Editorials

EDITORIAL April 2024  

Written by Alan V. Schmukler

The author discusses the light and dark sides of hernia mesh surgery, and some alternatives to that method.

Homeopathy has excellent remedies for treating hernia and sometimes they can allow a person to live with the problem for some time.  Examples include Nux, Lycopodium (r. side inguinal), Calc carb., Aurum (in children), Plumbum, Cocculus.

For most people suffering from hernia, it comes down to surgery for a lasting fix. Most doctors today use a piece of mesh to surgically repair the fault in the abdominal wall. The mesh is a thin, flexible, porous woven material, made from a biological or synthetic substance.

Doctors will tell you that the mesh is a perfectly safe and effective method for hernia repair.  The favored method for placing mesh is laparoscopic surgery (sometimes done robotically) which takes the shortest time and is the least invasive.

As with many other things in medicine, there is a lesser-known dark side to the mesh. Patients have been known to suffer for years as a result of the mesh implant. Some have needed repeated surgeries, and the mesh becomes part of the body over time, making difficult to remove.

Hernia mesh complications may include:

  • Abnormal connection between organs or vessels (fistulas)
  • Adhesion of the mesh to other organs or tissue
  • Bowel obstructions
  • Chronic pain
  • Infections from continued inflammation caused by the mesh
  • Migration of the mesh to a different part of the body
  • Organ or tissue perforation caused by the mesh migrating
  • Pinched nerves that result in a burning sensation
  • Recurrence of the hernia, if the mesh fails
  • Swelling and tenderness, if the body rejects the mesh

In the U.K., hernia mesh complications may have affected up to 170,000 patients according to an investigation reported in the BMJ in 2018.   https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k4104

 A quote from the investigation:

“Patients who had had hernia mesh operations told the programme about being in constant pain, unable to sleep, and finding it difficult to walk or even pick up a sock. Some patients said that they felt suicidal.”

Patients have reported that the mesh complications made them unable to work or carry on normal lives.

As of January 2024, there were over 24,800 lawsuits pending against hernia mesh manufacturers in the U.S.  https://www.drugwatch.com/hernia-mesh/lawsuits/  Mesh failure, bowel obstruction and organ perforation are among the injuries claimed in hernia mesh lawsuits.

The industry that markets the mesh is highly motivated to promote it. A single mesh may cost $15 to produce but it is sold for up to $2000.

California surgeon Dr. William Brown found that he was repeatedly called on to remove mesh from patients he had previously placed it in.  He finally stopped using mesh altogether. He believes that the government should step in and regulate the mesh industry. Here is a video of him discussing this. (Move the video cursor to 1:57 where his talk begins.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3RM3YFU6-8     Start at  1:57

 So what is the alternative to mesh?  It’s called “tissue repair” and it was the original method for fixing hernias.  It is performed using the patient’s own muscle and tendon (called fascia) to close the hernia defect. However, most surgeons nowadays are not skilled in it. That is partly because the mesh operation is easier to learn and also, mesh has been so heavily promoted by the industry.

In this video Dr. Robert Bendavid talks about mesh versus tissue repair:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjC5e5VC1G0

 and in this video about the dangers of mesh repair:

https://www.drugwatch.com/hernia-mesh/

 Alternatives to hernia mesh surgery include these tissue repair methods:

Desarda Hernia Repair

Moloney’s Darn Repair

Shouldice Repair

Research has shown that they provide relief comparable to mesh and without the need to insert a foreign substance into the patient. Finding a surgeon who knows how to perform one of these methods, takes some serious searching. They exist, but it is becoming a lost art.

To be sure, thousands of people experience mesh surgery safely and without after effects, and it is the least invasive. Having said that, anyone needing hernia repair should explore the options and make an informed decision.

April 2024 IN THIS ISSUE

 EDITORIAL – Don’t Mesh With Me! – Alan V. Schmukler

–– Letters to The Editor

HOMEOPATH IN THE HOT-SEAT

–– Dr. Amitava Sinharay, a 4th generation homeopath is interviewed by Alan V. Schmukler

 CLINICAL CASES

–– Management of Pediatric Erythema Intertrigo with Classical Homeopathy

Nataliia Kozulina / Tamara Kozymenko / Aaditi Lakshmana

 –– Primary Infertility Treated with Individualized Classical Homeopathy –

A Case Series – Oana Socoliuc, Adriana Sîrbu, Romania

 ––Homeopathic Success in Treating Sensory Processing Disorder -Usha Shah

––  Iatrogenic Autism in a Child of 5 years –  Kavita Chandak

–– Ailments from a Fall – A Case of Lyssin – Patricia Hatherly

 ––  Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura – Prasad S. Shetye / Falguni K. Khariwala

 ––Therapeutic Strategy & Role of Homoeopathy in a Case of Acute Gastroenteritis Induced Prerenal Azotemia – a Consequence of Typhoid Fever – Rakesh Gupta, Prabhakar Devadiga, Zeenal Thakkar

––  Life is Too Much – “Detached”  -Angela Necula

–– Lumbago Successfully Treated with Homeopathy – Mansoor Shafi

––  Calcaneal Spur & Plantar Fasciitis – Aarti Alwani

ARTICLES

–– A Simpleton’s Approach to Homeoprophylaxis -Joe Rozencwajg

––Homeopathy in Australia – Sarah Penrose

––  A Homeopathic History of Cancer – Sue Young

 –– Is the Sun Your Enemy, or Could it be the Toxic Sunscreens Instead? –  Allyson McQuinn

––A Brief Biography of William Tod Hemuth M.D.

–– Meta-Analysis of Natrum Muriaticum – Sepia – Phosphorus  –  Jatan. J. Rajore  /  Simran S. Kotaria

––Objective Structured Practical Examination [OSPE] in Homoeopathic Pharmacy -Sumit Goel / Divya Panicker Menon/ Parizad F. Damania

–– Tips and Secrets – Alan V. Schmukler

 BOOK REVIEWS

–– Folkways And Homeopathy, Our Ancestral Secret of Healing, by Dr.

Shailendra R Vaishampayan, is reviewed by Vatsala Spering

RESEARCH

–– A Case of Infective Endocarditis Treated With Homeopathy Medicine            D Chabanov, D Tsintzas, and G Vithoulkas

–– Importance of Systematic Review in Homeopathy Research – Prashant Gupta / Pooja Chandil

 VETERINARY

–– Ask the Holistic Vet – April 2024 – Dr. Deva Khalsa

AGRO-HOMEOPATHY

–– Ask the Plant Doctor – April 2024 – Radko Tichavsky

CARTOONS

–– A Helping Hand  –  Alan V. Schmukler

SOLVE THE CASE QUIZ

––  Quiz – “Molly Won’t Drink!”–Elaine Lewis, Shana Lewis

––  Revisiting: “Pink Eye” – Elaine Lewis

About the author

Alan V. Schmukler

Alan V. Schmukler is a homeopath, Chief Editor of Homeopathy for Everyone and author of ”Homeopathy An A to Z Home Handbook”, (also in French, German, Greek, Polish and Portuguese). He is Hpathy’s resident cartoonist and also produces Hpathy’s Tips & Secrets column and homeopathy Crossword puzzles each month. Alan is a recipient of the National Center for Homeopathy Martha Oelman Community Service Award. Visit Alan at his website: Here.

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