ACNES Surgery 

I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the utterly lovely Professor Aali Sheen. I could not have been in better hands.

I contacted Professor Sheen because he is the UK’s leading surgeon for Abdominal Nerve Cutaneous Entrapment Syndrome, a little known but excruciatingly painful condition that was causing me severe disability and extreme distress.  

Professor Sheen was wonderful. He was very open-minded and explained everything clearly. Because my pain was at the very lateral border of the rectus abdominis on either side, after much consideration, we agreed on a posterior and anterior neurectomy. He gave me the time I needed to feel confident that this surgery was the right course of action and that it would yield results. The operation was scheduled very quickly and the care I received on the day was fantastic. When Professor Sheen came to visit me the day after, I was able to tell him that the appalling nerve pain that was preventing me from moving was no longer there. Three weeks later, with two very neat scars healing beautifully, I was able to start physiotherapy. It feels nothing short of miraculous. 

I would wholeheartedly recommend Professor Sheen to anyone struggling with ACNES. He is an extremely skilled surgeon and it is no understatement to say that surgery with him has given me my life back.

Professor Sheen has changed the quality of my life enormously, my pain level going from about seven or eight to ZERO!

I went through five years and three general anaesthetics having internal abdominal operations, none of which solved the problem.

Eventually it was briefly pointed out I might have ACNES, which had never been previously mentioned and I had never heard of.

I set about investigating the subject and quickly ascertained Professor Sheen was, without a doubt, the recognised expert on the subject.

I met with him in London, and found him to be a very charming down to earth gentleman.

He quickly diagnosed it was highly likely my problem was indeed ACNES, and pointed out it was not unusual for this condition to be misdiagnosed.

He performed the operation which was relatively minor in relation to the previous three, however unlike those, it solved the problem 100% - wonderful, life changing indeed.

I could not recommend Professor Aali Sheen more highly.

Alan Stewart - ( retired airline pilot, Oxfordshire. )

Professor Sheen repaired my right and left inguinal hernias by laparoscopic surgery in May, 2021. The operation was arranged quickly after an initial consultation in the Alexandra Hospital, Cheadle. Admission on the day was Covid-safe and efficient. In my room I was visited by the ward sister, with a briefing and theatre-wear, and shortly after that the anaesthetist discussed his procedures and dealt with any questions. In between these visits, a nice lady took my order for lunch, which was comforting - they obviously were confident that I would be coming out of theatre with an appetite.

In the anteroom I was anaesthetised without fuss and I came-to about an hour and a half later in the recovery room. I had no pain, felt fine and chatted to the nurse for about half an hour before they took me back to my room. Prof Sheen visited me soon after that and told me that the operation had gone well. I had lunch a while later and spent a rather pleasant afternoon watching cricket on my iPad. I still had little pain or discomfort and, once I had successfully passed urine (important, because prostate swelling can cause urinary retention), I was allowed to call my wife so that she could come to collect me. I walked out of the hospital unassisted at 5.30.

Over the next 48 hours I had little pain and paracetamol was adequate for relief. I was up and about the day after my operation and was doing gentle gardening on day 3. My recovery was smooth and I was ‘signed off’ by Professor Sheen three weeks after the operation.

I was completely satisfied with the whole procedure and very pleased with the result. I am writing this seven weeks post-op and am living normally and doing everything I need/want to do, except for heavy lifting. My wounds are completely healed and I have no discomfort in my lower abdomen. I have no hesitation in recommending Professor Sheen and the staff at the Alex for this sort of procedure and I’m grateful to them all. Thank you!

Professor David Tomlinson
University of Manchester, Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health

I experienced groin pain after participating in an Ironman 70.3 triathlon event in 2018. The pain did not go away, and I sought out the guidance of Professor Aali Sheen, who I knew to be a renowned practitioner in his field. After an initial consultation, Professor Sheen facilitated ultrasound and MRI scans which confirmed bilateral groin hernias. I subsequently underwent bilateral groin hernia repair at the end of August 2020 with Professor Sheen. The care was excellent on the day of surgery - I felt fully informed and at ease. The post-operative aftercare was similarly very good. Professor Sheen referred me to a leading physio in the rehabilitation of hernia repair patients, and the results surpassed my expectations. I was training again within a month, pain free. Thank you to Professor Sheen and his team for getting me back on my feet!

I have had an umbilical hernia for some years, and although not painful I always felt it to be unsightly and a bit embarrassing ,especially
whilst sunbathing or swimming . I, finally, this year decided to do something about it. I consulted my G.P. who referred me to Professor Aali Sheen
who explained the pros and cons of the procedure. He recommended the use of a mesh insert to repair the hernia as this method had proved
to have had only a 2% chance of recurrence ,as opposed to a 30% chance without. I opted for the mesh system and was booked into the
Spire Hospital in Manchester. The operation was done as a day case in the morning, and I was discharged and collected early evening .

