Reply To: Researching surgeons – what questions to ask
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I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to get the details of what worked and the details of what your surgeon is planning. Make sure that they match. Things are changing very fast right now and things are being tried that have not been proven to work. There is a lot of experimenting going on, with no long-term follow-up.
Get on to youtube and search “sages conference hernia” or similar and watch some of the presentations. Many of the talks are about the new things being tried, and if you watch closely you’ll see that many of the presenters aren’t really confident that their methods work. Their patients go away and they never hear from them again.
It’s great that you have friends that have had the surgery. But you’ll probably have to press them to find out how they really feel. As I said in post #10, we don’t want to look weak so we tend to hide our problems. I know I did, and still do. Plus I spent a couple of years trying to believe that I hadn’t screwed up by having the surgery done. Convincing myself that things would get better eventually.
The “find a surgeon with many surgeries under his belt and you’ll be fine” advice that you see is almost a marketing tool, to make people feel comfortable about having it done. My surgeon had about 400 repairs behind him. He was very skilled. But he was still modifying his method. He told me that but I convinced myself that he was fine-tuning to perfection instead of asking him what was wrong with the way he had been doing things. Maybe he had had earlier problems. I still don’t know.
It’s very difficult to challenge an expert about what they are telling you. Some will get angry. But you’ll live with your choice for the rest of your life. Much longer than a few months of healing pain. If they can’t answer your questions then you know that they don’t know for sure that their methods actually work. Make sure that their method is tailored to you, and is not a one-size-fits-all method. It’s been posted here and I heard it from my surgeon, that active people with low body fat tend to have more problems with mesh. He told me this after I went back with problems, not before. Even though he knew that I was very physically active, and am obviously low body fat.