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  • Recs for Los Angeles surgeon?

    I've had a femoral (I think?) hernia for 14 years now. I'm 37 years old, 5'7, 149lbs and have had 2 kids (9 and 15). For the first several years it didn't cause me any pain and wasn't sticking out at all times. I put surgery off because I didn't think I was done having kids. Fast forward to now and I think I have an incarcerated hernia. It's almost the size of a small egg/golf ball and over the past few days it's been extremely difficult or impossible to push it back in. It now hurts 24/7, is painful/tender/hard to the touch, and the pain is now radiating to my hip and lower back. I'm a side sleeper, but because of the pain I have only been able to sleep on my back the past 2 nights. I've had 2 consultations with drtowfigh over the years and I'd happily schedule surgery asap with her but she is out-of-network with my insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO) and her office told me this week that my out-of-pocket cost would be $13,500. So looks like I need to find someone in network. To complicate things, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease (autoimmune hyperthyroidism) a few months ago and autoimmune issues run in our family (my 15 year old son has ulcerative colitis and severe eczema, my mom has Hashimotos, and my uncle has rheumatoid arthritis). We also have tons of allergies (food, environmental, and drug) in our family. So now I'm worried I'm at higher risk for a systemic mesh reaction and want a surgeon who will take my autoimmune condition into consideration. I also have a small umbilical hernia that needs to be fixed also but has never caused me any issues. I had a consultation with Dr. Matthew Lublin in Santa Monica back in November but I haven't seen him recommended on this board and I didn't feel his consultation was very thorough (of course that morning my hernia went into hiding and he couldn't feel it!) He is in network though and if anyone has any first hand experience with him then I'd love to hear it. I'm pretty sure he only uses mesh though. I ended up getting a consultation with Dr. Robert Burns next Thursday the 17th in Newport Beach after seeing him recommended on here. I'm just hoping my hernia doesn't turn into an emergency situation by then! Anyone else I should consider? Should I push for a no mesh repair because of my Graves Disease? I'm not even sure if it's an option with the size of my hernia. And can they do no mesh repairs on an umbilical hernia?
    Last edited by essnce629; 01-10-2019, 11:48 PM.

  • #2
    essnce629,
    I sent you a private message to offer help and answer some questions.

    Comment


    • #3
      Have you had an ultrasound or any imaging done in the inguinal/femoral area to aid or confirm the diagnosis?

      Here are some hernia surgeons in the LA area that have been referenced and discussed on these boards, with significant experience in hernia repair. Obviously there will be others too, so other recommendations are welcome to be shared.

      - Dr Shirin Towfigh in Los Angeles, California (non-mesh and mesh), who you already saw

      - Dr David Chen in Los Angeles, California (uncertain on repair methods, primarily laparoscopic maybe?)

      - Dr Edward Phillips in Los Angeles, California (non-mesh and mesh)

      - Dr Robert Burns in Newport Beach, California (non-mesh and mesh)

      Another recent forum poster had a successful hernia surgery experience with Dr Todd Harris in Newport Beach, he appears to be high volume and very well rated online but only does mesh repairs.

      As for the endless hassle that is insurance, you might be able to get a lower rate by not using insurance at all. For example a quick check on Dr Harris website shows he offers no-insurance rates that are arguably lower than what many deductibles and co-insurances are.

      It would be interesting to know if other common autoimmune issues like general allergies, eczema, psoriasis, etc have any relationship to mesh problems, but as far as I know there have not been any studies on that. Perhaps drtowfigh has some clinical experience with this?

      Anyway, best of luck and keep us updated on your case and decision making.

      Comment


      • #4
        essnce629 I hear you ! drtowfigh I respect and like dr.
        - Dr Shirin Towfigh a lot I wish she would take Blue Cross Blue Shield it is one of most popular insurances...Why you didn't call dr.Brown ..he would take care of you immediately.. He takes our insurance

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        • #5
          Dr.Brown takes your insurance !

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          • #6
            Sorry to hear about your situation ..just letting you know dr.Brown takes your insurance he even respond to cell phone call.

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            • #7
              Sorry to hear about your problem.Try to call to dr.Brown.not far away to fly ..he is in network

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dog View Post
                Sorry to hear about your problem.Try to call to dr.Brown.not far away to fly ..he is in network
                Yes, I already have a consultation with Dr. Brown in Newport Beach next Thursday the 17th. He's in my insurance network. I'm just hoping my hernia doesn't strangulate by then. It's clearly incarcerated now as I haven't been able to push it back in for over 2 days now.

                Dr. Edward Phillips is not in my insurance network unfortunately.

                Dr. Chen is in network but when I looked him up all I saw were multiple 1 star reviews and a pending malpractice lawsuit for a patient who hemorrhaged out and died during hernia surgery with him recently. If he was the only option then fine, but if I could get a surgeon with much better reviews, like Dr. Brown and Dr. Towfigh, that would make me much more at ease.

                It looks like Dr. Todd Harris in Newport Beach is in network also. 1 review said he is very knowledgeable about the different types and latest mesh options. Perhaps using a mesh with less plastic would be an option for me. I'll call his office on Monday.

