What's Wrong with the Mesh is the Standard of Care

Standards of Care are not Perfect

Kevin C. Petersen, M.D.

A standard of care is not always the best care. In most cases it is but there are exceptions. A broad definition of the standard of care is warranted. The commonly referenced narrow hernia mesh is the standard of care has problems.

"Note that the standard of care is not optimal care. Rather, it is a continuum, with barely acceptable care at one end, and the ultimate in care at the other end. In terms of malpractice liability, physicians just need to make it onto the continuum, even if near the barely acceptable care end. Of course, in terms of patient safety and clinical outcomes, physicians should aim in the direction of optimal care." See References.

Different surgeons achieve different results using the same technique. Of course this may because the same technique is ill defined. But different surgeons do have different skills. Surgeons must rely on their experience to provide the best results for their patients. Blind adherence to a narrow standard of care is hazardous.

The problem of severe chronic hernia mesh pain should not be dismissed in the standard of care.


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