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Why isn't mesh used for all women's inguinal hernias?

By Anonymous July 6, 2018 - 1:03pm
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I saw 2 surgeons for a small inguinal hernia repair. Both said open surgery - one would use mesh and oher would repair with stitches. One would use a general and the other a local for pain during surgery.How is a patient able to decide?

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Hello. Thank you for writing.

A hernia is a tear or weakness in the abdominal wall muscles that allows a small amount of fat (or in some cases part of an organ – like your intestines) to protrude through the cavity which typically keeps it contained. An inguinal hernia is the most common type of a hernia, (lower abdominal/groin).

Up until about 1980 when surgical mesh was introduced, most hernias were repaired using a pure tissue repair or tension technique which included pushing the fat or budging organ back in place and just stitching the muscle defect together using one of many stitching techniques. The cons of this technique are that the recovery is longer (4-8 weeks) and the reoccurrence rate is said to be slightly higher. Surgical mesh is often used to reduce the reoccurrence rate and shorten the recovery time, but it is also not without some risk.  Here are some of the most common inguinal hernia repair options:

-Laparoscopic repair using surgical mesh (most popular)
-Open repair using surgical mesh (popular)
-Open “stitch” or pure tissue repair (usually can be done upon request from older surgeons who were trained in the technique prior to the introduction of mesh, depending on hernia size)
-The Desarda method – a pure tissue open repair (which I believe is only offered by a few specialized surgeons)

To know the specifics about why these surgeons recommend one procedure over the other (in your case) you will need to ask them.  


July 6, 2018 - 3:03pm
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