                I asked about a cash payment option for Dr. Towfigh and they dropped the price from $13,500 to $11,000. Unfortunately, that still isn't feasible right now and someone in my insurance network is the best option financially.

                Has no one heard of Dr. Matthew Lublin in Santa Monica?

                I haven't had any imaging done of my hernia. It's quite obvious that that's what it is. I've had 2 consultations with Dr. Towfigh already and she diagnosed it without issue. My grandma also had a hernia in the exact same spot as mine, that she had repaired several years ago, and I know that hernias have a genetic component to them.
                Last edited by essnce629; 01-12-2019, 12:43 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  essnce629 o,,boy! Look here is what help me amazingly https://www.herniatalk.com/9743-hernia-support-belt ..
                  Also the person you are going to see isn't dr Brow .
                  Bill Brown, M.D.
                  650 703 9694 Cell

                  - Dr Robert Burns very experienced good doctor in Newport Beach, but not the only hernia he does ......according to his words ..when he does he does it with no mesh ..Very Good. ..I communicate with few of his clients they like him.

                  - Dr. Chean is taking a very difficult cases ..so it is 10 times harder to get a good result.He is a GOOD doctor.
                  Dr Harris does great job with mesh but you wont without mesh ..correct?

                  Yes dr. Towfigh would be my first choice an amazing doctor .but .also out of my network..i have the same insurance. :{

                  ..here is link to dr Brown https://www.sportshernia.com/ Call him on cell now to TALK about you problem ..possibly he will do surgery on Monday...Thursday ? it is 1 hoer to fly from you..more fast then driving from LA to Newport beach ...It is ultimately your choice ..i just don't want to see you go to emergency.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dog View Post
                    essnce629 o,,boy! Look here is what help me amazingly https://www.herniatalk.com/9743-hernia-support-belt ..
                    Also the person you are going to see isn't dr Brow .
                    Bill Brown, M.D.
                    650 703 9694 Cell

                    - Dr Robert Burns very experienced good doctor in Newport Beach, but not the only hernia he does ......according to his words ..when he does he does it with no mesh ..Very Good. ..I communicate with few of his clients they like him.

                    - Dr. Chean is taking a very difficult cases ..so it is 10 times harder to get a good result.He is a GOOD doctor.
                    Dr Harris does great job with mesh but you wont without mesh ..correct?

                    Yes dr. Towfigh would be my first choice an amazing doctor .but .also out of my network..i have the same insurance. :{

                    ..here is link to dr Brown https://www.sportshernia.com/ Call him on cell now to TALK about you problem ..possibly he will do surgery on Monday...Thursday ? it is 1 hoer to fly from you..more fast then driving from LA to Newport beach ...It is ultimately your choice ..i just don't want to see you go to emergency.
                    Oops, I'm sorry, you're correct! I'm seeing Dr. Burns in Newport Beach, Dr. Brown is in Fremont, which is why I didn't consider him. I know it's a short fly, but with 2 kids in school it's not really feasible to travel right now. Perhaps if it was during summer break. And about the mesh, I have no idea if I'm even a candidate for a no-mesh repair. Perhaps I'm not. That's why I need a consultation. I can't even remember if my hernia is femoral or inguinal. When I saw Dr. Towfigh the last time, I hadn't been diagnosed with Graves yet and we never even discussed a no-mesh repair because it wasn't even on my radar then.

                    Also, what does the hernia support belt do? Does it put pressure on the hernia to keep it pushed in? My hernia is super tender and painful to the touch so I can no longer press it. Even washing down there in the shower is extremely difficult because it's so swollen and tender. I wouldn't be able to have anything pressing on it. I can't even lay on my side when I sleep anymore because it hurts so bad.
                    Last edited by essnce629; 01-13-2019, 06:23 PM.

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                    • #11
                      How was your appointment with doctor Burns? Any update please

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                      • #12
                        Dr Harris did my hernia repair late last year. Had a great experience. He was upfront about the challenge (recurrent hernia w/mesh) and outcome expectations. Feel free to reach out directly if you have any questions.

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                        • #13
                          So I saw Dr. Burns on Thursday. I really liked him and he was super thorough at explaining everything. He said I was a good candidate for a no-mesh repair since I'm young and therefore my tissues should be healthy. Unfortunately, he's out of town all next week and the first surgery date available is Tuesday, February 5th. So I'm scheduled for surgery that day, but if there's a cancellation before then, they'll move me up. It's going to suck waiting 16 more days since the last 10 or so with an incarcerated hernia have not been fun, but maybe I'll get lucky and the date will be moved up. I'm just glad to finally be getting it fixed after 14 years! But I probably shouldn't have waited till it's almost an emergency situation! Thanks everyone for the recommendations. I'm happy that it will be a no-mesh repair even though the recovery time is longer.

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                          • #14
                            essnce629 Thank you for your story! Myself i felt the same very good about doctor!.Please stay save until you see him..do your best to take care of yourself so you would need to do anything urgently !

                            We glad that this forum helped you ! It helped me as well :} PLEASE tell us your feedback about outcome later.

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                            • #15
                              There was a cancelation! My surgery with Dr. Burns is getting moved up to next Tuesday, the 29th. Wish me luck! Any tips for recovery?

                              Comment

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