I am Dr. Petersen, the author of every word on this website. It is my pet project and the subject matter now the sole focus of my practice and career. This is the single most important page on this website. It lays out the foundation for who I am as a doctor, what I do and what this website is about. I give a minority opinion about important topics concerning hernias and the treatment of patients with hernia mesh pain and a few other things. If you only read one entire page on this website please read this one. If it is interesting and means something to you will find a lot more detailed information that will be of great value to you. If, not, you are still welcome to browse.
So what makes me, in the minority, expert and credible enough to be listened to and taken seriously. Experience, experience, experience, brains and independence. I have done over 8,000 non-mesh hernia repairs. I have operated on and cured hundreds of patients with disabling severe hernia mesh pain(not everybody gets better), I have extensive experience in all areas of general surgery including Chicago trauma surgery(many gunshot victims), complex challenging cancer surgery declined by other surgeons, gallbladders, colon, breast, wounds and surgical critical care and transplant surgery. I am not PC, not a bone in my body. I am not an academic which is part of my independence. I have a few academic friends who are past presidents of the Americas Hernia Society and various international hernia societies, who think like I do about hernia mesh and hernia mesh pain. They are gentlemen and do not like confrontation. I love to stir things up when I am dead right and it is important. - Dr. P.
There is a lot of controversy in hernia surgery. And, unfortunately in many cases, downright hostility by the majority against doctors who have a minority opinion. Don't get caught in the middle. Get yourself informed. Even an informed mistake is way better than a negligent mistake.
99.9% of surgeons will tell you that mesh is the standard of care in hernia surgery. Some of the reasons for this you may find disappointing. The benign reasons are because doctors find security in following the standard of care. It is hazardous for a doctor to not follow what is generally accepted as the standard of care. I have been accused of committing malpractice by not following the standard of care by the state medical board. I have been called a profiteer exploiting "the mesh hysteria" by other surgeons..
Another benign reason is because following the standard of care for a doctor is just easier. It requires no thought or guts. You do not have to be an expert and decide for your self. You do not have to defend yourself. And for patients it is just easier. You can trust and not question your doctor. You do not have to do the hard work of getting yourself informed when there are many barriers to this. And if you go with the standard of care chances are 80% you will never have a problem.
A much less benign reason is conflict of interest involving money. Mesh is big profitable business. Mesh manufactures, which I will refer to collectively as "The Mesh Industry" hire doctors to promote their product. These doctors are designated by the mesh industry as "Opinion Leaders in Surgery" and are promoted as such. Obviously there is a huge conflict of interest here for involved doctors..
So what is wrong with just following the standard of care? Because a doctor can do better. For a patient, you can get better. Chronic pain is the most common and serious complication of hernia surgery. It occurs in 20% of patients with hernia mesh. 5% percent of patients experience pain so severe it alters their life. 25% of patients will never get better no matter what you do. A recurrence is not serious. It is easily remedied. It does not alter lives.
In surgery you want a surgeon who is independent of the influence third party payers, government and big business. Third parties do not add to the quality of your health care. They impose regulations, guidelines and standards which are not always in your best interest. The best example of this that I know is hernia surgery. Mesh hernia surgery is proclaimed the standard of care. But mesh causes chronic pain in 20% of patients. This pain is severe and life changing in 5%. When this happens it is a terrible complication which some patients never recover from. Low volume surgeons need mesh to achieve an acceptable recurrence rate. High volume surgeons do not need mesh and achieve recurrence rates lower than other surgeons who rely on mesh. Mesh free hernia surgery is the solution for chronic hernia mesh pain
It is with a great deal of satisfaction that I see that more and more patients are opting out of health insurance delivered health care and more doctors are providing it. I started it in 2007. In most cases you will save money because of high deductibles and copays. You will certainly get better care because your doctor does not have to see 50 patients a day. And often you will get specialty care that is offered no where else.
Your No Insurance Surgery Surgeon only has one interest, the well being of his patients. You will not get this from a surgeon who is basically an employee of an insurance company, a hospital or a medical group. These are not independent doctors. They are not allowed to think for themselves. They have to follow Practice Guidelines and the Standard of Care and what everybody else does which are edicts created by big business and doctors who are heavily influenced by big business. According to the Federal Governments Open Payments Database US doctors are paid $8 billion every year by medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. The dictum that Mesh is the Standard of Care in Hernia Surgery has been heavily influenced by the mesh manufacturing industry.
The map below shows where patients travel from to have surgery by
Dr. Petersen. They come from a long ways because there are very few
independent surgeons with as much experience in pure tissue repair
of hernias. They also come for his pioneering work and care in the
treatment of patients with hernia mesh pain.
In the office we have a cork board map that we ask patients to mark where they are from with a pin. This is a picture of the map as of 11/5/2018. It includes the continental USA, Hawaii, Alaska, Iceland, Israel, Trinidad, Newfoundland, Thailand, Canada, Guam, China, Japan, Porto Rico, Turks and Caicos, Nova Scotia, Australia and Germany. Click the map to enlarge it.
September 21, 2018
Dear Dr. Petersen,
Words cannot accurately express our deep thanks to you and the staff, both at your office and also at the MICOE center.
