Reply To: Opinions on mesh removal & managing chronic pain
I had my mesh removed over 2 years ago by Dr. Kevin Petersen. I had many of the symptoms that Groundfaller describes in his post. My mesh was implanted laparoscopic but removed open mid line, big mistake. I should have waited but i was distraught and desperate after suffering for a year after mesh implantation. A lot of people have come to me for advice and to hear what happened to me. Mesh removal is risky. Obviously the more experience the surgeon has the better as is with any surgical procedure. The mesh removal is a bad bet if only because mesh is not meant to be removed and the inguinal meshes are in a very complex area of the body which is kind of like a super highway of vessels nerves cord structures etc. Unfortunately once a complication arises after a mesh implant then it is either wait it out and hope or have it removed. Both are uncertain choices.
Another poster “Mesh” has described his nightmare with Dr. Petersen. I too am far worse after my mesh removal and was also offered very little (actually none) information regarding the possible complications of removal. The only answers this doctor will provide is if you ask him specifically about something and then the answers are often contradictory to any medical information available, or any symptoms you actually are experiencing especially in regards to nerves and regrowth. Be careful, mesh removal almost always involves nerve damage. Mesh removal almost always results in a recreation of the original hernia or leaves you a prime candidate to re-herniate. If mesh is hopelessly adhered to other structures or vessels the surgeons will leave some of it there. The most common advice for chronic pain before or after mesh implant/explant is a Neurectomy, also another bad bet and gamble. The best way to avoid all of this is to not have mesh implanted in the first place. The debate about mesh or no mesh will carry on I am sure but it is undeniable that people experiencing pain after mesh implant can safely say that the cause was because of a mesh implant. Chronic pain only happens in a small percentage of patients but when you have say 5% of 800,000 people then it is a big number that is worthy of being recognized and addressed. Surgeons are way too quick to implant mesh unnecessarily and way too quick to remove it as well. If you insist on a mesh removal do not have your Lap mesh removed openly. Do not go to a doctor who advertises surgery or participates in online forums or Facebook websites. Do not have your mesh removed unless absolutely necessary, it is a measure of last resort.
One last thing. From many mesh removal patients I have spoken with. The pain after mesh removal, especially nerve pain, seems to happen later in the recovery process, at around 3-6 months, this is almost always a nerve related pain by that time. The same is true for post Neurectomy pain. A lot of mesh removal patients think they are fine but later on…….. look out. I urge you to go to Dr. Petersen’s website and look at the picture of the piece of nerve that was removed with the mesh from one of his patients, see link below.
I promise you this nerve will not grow back by itself or without an extensive nerve graph or transplant and even with nerve surgery there are no guarantees on the other hand if a nerve develops a neuromatos condition because of the mesh as pictured then your also in trouble.The result in either case is chronic pain.
This picture in itself summarizes every concern anyone should have about mesh implantation-removal and it’s complications. There are other complications but this is the big one and the amazing thing is it is posted right on his website.