This very short interview popped up on General Surgery News. It’s from the special meeting down in Costa Rica that I had posted about earlier.
Dr. Jacobs actually acknowledges that “gaslighting” is happening in the world of hernia repair. At first you might think that he is finally accepting and defining the problems and might start talking about preventing the chronic pain problems but instead he starts talking about alternative therapies to manage the pain, after hernia repair. Not prevention, but management after the fact.
It seems like just more effort to keep the laparoscopic mesh business going, whatever it takes. Instead of starting at the beginning, the patient with a hernia looking for the best path forward to get their life back, he starts after the attempted repair, at the patient with the mesh looking for the best way to save the rest of their life. Kind of maddening to watch.
Hopefully, after all of the after-the-fact possibilities are attempted, more surgeons will start thinking in terms of prevention. Accept the fact that mesh implantation might not be the best first choice for hernia repair.
In addition to the focus on therapies for the patient, part of the meeting was about therapies for the surgeons. The doctors who have trouble accepting why they can’t heal their patients’ pain. The answer is right there in front of them. Think outside of the mesh box.
Here is the thread about the meeting, with my usual cynical comments. I really do feel bad for today’s surgeons. They just need to resist the corporate efforts. Start at the Hippocratic Oath and think in the long-term. Each surgeon has a responsibility for the rest of each patient’s life. Not just the 30 minutes for the surgery and the three months it takes for the paperwork to get finished.
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