Posts tagged hernia

Answering 7 Questions About Hernia Mesh

Article first published on G&L Surgical

Hernias occur when an organ or tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue that is holding it in place. They commonly manifest in areas such as the abdomen, groin, belly button, or upper thigh. There are four types of hernias: UmbilicalInguinalIncisional, and Femoral, each with different characteristics.

While not life-threatening in itself, complications from hernias can present as life-threatening. Additionally, hernias can cause discomfort and pain. Treatment options for hernias typically involve surgery to repair the weakened area and prevent further protrusion.

Surgical options include open repair, laparoscopic repair, or robotic-assisted repair. These methods often involve the use of hernia mesh to reinforce weakened areas and reduce the risk of recurrence. 

What is a Hernia Mesh?

Hernia mesh refers to a surgical implant made of either synthetic or biological materials that is used to reinforce weakened tissue and muscle during a hernia repair surgery. Its primary purpose is to provide support to the weakened or damaged area, and reduce the risk of hernia recurrence by helping to strengthen the abdominal wall or affected tissue. 

Additionally, the mesh helps distribute the tension across a broader area. This promotes tissue ingrowth and minimises the risk of future recurrence. A hernia mesh may facilitate improved healing and recovery compared to traditional tissue repair techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hernia Mesh

It is important that you understand any procedure before you undergo it. While G&L Surgical Clinic strongly recommends speaking to your healthcare provider to ensure that any and all queries you have are answered prior, we hope this article acts as a helpful guide to provide insight into hernia mesh as a method of treatment for a hernia. 

1. How long does a hernia mesh last?

The period of time a hernia mesh lasts depends on various factors. For example, the type of mesh used, the patient’s overall health, and both the size and location of the hernia being treated. 

However, most hernia meshes are designed to be permanent implants, and are intended to provide long-term reinforcement to the weakened tissue and muscle, and remain in place indefinitely. Alternatively, some newer meshes are biodegradable or absorbable, they slowly break down and are absorbed by the body over time, meaning that they do not need to be surgically removed. 

2. What are the benefits of a hernia mesh?

The additional support of a hernia mesh provides numerous benefits in hernia repair surgeries, including reduced recurrence rates, increased strength of the repaired area, reduced recovery times, minimised postoperative pain, reduced risk of complications, and suitability for more complex hernias instances. 

3. What are the disadvantages of a hernia mesh?

It is important to understand both the advantages and disadvantages of any procedure before undergoing treatment. Hernia mesh-related complications may include infection, inflammation, and allergic reactions, as well as the risk of chronic pain following the procedure. Additionally, there’s a risk of mesh rejection and increased cost compared to traditional tissue repair techniques. 

4. Can a hernia come back after a mesh repair?

Unfortunately, it is possible for a hernia to come back after undergoing hernia repair with mesh. While mesh repair significantly reduces the risk of recurrence compared to traditional tissue repair techniques, it does not eliminate the possibility of recurrence. 

Various factors such as surgical technique used, placement, and individual patient health can influence the likelihood of recurrence. Additionally, post-surgical complications such as migration, shrinkage, or failure to incorporate into the surrounding tissue can also contribute to hernia recurrence.

5. Can a hernia mesh tear?

Unfortunately, a hernia mesh can tear or rupture in certain circumstances. While designed to be durable and provide long-term reinforcement to weakened tissue, a hernia mesh is still susceptible to damage. Excessive tension on the mesh, trauma to the surgical site, infection, and inadequate or improper healing may contribute to mesh tears. 

6. Can a hernia mesh cause allergic reactions

Yes, it’s possible for hernia mesh to cause allergic reactions in some patients. Possible causes for allergic reactions to hernia mesh can occur due to hypersensitivity or intolerance to the materials used in the mesh implant, such as synthetic polymers like polypropylene or polyester. Symptoms may include redness, swelling, pain, itching, or rash at or near the surgical site. 

It is important that you speak to your doctor about any known allergies prior to undergoing a hernia mesh repair. Additionally, seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the symptoms listed above during the healing period. 

7. Are there any long-term effects associated with a hernia mesh?

Yes, there are potential long-term effects and complications associated with the use of a hernia mesh. These can include chronic pain, mesh migration or shrinkage, erosion, adhesion formation, recurrence, infection, and mesh rejection. 

Each of these factors depends on the surgical technique used, placement, and individual patient health, as well as post-surgical care. Scheduled follow-up appointments are crucial in monitoring the surgical site and hernia mesh.

Conclusion

As with any medical procedure, it is crucial to understand the advantages, disadvantages, and potential complications. We hope that this guide helped answer some initial queries you may have had should you be considering a hernia mesh repair as a treatment for your hernia. This will ensure that you are entirely confident of the treatment and understand any and all risks associated. 

Should you have any questions or be considering a hernia mesh repair for your condition, schedule an appointment with our friendly staff. We will be happy to assist you in answering any questions and helping you better understand a hernia mesh repair and if it is the best option for your situation.