What is Hernia Mesh?

Hernia mesh is a product used in hernia repair. It is made of implant-safe plastics that are formed into a grid that can be used at a hernia site to hold herniated organs in place and provide a network for new tissue to grow, effecting long-term repair in the place. This product is not used in all hernia repair surgeries, but it is very common and a variety of types and styles are available for surgeons to choose from.

Hernias occur when organs in the body bulge through the connective tissue that normally protects them and holds them in place. This creates a distinctive bulge, and can lead to complications such as death of the herniated tissue. The most common type of hernia is an abdominal hernia, in which the intestines or pads of fatty tissue protrude through the abdominal wall. In most cases, a hernia must be corrected with surgery.

Historically, hernia repair was accomplished by pressing the herniated organs back into place, and sewing the weakened tissue back together so the organs couldn't protrude. However, this type of repair was vulnerable to recurrence, as the surgery created a weak spot. When a hernia mesh is applied, the mesh covers the weak area, somewhat like a tire patch, and is sutured into place. The mesh holds the organs while the area heals and promotes the growth of new connective tissue through the mesh to reduce the risk of recurrence.

Hernia mesh is designed to be left in place. In some cases, the mesh remains intact, while in other cases, it can bioabsorb, breaking down over time as the site heals much like absorbable stitches. Hernia mesh is non-reactive and should not cause infection, the development of allergies, or other complications. The surgeon chooses a mesh that best suits the client's case and the surgeon's experience, and many meshes can be cut to size for specific applications.

Sometimes a hernia mesh can fail or be poorly designed. Some companies have issued recalls on their products, indicating that surgeons should remove their defective meshes before they cause complications. When a recall is issued, information is sent to surgeons who use that company's products, and surgeons are expected to notify patients. Patients can inquire about the specific brand and style of hernia mesh used in their hernia repair at the time of surgery, so that if a recall is issued and their surgeon cannot contact them, they can use the services of another surgeon to address The memory.

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