News Feed Discussions No-mesh inguinal hernia repair near Minnesota/Midwest? Reply To: No-mesh inguinal hernia repair near Minnesota/Midwest?

  • Ddot14

    January 6, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Good intentions – thanks so much for your comments.

    I have indeed considered Shouldice, but they appear to be cost-prohibitive. A bit too pricey for us to handle at this point in time. Still trying to find someone in the Midwest someplace that does quality non-mesh hernia repair. Not looking too promising at this point though, unless someone here has names or ideas where to look.

    This comment you made:

    “Be careful with a doctor who says that they’ll do it if conditions are “ideal”. That just leaves the door wide open for waking up with mesh.”

    is exactly what I’m concerned about. The most well-intentioned promises up front aren’t likely to prevent a mesh-leaning surgeon from resorting to a mesh repair if he/she sees something at all suggestive of possible recurrence once they get me opened up. Makes me very skeptical about seeing any surgeon other than one that is quite open and up-front about avoiding mesh repairs, understands the reasons to avoid them, and can demonstrate consistently positive outcomes.

    The problem becomes finding such surgeons. To this point I’ve had zero success calling surgeons’ offices and asking questions about preferred repair types, if they offer non-mesh repair, how many hernia repairs they do/have done, outcomes, complications, etc. Staff (including nurses) either truly don’t know what the surgeon does (seems strange not to be able to give prospective patients information that would help “sell their product”), or they don’t want to/are not allowed to give that information out. It makes it very frustrating and very difficult to find surgeons that are experienced and comfortable with non-mesh hernia repair.

    So, we’re left posting on forums like this, desperately hoping to get recommendations of non-mesh surgeons others have identified or stumbled onto. Something is wrong with the system – sad.

    My appointment with a local hernia surgeon is coming up in a couple of days. I don’t have high expectations but am trying to assemble enough good questions to help me find a good fit. It’s hard to know how much to believe even when asking questions directly to the surgeon. Not that they’re intentionally trying to mislead or deceive, but rather that they likely often have non-existent or incomplete follow-up information on patient satisfaction, complications, or repairs gone bad, and/or they repeat the “mesh as the gold standard” mantra they’ve heard from every direction since med school. In the end hernia repair is really about choice and quality of life for the patient, not about theoretically shaving a percentage point or two off the recurrence rate.

    I don’t mean to sound harsh – that’s not my intention. But this issue just shouldn’t be that difficult. Hernia patients need and deserve treatment choices, and realistically speaking we don’t have them in this country anymore. I feel for you surgeons out there who are trying to walk this tightrope and provide what is best for your patients, and I certainly wish more of you would take up the challenge of becoming proficient in and offering your patients non-mesh hernia repair as a viable and readily available option to mesh repair.