Hernia Mesh | Uses, Types, Brands and Pros & Cons (2022)

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, using hernia mesh may improve a patient’s outcome because the surgery and recovery may take less time compared to other treatment options. However, the agency links recalled meshes to many reports of hernia mesh complications. Some patients require hernia mesh removal surgery to treat these complications.

Why Do Surgeons Use Hernia Mesh?

A main reason surgeons use hernia mesh is to lower the risk of a hernia recurring, or coming back.

There is a high chance of hernias returning after repair surgery. Conventional hernia surgery stitches torn tissue back together. Some studies have shown that surgeries using mesh lead to fewer hernia recurrences. Others have found there are other complications that are more common with mesh.

“Despite reduced rates of recurrence, there are situations where the use of surgical mesh for hernia repair may not be recommended. Patients should talk to their surgeons about their specific circumstances and their best options and alternatives for hernia repair.”

Patches and Other Mesh Types

Hernia mesh products come in many sizes and shapes. The different designs can repair specific types or sizes of hernias.

Hernia mesh products include:

Patches
Designed to go over or under the weakened or damaged tissue

Plugs
Fit inside the hole in the tissue

Sheets
Can be custom cut and fitted for the patient’s specific hernia

Each type of hernia mesh may also fall into other categories. These describe how they function in the body or the materials they are made from.

(Video) HERNIA MESHES

Absorbable

Absorbable mesh degrades and loses strength over time. It is not used to provide long-term reinforcement to the repaired hernia. “As the material degrades, new tissue growth is intended to provide strength to the repair,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration explains on its website.

Non-Absorbable

Non-absorbable mesh is a permanent implant. It remains in the body indefinitely. Non-absorbable mesh is supposed to provide lasting reinforcement to the repair site.

Synthetic

Hernia mesh made of synthetic materials come in woven or non-woven sheets. The synthetic materials can be absorbable, non-absorbable or a combination of both. The most popular types of surgical mesh are made from polypropylene – a synthetic plastic.

Coated or Composite

At least one hernia repair technique can leave mesh in contact with the intestines. This can cause the intestines to adhere to the mesh, which can result in severe complications. Some polypropylene meshes may come coated with absorbable fatty acids, cellulose or collagen. Manufacturers claim these coatings prevent adhesions.

Animal-Derived

Some manufacturers make hernia mesh from animal tissue. They may use the intestine or skin of animals. It usually comes from a pig or cow. Manufacturers process and disinfect it. This type of mesh is also absorbable.

Manufacturers and Brands

Dozens of companies make hernia mesh. Manufacturers range from the start-up TELA Bio to Johnson & Johnson – the world’s largest medical products company.

Top Hernia Mesh Manufacturers and Products

ManufacturerHernia Mesh Product Lines
AtriumC-QUR, Vitamesh, Proloop, Prolite, Prolite UltraQ
Bard3DMax, AlloMaxBard Soft Mesh, Bard Mesh Sheets, Composix, Dulex, Kugel, MK Patch, OnFlex, PerFix Plug, Phasix Mesh, Phasix, Sepramesh IP Composite, Ventralex, Ventralight, Ventrio, Visilex, XenMatrix Surgical Graft
B. BraunPremilene, Omyra, Optilene
EthiconFlexHD Structural, Physiomesh, Proceed, Prolene, Ultrapure, Ultrapure Advanced, Vicryl, XCM Biologic
Gore MedicalBio-A, Dual mesh, Micromesh, Gore-Tex Soft Tissue Patch, Sinecure
LifeCell CorporationAlloderm Select, Strattice
MedtronicParietex, Permacol, ProGrip, Symbotex, Versatex
TELA BioOviTex

Hernia mesh provides a lucrative market that draws in medical device makers. Grand View Research estimated the global market was worth $177 million in 2016. The market research firm predicted steady growth through 2025. The potential for profit attracts all sizes of companies.

Hernia Repair with Mesh

Surgery is the only treatment that can permanently repair a hernia. Hernia mesh is used in about 90 percent of those surgeries, according to the FDA.

Surgeons can perform repairs with or without hernia mesh. But mesh has become more common since the 1980s.

Doctors may use minimally-invasive techniques to implant hernia mesh. This is called laparoscopic surgery. It requires only small incisions. Surgeons place surgical tools through the incisions to implant the mesh.

