I have had a large abdominal hernia since last year after having some surgery. I went to see a surgeon about it in December 2011, he said that I needed alot of mesh with the repair as I have had several abdominal surgeries and he thinks it best to reinforce some of my abdominal walls.
I am a little hesitant about the mesh as I have heard some horror stories about developing infection from the mesh.
What do you think?
I am amazed by the universal knowledge of patients about some issue with mesh for hernia repairs. The reality is that a single product out of the hundreds that have been used had a problem. The thing is, it wasn't the mesh that was the issue. The product was an oval shape that had a plastic ring that was about the diameter of a pencil lead that was incorporated aroung the oval to make it spring back into shape. Of the several different sizes that were made only the largest had a problem. It turns out that the plastic ring fractured in a few patients creating a sharp end that could penetrate into intestine, causing some real misery. This one product represented a tiny fraction of the mesh hernia repairs that have been done. There are now many variations and even mesh made from biological material such that surgeons can choose the ideal mesh for each situation. Risks such as infection are quite low.
The best time to repair a hernia is when it is found. Although there is always a risk of entrapment of intestine or other intra-abdominal structures the real reason to jump on them is that they only get bigger, they are easiest to repair when they are small, and patients tend to go from more healthy to less healthy over time making any procedure more risky. I see too many patients that have been given bad advice and were never referred for an opinion until their hernias had become so large that the simple repairs could no longer be done.
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