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Asking Doctors about suture material and removal.

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  • Asking Doctors about suture material and removal.

    I'm hoping a doctor will answer this, since the rest of us probably don't know. Having found a doctor in the midwest willing to do no mesh surgery (tip to others--look for someone over 55 they will have been trained in it); I don't seem to be able to convince him to use absorbable stitches because the thinks recurrence. I am concern about the prolene suture material (though not as concerned as I am about mesh). However, I was wondering if people ever have to have sutures removed because their body reacts badly? I read a lot about people getting mesh removal but not suture material problems. Is this because it is rare? Also, what is the argument for stitches over glue for close? I am scheduled for surgery next week and would love some more information about the prolene sutures. I haven't yet made peace with it. I don't know how to tag doctors but if anyone does, feel free. Also if anyone had no mesh with prolene sutures I'd love to hear your recovery experience. Thanks, all.

  • #2
    Dill
    It is rare that sutures cause trouble or that they need to be removed.
    Prolene is a reasonable choice.
    You will do fine.
    Regards.
    Bill Brown MD

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    • #3
      Thank you so much Dr. Brown--your opinion means a lot to me. I'd be going to you if I weren't so far away. Still don't like the idea of plastic in my body. But it's true I haven't heard of the same type of problems with the sutures as with the mesh.

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      • #4
        Hello, I also have had concerns regarding the possibility of a reaction to permanent sutures and/or mesh implantation. I have autoimmune disease and was very reluctant to have any foreign object implanted into my body. I discussed this at length with my surgeon and we decided to do the surgery without the mesh but using permanent sutures. He made me aware of the increased risk of hernia reccurence because of not using mesh and we decided that permanent sutures would be better than dissolvable for preventing the hernia from coming back. Of course sutures are much easier to remove than mesh if a bad reaction were to occur. Anyways, the surgery (femoral) was done a bit over 3 months ago and all has healed well. I have had no bad reactions yet to the sutures and no increase in symptoms of my autoimmune diseases and no new autoimmune issues yet. I still have a bit of pain in the area sometimes, but it is mild and usually occurs after working on my feet all day. As far as I know the hernia has not come back yet.

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        • #5
          Dill
          When suture is used the amount of material used is minimal.
          Complications from mesh are rare.
          Regards
          Bill Brown MD

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DrBrown View Post
            [USER="2758"]
            Complications from mesh are rare.
            Regards
            Bill Brown MD
            Hello Dr. Brown. I asume that you are talking about short-term immediate complication, not long-term chronic complications. The number that seems to fit the complication rate for mesh is 15%. Some studies show it's even higher, maybe up to 30%.

            Even the vocal proponents of mesh, like Dr. Voeller, agree on a 5% debilitation rate for mesh. He says that's not a big deal though, 1 of 20 patients ending up weakened and unhealed.

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            • #7
              Well, yes, I know plenty of people in my life who have had the surgery with mesh and are fine and haven't had any problems, but we've certainly all read about complications from mesh--Dr. Brown, I thought you were somebody against using it. I think was I was trying to say, even in forums where we are going to get a skewed view of mesh problems, I have not heard the same type of complaint about the prolene sutures, which is actually heartening to me. I was thinking, yes, because it doesn't travel and get as entangled in nerves. Did you mean to say "Complications from sutures are rare?" or is it really mesh you were referring to. Out of five people I know who had hernia surgery with mesh--only one had complications--so that's a random study, but it doesn't seem completely rare.

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              • #8
                I believe as tome goes by the incident of mesh complications in hernia surgery will continue to grow as it is most definitely underreported:
                There is no registry
                -many surgeons either knowingly or unknowingly do not recognize patient symptoms are do to mesh.
                99% of the people I correspond with who have ended up having mesh removed were told by their implanting surgeon and the medical field as a whole that the symptoms they were experiencing had nothing to do with the mesh.
                Personally I was told by my implanting surgery all was well with my hernia mesh surgery even though I had a number of issues. Two more prominent NYC surgeons also said all was well-MRI’s and CT scans also came back “normal “
                My mesh removal surgery showed the mesh had completely balled up, was rock hard and on all sorts of structures that it shouldn’t be.
                How can we currently get a accurate pain/complication rate from hernia mesh surgery when the patient is up against such hurdles and incompetence/cover up??!!
                Fortunately with the internet and community forums the truth about the concerns and dangers of mesh complication can spread.
                i believe it is safe to say that mesh complication is not rare!
                What is rare is the number of surgeons in the United States and world wide that offer a specialty in non mesh repairs to even the playing field. Sad.

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                • #9
                  @Dill
                  I meant that the complications from sutures are rare.
                  I apologize for the error.
                  I am a strong proponent of pure tissue repairs for inguinal hernias.
                  Regards.
                  Bill Brown MD

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