News Feed Discussions Issues with “hernia repair centers”

  • Issues with “hernia repair centers”

    Posted by notanewbeeok on October 22, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    Several here have recommended going to a hernia repair center due to the frequency in which they do the operation.

    I have emailed about 10 of them, just a polite email telling them I was looking for a surgery center and would they contact me by email (I cannot call from where I am). NONE, ZERO replied to a known working email address. In several cases this was sent via THEIR web page for contacting them. This is congruent with the many complaints that these doctors DO NOT communicate with patients or prospective patients. Apparently they are too busy cutting to be bothered.

    This lack of communication most likely WILL be carried forward AFTER you have paid them their money OR IF you have a problem.

    Secondly many of them, I think most are asking for a majority of the money for the procedure up front (kind of like a hooker?). Of course this puts the poor jerk at a disadvantage if they make a mistake or they have problems. Hard to challenge money that has already been paid up front. I don’t know for sure as I haven’t checked it yet, but I think most hospitals don’t do that, especially if you have Medicare.

    So I think there are some considerations above an beyond the frequency at which they perform the operation to consider. In fact in some cases when you do the same thing over and over you might just get a little overconfident, sloppy, and make mistakes.

    The other thing is, if you have the procedure done at a major hospital it WILL be more expensive but if something goes wrong they have all the facilities and expertise to deal with it. There is no problem transferring the patient to another locale along with the considerable delay.

    So I am reconsidering whether or not to have a “hernia repair center” do my operation. As always YMMV.

    notanewbeeok replied 1 year, 5 months ago 6 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • pinto

    November 3, 2022 at 2:12 am

    By my IH journey, I learned a valuable lesson about medical care, esp. surgery: Go for the specialized doc not the generalist. Being naive due to the absence of any serious malady, I followed the advice of a couple of GPs of mine and went to some general hospitals to talk their “hernia surgeons.”

    Wow, I came away thinking not only they were naive about hernia matters, reluctant to share their surgical record, at least one clumsily injuring me while physically examining me, and another who wanted to process me for surgery without my prior consent. None had the foggiest notion about mesh complications. Some couldn’t even tell me what mesh they used; it seemed they used whatever the hospital procurer provided them.

    @notanewbeeok, as for your statement,
    >I have emailed about 10 of them, just a polite email telling >them I was looking for a surgery center and would they >contact me by email (I cannot call from where I am). NONE, >ZERO replied to a known …

    If that is the essence of your inquiry, I understand well why you didn’t get a reply. To me, it seems you expect them to jump up and be at your beck and call. Practically speaking you don’t give them a reason to reply. What is it you want from them? You don’t tell them.

    BTW, I have seen more than one specialist hernia surgeon have a website that takes inquiries via email. You have not run across any of these?

  • William Bryant

    November 2, 2022 at 4:46 am

    Do you think he’ll go back there Mike?

  • Mike M

    November 1, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    notanewbeeok – it sounds like your experience with surgeons / high level medical staff is similar to mine. I was able to observe from “behind the scenes” as an enterprise technical engineer and administrator covering multiple main campuses and 100+ offsite professional locations. I engaged with high level staff resolving all types of technical technology requirements as well as the working with the general administration supporting the base IT infrastructure. I do not have a medical degree (EE, CS) but you learn a lot regarding the competency of a doctor through basic conversations “off record”.

    University and training hospitals with large student facility were the worst case scenarios. Not to digress into all of those horrific stories but needless to say anytime you fill out a form you always want to cross out “training” in any capacity on the permission to treat. Trust me. If you want to have X person in training to assist then have the doctor and/or professional staff intervene BEFORE specifically outline who it is, why they are there, and what they will be doing *exactly* during the procedure. Additionally if you do give permission you want to make sure all “trainee” assistance is documented specifically in the medical records for anything they do. Standard practice but you would be surprised.

    The hospital experience has a lot of pros but for me there were too many cons for my personal preferences. It would have given me too much anxiety knowing specifically what I would have to control before even entering into that environment.

