr. Nisbett quickly diagnosed the problem — an inguinal hernia, which occurs when part of an organ, fat or tissue pushes through a hole in the abdominal wall. As Archer suspected, he needed surgery, but he worried how the operation and recovery would affect his livelihood. Fortunately, Dr. Nisbett had a plan.
“Dr. Nisbett told me he could do the surgery just four days later, on Dec. 30,” Archer said. “That was very important to me. I needed to have the surgery and heal so I could get back to performing.”
“Working through three small incisions, I took down the lining of the abdominal wall, pulled the contents out of the hernia, placed mesh over the hole and secured it, and put the abdominal wall back in place,” Dr. Nisbett said. “Using the da Vinci allowed Archer to return to work faster.”
Archer didn’t miss any gigs, and when he got back on stage, he noticed an important difference.
“I used to cringe going into a high note because I knew the pain was coming,” he said. “Not anymore. The pain is gone, and that’s made my life a whole lot better.”
“I’d never had surgery before, so I was very nervous, but Dr. Nisbett’s bedside manner was wonderful. He explained what would happen and made me feel so comfortable, like I was talking with a buddy.”
If you need a general surgeon, visit CHISaintJosephHealth.org and select “Find a Provider”.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 edition of Spirit of Health. For more stories like this one, subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine today.