News Feed Discussions In the 70s and 80s hernias were no big deal –now they are hell Reply To: In the 70s and 80s hernias were no big deal –now they are hell

  • ajm222

    April 27, 2023 at 6:42 am

    i think we should be very careful with hyperbole. getting the numbers precisely right, especially when dealing with ‘anecdata,’ is very important on a forum like this. it’s admittedly very difficult though as individuals often even forget their own timelines in short order. but when people read that someone had a certain type of repair that only lasted a few years, and someone had one that lasted decades, they tend to take that to the bank. but the reality is often that these numbers are very inaccurate, especially second-hand. even careful scientific studies are often shown later to be incorrect. and definitely if one of your peers had a tissue repair 45-55 years ago, they were certainly a teen or younger. and people that age even today generally get tissue repairs (because they are still growing), and with greater success given their age.

    i think the broader conundrum stands, though – that in the fairly recent past tissue repairs were the standard, and all of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents probably had tissue repairs, and i don’t recall a lot of problems being discussed. seems they generally worked fairly well. though older folks may be less likely to complain out loud about their medical issues. regardless, i know a number of people with mesh repairs, and when i’ve probed them they have admitted having issues in several cases to varying degrees. it really doesn’t seem like overall chronic pain rates and recurrences etc etc have improved all that much with the advent of mesh. but again, that’s just what I have personally encountered. many studies suggest that those metrics have indeed improved. though it may primarily be with the average general surgeon who doesn’t specialize.

    also, it’s still fairly early. mesh repairs aren’t being followed super carefully, and many are less than 20 years old. jury is still out to some degree about long-term impacts. when you’re in your 40s and get a mesh repair, you’re told it should be a life-long repair without problems. but you may have that mesh for decades. we’re probably getting close to the point that some folks now in their 60s, 70s and 80s who had mesh repairs in the late 90s or early aughts are coming of age. tissue repairs can last a long time, but there seem to be a lot of folks who have failures after 20 or 25 years. do we know for certain yet mesh won’t be the same? and if mesh does fail at that point, what is the fix? removal? more mesh?