    I also understand your point of the “surgical centers” being the new “urgent care” of hospital ORs. You have a lot of valid points and if something serious were to happen even by no fault of the doctor – critical care could be too late. Also if the doctor encountered something that needed resolved unrelated to the hernia repair specifically but still relevant to that area of the body they may or may not be able to solve the issue prior to closing you up? Obviously there are varying degrees of what your permission would allow or not allow them to resolve depending on the severity / time. However I wanted everything that area to be fixed regardless of circumstances if viable.

    The great thing about Dr. Kang is he runs a state of the art 6 story hospital that specializes in specific areas of care such as hernia repair, cancer screening, EKG screening, etc. It is very capable but also personalized. Dr. Kang has extensive knowledge repairing that part of the body including procedures not specifically related to hernia damage. His hospital gives you the best of both worlds where you have the very personal, specialized care, without dealing with the systematic monstrous environment of your average US hospital. Dr. Kang runs the show and all aspects of the hospital. This solved all of my anxiety related issues with the surgery, recovery, and follow up. It was a huge issue for me going into this entire ordeal outside of the outcome itself. Doctors and staff in the US are phenomenal at gaslighting patient concerns. My friend who has a medical background and a wife who is the chief nurse at a major local hospital was skeptical. He became a believer after he experienced Dr. Kang, his hospital, staff, etc. with me during my trip. He now regrets not having some procedures completed by Dr. Kang while we were in South Korea. He still putting them off in the United States.

  • notanewbeeok

    October 31, 2022 at 2:04 am

    I’ve worked with surgeons. Like any profession there are very few that are exceptionally good. Quite a number that are mediocre and too many that are incompetent. And they don’t cry like in the movies when they lose a patient. It’s “what’s for lunch?” And guess what Chuck (for you) if they screw up , most of them refuse to take responsiblity for it and try to blame it on something else, often the patient. Surgeons practice the go ol boy, “don’t rat on your colleagues” same as the average cop.
    I know from attending xray conferences where they laugh off obvious incompetence.

    Re my so called “negativity” I will add more. I find this forum in total to be largely a source of ignorance with a lot of people in the dark trying to find answers. Unfortunately most of these hernia surgeons are too busy raking in cash to care about quality service and the patient and professionalism. Sad the state of medicine these days. Some of the old doctors still follow the hippocratic oath, but not that many.

    Where are all the surgeons here contributing to the forum?
    I remember this forum from 15 years ago, there were a lot more of them contributing. I remember the surgeon from PA hernia center was quite professional and a good contributer here. The forum has deteriorated since then, quite obvious.

    Re Mark’s post in reply to me. I agree the results are most important and the data supports your contention that the results between sugery centers and hospitals are quite similar. Except in hospitals they often run diagnostic blood tests to access the overall health of patients.
    Also saying that centers often refer patients to hospitals because they want to protect the patient
    at risk shows ignorance. They do this to AVOID BEING SUED and to improve their statistics. Had the surgeon and his center bothered to run those tests there would be one more ALIVE patient that he killed from his negligence-a surgeon often mentioned here and recommended.

    I now have a pretty good idea of what research shows about the differences between hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers. But I do not yet have a handle oh what percentage of hernia centers demand money up front, often thousands of dollars up from. I am guessing MOST of them do.

    Mark and others who don’t like my negatvity, nobody is forcing you to read my posts.

  • William Bryant

    October 23, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    I’ve found some centers/surgeons reply quite quickly and others need several emails to get a response. Some don’t reply at all including some in Germany… I assume those that were slow or didn’t reply had enough to do without (definite) new patients/customers.

    Not a brilliant situation

  • MarkT

    October 23, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    I strongly disagree.

    Things like communication and payment schedule are indeed relevant from a ‘patient satisfaction’ perspective, but they have virtually nothing to do with the quality of repair you can expect.

    What is most important to you, getting the best surgeon and best repair possible or…other things?

    Unless you have good evidence to support the idea that frequency/volume might lead to being “overconfident, sloppy, and make mistakes”, there is no good reason to believe that is the case. Evidence-based decision-making is the better path, IMHO.