Open repair is another technique. It requires a large incision that opens the body to the hernia. Surgeons attach the mesh to the damaged tissue then close the wound.

Recovery time is shorter for laparoscopic surgery. But the operation takes longer and is more expensive.

How Long Does Hernia Repair Last?

Research is mixed on how long a mesh hernia repair will last. Recurrence was the most common complication before hernia mesh’s invention.

(Video) Mesh: Is it necessary & what type should I use?

A 2014 study in JAMA Surgery looked at 190,000 hernia repairs. Researchers found hernias recurred in only 2.7 percent of mesh repairs. This compared to 8.2 percent of repairs with stitches alone.

But an October 2016 study in JAMA warned that there may be a serious trade-off.

Researchers looked at 3,242 patients. They found that other hernia mesh complications increased in the first five years after mesh repairs.

These complications included bowel obstructions and perforation. The authors said their work showed that more research into the long-term effects of hernia mesh is needed.

Lawsuit Information

Mesh failure, bowel obstruction and device migration are among the injuries named in hernia mesh lawsuits.

View Lawsuits

Complications and Risks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration tracks reports on hernia mesh complications. Doctors and patients report complications they have experienced. Manufacturers also have to tell the FDA about reports they receive.

The FDA has analyzed thousands of these reports.

FDA’s list of most common hernia mesh complications

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Hernia recurrence
  • Adhesion
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Organ perforation

Reports also detail mesh shrinking or migrating in the body after surgery.

Thousands of people have filed hernia mesh lawsuits after suffering serious complications. A federal panel has combined lawsuits over three brands of hernia mesh into three separate multidistrict litigations (MDL). MDLs allow several similar lawsuits to move more efficiently through the legal system.

The FDA has blamed recalled hernia mesh for most cases of bowel obstruction and perforation. Many of these products are no longer on the market. But some recalled meshes are still available.

Manufacturer Recalls

Hernia mesh manufacturers have recalled more than 200,000 units between 2005 and 2014. Ethicon also ordered a “market withdrawal,” taking mesh off the market without a recall.

Mesh Recalls

  • 2013

    Atrium Medical recalls 145,000 C-QUR units

  • 2007

    Bard Davol recalls 16,000 Composix Kugel mesh units

  • 2005

    Ethicon recalls 18,000 Proceed mesh units

  • 2005 (expanded in 2006)

    Bard Davol recalls 31,000 Composix Kugel mesh units

Mesh Market Withdrawal

  • 2016

    Ethicon removes all Physiomesh Composite Mesh from the market

Alternatives to Hernia Mesh

Alternatives to hernia mesh include at least five surgical procedures. All involve stitching the damaged tissue back together. But each uses a different method to repair hernias.

Hernia repairs without mesh

(Video) Top 5 Mass Tort Claims in 2021 (Zantac, Hernia Mesh, Valsartan, Prilosec, and IVC Filters)

  • Bassini Repair
  • McVay/Coopers Ligament
  • Shouldice Repair
  • Desarda Repair
  • Guarnieri Repair

In some cases, doctors may recommend “watchful waiting” before hernia surgery. The doctor will monitor the patient’s condition until it requires surgery. Watchful waiting is an option if the patient exhibits no signs or symptoms. People should only consider this alternative if their doctors recommend it.

FAQs

Which hernia mesh is best? ›

Choose Hernia Mesh Online From Best Brands Available:

Brad Mesh-They have some best type of hernia mesh range like Bard 3d mesh, bard 3d max mesh, bard ventralight mesh, ventralex mesh and more. Atrium mesh-They have some best type of hernia mesh range like Atrium Prolite mesh, atrium proloop mesh and more.

Which hernia mesh products have been recalled? ›

Recalled models included C-QUR V-Patch, TacShield, Edge and standard C-QUR Meshes. The FDA classified the recall as a Class 2. Atrium said high humidity could cause the mesh to stick to the inner package liner.

What types of hernia mesh are there? ›

How many types of mesh are there? ›

The three types of meshing models are as follows: Tetrahedral - tetrahedral cell shape based core mesh. Polyhedral - polyhedral cell shape based core mesh.

What is an ideal mesh? ›

According to the panel, an ideal mesh would be a monofilament mesh that would prevent adhesions yet still enable growth of the adjacent tissue for optimal augmentation.

What is the best mesh for inguinal hernia? ›

A hernia mesh has certain features like material, strength, elasticity, density, pore size. Standard polypropylene mesh is most frequently used one.