Following the operation, for the first two days the wound was a little sore , but within four days I was able to drive without any discomfort and
returned to work.

It is now four weeks since the operation and the wound has completely healed. I am extremely pleased with the result, and can recommend the
procedure, Professor Sheen , his team and the Spire Manchester most highly.


I recently underwent the Manchester repair for a left sided inguinal hernia, and removal of a lipoma, with Professor Sheen.

I chose to see Professor Sheen because of his extensive expertise and excellent reputation in the field. This was all borne out by my experience with him. From our first meeting Professor Sheen was extremely thorough and reassuring. He explained exactly what needed to be done and how it would be done, and I left our consultation confident in our plan. In my personal and professional experience, administration and follow-through are just as important as individual interaction, and I was very happy to find that the paperwork and planning all came through exactly as advised, and Professor Sheen’s office were very helpful when I called to clarify certain points. Although my scans for the lipoma were done previously at another hospital, Professor Sheen made the effort to get hold of them and look them over before my operation date.

Professor Sheen came to visit me on the day of my procedure and reiterated the plan. The rest of his team was equally efficient and professional on the day. The procedure went as hoped and Professor Sheen came by while I was in the recovery room, and to my room later in the day to check on my progress and clear my discharge. Over the next few weeks recovery went as hoped, and the few queries that I had were fielded expertly by Professor Sheen’s office. 

Things are going well now, better than I could have hoped, and I have been very impressed by Professor Sheen’s care, expertise, and organisation. I have felt well cared for by both himself and his team. I would highly recommend Professor Sheen. Thanks so much Professor Sheen, your clinical and professional care, and the team that you have assembled around you, are second to none.

Dr Ahmed 
General Practitioner


From my initial consultation, all the way through to my post operation consultation, I had full confidence in Professor Sheen’s abilities to fix my problem, help me return to pain free running and back on my journey towards qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Professor Sheen and his team operated with the utmost professionalism, while also taking a genuine interest in my condition and the process of getting me back to full health. Thank you to Professor Sheen and everyone at the Spire Hospital and Manchester General Surgery. Ross Millington 2016 Olympian.



Professor Sheen came highly recommended as a leading hernia specialist and it is a reputation which is well deserved. I found his care, skill and experience second to none. The quality of the surgery has allowed me to recover quickly and get back to work sooner than I expected - and back to the sports I enjoy. The level of care and attention Professor Sheen gave was very reassuring before, during and after the procedure. He delivered everything I hoped for under his care. I would recommend anyone looking for surgical repair of a hernia to head his way! Thanks for everything.



Dear Professor Sheen, I just wanted to express my sincere thanks for the care and quality of the surgery you were able perform for me. Given the suddenness and seriousness of my illness I found the attention of all concerned- yourself, Dr Saleem  and nursing staff most gratifying .Moreover on inspection its difficult to see I had any operations at all and a testament to the surgical skill involved. I now seem fully recovered and precisely meeting your forecast timescales.Once again my thanks to you and all involved .

With kind regards

David Robinson 



My name is Phil Challenger. I am a 63 years of age, and a keen mountain biker.
I attended a consultation with Professor Sheen on 8th of May 2019, and was diagnosed with a double, inguinal, hernia.
My operation was scheduled for, and carried out, on the 17th May 2019.
I was walking a little on the evening of the 17th, and walked out of the hospital (Alexandra Cheadle) the following day.
I rested for 2/3 days then started walking, firstly 5/10 minutes only, and on the 21st of May (4 days post op) I walked 3.5 miles, on, and off road.
I increased the distance and pace each day until, after 15 days, I ran/walked 4 miles with relative ease.
A few days later (still week 3, post op) I cycled for 30 minutes on the static bike (saddle lowered slightly)
I increased distance, pace and resistance on static bike for a further 4 days.
On Sunday 9th June (3 weeks 2 days post op) I cycled, albeit steadily, 30 miles off/on road with one stop.
On Monday 17th June (4 weeks 3 days post op) whilst on holiday in Menorca, I cycled 20 miles of their, brutal “Cami de Cavalls” trail (it was 28 degrees and very rough terrain)
I am now back to riding, long distance, off road routes with easily 2/3000 feet of ascent/descent per ride, 3 times per week.
I am not quite back to full fitness, but I expect to be there, or thereabouts in a week or so as
I have 3 consecutive 6/7 hour days of tough North York Moors riding coming up next week (4th -6th inc. July)
I returned for my follow up consultation with Professor Sheen today (26th June) and was declared fully repaired, ready to start my full training/riding regime once again.


