According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, hernia surgical mesh is one option for treatment of the medical condition known as a hernia. Hernia surgery is a quite common surgical procedure in North America. The U.S. FDA estimates that as many as one million or more hernia repair surgeries are performed in the United States each year.

Unfortunately, even with surgical intervention, the incidence of a hernia recurring is high. For this reason, the use of surgical hernia mesh to provide extra protection and reinforcement to the affected area is becoming much more common today. While surgical hernia mesh can represent an important means of post-surgical protection against recurrence, it is not without its own concerns. It is possible that the body may reject the hernia mesh, and when this happens it is vital to know the warning signs and seek prompt medical attention.  Hernia mesh infection symptoms and hernia mesh failure symptoms are a serious matters and should be discussed with a medical doctor or a surgeon. Victims should be aware how to know if a hernia mesh ripped as well as being aware of the issues of hernia mesh pain years later and hernia mesh problems years later. Inguinal hernia mesh pain symptoms and inguinal hernia mesh complications symptoms cannot be ignored and require medical attention immediately.

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Signs of mesh rejection

Types of surgical hernia mesh

There are two basic types of surgical hernia mesh: synthetic and animal-based. There are three different types of each mesh: absorbable (by the body), non-absorbable or combination.  As these names suggest, the former can be absorbed into the body and is only designed to provide temporary protection and reinforcement while the surgical site heals. The latter is a more permanent type of support since it cannot be absorbed.  Each type of hernia mesh has its pros and cons. Different types may be recommended based on the patient’s individual situation, the location of the hernia and the type of repair needed.

Warning signs of hernia mesh rejection

It is vital to know the signs of possible hernia mesh rejection as a precursor to surgical hernia repair with mesh. These are the most commonly reported warning signs that the body may be rejecting the surgical hernia mesh (regardless of mesh type).

Pain

A study published in the Annals of Gastroenterology highlights potential reasons for chronic pain following repair of a hernia with surgical mesh.  The study notes that complications such as mesh migration and mesh erosion are common complications from hernia mesh surgery. Many hernia mesh victims suffer chronic pain as well as severe pain.

Infection

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infection states that the incidence of infection due to the use of various types of surgical mesh is between one percent and eight percent. The journal study states that surgical mesh-related post-surgical infection can occur weeks or even years after the surgery has taken place.

Bleeding

The Journal of the American Medical Association performed a review of long-term complications and hernia recurrence and found that the positive gains made from use of mesh were offset by the significant complications. For example, in a long-term review, 1.4 percent of patients who had a mesh-related hernia repair surgery required additional surgery to repair bowel obstructions or perforations or bleeding that patients who had non-mesh surgeries did not need to have done.

Adhesion

The Journal of Gastroenterology Research and Practice highlights the very high incidence of  hernia mesh adhesion (growth of scar tissue that connects tissues together) in patients who have had open or laparoscopic (minimally invasive) hernia surgery using mesh. 60 percent of patients surveyed using MRI technology were shown to have adhesions and 20 to 50 percent were shown to have mesh shrinkage. Discovery of adhesions related to mesh use did not differ based on whether the patient had open or laparoscopic surgical procedures for hernia repair.

Bowel obstruction

The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that the risk of complications such as bowel obstruction, bleeding, adhesion and other conditions is increased for patients who have a surgical repair that includes use of surgical mesh. Patient outcomes were studied five years post-operatively. Specifically, the report highlighted a risk incidence of 5.6 percent for patients who had an open surgical repair using mesh and a 3.7 percent incidence for patients who had a laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgical repair using mesh.

“In contrast, patients who had a non-mesh open surgical repair reported complications at a rate of just 0.8 percent. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists bowel obstructions and perforations as side effects which can result from hernia repair. Perforations can occur during surgery, but bowel obstructions sometimes occur a few weeks later as a result of a bacterial infection. A bacterial, fungal, or viral infection from invasive mesh or surgical repair of intestine can release the bacterial content of the bowel into the abdomen and blood stream which results in swelling, abscess, a blockage, or death.”

Recurrence of the hernia

According to General Surgery News, 17.1 percent of patients who had a non-mesh surgical repair experienced a  hernia mesh recurrence versus 12.3 percent of patients who had an open mesh-related repair and 10.6 percent of patients who had a laparoscopic mesh-related repair. However, the report also cited concerns regarding escalating serious complications (increasing over the post-operative years) as a reason to continue to consider non-mesh surgical hernia repair as a viable repair option.

It is important that victims are aware of all the signs of hernia mesh rejection.