How do I know if my hernia mesh has been recalled? ›

We can find out if the FDA issued a medical device recall or the manufacturer voluntary recalled the mesh patch used in your hernia repair. We can review your medical documents to identify the product code, product name, and manufacturer who made your mesh implant.

What's the latest on the hernia mesh settlement? ›

Recent hernia mesh settlements and verdicts to compensate people injured by defective hernia mesh include a $66 million potential settlement for Atrium C-QUR mesh and an April 2022 $255,000 verdict against C.R. Bard. Ethicon proposed a settlement in May 2022 but did not specify the amount.

Is Prolene mesh safe? ›

The polypropylene surgical mesh can lead to serious complications when inserted into the human body. The product affected the patients with its serious defects that included failure to incorporate into the abdominal wall, premature disintegration, and adhesion to the bowels.

Is there a safe mesh for hernia repair? ›

Most brands and models of mesh today have excellent safety rates and have been used for many years. In general, the mesh that is used for most repairs at the Hernia Center of NGMC is the same mesh our surgeons have used for more than 10 years.

Which type of synthetic mesh is absorbable? ›

Three absorbable synthetic meshes are currently available: GORE BIO-A mesh (Gore), TIGR Matrix Surgical mesh (Novus Scientific), and Phasix mesh (Bard).

How long does it take for your body to reject hernia mesh? ›

In certain instances, the mesh may adhere to the intestines, creating scar-like tissue that sticks together. Although absorbable coatings are designed to prevent this occurrence, their effects eventually go away after seven to 30 days.

Is hernia mesh Safe 2021? ›

The quick and easy answer is: not often. The standard of care in the US for more than 30 years has been to repair hernias with mesh. If mesh was dangerous, it would not be used in almost 99% of hernia repairs. Every year, many patients have complications of any surgery, including hernia surgery.

Is polypropylene mesh safe for hernia repair? ›

Polypropylene, the most common material in hernia mesh, is incredibly safe to implant. It's a plastic that repels water and because the body is made up of mostly water, there is little to no chemical degradation in polypropylene implanted in the body, even for decades.

How do I check my mesh quality? ›

Here are four important parameters that must follow to generate a suitable mesh:
  1. Cell aspect ratio: The aspect ratio is the ratio of longest edge length to shortest edge length. ...
  2. Skewness: It is one of the primary quality measures for a mesh. ...
  3. Orthogonality : ...
  4. smoothness:

How do you know if you have good mesh? ›

The most basic and accurate way to evaluate mesh quality is to refine the mesh until a critical result such as the maximum stress in a specific location converges: meaning that it doesn't change significantly as the mesh is a refinement.

How strong is mesh hernia repair? ›

Meshes used to repair large hernias need to withstand at least 180 mmHg before bursting. All synthetic meshes are sufficiently strong. 26, 30 Most commonly used mesh prosthetics have a tensile strength of at least 32 N/cm.

What is the gold standard for inguinal hernia repair? ›

Background: The Lichtenstein repair has long been heralded as the gold standard for unilateral primary inguinal hernias. However, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) repairs have gained popularity over the past decades given its advantages in recurrent, bilateral, and now even in primary inguinal hernias.

Which surgery is better for inguinal hernia? ›

In a prospective randomized control trial (RCT) by Feliu et al., laparoscopic bilateral inguinal hernia repair was found to be faster, with shorter hospital stays, fewer recurrences, and lower postoperative complications than bilateral inguinal hernias repaired using the Lichtenstein technique.

Can mesh from hernia repair cause problems years later? ›

Hernia Mesh Surgery – Pain and Problems Years Later. Delayed and long-term complications can result from hernia mesh repair surgery where hernia mesh is implanted. Complications can include chronic pain, adhesions, bowel obstruction, infection, mesh migration and hernia recurrence.

Can coughing damage hernia repair? ›

Will coughing damage my hernia repair? Coughing can put a strain on incisions and may be painful after surgery. The hernia repair should be able to tolerate coughing without damage.

Why are doctors ignoring hernia mesh patients problems? ›

It could require repeated surgeries and recoveries. Even then, doctors may never be able to fully remove all of the pieces of the mesh from the body, causing the patient continuous and sometimes permanent abdominal pain. Patients can suffer lifelong damages from chronic abdominal pain.

