Mesh vs Non Mesh Hernia Repair: Which is Most Effective?

With more than one million hernia surgeries taking place each year in the US, hernia repairs are common. There are two main ways they can be repaired – via suture surgery or mesh repair – and both come with their own advantages and disadvantages. It’s important that you know what they are so you can make the important decisions regarding hernias and hernia repair methods. So, mesh vs non mesh hernia repair: here’s which is most effective.

Surgeon incising the stomach of a patient

A Recap on Hernias

A hernia is when an organ, muscle or tissue pushes through a weak spot or hole in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue. This often causes a visible bulge. Hernias can occur anywhere in the body, but they most often occur in the groin (inguinal hernias) or abdominal area (ventral hernias). Approximately 800,000 repairs are for inguinal hernias and 500,000 are for ventral. 

Treating Hernias: What are the Options?

Unfortunately, hernias don’t go away on their own. Hernias usually require surgery, though this depends on the size of the hernia and the severity of the symptoms. If the hernia isn’t that severe, the doctor may just advise you to make some lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding heavy meals and performing particular exercises to help strengthen the muscle around the hernia. They might prescribe medication to relieve your symptoms.

However, if the hernia is deemed severe, you may have to undergo surgery. The goal will be to repair the weak tissue or hole in the wall so that the organ or other tissue won’t push through it again.

Generally, it’s advisable to seek medical attention for hernias sooner rather than later. This is because the earlier the treatment takes place, the smaller the hernia will be and the less trauma you’ll experience from the surgery (should you need it). As well as this, you will usually experience a quicker recovery time.

Repairing Hernias via Surgery

Hernias can only be repaired with surgery. Depending on the location, your health condition and the severity of the hernia, the doctor will recommend either open or key hole surgery (also known as laparoscopy), and mesh may or may not be used. 

Suture Repair

Traditionally, hernias were repaired via suture surgery. The surgeon will make an incision near where the hernia is located and place the organ or tissue back inside the cavity it’s supposed to be in. The tissue walls will then be sewed back together using sutures (stitches). 

What are the Benefits?

There are various types of sutures that can be used and many are absorbable as they can be broken down by the body. Benefits include:

  • Help to repair skin tissue 
  • Facilitates proper skin healing 
  • Reduces the likelihood of scars forming
  • Minimizes bleeding and infection
  • Allows the injured body part to function again as normal

What are the Drawbacks?

Despite their benefits, one of the biggest drawbacks of sutures is the high rate of hernia recurrence. Although the area has been repaired, it remains weaker than normal which can cause the organ to push through and the hernia to come back. 

Hernia Mesh Repair

Because of the high hernia recurrence rate of traditional suture surgery, mesh patches were used to help strengthen the area. Developed in 1958, meshes became particularly popular in the ’80s and many medical professionals saw these patches as being the superior method to repair hernias. By 2000, meshes represented more than 90 percent of groin hernia repair surgeries.

Hernia mesh repair involves the surgeon placing a mesh, usually made from synthetic materials, in the weak muscle area after pushing the organ back into place. The mesh helps to support the muscle wall when the tissue grows back, which significantly reduced the rate of recurrence. 

What are the Benefits?

One of the biggest benefits of using hernia mesh is that it helps to reduce the recurrence rate as it supports and strengthens the weakened tissue. This has consistently been backed up with research. As well as this, mesh patches help to:

  • Reduce time on the operating table
  • Minimize recovery time

What are the Drawbacks?

Despite these benefits, research has also found that hernia meshes were more likely to create post-surgery complications than traditional suture repair, with nearly one-third of patients experiencing at least one kind of complication. This has led to various meshes being recalled and a rise in the number of lawsuits filed against mesh manufacturers.

The symptoms and complications include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Wound not healing properly
  • Inflammation
  • Hernia mesh erosion
  • Mesh migration
  • Organ perforation (as a result of erosion)
  • Mesh adhesion (sticking to the walls of other organs)
  • Mesh rejection
  • Mesh shrinkage or contraction

What to Do If You Think Your Hernia Surgery Has Gone Wrong

Hernia surgeries can cause problems – particularly when mesh has been used. An increasing number of people have been complaining that their mesh patch has been causing them painful, often irreversible troubles. If your hernia mesh has been causing you problems, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. But there’s certain criteria in place for who can file a claim.

At the moment, lawsuits are only being made against these two meshes and their manufacturers:

  • Physiomesh by Ethicon
  • C-QUR by Atrium

The fastest and easiest way to find out if your case is eligible and whether you can claim compensation is to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. At Coxwell & Associates, we offer free hernia mesh consultations. 

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Talk to a Qualified Attorney Who’s Experienced in Handling Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

It’s important that you look for and choose an attorney who is qualified and experienced in dealing with hernia mesh lawsuits, as well as personal injuries. At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, we are an experienced team of personal injury attorneys in Mississippi. We have over 35 years experience helping Mississippians. We have worked on high profile cases and helped our clients achieve the compensation they deserve.

It’s unfair you should suffer the repercussions. You were offered a solution to your hernia troubles and instead, you’re left with more problems and difficulties than ever. By talking to our team, you can find out if you’re eligible to start a hernia mesh lawsuit and claim the compensation you deserve.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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