International Hernia Collaboration – Costa Rica 4/5 – 4/6
03/16/2022 at 11:50 am #31208
I just came across an article in General Surgery News that made me aware of a fairly new group of surgeons who seem to be organizing some things outside of the mainstream. It is interesting, but the usual suspects are there as sponsors. And many familiar names in the surgeon group. It must be weird having the sponsors’ reps there watching all the time, knowing what they want. It might partially explain the need described in the GSN article.
Hernia repair is definitely a tough business to be in.
I’ll list some links in a series of posts, the site doesn’t like too many links in one.
This is just one of those things you kind of have to absorb and wonder how it all works.
03/16/2022 at 11:53 am #31209
03/16/2022 at 11:56 am #31210
Here’s the agenda. It looks interesting, covers a range of topics.
03/16/2022 at 12:02 pm #31212
Here is a sample of their social media presence. Their web page is very very private, nothing for the public to learn from. The only heading that leads anywhere is the one about the Costa Rica meeting.
Click the “Continue Reading” at the bottom of the page. Apparently it is a private group.
03/16/2022 at 12:16 pm #31214
03/16/2022 at 12:17 pm #31215
03/16/2022 at 12:19 pm #31216
Still fascinating how closely tied they are to mesh providers. In the old days, these types of meeting might have significant government funding, from NIST or NIH or NSF or even DoD. Industry seems to be leading the way today. The medical-industrial complex.
This older article is a bit disturbing. Where is the feedback to the regulatory agencies? The ones that keep us safe. The presentation is from 2014. About the time I had my mesh implantation. I hope that things have progressed since then.
Excerpt (“market feedback to industry partners” catches the eye) –
“Whether providing education to students and residents, market feedback to industry partners, tips and tricks to colleagues, referral or technical advice, or even second and third opinions, this group, and other groups like it, are revolutionizing the way the medical community collaborates.”
03/21/2022 at 4:02 pm #31288drtowfighKeymaster
Thanks for highlighting the IHC. It is an online international group of over 13K surgeons who discuss hernia-related topics. As part of our mission, we choose one country a year to take expert surgeons to to provide high level hernia education to the local region. The goal is to help as many surgeons as possible have direct access to hernia specialists and learn from them, regardless of their socioeconomic status. We have been to Armenia, India, and now will be in Costa Rica.
The hernia meetings since their inception have never had DoD or any other governmental funding. As far as I know, none of the surgical meetings have ever had any governmental funding. Industry has always helped support surgical education and though this funding is dwindling and limited due to the Sunshine Act, most meetings remain very much dependent on industry funding.
Meanwhile, we surgeons donate our time and effort to help other surgeons learn from us. The IHC in particular has had the largest positive impact in educating surgeons about hernias in order to provide the best care for their patients.
03/22/2022 at 9:47 am #31292
“Industry has always helped support surgical education and though this funding is dwindling and limited due to the Sunshine Act, most meetings remain very much dependent on industry funding.”
It looks like people are hiding things Dr. Towfigh. “Going to ground” as they say. Supported by the corporations that are under the spotlight. why would the Sunshine Act be a bad thing? The IHC goals talk about “transparency” but then hide everything about the IHC. Makes no sense. It looks like a secret club.
You should take a moment and go to the web site and click through the headings like a person who does not what the IHC is or supposedly does, but wants to learn. The stated goals and the reality are ironic. There is no “immediate feedback” the way it is set up now. Each click brings up a barrier, except the one about what looks like a good time in Costa Rica.
No offense intended, but that is what it looks like from out here.
“Welcome to the IHC
JUNE 28, 2015
The IHC is an international platform for all surgeons, healthcare providers, and industry friends interested in the repair of hernia and optimizing outcomes to come together to collaborate, share, discuss, post photos, post videos, and simply post anything related to the disease of hernia. By embracing social media as a collaborative forum, we can more effectively and transparently obtain immediate global feedback that in turn has potential to improve both patient outcomes as well as the quality of care we provide.”
03/22/2022 at 7:01 pm #31323drtowfighKeymaster
The IHC is not for patients. It is intended for physicians to talk freely about their patient cases so that they can learn from each other. The transparency is within-group. It is not a public forum. And it is the only one of its kind, outside of an institution’s Morbidity and Mortality conference (which is also closed) where doctors freely discuss their clinical situations and learn from them.
03/22/2022 at 9:29 pm #31326
Thank you for the reply Dr. Towfigh. The web page has a very clearly labeled heading called “Patients” which opens up a form to fill out, that also has a clearly labeled category of “A patient” to choose.
The web page was copyrighted in 2022 so it’s new. Maybe it’s just a poor or misguided job on the web site. Very odd that that would be there if there was no intent to include patients.
Overall, the Herniagroup effort looks a lot like the Herniasurge effort. Herniasurge’s web site and Facebook page used to be open to the public but they closed it up soon after they published the 2018 Guidelines.
Oh well. I was a little bit excited when I thought I had found a new effort to clarify the hernia mesh situation. It looks like it’s more for the surgeons’ health than the patients though. Important, of course, but it’s disturbing that things are that bad, that the surgeons working in the field need their own special well-being efforts. Not really a good sign for the future, for anyone involved.
Good luck with it.
03/23/2022 at 4:37 pm #31331
Maybe the “Patients” link is a place for patients that IHC member doctors have referred to the site to sign up and introduce themselves. So that the IHC member doctors can discuss their case.
If I understand what I’ve been reading the site is like an extension of the private Facebook group. A place where surgeons can have formal and informal discussions about various topics.
Maybe Chuck would be one of the patients who fits the purpose of the IHC?
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