How long does it take for hernia mesh to set? ›

Full recovery time may take four to six weeks. Right after surgery, patients should perform only necessary daily functions but can return to light activity after a few weeks of recovery. Heavy activity can resume after six weeks.

What is the largest hernia mesh settlement? ›

$57 Million. The highest ever hernia mesh compensation amount was awarded to a Pennsylvanian woman in 2017. The manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, was made to pay a record $57 million in damages after Ella Ebaugh's mesh eroded into her urethra, causing her extreme pain.

When is the next hernia mesh trial? ›

Schedule Leading Up To Next Bard Hernia Mesh Bellwether Trial in Feb 2023 Outlined By Court. The latest Bard hernia mesh lawsuit update for September 2022 outlines the pretrial deadlines leading up to the next bellwether trial that will begin on February 23, 2023, if settlements are not reached to resolve claims.

How difficult is it to remove hernia mesh? ›

However, the removal of mesh is a complex an intricate procedure that carries additional risk. Mesh removal will usually require the rebuilding of the abdominal wall. This is typically performed with a plastic surgeon in addition to the general surgeon.

Why Prolene mesh is used? ›

PROLENE Mesh is a nonabsorbable mesh used to span and reinforce traumatic or surgical wounds to provide extended support during and following wound healing.

Is polypropylene mesh toxic? ›

Polypropylene is not generally toxic to humans. However, patients may experience hypersensitivity issues or other reactions to polypropylene mesh. This can sometimes lead to mesh rejection or other complications.

Who makes Prolene mesh? ›

The Prolene Hernia System is a polypropylene mesh made by Johnson & Johnson's subsidiary, Ethicon. The system is composed of two separate layers of mesh connected by a mesh tube, and it is usually used for inguinal hernias, or hernias of the groin.

Can you have an MRI if you have hernia mesh? ›

A: Depending on what mesh is used, it may show up on imaging studies. This can be helpful for your surgeon in the follow up. Mesh will not prevent you from getting X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans.

What problems can hernia mesh cause? ›

Hernia mesh complications include adhesion, bowel obstruction or perforation, infection, rejection and migration. Patients have reported symptoms of pain, mesh failure and hernia recurrence following hernia repair surgery. Hernia mesh problems can occur immediately after surgery or years later.

Can you feel hernia mesh? ›

There are nerves along the outside of the abdominal wall that can occasionally get entrapped in the mesh in that area, which can cause chronic pain and cause patients to feel hernia mesh after surgery. People who have a mesh plug used to repair their hernias often feel the mesh plug.

What are symptoms of mesh problems? ›

Symptoms of mesh erosion into the bladder/urethra include painful voiding, urinary frequency, urgency, hematuria, recurrent urinary tract infection, urinary calculi and urinary fistula.

How long does Vicryl mesh last? ›

Table 3
MaterialMeshDegradation time
PolyglactinVicryl*1–3 months
Polyglycolic acidDexon1–3 months
Polyglycolic acid/trimethylene carbonateGore Bio-A6 months
Poly-4-hydroxybutyratePhasix§12–18 months
1 more row

Is non mesh hernia repair better? ›

Mesh and non‐mesh repairs are effective surgical approaches in treating hernias, each demonstrating benefits in different areas. Compared to non‐mesh repairs, mesh repairs probably reduce the rate of hernia recurrence, and reduce visceral or neurovascular injuries, making mesh repair a common repair approach.

Which is better open or laparoscopic hernia repair? ›

Recent studies have shown that in the short term laparoscopic repair is superior to open repair in terms of less blood loss, fewer perioperative complications, and shorter hospital stay. Long-term outcomes such as recurrence rates are yet unknown.

How do you sleep after hernia mesh surgery? ›

The doctors do not recommend sleeping on the stomach after the surgery. This position can hurt your spine and can also pressurize the hip area. Try to control your sleeping habits if you are a stomach sleeper. It is best to sleep on your side or back.

Does hernia mesh show up on CT scan? ›

CT is often used to diagnose abdominal wall mesh complications including infected or sterile fluid collections, fistulizing disease, bowel obstruction, and hernia recurrence (12,13). Postsurgical fluid collections occur relatively frequently, most commonly after laparoscopic repair.

How many years does hernia mesh last? ›

According to the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), hernia mesh repairs usually last five years. However, each case varies depending on the type of mesh used and other medical complications.

