Mesh Medical Device News Desk, May 21, 2018 ~ Luke’s problem started with an abdominal crunch in a college gym. He felt a twinge in his groin. It was later diagnosed as an inguinal hernia.
An inguinal hernia bulge is a protrusion of the colon through a weakened section of the abdominal wall. It often happens during some stress or strain. It will be easy to see and feel the bulge. There are more than 3 million U.S. case a year according to the Mayo Clinic and men are affected ten times more often than women. The cause can be straining during a bowel movement, strenuous activity or a pre-existing weak spot in the abdominal wall.
Image: Luke Yamaguchi, GutResolution.com
While the tear will not heal on its own, it is not necessarily dangerous. Complications that can occur, include strangulation of the intestine, which cuts off blood flow to the tissue and can be life-threatening. Symptoms of a strangulation include fever, nausea, vomiting, sudden pain that intensifies, a hernia bulge that turns purple or dark, and an inabililty to move your bowels.
Your doctor is likely to suggest a surgical repair. A surgeon will push back the weakened area sewing it closed. Many times a surgical mesh is used, especially if the tissue is weak the person is obese or the area has been repaired previously and it has reoccurred.
This is where a great deal of disagreement exists.
“Back when I trained in the 1970s. we were taught never to use mesh,” says Dr. Robert Sewell, a general surgeon. But things changed.
Twenty years later, by the 1990’s, mesh repair became the standard. Today almost 96% of inguinal hernia surgeries involve a polypropylene mesh.
Most mesh is made of the plastic, polypropylene PP though some are composites with bovine (cow) and porcine (pig) or are coated in some way. Human dermis is also harvested from cadavers, but again PP is the standard material and far more common than anything else.
The mainstream medical societies have been slow to recognize the complications from adding a mesh to the repair. If a 20-30% complication rate for chronic pain is accurate, and there are 1 million hernia surgeries a year in the U.S., the resulting complication rate will be insurmountable in years to come.
The DeSarda method from India, does not include a mesh in the repair. Few doctors opt for non-mesh repairs. Dr. Kevin Petersen in Las Vegas is one of them.
Also Shouldice Hospital in Toronto is a no-mesh facility which has focused solely on hernia repair for 70 years. Compared to the costs at a U.S. hospital, a trip to Toronto may prove to be less costly to obtain a repair than your local hospital.
Seoul, So. Korea was the choice of reader, Jack Wilkerson, who had his nonmesh inguinal hernia repair surgery at Gipum Hospital. Read his story here.
Luke Yamaguchi’s website, www.gutresolution.com, talks about his journey with an inguinal hernia. As a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, based in Oregon, he is focused on Functional Medicine and offers consultation on leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, small intestine bacterial overgrowth and fecal microbiota transplants.
He shares an excellent article, (here) well-researched with footnotes, on his discovery.
Note what his common sense mother said to him prior to his mesh surgery:
My mother said to me, “Luke, you don’t want to have plastic implanted permanently into your body.” Incredulous, I thought to myself “What the hell does my mom know about medicine or surgery?” I trusted doctors and the medical profession. After all, they are the experts, right? What I would later find out in the years to come would forever change my view of the medical profession. Little did I know at the time, that my mother’s common sense would prove to be right after all.