Overall, he is relatively healthy with the exception of some mild cognitive impairment. He is scheduled to have surgery in 6 days for abdominal hernia repair. How can I know if this surgery is truly necessary at his age? I don't trust my mom to make this decision as she can be an "alarmist." A Gastroenterologist has recommended this surgery but how can I trust him with "medicine" being such a big business now? Thoughts please? Do the risks of surgery outweigh not having surgery at all? From what he has said, he's not in any kind of major pain. Couldn't this just wait until symptoms increase? I'm so concerned and need help figuring this out. Thank you!

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I think this is up to your mom & dad. Hernia can cause a lot of problems---they aren't "simple" and not fixing it, your dad could wind up with a torsioned bowel. THAT is serious. Waiting until it maybe "gets worse" seems like playing with fire.

Of course there are risks involved, but I doubt his Dr. would make this decision lightly. Surgery in a very elderly patient carries great risk. No Dr. is going to make decisions like this on a whim.

Sounds like you don't have much faith in medicine--my SIL is a gastroenterologist and I can tell you, the man does NOTHING for personal gain--it is all about his PATIENTS. If you are not happy with the dx, ask for a 2nd opinion.
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