Chronic Hernia Pain – Where to turn now?
I had an open surgery hernia repair with mesh done 6 months ago by the chief of surgery at a large HMO-affiliated hospital here in Los Angeles. I have been suffering from chronic pain ever since. I have since been referred to the pain management team of the hospital, but I was not impressed by the first visit to the head of the team (an anesthesiologist). Although he’s clearly dealt with hernia issues before, I didn’t get the sense that this was his specialty. I didn’t feel there was any attempt at a systematic evaluation of my case. When I mentioned doing an ablation, I was told this isn’t something he liked doing due to the risks. I got no sense that he had game plan, but rather that he was going to throw a few darts at the board and hope for the best. He did start me on Prednisone (one-week course) and low-dose Nortripyline, which I understand to be reasonable next-steps for a pharmacological treatment.
I’m at the point where I want the best medical care regardless of insurance coverage.
My question is: Should I be looking at somewhere like the Hernia Clinic at UCLA, where they appear to have pain management services, or should I be looking to speak to a hernia surgeon like Dr. Towfigh? Do practices such as Dr. Towfigh specialize in treating chronic pain, and if not, who is best qualified for that? Most of the pain management clinics seem to focus on back issues (no doubt much more common), but I want someone or somewhere that knows this issue inside and out. I mention UCLA since I’ve seen a few publications by one of their doctors on treatment of chronic pain for hernia patients.
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