Why do some surgeons say hernia mesh should not be removed?
Ignorance. I am sorry to say so but it is true. Mesh was not designed to be removed. If you succeed in removing it then you have to redo the repair. Few surgeons have confidence in their ability to repair a hernia without mesh. Also, a surprising number of hernia surgeons fail to recognize mesh pain, preferring to attribute pain to an occult hernia recurrence.
The first time I ever removed mesh was twenty five years ago. I had never heard of anybody doing it and I told the patient so. This patient was crippled by the mesh, he knew it and I knew it. I thought it was achievable and I was confident I could handle any trouble that I might get into. I thought it was worth a try, so did the patient. Since then I have convinced myself and a few of my colleagues that mesh removal for pain can be done safely and with significant benefit most of the time. A few other doctors that I know are working on this in Europe and Canada and are achieving results similar to mine. Last Spring, I presented my data to my peers at the First World Conference of Abdominal Wall Hernia Surgeons in Milan, Italy.