Century Village Couple
Does Everything Together –
Including Hernia Surgery
by Ed Gorin
Molly and Jack Schneider of Pembroke Pines are greeted in the recovery room of South Miami Hospital by daughter Nancie Sturges moments after completing their his-and-her hernia repairs. Both operations were performed by Dr. Arthur Gilbert of the Hernia Institute of Florida.
Each year since they retired, Molly and Jack Schneider spend the Jewish holidays in New Jersey and then return to their winter home in Century Village in Pembroke Pines.
Each year one of the first activities upon returning to Florida is that Molly, 77, and Jack, 78, go to their respective doctors for a checkup.
This year they both came home from their doctors with news.
“I have a hernia,” Jack told his wife.
“I have a hernia, too,” Molly said.
They looked at each other.
“My doctor says there is only one place he would recommend to get the hernia fixed,” Jack said.
“My doctor told me that, too,” said Molly.
“My doctor said to go to Dr. Arthur Gilbert in South Miami,” said Jack.
“Mine did, too!” said Molly.
So the Schneiders, who have done everything together for the past 55 years, called the Hernia Institute of Florida and scheduled back-to-back hernia operations.
The three doctors at the Hernia Institute are among only about 25 in the world who specialize in hernia repair. Dr. Gilbert has repaired more than 16,000 hernias and has developed a new repair technique, being produced by Ethicon and marketed worldwide. The “Gilbert patch” provides a tension-free repair that reduces patient discomfort and gets patients back to normal activity quickly. The repair also virtually eliminates the 15% to 20% failure rate that faces most first-time hernia patients.
The couple was was not looking forward to this. Molly had a previous hernia repaired years ago, and had what she describes as “great discomfort” after that operation.
The Schneiders spent the night in Miami with their daughter, Nancie Sturges, who took them to South Miami Hospital at 6:30 a.m. on a Monday morning. Jack went into the operating room first, at 7 a.m. Everyone was surprised to find out that Jack had not one hernia, but two, which took a little longer to repair. Dr. Gilbert said about 15% of the time the hernia is a double, making it extremely important for the patient to be under local anesthetic and awake during the surgery. “After I repair the hernia I have the patient cough. I can see at that time there is a second hernia, while we’re still in the operating room” he explained. “That’s hard to tell when a patient is under general anesthetic.”
Molly went next, at 8:30. After a brief recovery period the couple was discharged, and was back at their daughter’s house by noon. Both reported feeling remarkably fine.
The next day, on Tuesday, Jack, who retired 13 years ago from his job as an electrician, went to the supermarket with Nancie to do some shopping and get some exercise.
By Thursday Jack and Mollie were ready to go home to Century Village. Both were looking forward to telling everyone in Century Village about their operations and visiting their family doctors and saying: “You were right!”
“We have a lot of experience with doctors, and this has been a remarkable experience for the whole family,” said daughter Nancie Sturges. “Everyone at the Hernia Institute was just so nice and helpful through the entire experience. These are very special people here.”