    I agree with Good Intentions…I’ll go further and say that you consistently seem negative, adversarial, and even condescending at times. That is partly what I’m unsurprised that you have yet to find any option that meets your standards.

    There is also a strange focus on very unlikely events…I would never choose a a hospital over a speciality clinic because of the *highly* unlikely event that something not only goes wrong, but goes so wrong that being at a more comprehensively equipped hospital would be beneficial. Further, some speciality clinics (like Shouldice Hospital) are responsible in that regard and will refer certain ‘at-risk’ patients to a hospital (this was done with my father). Also, some specialists operate at their clinic, but also have hospital privileges and will do repairs at the hospital if they feel it is better equipped to serve a particular patient.

  • Good intentions

    October 23, 2022 at 8:02 am

    Did you try centers in Europe? Countries with more “socialized” medicine. The United States is very money-first oriented, they need to be sure that there is a way for them to get paid. Since you are from out of country you could easily skip town and they would never get paid. I’m not defending the way things are done here, just describing what is.

    Post a copy of your letter. There might be a clue there. The tone of the communication is important. If your letter is like your commentary on the forum that migth be part of your problem. Nobody wants to get involved with what looks like a difficult person. Good luck.

  • notanewbeeok

    November 7, 2022 at 9:39 pm

    “jump up at my beck and call”? what a crock.
    Well then MAYBE they should not put up webpages soliciting new patients. Kinda like a used car salesman. But used car salesmen are a lot more responsive than these “too busy to be bothered” ‘physicians/surgeons’.
    Little to no regard for prospective patients and a GOOD indication what they will do if you have complications. No thanks, I’ll look elsewhere to professionals who know how to be professional.

  • notanewbeeok

    November 7, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    Interesting, thanks for that input. The problem I have experienced with these specialy centers is they act like they could care less if you go to them or not. I guess there must a ton more hernia repair patients waiting to be served. I think they have unprofessional low wage workers attending their webpages.

  • notanewbeeok

    November 7, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks much for the heads-up warning about teaching hospitals and “trainees” Duely noted.

  • notanewbeeok

    November 7, 2022 at 9:06 pm

    In studying this issue ovver the last 15 years and having worked with surgeons I have concluded that most surgeons are egotisical ignoramuses who think they know a lot more than they do. They frequently will NOT take responsbility for their mistakes. I have in just a month or so of searching found two patients who have DIED as a result of surg. center surgeons negligence and lack of care. These hernia centers are assembly line profit making clinics, most of them. I am beginning to think much better, even if more expensive to go to a hospital with a good reputation for abdominal surgery. And, of course, finding a surgeon who has not been sued multiple times and actually cares about patients. This is not as easy as some would think. You might start thinking of these surgery centers like MIDAS Muffler shops, except that even muffler shops don’t ask for all the money up front. Kinda shows how much confidence even THEY have in doing a good job.

  • notanewbeeok

    November 7, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    agree with Wm Bryant. They put up websites inviting emails and then they don’t have the staff and time to reply. Many of these websites are spammed all over the net under different names for the same website. It is quite clear that their intention is to solicit as much biz as possible, but they can’t do the followup.

  • Mike M

    November 3, 2022 at 2:42 pm

    @William Bryant

    It really depends if he has to absolutely do it (for emergency purposes) before we make it back to South Korea or not.

    We are planning to go back next year.

  • notanewbeeok

    October 31, 2022 at 1:44 am

    Amazing the number of people on this forum that need a remedial course in reading comprehension. What part of polite letter were you unable to fanthom? The truth is these hernia centers care more about getting your $$ then they do anything else. I just finished a review of the differences between ambulatory surgical centers and hospital repairs. Very illuminating, but I still need to find out if ALL the “hernia centers” demand their money up front (just like a street prostitute). Doctors and facilities who emphasize the hippocratic oath as it was intended accept Medicare. They don’t treat you like your buying drugs on the street.

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