Is mesh removal safe?

Hernia Discussion Forums Hernia Discussion Is mesh removal safe?

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    • #10964
      LindaT
      Member

      Hi, I am new here.
      Is hernia mesh removal safe and does it work?

    • #14577
      QueenR
      Participant

      I had my rather large mesh removed in December because of infection. They were able to do the surgery for removal laparoscopic… which was fantastic at the time. A couple of weeks ago my abdominal wall opened up and now I have a very large hernia.

    • #14587
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      In general, if performed by a skilled surgeon, especially one who performs mesh removal on a regular basis: Yes, mesh removal is safe.

      Of course, it can happen, but it would be expectedly rare to have a death, loss of limb, or other devastating complication from mesh removal.

      I presented my own data on mesh removal after inguinal hernias. 84% had improvement in their pain, of which 22% had a cure (pain of 0/10 or 1/10). However, it is not necessarily a cure-all. 16% had no improvement or worse pain after surgery. They required more procedures, including nerve blocks, cord denervation, etc.

      Mesh removal for infection is much safer and easier to perform.

      Mesh removal from the abdominal wall is much safer and easier to perform than from the groin

    • #14589
      Mesh
      Member

      Great answer Dr T. Thats realistic and your consultation on neurectomies is very honest. Question: When you say you present your own data on removals I don’t think it’s clear on why you are just generalizing mesh removal when you’re stating that inguinal hernias are more dangerous than abdominal wall hernias etc. Isn’t important to add more details what kind of removals were done so that patients just don’t think mesh removal is just a one type of procedure?

      Also is it possible to clot and die from complications from mesh removal years out of surgery?

    • #14594
      Mesh
      Member
    • #14601
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      To clarify: my data is solely focused on mesh removal after inguinal hernia repair. Outcomes and safety from removal of mesh after abdominal/ventral hernia repair are much much better. There are typically no major vessels or nerves in the region of the abdominal wall or ventral hernias, and these are at risk with inguinal hernias. Abdominal and ventral hernia mesh may involve intestine, and so careful technique remains paramount regardless of the type of mesh removal.

      Note, that this data is specific to me. I perform this procedure of mesh removal on a regular basis, so these numbers may be different by other surgeons, especially if they are not specialists. Yes, mesh removal has its dangers. I strongly recommend against mesh removal from an inguinal hernia unless performed by a surgeon with experience.

      Clots, such as deep vein thrombosis, may result from a long operation (e.g., 4 or more hours) or immobility. We usually do not blame the operation itself if the clot and associated death occurs years after the operation.

    • #14631
      vtjbrent
      Member

      Thanks for your honesty about mesh removals Dr. Towfigh. There are a lot of people out there who only know how difficult removal is only after their mesh was removed.

      On another thread, you had mentioned that people with “meshoma” do better with removal than people with “mesh reaction”.
      Could you elaborate on the difference between these two?

      Thanks,

    • #14632
      Mesh
      Member

      Just my personal opinion and experience:

      There’s another side of this mesh problem and that’s the questionable marketing of hernia mesh removal. You have to ask yourself if and when it’s wise to remove the bullet and trust that the doctor who is consulting with you has your best interest and is qualified to successfully diagnose and recognize that you would actually benefit from such a risky and invasive procedure. This site offers multiple opinions from qualified surgeons. I can’t express the importance of that enough.

      I feel advocating hernia mesh removal without sufficiently and properly warning people the real risks of removal and neurectomies is only contributing to the problem. I have received calls from lost removal patients who regret having mesh removal, who feel they were misled and sold a dangerous procedure only to be made worse off from listening to a misleading consultation, patients who were abandoned and mistreated for a second time by a surgeon who mis represents and falsely advertises this dangerous procedure on his website.

      In my experience and others who I have talked to who have experienced different types of mesh removal:

      I didn’t know what torture was until I had my mesh removed. I am only writing this to warn and tell you to be careful of irresponsible mesh removal marketing, consultations and private practice websites that use fear based language and exaggerated success stories and testimonials to lure hopeful mesh victims into removal for seemingly experimental and case study purposes or for profit. Be careful of bait and switch tactics and the false sincerity of surgeons who may behave and have the exact same money motives as the original surgeon who inserted your mesh, possibly taking advantage of what they may see as a new “specialized” market to cash in on.

