Alternative to mesh for hernia surgery?

My husband has (many) multiple hernias and Kaiser is suggesting a large sheet of mesh to correct. I've read about hernia surgery using one's own muscle tissue, but the one doctor in the peninsula I found who performs these specialized surgeries seems to have retired. Is anyone aware of an alternative to mesh? Conversely, any experiences with hernia surgery that you wish to share, mesh or otherwise? Thanks in advance!

Parent Replies

Parents, want to reply to this question? Sign in to post.

I had hernia surgery at Kaiser with absorbable mesh several years ago, with no issues. This mesh is gradually (over months and couple of years) absorbed into the body as new tissue takes hold. 

My husband was diagnosed with 4 hernias (inguinal, umbilical) earlier this year, we had a terrible time getting Kaiser to diagnose them appropriately and to get him a surgery appointment in a timely manner. Kaiser's surgery departments are all understaffed so there is currently a long wait time for routine surgeries.  

  We were not happy with the surgeon we met and were also concerned about using mesh.  Kaiser's standard of care for hernias is to use mesh, so any surgeon in the Kaiser network must use mesh.   We filed a grievance against Kaiser to get second opinions, and after a long battle, we got them and an earlier surgery date.  In the end, surgeons felt that the failure rate would be high with multiple hernias if you do not use mesh, although there is at least a 10% of chronic pain with mesh.   

My husband had surgery at Kaiser Oakland this spring and had mesh placed.  It took him a few months to fully recover but he is doing great now and has no long term issues with the mesh and no regrets about going through with surgery.   Good luck, I hope you find someone to help you as well!  

I did not have multiple hernias but I did have hernia surgery with Dr Jonathan Svahn at Kaiser in February and they used mesh and everything has been fine. He was recommended to me as an expert in laprascopic repairs and because my hernia had a strange presentation and it took forever to get correctly diagnosed. I thought he was great. He walked me through the options without a hard sell and he was very accessible and the surgery itself went great. https://mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/ncal/providers/jonathansvahn