Reply To: Researching surgeons – what questions to ask
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I understand that people can have major problems with mesh, and that’s definitely a big concern. But it seems the vast majority are fine.
Just to add some clarity to past comments – I have “mesh”. I’m not just an internet rumor.
And, the point a few of us have been making is not the part about the majority but the part about how very bad things are if you’re one of the unlucky ones. It’s not the probability of a bad mesh experience. it’s the level of the damage that you’ll experience, and the difficulty you’ll have n getting it fixed if it happens. So, basically, it’s a gamble, where the odds of winning are high but if you lose, you lose a lot.
Also, one of my points was that what you’ll get today is not the same as what you would have got just one year ago. That’s why I said that if you can find someone who had a good experience, get exactly the same procedure. These professionals are assuming that because they had success before that they can make changes and will be successful again. They are venturing to unknown areas, with no data to support their actions. That’s where the danger is. They are being sold new materials and procedures and getting new recommendations, and trusting that the medical device suppliers know that they work.
When your doctor talks about getting the surgery and all of his past successes, just ask him if he’s doing exactly what he did before. If he says no, ask him how he knows the changes work. Ask him why he changed if the old method worked.
“Mesh” is more than one simple thing. There are numerous types and forms of mesh available for hernia repair, and they can all be shaped in to uncountable shapes and placed almost anywhere in the abdomen. The combinations are incredible. Maybe that’s why nobody wants to take on the challenge of determining where the bad results come from. It’s easier to categorize everything in to one simple box, the mesh box, and only talk about the good results, ignoring the bad ones. That is what’s happening when you talk to your surgeon. He is ignoring real problems. Because it’s easier. That alone should concern you, because if you have a problem, it won’t be real to him. And if talks about “mesh” as if it’s just one thing that should concern you also. He should be able to describe the different materials and methods, and why some of them give bad results. If he can’t he’s not keeping up.
Make sure that you get a proven set of materials and methods. An expert surgeon using the wrong combination is no better than a bad surgeon using the right one
Sorry to be so wordy. These conversations always tend to get pushed back to vague unsupported opinions, assumptions based on no data, not even a few good anecdotes. Nobody can say for sure what the best method is, at this point in the development of all of these new materials.