      If a website or surgeon is playing on your emotions and psyche making you wonder if you need to have your mesh removed after 3 months by using slogans like “you don’t have to live with the pain” you may want to ask yourself if it makes sense to endure a 2-3 year worse and torturous recovery or a possible lifetime of worse discomfort, disfunction, disability, disfigurement or dislocation of your private body parts. If you’re lucky enough to even make it through those grueling 2-3 years with your sanity you may be asking yourself why you removed it just to be permanently worse off than before removal.

      In my opinion. Please talk to MANY people who experienced whatever type of procedure it is you’re looking to have. Make sure they had your EXACT procedure and were not referred by the doctor or establishment that may be looking for business and ask many professionals and doctors their opinions before searching for answers on the internet where a private practice may be marketing vague, false and luring information based on only their own personal distorted hypothesis and theories vs official publications and facts. I know too many now who have fell into this trap.

      “Nothing should take 2-3 years to recover from.” – Dr. Wright

      In the future I would like to discuss
      why I think doctors avoid the topic of triple neurectomy, (the removal of 3 MAJOR MOTOR and sensory nerves in your groin.) When consulting with their hopefuls.

      Background checks on your surgeons and why they are important.

    • #14633
      NFG12
      Member

      Well put MESH. I will never believe Neurectomys are good for anyone open or laproscopic, if they avoid them the first time putting mesh in to avoid pain then how when taking the mesh out would it help then. I recently got my mesh removed Robotically in December and its been pretty tough ever sense.I woke up from this procedure and it was about 3 hours long and I could not feel my feet at all, kind of from my calfs down the my feet actually and they said its from being positioned for so long the way I was with the Robotic is positioned. I did not want a neurectomy at all and that’s what was planned but on the day of my operation the surgeon switched everything up on me saying he was going to take all the nerves and place more mesh in, he stated if I don’t get the nerves this time I cannot go back in and get them if you are still in pain after this.

      So that scared me plus how can you make a decision in 5 minutes like that. I told him no way more mesh in at all and I don’t get how that makes sense to put more in if it was causing pain no matter how different it is. He cut the genital branch on both sides and I never opted for that and I do not like the feeling from it, I feel so much weaker especially in my legs and feet. Mesh is nasty, polypropelene should never be put in anyones body in my opinion, I even read somewhere that it states never to put it in anyone. It degrades with time and what it is made from is just nasty to begin with. Im glad to see all these hernia mesh lawsuits coming about because someone has to put a stop to all this nonsense!

    • #14635
      Mesh
      Member

      Thank you NFG12,

      Never cut the nerves. Unless the doctor himself has had it done to him or herself and can explain to you the feeling
      from their own personal experience. I knew something fishy was up with this removal doctor having little concern and spending little time discussing the neurectomy, It was obvious. He knew It would have made me walk. I have to live with myself knowing I made the second worst decision of my life. Such an obvious scheme I’m embarrassed I insulted my own intelligence. It’s hard to live with on a daily basis.

      I’m more opposed of a neurectomy than mesh having gone through both. It is a sickening alternative. I do not want to live anymore because of these neurectomies. It makes having mesh a trip to the day spa compared to having vital major nerves removed:

      I’m sorry you had to go through a removal. I think removing mesh in anyway shape or form is awful and a tough decision. I just spoke to another person who had robotic removal and they were not feeling the greatest after either.
      Good luck. Use the force go with your gut.

    • #14636
      NFG12
      Member

      Mesh your not alone. I get down on myself everyday for all this but we are susposed to be able to trust doctors/surgeons to look out for our best interest and take care of us but I definently do not anymore. I just wanted the mesh and tacks removed and that was the plan but the day of surgery he came in and switched everything up on me saying he wants to take all the nerves on each side and also put more mesh in. I wish I would have just walked out of there then but I was sick of being in pain so I didn’t know what to do. I said no mesh back in at all and I didn’t opt for the nerves cut but on my operative report it states that the Genital branch was litigated on both sides. I have felt weaker ever since and I never wanted it done and now the surgeon could care less, once they operate its like well good luck.

