Grischkan review

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    • #33031

      I had two inguinal hernia repairs performed by Dr Grischkan, my right side on June 24 2021 and the left side on November 11 2021. I would absolutely NOT recommend Dr Grischkan unless you need mesh removed.
      I started noticing light pain on the left side of my groin at work after a few hours of walking. At first it didn’t bother me, I assumed it was sore because I forgot to bring my cup to jiu-jitsu class a few days before I started noticing the pain. It never went away, only got worse and worse until a few weeks later I was deadlifting at my home gym and started feeling an awful burning sensation in my groin and noticed my scrotum was swollen. I was terrified because I thought I had testicle cancer since I had no idea inguinal hernias existed until I went my family doctor and learned I had a hernia and my fear went away until I started reading mesh horror stories, specifically of an Olympic runner in the UK I believe that was sidelined for years due to mesh. I didn’t want to have to give up martial arts or running or weight lifting or contortion, especially over a hernia. After some searching I decided against Desarda and went with David because he is the nearest mesh free surgeon, about an hour and 15 minutes away. I simply wanted to go back to my normal physical activities in full form and the only pro athletes with hernias that shared who their surgeon was I could find were Phil Heath and Big Ramy who went to Grischkan.
      During my consultation for the first surgery he looked at my groin but did not physically exam my left side. While my right hernia did not require touch to be examined as it was clearly visible, he never checked my left side or sent me for an ultrasound even though he said “you’re showing” in regards to my left side. I told him all my pain started on the left but he never checked it, and the majority of my pain was on my left side even with the right scrotal hernia. When they asked me before surgery if I was having pain I said yes in my left side. Because of the amount of money I was spending and the fact he says he fixes any other hernias found during surgery without charging that I would be fine, if I did have a hernia on my left side then he would fix it. But alas, the moment I started the first walking session the day after my first surgery for my right side I knew immediately that I had a hernia on my left side too. The reason I waited months to get the left side done was to pay the first surgery off and while my life was still degraded because of the left hernia I still had, it was tolerable for a few months unlike my right side. During a follow up appointment after my second surgery, I overheard another patient was sent elsewhere for an ultrasound as no hernia was detected from the physical exam. If Dr. Grischkan had sent me for an ultrasound, or simply physically examined my left side during my initial consultation, I could have had both sides repaired in one go which would have saved me a lot of time and money, but it was more profitable for him to get me for two surgeries instead of one. I read a review after my second surgery that said he wanted to perform a bilateral inguinal hernia repair on a child that didn’t even have a hernia, just a pulled groin…I wish he had that sort of enthusiasm to perform a bilateral repair on me.
      He lied on both of my surgery reports. For the repairs all he wrote was “Shouldice repair was fashioned with 2-0 Novalfil snugging the cord with 4 runs” for the right side and ” Floor was reconstructed in a Shouldice manner with 2-0 Novalfil, anchoring near the level of the pubis and running to the internal ring and back using 4 runs” for the left. Both are lies because he does not do a Shouldice repair which is a 4 layer repair, he does his “updated” 2 layer repair but did not specify in either report which layers he included in the repair and what he did to my cremaster muscle. Shouldice would imply my cremaster was cut but I’ve read that Grischkan only shaves about 30% of it away for a tighter repair. Whether it was cut and added to the repair, shaved, or left it alone is not specified. If a surgeon cut back down to my repair, they would not find what they would expect based on the surgery report
      I woke up during my second surgery, I remember the anesthesiologist said something about my heart rate. I have heart arrhythmia, this is useful information that cannot be accurately passed on to my cardiologist or any future surgeons or anesthesiologist because he did not put it in my report even though it would have took less than a minute. He specified that he uses a different kind of suture than the Shouldice repair uses, why couldn’t he specify the differences in the repair itself?
      It would have took an extra minute or so per report to say what he actually did.
