Hernia surgery may or may not require a mesh that is used to reinforce the weakened tissues of the location. Read on to know more about hernia mesh.
Hernia is a medical condition that is most often corrected through surgery. In some cases, surgical repair of hernia involves use of a hernia mesh. What is a hernia mesh and why is it used in repairing a hernia? In order to understand more about this mesh in hernia surgery, you must have a basic idea about the nature of this medical condition and the role of surgery in correcting it.
Hernia and Hernia Surgery
Hernia is a medical condition that is most commonly found to affect the abdomen. It is caused by weakening of the muscles and tissues of the abdominal region, thereby causing the inner organs or tissues to protrude out. Such protrusion is often found as bulges or lumps over the affected area. There are different types of abdominal hernias like inguinal, femoral, diaphragmatic, umbilical and incisional.
The classification is based on the location and cause of hernia. In simple words, an abdominal hernia can be described as the protrusion of an inner organ through a weak spot on the wall of the abdominal cavity. The common type of abdominal hernia is the inguinal hernia, which is found in the inguinal region, just above the leg crease.
In most cases, hernia is treated with surgery, except those minor cases in which wait and watch policy may be adopted sometimes. Surgical repair of hernia involves restoration of the normal position of the protruded part and mending the weak spot. In some cases, the protruded part has to be removed for various reasons, before suturing the incision. Mostly, parts of intestine are found to be involved in a hernia. In some cases, a hernia mesh is used to mend the weak spot.
What is Hernia Mesh
As mentioned above, hernia is caused by the weakening of tissues in the abdominal wall, forming a weak spot. Surgery is basically necessary for repairing the weak spot. But in some cases sutures used during the surgery may further weaken the already weakened spot. This may lead to recurrence of the condition.
So a mesh is used to mend the weak spot, so as to reinforce the weakened tissues. The mesh is placed over or under the weakened tissues and is attached to the stronger muscles located around it. Even mesh plugs are found to be used to fill the opening through which the protrusion happens. In this case, suturing or stapling is not required.
Such mesh is not usually used in pediatric hernia repair. Generally, hernia mesh is found to be made of polypropylene. It is like a thin woven piece of polypropylene that comes in various types. So different types of hernia mesh may be used, as per individual requirements. Nowadays, mesh made of human dermis is also available. Apart from reinforcing the weakened muscles and tissues, the mesh also facilitates growth of new tissues that will cover the area, thereby incorporating the mesh.
Hernia Mesh Complications
Use of mesh in surgeries is now a controversial matter, as there are numerous reports about complications caused by this mesh. In some cases, the body fails to get adjusted to the mesh, thereby causing pain and swelling. Even infection of the site is said to be common with the use of surgical mesh. Another complication is associated with the use of faulty mesh. Injury to the blood vessels, nerves and organs near the mesh may also develop.
In such cases, the patient may develop bleeding, problem with urination, infertility, etc. It has also been reported that hernia recurrence is one of the common complications associated with the use of this mesh. There are reports about breakage of mesh, inside the cavity, causing various complications like, bowel perforation, strangulation of intestines, damage to other organs and fistulas. In case of hernia mesh complications, surgery has to be done again to remove the mesh and correct the condition.
Following the reports about complications associated with hernia mesh, various companies have recalled their faulty products from the market. However, if you have doubts regarding the use of mesh, make sure to discuss with your doctor. This is very important, if you are about to undergo a hernia repair.