Can mesh from hernia repair cause problems years later? ›

Hernia Mesh Surgery – Pain and Problems Years Later. Delayed and long-term complications can result from hernia mesh repair surgery where hernia mesh is implanted. Complications can include chronic pain, adhesions, bowel obstruction, infection, mesh migration and hernia recurrence.

What is the success rate of hernia mesh surgery? ›

Reports of 90 – 99% success rates are common. Mesh repairs, in many cases, offer a smaller chance of hernia recurrence rate than non-mesh repairs. Unfortunately, some repairs may lead to very high incidence of chronic pain, which can range from 5-15%. The key is to find a surgeon that performs a lot of hernia surgery.

How do you know what mesh is used in hernia surgery? ›

People who do not know what kind of hernia mesh they have can always contact the hospital where they had the surgery. Its medical records department could then give them all their surgery/discharge records. These record should indicate the model of mesh that was used and the manufacturer.

Are hernia mesh safe now? ›

Most brands and models of mesh today have excellent safety rates and have been used for many years. In general, the mesh that is used for most repairs at the Hernia Center of NGMC is the same mesh our surgeons have used for more than 10 years.

Can hernia be repaired without mesh? ›

NO MESH HERNIA REPAIR, or repairing a hernia without mesh requires extensive training and experience to achieve careful and successful closure of the abdominal wall tissues.

What happens to hernia mesh over time? ›

Non-absorbable mesh will remain in the body indefinitely and is considered a permanent implant. It is used to provide permanent reinforcement to the repaired hernia. Absorbable mesh will degrade and lose strength over time. It is not intended to provide long-term reinforcement to the repair site.

Can coughing damage hernia repair? ›

Will coughing damage my hernia repair? Coughing can put a strain on incisions and may be painful after surgery. The hernia repair should be able to tolerate coughing without damage.

Why are doctors ignoring hernia mesh patients problems? ›

It could require repeated surgeries and recoveries. Even then, doctors may never be able to fully remove all of the pieces of the mesh from the body, causing the patient continuous and sometimes permanent abdominal pain. Patients can suffer lifelong damages from chronic abdominal pain.

Can hernia mesh be seen on CT scan? ›

Q: Will the mesh show up or interfere with imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans? A: Depending on what mesh is used, it may show up on imaging studies. This can be helpful for your surgeon in the follow up. Mesh will not prevent you from getting X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans.

How long does it take for hernia mesh to set? ›

How long does hernia mesh last ?How long does it take for mesh to ...

How long does it take for your body to reject hernia mesh? ›

In certain instances, the mesh may adhere to the intestines, creating scar-like tissue that sticks together. Although absorbable coatings are designed to prevent this occurrence, their effects eventually go away after seven to 30 days.

Which is better open or laparoscopic hernia repair? ›

Recent studies have shown that in the short term laparoscopic repair is superior to open repair in terms of less blood loss, fewer perioperative complications, and shorter hospital stay. Long-term outcomes such as recurrence rates are yet unknown.

Can MRI see hernia mesh? ›

Results. MRI detected adhesions between bowel and abdominal wall/mesh in 60% of the patients and mesh shrinkage in 20–50%.

What's the latest on the hernia mesh lawsuit? ›

In the first bellwether in July 2021, the jury ruled in favor of Bard. Becton Dickinson bought Bard a few years ago and took on its hernia mesh liability. Bard still has 17,195 cases pending as of July 15, 2022. So far, there have been no other trials or verdicts in the federal hernia mesh lawsuits.

Can hernia mesh be seen on ultrasound? ›

Ultrasonography shows the morphology and size of the mesh as well as the continuity of the peritoneal peritoneum, which can be used to detect the recurrent hernia.

Videos

1. How to choose the correct mesh for abdominal wall hernia repairs- Dr Suhail Anwar.
(Suhail Anwar- laparoscopic surgeon)
2. What is Surgical Mesh and what is it used for - A true Insight
(Mesh UK Charitable Trust)
3. 103. HerniaTalk LIVE Q&A: Intraoperative Complications
(Dr. Shirin Towfigh)
4. Hernia - Ask the Doctor Series
(NYU Winthrop Hospital)
5. Three Reasons to Avoid Steroid Injections for Pain | Evolve Performance Healthcare | Portland Clinic
(Solving Pain With Strength)
6. Hernia Surgery Options in 2020
(BaptistHealthSF)

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