      He boasts a 1% recurrence rate but has no data to back this up. He refers to the Shouldice Hospital’s supposed 1% recurrence rate on his website and implies that his is only 1% too because theirs is, but as I’ve already said he doesn’t do a Shouldice repair, he does a modified version so it really isn’t a Shouldice repair anymore. Shouldice Hospital and those that do the real Shouldice technique such as Boston Hernia Center and Samer Sbayi still follow the weight limits suggested by Dr Shouldice. I was about 30lbs over the limit for my height and frame. Maybe two layers with the different suture is better and maybe he doesn’t have to follow the guidelines which raise reccurrence rates for the traditional Shouldice, but he has absolutely no proof of it even though all he would have to do is start allowing his patients to be tracked via ACHQC like the Boston Hernia Center and that mesh shill Todd Harris does. The only report he has is from the late 90s or early 00s on his modified shouldice that uses mesh, which only followed the patients for a short time and hasn’t been reproduced since he is the only one in the world that does it his way.
      His recovery plan doesn’t follow others either. Two weeks of walking as much as possible to stretch the repair is what I see recommended by others but he allowed me to go back to work after a week even though that meant I wasn’t able to walk as much as needed and he said I could return to my weight lifting and even sparring, grappling, and backbends just 4 days after surgery. Of course I couldn’t because of the pain and bending back even just a bit felt like I was tearing apart. It took me 8 weeks to feel safe to even run.
      Phil Heath and Big Ramy did not recover as fast as he said they did. Also, they are taking so much PEDs that they recover significantly faster than anyone that isn’t. They also didn’t have inguinal hernias which most people searching for a surgeon like him has due to the complications being worse due to the surrounding parts of the body. Very misleading to use them as poster boys.
      He says that he is the only one that will operate on you, no medical students or trainees like it is a good thing. If his technique is so superior like he claims it is then wouldn’t you want him to pass his knowledge and skills on, especially when advertises to people whose hobbies rely on knowledge being passed on? A car crash, heart attack, stroke…even a broken hand and he may never be able to perform his magic again, but it seems like he is more than happy to let it die with him. Him implying a student would operate on you at his center if he trained others is incredibly misleading, he does not have a residency program, his theoretical trainees would be those that are already licensed surgeons that are simply learning his specific technique, not someone cutting a person open for the first time like he implies. This complaint applies to many other surgeons, if your technique is truly so superior then you should be passing it on. I would never get the Desarda but at least Dr Desarda is sincere as proven by him giving away the manual on it for free and promoting anyone that offers it for free.
      My right side is still in pain every day, maybe it wouldn’t be as bad if he gave me a light duty note for work instead of allowing it to get worse in the 2 weeks between my consultation and surgery, maybe it is because I wasn’t a candidate for it due to my weight. I’m not fat but I do weigh 20 to 30 pounds over what I should be for the Shouldice according to the chart. No physical therapy, only instructions were to walk. My family doctor said core strengthening exercises should help. They do but only heavier core exercises such as weighted ab wheel, the pain goes away for a few days but is back by the time the soreness in my core is gone. The first run I went for months after the second surgery ended up with me having a sprained groin which I never had before, could barely lift my left up for over a week. My groin clicks on either side now when I lift my knees up, I can replicate this at will, I didn’t have this before he operated on me. Makes it difficult to do some kicks and backbends when my upper legs get locked by the buildup in my groin.
      The one thing I do think he is sincere on is the amount of operations he has performed. Both days I was there for surgery he had to have had 10 patients or so, if not more. He can easily hit 150+ surgeries a month working 4 days a week. He can easily hit 1000 a year even if he takes two months off.
      I reported him to the medical board for the lies on my surgery reports, not checking my left side the first time around, and lying about his data. Hopefully what he does is a violation like it should be and he gets punished. I would like to see his license revoked for what he has done to me.
      I’ll put the complaints about price in a separate post in this thread.

