Hernia Mesh

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Evolution of Hernia Mesh

Mesh was first introduced in the late 19th century when Witzel first used silver mesh in a groin hernia surgery.  Many other materials were tested but none surfaced as the standard of care until the development of polypropylene mesh in 1954.

The advantages of mesh for hernia surgery included decreased postoperative pain and decreased hernia recurrence. While this has generally been accepted as the gold standard for abdominal wall hernias, rare complications such as mesh infections and foreign body irritation/mesh discomfort have led to the development of new forms of mesh—such as lightweight mesh, antibiotic coated mesh, absorbable mesh, and biocompatible mesh—in an attempt to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction.

In modern day hernia surgery, mesh can be divided into synthetic and biologic mesh types. Synthetic meshes such as polypropylene are permanent and nonabsorbable while biocompatible meshes (derived from human or animal materials) are integrated into the body. 

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