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Is mesh safe for hernia surgery? – Hernia Clinic


When it comes to hernia surgery, patients can take comfort in the fact mesh can be used without fear, with international research showing no difference in pain rates when comparing the use of mesh or sutures for repair, The Hernia Clinic’s Ross Roberts says.

 

 

An experienced surgeon specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of hernias, Ross explains there has been much controversy in the media regarding the use of mesh in gynaecological procedures, causing unnecessary widespread stress and anxiety for patients undergoing hernia surgery.

“Media coverage has unfortunately brought the good results of mesh hernia repair into disrepute by categorising all mesh operations as the same,” Ross states.

Published newspaper reports have highlighted associated risks of infection, erosion and chronic pain but haven’t addressed the real issue which is the anatomical placement of the mesh itself, he says.

“The use of mesh for abdominal and groin hernia repair is safe. Most reported problems relate to the location of the material and not the material itself.

“The use of polypropylene (the most common type of mesh) is not a new material and has been used for hernia surgery since the early 1990s. The use of mesh in surgery to repair inguinal or groin hernias is well established here in New Zealand (and internationally) and is considered the procedure of choice.”

The team at the Christchurch-based Hernia Clinic is widely experienced in all forms of hernia repair including keyhole and the more traditional surgical techniques.

Clinic staff always survey their patients and seek feedback following surgery. “We are confident that it’s safe and that’s the conclusion we have reached after surveying our patients before and after surgery.”

The results of this study were published in November and showed that, of a total of 1711 herniae repaired at The Hernia Clinic, the recurrence rate after inguinal (groin) hernia repair was less than one percent.

Importantly it was also shown that mesh hernia repair significantly reduced the amount of pain that patients experienced as only 22 percent of patients had no pain before surgery while 76 percent where pain free after surgery.

Similarly 7.6 percent of patients had severe pain before surgery and only one percent of patients had severe pain one year after their hernia repair.

It is reassuring to know that the risk of long term discomfort or other side effects after hernia repair using mesh was very low in this large study.

Hernias are particularly common disorders, especially in men, and can only be successfully treated by surgical repair.

The past requirement for prolonged time away from work and exercise following surgical hernia repair no longer applies today.

Information regarding hernia repair options is available freely on request. Contact The Hernia Clinic on 03 961 6666 or email info@herniaclinic.co.nz.


 

Types of Hernias: The Hernia Clinic


The abdominal wall plays a critical role in in our bodies, creating the boundary lines of the abdominal cavity and holding everything together. So, when it is compromised by a combination of muscle weakness and strain, it can lead to problems.

 

 

“A hernia is the protrusion of the abdominal contents through the abdominal wall,” hernia specialist Mr Ross Roberts from The Hernia Clinic explains. “They can arise spontaneously or following previous abdominal surgery.

“While a hernia will usually exhibit as a lump in the groin, sometimes it is not noticeable and will only be picked up in a routine examination.”

Risk factors for hernias include obesity, pregnancy, muscle weakness or previous abdominal surgery.

“There are several types of hernias that can occur – for instance, diaphragmatic hernias can include congenital hernias (present at birth due to failure of diaphragm to develop), or hernias which are acquired due to wear and tear, for example the hiatus hernia, when the stomach bulges up into the chest through the diaphragm, causing reflux.”

The most common hernias are inguinal or groin hernias, which are most often seen in men. Femoral hernias are more common in women and happen when a weakness develops adjacent to the major vein draining the leg, with protrusion into the upper thigh. Umbilical hernias occur through a weakness in the belly button, while incisional hernias result from a weakness in a previous abdominal scar.

“These are more common after major abdominal surgery, particularly where there have been wound complications, or an infection which has prevented proper wound healing and results in long-term weakness,” Ross explains.

Hernias of any type can be dangerous, with the risk resulting from the possibility of them getting trapped and twisted in the weak spot in the abdominal wall. This is known as a strangulated hernia. If the intestinal loop gets damaged, its contents can leak out, leading to gangrene and peritonitis.

Although most hernias aren’t immediately life-threatening, they don’t go away on their own and require surgery to prevent potentially dangerous complications. Importantly, repair is relatively easy and straightforward in most cases.

“Most of these hernia types can now be repaired with keyhole surgery, however, small hernias, such as umbilical hernias, are still often best repaired using open surgery through small incisions.

“The only effective treatment for adults is surgical repair and, when the hernia is suspected, it’s advisable to discuss treatment with one’s healthcare professional.”

Contact The Hernia Clinic on 03 961 6666 or email info@herniaclinic.co.nz.

 


 

Is Mesh Safe for hernia surgery?

Is Mesh Safe for hernia surgery?


When it comes to hernia surgery patients can take comfort in the fact mesh can be used without fear, with research showing no difference in pain rates when mesh or sutures are used for repair, The Hernia Clinic’s Ross Roberts says.

 

Is Mesh Safe for hernia surgery?

 

An experienced surgeon specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of hernias, Ross explains there has been much controversy in the media regarding the use of mesh in gynaecological procedures, causing unnecessary widespread stress and anxiety for patients undergoing hernia surgery. “Media coverage has unfortunately brought the good results of mesh hernia repair into disrepute by categorising all mesh operations as the same,” Ross states. Published newspaper reports have highlighted associated risks of infection, erosion and chronic pain but haven’t addressed the real issue which is the anatomical placement of the mesh itself, he says.

 

“The use of mesh for abdominal and groin hernia repair is safe. Most reported problems relate to the location of the material and not the material itself. “The use of polypropylene (the most common type of mesh) is not a new material and has been used for hernia surgery since the early 1990s. The use of mesh in surgery to repair inguinal or groin hernias is well established here in New Zealand (and internationally) and is considered the procedure of choice.”

A systematic review published in 2018 concluded that there was “no difference in chronic pain rates when comparing non mesh repairs with open and laparoscopic mesh repairs”. The team at the Christchurch-based Hernia Clinic is widely experienced in all forms of hernia repair including keyhole and the more traditional surgical techniques. Clinic staff always survey their patients and seek feedback following surgery. “We are confident that it’s safe and that’s the conclusion we have reached after surveying our patients after surgery.”
Hernias are particularly common disorders, especially in men, and can only be successfully treated by surgical repair. The past requirement for prolonged time away from work and exercise following surgical hernia repair no longer applies today.

For ventral hernias with fascial defects greater than 2cm in diameter and all adult groin hernias, mesh should be used to reinforce the tissue repair. If not, the hernia recurrence rate without mesh is unacceptably high. “Mesh can significantly reduce hernia recurrence rates.”

 

Is Mesh Safe for hernia surgery?
Ross Roberts

Information regarding hernia repair options is available freely on request. Contact The Hernia Clinic on 03 961 6666 or email
info@herniaclinic.co.nz.