Prof Sheen carried out a bi-lateral sports hernia repair for me on March 1st 2019 after not being able to recover via rest and Physiotherapy. Whilst being a little sore fore a few days after surgery it soon became clear that something had been fixed ! After 3 weeks I was walking up to 5 miles with little pain, after 5 weeks I was doing some light running on fields. Now after 8 weeks I am road running again at a reasonable pace...pain free ! I would highly recommend Prof Sheen for any sports related groin injury. Mark Oliver. Flixton. Manchester



About a month ago I had two inguinal (groin both sides) hernias repaired by Professor Sheen. It was the first operation I have had and as the hernias weren’t bothering me I was a bit reluctant to have it, but the friend, a sports physician, who recommended Prof. Sheen to me pointed out several very good reasons why I should. In particular: they don’t get better on their own, and get worse with time, and the operation gets riskier as you get older, and they can sometimes give rise to a medical emergency in which case the surgery is not elective!

The operation was a breeze to be honest. I was a bit bruised and battered after the surgery particularly around the incision, which was small and just below the navel, but I didn’t need any painkillers. I felt generally stiff for a couple of weeks, but I only needed a week off work and could drive there (mind you it’s a desk job). After three weeks Prof. Sheen saw me again and signed me off. By the way here’s a tip. You’ll need some loose-in-the-waistband trousers to go home in after the operation and for a couple of weeks thereafter.

If there are any Private Pilots reading this: I reported the operation to my CAA doctor the day before I had it and of course my medical was suspended. After the review Prof Sheen copied the letter to my GP to me and I emailed it to my CAA doctor, who declared me fit. He did not need to see me. So I was only grounded for three and a half weeks. It’s illegal not to report it as I’m sure you know.

Later this year I’ll be back with Professor Sheen having my ventral (stomach) hernias repaired. It seems I have an abundance of hernias! I wouldn’t say I’m looking forward to it but I feel much more confident than I did about the first one.

John Forrest


I had my surgery in September 2018 and wanted to wait to review to make sure everything is healed and give a more mid-term outcome.

I was diagnosed with ACNES in 2013 and have been having injections every 3 – 6 months at pain management clinic. After 5 years the injections were no longer effective and I needed surgery.

I found Professor Sheen whilst searching for a surgeon that would do Abdominal Nerve Entrapment Syndrome (ACNES) surgery. Having approached many surgeons in my area , none had heard of the condition let alone would consider operating. I first emailed his secretary who emailed back very quickly to tell me that yes he did treat ACNES patients. I made an appointment at BMI Alexandra.

I was called in for my appointment a few minutes early and immediately felt welcome by Professor Sheen. We went through my history and, after a quick abdominal examination and questionnaire, he was confident that I did have ACNES and that surgery would potentially help (no surgery is guaranteed!)

I decided to go to BMI Alexandra for this as it was more convenient and I wanted the surgery as soon as possible. I organised a date via Professor Sheen's secretary

Arriving at BMI hospital I was greeted and taken to my room for the day. Professor Sheen and his anaesthetic team came to greet me and go through the operation and other checks.

Waking up from the operation (I have had 5 previous abdominal operations) the pain was minimal. I believe he used local anaesthetic in and around the wound which made a massive difference. Within an hour I was able to have a drink and then later on was able to get up out of bed. Glue was used on the outer wound and this healed amazingly well and was incredibly neat. I returned to work two weeks later.

I felt the benefit of the surgery a few weeks later once the wound itself had healed and inflammation had gone down. I returned to see Professor Sheen post operatively and we discussed that the surgery was successful at that time.

So, six months after the operation I can still say the surgery has worked really well. My pain has reduced a lot and I am so glad I had the surgery. I get the occasional twinge of discomfort from the tissue but it doesn't require any pain medication or intervention. My scar has faded and isn't really noticeable unless looking for it! ACNES seems to be a difficult condition to treat and I am forever thankful to Professor Sheen and his team for helping me!



I sought the help of Prof Aali Sheen, on the recommendation of a Sports Medicine colleague & some patient recommendations from my private physiotherapy clinic.

As an England Masters Hockey Player, I struggled through a World Cup in summer 2018, with my hernia & an associated adductor issue. The injury meant I could no longer play through the pain. 

The care Prof Sheen provided me, from initial consultation to surgery & follow up care, was superb & he gave me 100% confidence the surgery would resolve my issues.

I am now 6 weeks post-op & am already running pain-free & have also stated playing hockey, which far exceeded my expectations for my recovery. 

Many thanks Prof Sheen for all your help. The best in the business.


 It is now some 4 weeks after you carried out the repair on my large adnominal hernia; all is well. and I can now return back to normal life!

Can I please take this opportunity to personally thank you for the manner in which you conducted your affairs during the process, and the quality of the service you have provided. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to the nursing staff of the Alexandra Hospital at Cheadle, who just exuded kindness and consideration.

I am very grateful to you all.

Duncan Aveyard