      I feel the way you are though to, its very stressful and depressing. I just remember life before these damn surgeries and I miss it everyday. They talk the neurectomy stuff like its the only way to feel better like oh you will just feel numb and that’s it and they say there is no motor function there just sensory. I think once the mesh is in the damage is already done no matter what. Surgeons stated this well if we just remove the mesh and takes then then might not work and you will still be in pain so the only way we know forsure you wont is to cut the nerves, or they stated that if we leave the nerves scar tissue will just grow over them and irritate them anyways. Dr. Grischkan in Ohio is probable the best hernia surgeon and he doesn’t go for the mesh he just does the shouldice repair and barely has any reacurences. He said even laproscopic is even unnecessary in most cases and that he can usually make a half inch incision and in about 20 minutes your done. He said there no reason to use materials that are going to make people in pain right after or somewhere down the road. Take it easy and know you are not alone, we are all in this together.

    • #14637
      Mesh
      Member

      Exactly,
      Thank you NFG12

    • #14638
      InPain
      Member

      Thank you NFG12 and Mesh for sharing your stories. I don’t feel I have any other choice than to get the mesh removed, but I will definitely try to avoid neurectomy. I wore a jeans for an whole day this weekend, and just that gave me so severe pain I haven’t been able to leave my home for days. So I feel that leaving the mesh inside is also a risk and it will for sure not make me better. What other options do I have? I will get the mesh removed laparoscopically by the most qualified surgeon I can find, and just pray I will get better.

    • #14639
      NFG12
      Member

      InPain just check around for Mesh removal surgeons, There is Igor Belyansky in Maryland, he has been doing it robotically for awhile now, Theres also Bruce Ramshaw in Tennesse and he does this often to. Just search the web for them but just be sure to ask a lot of questions especially how many they have done. Best of luck and you will be fine in no time, Mesh is horrible I don’t know why they use the garbage in the first place.

    • #14668
      Momof4
      Participant

      Dr. Towfigh,
      I have just had my final appt with Dr. Bittner, at VCU, about mesh removal surgery. We are trying to schedule sometime in early May. It has been a long process to make this decision, but we feel like I have tried all conservative measures and my current situation is unacceptable. I know Dr. Bittner has discussed my case with the other doctors involved and I am not sure all are in agreement with mesh removal being the next best step. I can understand how the doctor that put the mesh in doesn’t want to remove it. Dr. Bittner did tell me that no one can guarantee that it will cure all of my pain issues, he certainly feels it will help. Dr. Chen expressed that I will prob never be pain free, but I am hoping that mesh removal significantly reduces my symptoms. Dr. Bittner mentioned adding a colleague to help in my case, Dr. Levi Procter. He is fairly new to VCU and specializes in hernias as well. I will take all the help I can get. I know you have mentioned that abdominal wall mesh is easier to remove than inguinal, but my mesh goes from my umbilicus to my pubic bone and out to my hips. Would that involve AWR and inguinal regions and make it more complicated to remove? You have also said that you like to use the robot for mesh removal. Is it harder with larger pieces of mesh because it can extend procedure time with having to cut mesh into small pieces to be able to remove it through small holes? I would also like to know if you have had any mesh removal patients that suffer from nausea and loss of appetite and if it resolved after mesh removal. I am so thankful to have your input on this forum and have learned so much from others’ posts. Thank you!!

      After writing this post, there have been some complications scheduling my surgery because of hospital scheduling and doctors changing practices. I did meet with Dr. Levi Procter on Monday and have spoken with him since (his involvement would have been to observe surgery and provide follow up as needed), and he has made some inquiries on my behalf and says there have been several recommendations that I see you, Dr. Towfigh. I will continue to pursue what are the best options for my care and the restoration of my health. I will not give up!!

