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  • jgens99218

    April 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Swollen Groin after Mesh Removal


    This Friday will be 10 months since my mesh removal. As I have discussed previously in this thread my mesh removal has remedied the problems I used to have but have caused other issues. Currently my issues are what I believe to be nerve related. This is not uncommon with mesh removal as the nerves are almost always irritated, or damaged from the mesh removal process. Other potential damage includes but is not limited to transversalis fascia, spermatic cord, vessels & arteries (among other significant risks).

    After 2 years of research and discussions with many of the leading hernia specialists in the country, mesh removal patients, hernia discussion forums, countless website testimonials, as well as my own experience, I have concluded the following (my opinion of course):

    There is no real difference in risk whether you have mesh removed openly or laparoscopically. The school of thought is laparoscopic is less invasive? From an aesthetic point of view this is certainly true. However with laparoscopic surgery here is a lot going on with trocars and their manipulation as well as “blazing” a trail to the surgical site. good access to the surgical site should be considered with either method. Perhaps the most important thing to consider is who is operating on you.

    Nerves: Technically nerves grow back. Do the proximal ends always end up joining to it’s distal end? Sometimes! Some people are more prone to feeling nerve related issues than others. Some people have no ill side effects from nerve damage or separation. Medications for nerve related issues, if they work, just mask the cause and do not cure anything. These medications also come with a whole host of side effects and withdrawal concerns. This also is true of anesthetic and or steroid injections. Nerve resection or Neurectomy is also a tricky business which can result in complete success or worsening of the original problem.

    I am totally against the use of mesh to repair a simple hernia. In my case I believe that the mesh contraction caused most if not all of my problems. I also believe that the mesh that was implanted on my right side was not necessary and done more as a precaution (a somewhat common practice) although in my operative report my surgeon states “he did have a small hernia”. I believe that when mesh is implanted unnecessarily it lends to complications. In my case there was no hernia evident after my mesh removal. This was confirmed post operatively by my current hernia surgeon (an expert) through physical evaluation, Ultrasound and MRI. I think a pure tissue repair with absorbable sutures are your best bet. Is this method a higher risk for reoccurance?, Absolutely, you would then need to modify your physical lifestyle accordingly. There is just too many things that can go wrong with mesh and although the risk for complications from mesh are low, let’s say 1%, then if 500,000 operations are performed this year that equals 5000 people suffering in pain! The use of mesh should be limited to situations where there is no other viable alternative.

    Now for the mesh removal issue. I believe mesh removal is a bad bet. I also believe people react to soon when they experience issues with their implanted mesh. Time is a great healer and although the pain and suffering is not good and difficult to bear, acting too quickly often times makes matters worse.

    Given enough time (how long??) then the removal gamble MAY pay off. I think waiting at least 12-18 months would be a rough guideline and waiting even longer depending on the intensity and frequency of your pain. Make no mistake about it mesh removal surgery is very risky. Try to remember that mesh was not designed to come out once implanted. This stuff has to be “filleted” out of you so to speak while dodging an obstacle course of vital anatomical structures. Unfortunately once mesh is in you and you experience a problem with it then you have tough decisions to make. Also we do not know (surgeons or patients) everything about mesh, nerves, surgery, patients characteristics etc. No two people are quite alike.

    Will I ever be the same as I was before mesh? Nope. The goal now is to have any current issues be manageable preferably without medication and enhanced through diet, lifestyle and physical/behavioral therapy. I feel I am slowly improving still and time will tell where I finally end up.

    I know this is more than what you asked me but I felt compelled to write SOME of my feeling in this matter and hope that it helps others that are in a similar situation.

    Good Luck, JG