Inguinal / Femoral Hernia Mesh

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Evolution of Inguinal / Femoral Hernia Mesh

Surgical mesh for the repair of hernias was introduced over a century ago. The first generation of surgical mesh prosthetics were notorious for a variety of postsurgical complications including infections, recurrence, rejection of the mesh, and development of dense scar tissue. Today, more than 80% of hernia repairs use some form of surgical mesh to reinforce the defect in the abdominal wall.

Investigations and research for the ideal material that is stable, resistant to infection, maintains strength over time, incorporates itself into our natural tissue, is non-carcinogenic and restores natural function of the body wall has been vast, controversial and continues today. The overall success of implanted mesh depends on the primary material used, the structure of individual filaments, the size of the pores and the coating material. These characteristics of mesh are designed to reduce the foreign body reaction and promote successful integration and healing.

Multiple mesh categories exist, based upon their physical properties and how they interact with the patient’s body. The first mesh technologies consisted of synthetic permanent meshes that did not incorporate with the body, were associated with a high rate of extrusion and infection. As surgical mesh technology improved, the meshes became more sophisticated. Absorbable meshes, as well as “biologic” meshes were introduced that offered resistance to infection and were either degraded or incorporated into the body. Now, meshes are made from a large variety of materials and tailored to the needs of the specific hernia defects. This advanced approach has been made possible by the many technological advances that have been achieved.

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