What Are the Pros and Cons of Hernia Mesh?

Article Details
  • Written By: C. Webb
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 13 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

A hernia mesh, also referred to as a screen or patch, is used to repair hernias during surgery. Meshes are made from synthetic plastic. They are either implanted over the weak area to hold it in or are used to plug the hole that allows the hernia to come through. Flexibility is the primary plus for using a hernia mesh, but the mesh also can have potential negative consequences.

Hernias occur when an organ presses through the containing wall. For example, a stomach hernia is when intestines protrude through the abdominal wall. Hernia bulges can be viewed from outside the body. A hernia may be symptomless or it can cause pain. Surgery is the only effective corrective action for a hernia.

Historically, hernia repair involved covering or strengthening the wall hole, using various materials. Throughout the years, plastic and metal coils were tried but were not flexible enough and carried a high risk of infection. Mesh patches or screens became popular in the 1960s with the advent of synthetic material for their use.

Hernia meshes are extremely thin and flexible. This allows them to move with the body and not become stiff or cause discomfort. Material used to manufacture the mesh is very thin, adding to the product's flexibility. While the material is thin, it is very strong, which gives it longevity. It can be cut to whatever size is needed, making it a custom surgical tool in the repair of hernias.

Ad

Nevertheless, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has discovered several issues regarding hernia mesh. Intestinal loops adhering to the surgically placed mesh is one of the FDA's concerns. In addition, injuries to organs near the implanted hernia mesh have also been reported.

Many of the reported complications with hernia mesh came from mesh material that was later recalled. Erosion of mesh material has been reported. In addition, vaginal scarring and pain during sexual relations are problems women have encountered. Prolapsed organs, such as a bladder, have also been noted following hernia mesh surgeries.

Pelvic organ prolapse typically leads to problems with bladder and bowel function. Recurring hernias require additional surgeries. During corrective surgery, the hernia mesh is removed and replaced with a new mesh.

Ad

Discuss this Article

anon345865
Post 2

I had the mesh op four months ago, and I got a hernia after my kidney was removed. I am now in agony on my left side where the op took place. I went to see the surgeon who told me that the mesh has moved and that the screws are now digging into my ribs. He has told me to take strong pain killers and try to take things easy, but he is in no hurry to correct this and I am in total agony and off my work again. Can I make him take it back out because I would rather have the hernia than this pain.

anon301489
Post 1

I still have questions on how long the mesh lasts, and what happens to it as you gain weight?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email