Thirty five years ago, while in training, Dr. Petersen was warned by his instructors that "We do not really know what the dangers of hernia mesh are." In 1986 Dr. Petersen went into private practice as a general surgeon after completing training and passing his boards. Over the next 6 years he continued to repairs hernias exactly as he was taught, satisfied with his results as were his patients were. 1992 the surgical world overnight made a dramatic change, nearly everyone adopted mesh as the standard of care for hernia repair citing significantly lower recurrence rates. But still no one knew what the risks were. It had not been studied. Because of this and because he knew what his recurrence was low Dr. Petersen resisted enormous peer pressure and continued doing hernia repair exactly as he had been taught by surgeons whom he considered to be the finest in the world. Within two years Dr. Petersen started seeing patients with crippling groin pain that he could only attribute to hernia mesh implanted by other surgeons. The first patient he removed hernia mesh from was cured of his pain, regaining his life. That launched his career long interest in treating hernia mesh pain and his commitment to non-mesh hernia repairs.
Non-mesh repairs were successfully preformed for more than 100 years. The trouble was not all surgeons learned how to do them correctly and on the average recurrences rates were high. This was a great opportunity for mesh manufacturers to step in and teach everyone how to repair a hernia with a low recurrence rate using their product and making huge profits. Unfortunately there was no economic drive to preserve the art of non-mesh hernia repairs. The medical literature has many publications of the excellent results of single surgeon non-mesh hernia repairs and one world renowned hernia clinic, the Shouldice Hospital, in Toronto, Canada.
A properly done non-mesh hernia repair is not a tension repair. It preserves normal anatomy while repairing the injury. It does nothing to upset our body like inject a foreign material which triggers a reaction from our immune and nervous systems in the end resulting in chronic pain. In dedicated expert hands recurrence rates are less than 3%. The incidence of chronic pain is less than 1%.
Dr. Petersen has 30 years dedicated experience to non-mesh hernia repair. Dr. Petersen's views go strongly against the mainstream. But their are other surgeons like him around the world. We are publishing and speaking at professional meetings. Without being overly optimistic we would like to say that other surgeons are beginning to listen.
Please peruse this website. Nearly any question you might think of to ask about this controversy is likely to be answered here. If this means anything to you please pass it along.
- Kevin C. Petersen, M.D.
No Insurance Surgery, Inc.
"Milan—Chronic groin pain after hernia surgery is now considered the most important issue facing inguinal hernia surgeons and their patients. Yet, there is still much uncertainty surrounding what causes the pain and how to prevent it." - Victoria Stern, General Surgery News