Patient Story: Marc Weisenfreund

Marc WeisenfreundMarc Weisenfreund, an attorney from Westchester, NY, has had the opportunity to meet a lot of doctors in his 70 years. But his experience at NYP/Columbia with Dr. Peter Geller was something entirely different, he says.

Marc had suffered from symptoms of indigestion for about 20 years, relying on daily medications to prevent acid reflux that seemed to persist with no clear cause. In addition, his belly button, normally an ‘outie,’ began to grow larger and more protruded. Over time this progressed until the discomfort became unbearable. After several physicians referred him to Dr. Geller and he was satisfied with his research about Dr. Geller’s experience, Marc came in for a consult in January, 2016.

Marc says that he had never experienced a doctor who treated a patient with such respect, kindness, and compassion as did Dr. Geller. “I was incredibly impressed with his demeanor, his kind bedside manner, and his knowledge. He is an extraordinarily caring physician – probably the most incredible physician I’ve ever met.” Dr. Geller reassured Marc he could easily take care of the problem, an umbilical hernia. An umbilical hernia is a condition in which part of the intestines protrudes through the umbilical opening (the belly button) in the abdominal muscles. 

Dr. Geller performed Marc’s surgery two days later at an outpatient surgical center. Accessing the hernia through a 1-inch incision, he pushed the intestines back into their proper location and stitched a small piece of mesh in the abdominal wall to reinforce the weakened area.  Marc took pain medication once in the recovery room, and that was it. Not only was his recovery fast, but as soon as the hernia was repaired, Marc’s gastric reflux completely disappeared, leaving him free from medication. “This was a simple procedure, and right away I felt immeasurably better,” he says.

At one point early in his recovery, Marc was concerned that he had injured his incision by lifting something too heavy. “Dr. Geller was leaving town that day on an urgent personal matter and couldn’t see me. So he gave me his cell number and I sent him photos of my incision. He could tell from the photos the incision was fine, but if I had needed care, he would have changed his plans to be here for me.”

Marc offered to share his story here so that others could know what to expect when they come to the Hernia Center.  Learn more about hernias at