While I was at first hesitant, (not Chris, please note), about him having surgery out-of-state and without previously knowing you, I could now, personally, be your biggest advocate. I am sure, however, it won’t be long before someone else will come along and feel the same way, taking my place, if they haven’t already. I just haven’t had a chance to express it to you.
I can’t say enough about the excellent care Chris had, both during his pre-op and post-op, with the follow up phone calls from Grace and also from Kari. It is indeed a leap of faith when you are dealing with the unknown but that first day with yourself really made Chris comfortable and set into motion the next day’s surgery with ease.
You were so very kind and answered all of our questions both before and after the surgical procedure and just made us feel good. I can’t truly thank you enough for those moments which helped Chris personally feel better but us both all the more secure in that we had found the right person to help him. Please note, you, Dr. Petersen, made a difference that day in both our lives and we will never forget it.
Please note that your skills and also the program you have set up to assist others, be it self-employed or otherwise who don’t have insurance is exemplary. You are to be commended for your efforts and I wish that many others would understand the approach and perhaps follow suit.
Please note that Kari, from her diligence in keeping in touch with us, handling the paperwork and reviewing all of the details was both kind and helpful. Her understanding of our situation was very much appreciated and was her follow up upon our return home.
Grace and Theresa, at the surgical center, were amazing and if their ears aren’t ringing, they should be as Chris has sung their praises all over the east coast. Their “appreciation” of Chris’ humor and the gentle kindness in which they displayed their professional care and concern for his well being was heart felt and as Chris put it, “bar none”. His admiration of them is extremely high and you are fortunate to have such gifted colleagues to work with.
Finally, just another thank you. Chris has been home now for about two weeks. He is on the mend and “listening” sometimes but understands the best recovery is to follow Dr.’s orders! He is getting rest, sleeping well and his incision is healing nicely. While I have enjoyed being “Nurse Betty”, I am glad he is getting back to normal. Chris is so happy with the results of your efforts and we are grateful for your help.
Wishing you a beautiful day, with warmest regards~
Denise & Chris
June 26, 2018
(Life after mesh removal)
Thank you Dr. Petersen, Kari and surgical team for saving my life. Even though the mesh destroyed my reproductive organs, I am so thankful to be alive. Now life can go forward from here.. love all you guys and hope all is well.
Right on! - Dr.P.
July 14, 2016
I want to commend you on your staff and how you manage your patients. As an endodontist, I am always acutely aware of “perception being reality” and anxiety surrounding a procedure that the patient is not wanting or has a high level of anxiety over. I experienced this myself with the unknown of what you had to do for me. You staff did a stellar job managing my unwarranted anxiety about having an umbilical hernia surgery. Hats off to you for finding such a great team. I am two weeks out, and cannot even tell I had surgery. The lack of pain pre and post op was actually shocking to me. I took a 600 mg Motrin 24 hours post-surgery, and once each night for the next two nights. The only sensation I had was that I felt like I did too many sit-ups. Amazing that you can open up someone, fix them and have no post op pain. I appreciate your surgical skills and follow up the next day at my hotel. If you have a patient that has anxiety about this procedure, feel free to share my number and I will gladly talk them thru it.
Kevin Mullin DDS.
November 6, 2015
Dear Dr. Petersen:
Thank you for all you did for me these last few weeks.
You took on a complicated case and did a masterful job. You had several difficult post-surgical challenges and every time made the right call. Your skill, depth of knowledge and experience is unparalleled. Your bedside manner was immensely comforting to me, especially as l was experiencing a level of stress that I have never before imagined.
I will always be grateful that you took my case and gave me my life back.
I hold you in the highest esteem. May God bless you and prosper you in all that you do.
After you have suffered a little while, the God of
all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory
in Christ, will himself restore, confirm,
strengthen, and establish you. To him be the
dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:10-11
Doctors as well as patients are very concerned about what will happen to American health care in the future. It is our belief that the essence of health care is the doctor-patient relationship. No Insurance Surgery is committed to providing high quality care to patients today without the influence of public or private third parties.
Harpers Bazaar News Article
A hernia on left side of male 85 years old
Any long term problems from diastasis recti?
Busy doctors, wasteful spending
Can I fly after hernia surgery?
Can you perform bilateral inguinal hernia surgery?
Central pain sensitization
Do umbilical hernia belts work
Do you take insurance?
Does severe pain two weeks post op mean I have a mesh complication?
Golf after a hernia repair?
How can pain persist after mesh removal?
How do you strengthen the abdominal fascia?
How long is the hospital stay after inguinal hernia surgery?
How to get rid of a hernia?
I have cirrhosis of the liver stage 2 with a hernia on my belly button which I think is infected. What can I do if doctors will not touch it?
I still have pain six months after mesh removal. Do I have permanent nerve damage?
Lifting restrictions after hernia surgery?
Response to Dr. Wright who said
Should you have surgery for a hernia if you are in your eighties.
What is a muscle tear?
What kind of surgeon would you need for a hernia?
When do I know I need to take myself to urgent care for hernia complications?
Why do some surgeons say hernia mesh should not be removed?