Hernia Mesh and Litigation: Where Things Stand – GSN article
11/11/2021 at 12:54 pm #30167
I got an email today from General Surgery News showing the new articles available on the web site. But when I clicked to see the article it was gone, an error message in its place.
Instead, the top article of the day is an interview conducted by Dr. Felix, a big mesh proponent. Overall, a disappointing experience.
Here is what the email summary is for the article that seems to have been pulled. Maybe it will show up later. Interesting that the main premise seems to be “progress invites criticism”. The article would probably have been a disappointment also, the summary sentence seems defensive. But, at least people are talking about it. Still, the statement that “most every surgeon whose practice involves mesh-reinforced hernia repair” is involved in litigation is shocking. That should be a sign. Why?
“Hernia Mesh and Litigation: Where Things Stand
Progress invites criticism, and in surgery, innovation often begets litigation, as most every surgeon whose practice involves mesh-reinforced hernia repair can…”
Here is GSN’s main page.
11/11/2021 at 6:09 pm #30171
I was able to expand the image from the email about the article and find that it contains a quote from Dr. Voeller stating that “trying to repair many hernias with suture alone is doomed to failure”.
The statement is really shocking, especially considering Dr. Voeller’s status in the hernia repair field, and as a surgeon at a university school of medicine. And the vagueness of the statement with its many possible meanings. Is the problem the quantity of hernias? Why would that matter? Will the hernia repair fail or the “system”? Very ambiguous. And he is a professor, teaching future surgeons.
But it’s a very good look at where the hernia repair field is today. I would insert the image but it doesn’t seem possible with the site’s software.
Monica J. Smith is the author of the article.
11/11/2021 at 10:09 pm #30173JohnsoParticipant
It looks like the article is there now. Here is a link:
11/12/2021 at 8:19 am #30175
Thank you, I see that it is.
I read it, it’s a short piece. It is worth reading, it looks like Dr. Voeller is trying to make a point that mesh is not the cause of chronic groin pain. He uses the term “a major cause”. But if you read everything that is quoted you can see that he undercuts the very case that he is trying to make.
In the end, his words don’t really mean anything and the vast number of lawsuits show the reality of the situation. The Shouldice Hospital does not have a problem with lawsuits anywhere near the magnitude of the problem the mesh industry has. There is no large past history of lawsuits for suture-based repairs. The lawsuits have grown with the use of mesh. Professional presentations will not change that. It really is a shame though to see so many smart people are either in denial or actively protecting something that they know is wrong. It must be terrible to be a surgeon in this area at this time.
The quotes seem to be from the 2021 virtual Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Conference. Imagine attending a conference to learn about surgical methods and listening to a talk about lawsuits.
11/12/2021 at 9:00 am #30176William BryantParticipant
I think the article is aimed or originated in the USA. It takes no account of the fact that in other countries, Australia, at least, that hernia mesh repair is now categorised as high risk surgery.
And if it was just technique that led to pain, then restrict surgeons that can do it. In the UK for example, junior doctors can perform it I understand.
Also if it was technique, then surely figures of the type of surgeons facing lawsuits would reflect that and would be published to so prove it.
And nowhere is the point made that if non mesh fails – or repeatedly – fails, the patient then can always have mesh if so desired.
The case for mesh woukd also have a bit more credence if, as others pointed out, manufacturers didn’t sponsor conferences, research etc.
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