    • #14669
      NFG12
      Member

      Hey there Momof4. Did you ever talk with Igor Belyansky in Maryland I know he’s been doing alot Of Mesh removals lately. I hope all goes well with you!

    • #14684
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      I am happy to see you and/or consult with you online regarding mesh removal.

    • #14694
      Momof4
      Participant

      Dr. Towfigh,
      Recently you referred to Sharon Bachman in Fairfax, VA. She is only a couple of hours away from me. I am wondering if she is one of the hernia experts that does mesh removals and do you know if she uses the robot? I’m just trying to figure out if there are any options close to home before flying across the country. I appreciate any recommendations you may have. Thank you!!

    • #14706
      Momof4
      Participant

      Dr. Towfigh,
      I have an appointment to see you next week. I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to consult with you in person. Myron has been very helpful in coordinating the appointment and answering my many questions. I guess while I’m there we can discuss the option of Dr. Bachman helping me closer to home. Of course, I am still open to the option of receiving care from you, if that is best. I look forward to finally meeting you. Thanks for all you do!

    • #14748
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      It was lovely to see you

    • #14955
      a2ztxmom
      Member

      Dr. Towfigh

      My son had mesh inguinal hernia repairs on both sides one year ago. He is 20 years old and has had pain ever since the surgery and it has severely changed his ability to be active. He has pain from sudden movement and sometimes even from just walking, it affects him daily. The initial surgeon was very dismissive about the pain a few months after surgery. We recently met with another surgeon who confirmed he does not have a new hernia, but definitely has chronic pain and he recommended seeing a pain specialist to possibly try nerve injections. My son feels strongly that the pain is related to the mesh and so I am investigating the option of having the mesh removed but I just don’t know who to believe. I have not found any local specialists with regard to mesh removal.

      I saw your statement earlier that his type of mesh is harder to remove, which is not great news. What is your opinion on the thought of removal in this case? He is so young and was previously so active, it just makes me sick to see him unable to enjoy the activities he loves.

      Thanks!

    • #14987
      ald9506
      Member

      I had my mesh removed exactly 2 years after the initial operation. I started getting pretty heavy abdominal pain and eventually went in. I was implanted with the Atrium C-Qur and the mesh had actually shrunk and fused to other tissue. The whole experience was extremely painful but i finally successfully had it removed. In any case, I found out this product actually had a recent recall.

      I know attorneys are salivating over these potential lawsuits, but I’m seriously considering pursuing this option. Has anyone else taken legal action? any tips/advice? There’s literally thousands of attorneys advertising these cases. I came across these guys because they had some good info on the C-Qur patch. They seem to know their stuff.

      thoughts?

      Atrium Mesh Recall | Contact Us for a Free Consultation
      https://herniameshlawsuit.org
      Learn the facts about the Atrium mesh recall and it’s dangerous effects. Let us guide you through your options if you’ve been negatively impacted.

    • #14992
      Carter
      Member
      quote QueenR:

      I had my rather large mesh removed in December because of infection. They were able to do the surgery for removal laparoscopic… which was fantastic at the time. A couple of weeks ago my abdominal wall opened up and now I have a very large hernia.

      Oh, how are you doing now?

    • #14993
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      Dear A2ZTXMOM,

      Sorry your son has pain. It is very important to determine the exact cause of the pain before delving into invasive procedures. Mesh removal is always possible, and best performed in the hands of expert surgeons who do so for a living. However, it should not be taken lightly. It is not common to have a true mesh reaction. It happens, but it is not common. More commonly, there can be a meshoma (folding of the mesh) or a hernia recurrence. Also, nerve injury or spermatic cord injury is possible. Each of these has a different optimum treatment.

      Depending on the timing and type of pain, your surgeon can guide you through the best treatment plan. I am happy to see your son. You can also search through this site for surgeons near you who can handle this.

      Are you from Texas? I don’t know of any of my colleagues who can offer you the type of evaluation you need in Texas. Tennessee may be the closest for you

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