Seeking an experienced hernia mesh removal surgeon
SEEKING AN EXPERIENCED HERNIA MESH REMOVAL SURGEON. I am fairly well educated with a doctorate degree from a major university. So, I’ve really worked and studied and taken actions to get my mesh problem resolved with no luck so far. I had mesh implanted 16 years ago for a hernia. I was not told about it until after the surgery. It’s been a nightmare ever since which has only got worse over time. I started having pain shortly thereafter to which only antibiotics would abate the pain – specifically Cipro being the best. The pain increases unless I take the Cipro and with it the pain decreases and sometimes I can go off it for periods of time (shorter as time has gone on). No doctor I’ve ever talked to knows that Cipro is a powerful anti-inflammatory according to NIH research. This is important as if I’m experiencing allergy an anti-inflammatory would work in abating symptoms and so it’s not clear if the Cipro is acting against infection or allergy. No doctor or surgeon that I’ve ever consulted with has any clue as to this including 3 different infectious disease M.D’s. I’m seeking a surgeon in Seattle or the State of Washington to remove it, or in some other state where the surgeon will accept my medical insurance. Does anyone know of one? I might be open to paying cash, but it will wipe me out financially. It’s near impossible to find doctors that know anything about mesh problems after its implanted or how to remove it. I’m seeking one that has actually done a removal and not just talked about it and one that is beyond the ignorant level as what I’m finding is that there is some back-woods rule that it’s not something to remove unless some kind of gross infection is present. There is also some back-woods rule among many I’ve talked with that it’s a 50 percent chance of loss of a testicle due to damage during surgery to the cord over which the mesh is usually laid – it’s said that it’s hard to know where the cord is at. Can you imagine if organ transplant surgery had a 50 percent chance of catastrophic injury to another organ? Well, with organ transplants that is not the case and they get it right. It’s just that the surgeons are not putting in the time and effort when it comes to hernia mesh removal. Surely, diagnostic modalities could be employed to avoid the loss of a testicle. Perhaps, real time imaging or reconstructed imaging. Another thought is to cut 1 to 2 cm around the cord and leave that 10 percent or whatever it is in. As an example, with Staph, to be infectious you need 10 to the 3rd power or 9th power, 1000 to 1 million organisms to get to an infectious dose of Staph. Reducing the load of whatever clinical or sub-clinical or semi-sub-clinical infection or allergy I have to the polypropylene on my body by 90 percent would be welcome. I believe most get to the 50 percent chance by operating “blind” by not having or knowing what diagnostic imaging to use. I’ve been to many doctors and specialists including infectious disease, general surgeons, radiologists and they are all lost. I need the real deal. And, one that is interactive and open to discussion and learning. Get a hernia and a million surgeons are lined up to fix you up with mesh. Now, go try to find one that is willing and highly experienced in mesh removal or in anything related and its extremely difficult. You have Dr. Raz, M.D. out of UCLA that at last report has done 900 mesh removals for females and by now it’s probably over 1000. You just can’t find surgeons with that much experience as to hernia mesh removal more than you can count on 1 finger. Further, Raz knows that 3D ultrasound is the best diagnostic modality. I can’t find any radiologists that have any clue on doing 3D ultrasound as for mesh. PS: Special note: regular 2D ultrasound will show mesh too so long as you have a stenographer that knows what they are doing. See Dr. Mueller on mesh on Youtube as well. Further, with Raz he’s not at the back-woods standard where he will only remove mesh if there is some gross infection. The truth is that no one knows what mesh of any material does over time within the human body. It’s an experiment. It’s not something that can be measured. Just as one example, there are over 1600 different enzymes within the human body. None of the mesh manufacturers have ever done any study as to how even one chemical in any mesh interacts with even one of these enzymes. And, its most likely something that can’t be done. The testing is crude, as an example – such as a study that might show that after 12 months the mesh has not failed and therefor the hernia has not reappeared. And, as most mesh is grandfathered in by the FDA under 510k they are not going to do the long term and short term testing as to how toxic or incompatible various mesh is with the human body. Not counting “voluntary withdrawal” the FDA has recalled 95 mesh devices since 2003. What the **** is going on! You can’t find staggering numbers like this in any other industry – not with airbags for vehicles – not with any other product. There are dozens of non-mesh means of repair of a hernia. Surgeons will tell you they will not last, but NIH and other studies show that (as just one example) the Shouldice method has a re-occurrence rate of single digits. Tell a surgeon that and it will shock them. Also, ask them why that would not be a logical option to risk or have another surgery down the road? That line of thinking will shock them as well. They are trained in the fast and dirty method of using mesh, but none were trained in its removal. You’re not going to find any surgeon or doctor willing to risk everything they own that mesh is a safe product. Keep in mind, mesh has no warranty offered. Even a small child knows that anything of value comes with a warranty. Demand a warranty from the surgeon and the manufacturer and none of them will give you one. My opinion is similar to that of Dr. Raz, never have mesh implanted. Find a surgeon willing to do a non-mesh hernia repair.
I’m aware of how mesh embeds itself. Point of clarification: My problem is minimal or moderate as to pain (extreme on occasion) so long as I’m on antibiotics. Otherwise it escalates and I suffer red eyes, foggy brain, loss of libido, feel sick all over. I have found it to be a wild goose chase as to finding surgeons. At first I would call the front desk and most of the time it was negative, but some assured me the doctor was able and knowledgeable and experienced, but none were and only 1 had removed a hernia mesh and had a bad result. Then I started asking for, or selecting, (on phone calls) to talk with the doctor’s medical assistant or surgical nurse. Again, most were negative (the doctor had no experience) and a few assured me the doctor was experienced. The last two of these did not work out well at all. About 10 days ago, upon my second visit, the surgeon came out and said he had never actually removed a hernia mesh and suggested I “find” someone that actually had experience. Again, this was a doctor that I thought I had vetted as to having prior experience (maybe he did a mesh removal job in some other part of the body). I have little interest in discussing with a surgeon what other doctors know or do not know as that would tip them off. I prefer to ask direct questions, and listen to whatever they have to say on their own, as so I can figure out if they actually know anything about hernia mesh removal and in my experience I’ve only found 2 with what they implied was extremely limited experience, bad results or they thought it risky and neither seemed to know much of anything about proper diagnosis and had mistaken or incorrect knowledge. There is biologic mesh, but really I believe that most repairs can be done without any mesh. There are a dozen different non-mesh methods of repair and such non-mesh methods are combined by some surgeons. So, I seek a miracle in finding a surgeon like Dr. Raz, MD or Dr. Mueller, MD (both urogynocologists = work on females) that know what diagnostic imaging to use and can remove mesh successfully. I got an appointment with a local urogynocologist in Seattle and later got a call back that the surgeon only would see females. But, this was early on in my searching – last year. And, just because they remove a lot of mesh from females that was implanted for prolapse does not mean that they would have experience in removing hernia mesh, but when you can’t even get into see one, you can’t find out. Anyone out there have a solid referral to a surgeon that actually knows how and has removed hernia mesh without castrating a testicle of the patient?
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