    • #33034

      Pricing is astronomical, lies about insurance, and his office workers are awful to interact with. He doesn’t post his prices on his website like other surgery centers for a reason.
      I was quoted anywhere from $2000 to $5000 for cash pay uniliteral mesh and non-mesh repairs with about a 50% increase for bilateral. Though they only post average prices, Boston Hernia Center is in network with my insurance unlike the others that do post price upfront so I’ll give them some slack.
      I paid over $9000 for the first surgery and over $8000 for the second, and that was after insurance. Had to pay $3250 up front for the first one, was not told this until after my consultation with Grischkan while I was scheduling the surgery. The consultation cost $350 and lasted under a minute, the rest of the time was spent filling out billing paperwork. The second was $2250 up front. The up front amount alone is enough for the entire surgery at other places. $4500 surgeon fee for each surgery which was not sent through insurance like I was told it would be. Remember, he does not train anyone or promote his technique so it isn’t like the thousands of extra dollars per surgery he receives is put to good use such as training other surgeons. They told me that although it is out network, they would still send everything to my insurance for me which was a lie. I paid over $11,000 to them in 2021 and somehow still never hit my $3000 deductible. I was a few hundred dollars off of being able to start writing medical bills off of my taxes, if they sent me the rest of the bills in a timely manner at least I would have been able to get a bigger tax refund.
      I waited until I thought I had the first surgery paid off until scheduling the second, one of the office ladies even told me I fully paid it off even after I told her I was expecting one more bill for the surgery center.
      9 months after my first surgery and when I was months out from thinking I had it all paid off, I unexpectedly received a bill for the surgery center, then another one a few months later. I waited until they were about to send it to collections to call them since they made me wait so long. I asked why I received it, I told her I already paid an astronomical amount compared to their competitors, they got me for two instead of one because of Grischkan’s oversight, I somehow never hit my relatively small deductible, she said I was paid up herself when I asked months prior, why did it take 9 months to receive a bill, she couldn’t tell me if it was for the first or second surgery. She said she would call me back the next day after looking into it. Of course they never called back and instead sent a letter stating they gave me a “discounted rate” and threatened to charge me an additional $20,000….yes $20,0000 on top of the $14,500 I already gave them, not counting the few hundred I paid the anesthesiologist group, if I didn’t give them another $1,500 or so for who knows what. I was done with them and just wanted to get it over with so I gave them the $1,500. Unfortunately they have more power than the customer. I wonder what the not “discounted” rate is.
      I still have no idea what they actually sent to my insurance and what they didn’t. The third party anesthesiologist was much faster with billing and was in network, I received their bill in under two months.
      I’ve seen some say that the office and billing problems aren’t a reflection of the surgeon, but it is in this case when judging by other reviews, billing and communication problems are frequent, and because Grischkan owns the clinic and surgery center he is in direct control on whether it is fixed or not. If he doesn’t care about the customer service aspect of his business then what makes you think he deeply cares about the quality of surgery?
      I think the reason he makes unsupported and ridiculous claims about his recurrence rate and recovery time is to try justify his price to potential customers.
      They knew they were lying from the get go, insurance requires the bill to be sent to them first so his office knows that the up front amount isn’t going through insurance. They refused to give me the information to file a claim myself.
      Sorry for the long winded review, but I wanted to say as much as I can about him considering he has very little reviews despite having performed the most surgeries. Surgeons with over 10,000 less surgeries performed have more reviews than him.

    • #33040
      Good intentions

      Thank you for the very detailed post. That’s a shame that Dr. Grishkan has failed you so dramatically. The glowing info on the internet makes you wonder if there is any way at all to know for sure if a surgeon is competent. Your story makes one wonder if Dr. Grishkan is losing his facilities. Front office people often bend procedures to keep the practice running smoothly. I think that sometimes the physician is unaware of what’s really going on. But in your case Dr. Grishkan just seemed to drop the ball. His web page reads like somebody focused on high volume.

      Good luck. Be careful and try to accept any healing that seems to be happening. Don’t think, or believe if someone tells you, that more surgeries will quickly get you to where you want to be. The one difference that I noticed between Dr. Billing, who removed the mesh inside me, and the surgeon who implanted it, was that Dr. Billing told me to “take it easy” after surgery, especially when I told him how much better I felt after mesh removal. Let things heal. As opposed to the implant surgeon who told me I was free to do whatever I wanted to do after just 21 days.

      Home – Hernia Repair Specialist

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