Rate This:8 Things to Ask About Mesh-Free Hernia Surgery
For years, the use of mesh in hernia repair surgery has been a flashpoint of debate among doctors and patients. Most surgical procedures for repairing hernias require the use of a small, non-absorbable mesh patch to reinforce where tissues or organs broke through the abdominal wall. This mesh patch remains in the body and causes painful complications for a small percentage of patients. But what if you could get hernia repair surgery without the mesh? In fact, you can, though no-mesh procedures aren't as common as mesh procedures. If you're in need of hernia repair and are considering which route to take, read on eight things to ask about mesh-free hernia surgery.8 Active Questions | Add a Question
Some hernia surgery centers do focus on non-mesh repairs. One such place is the Desarda Hernia Center of the United States, which is based in Florida. However, these centers are rare and your best bet is to contact known hernia specialists in your area.
The Desarda surgery technique involves using non-permanent sutures to stitch together layers of tissue across opposing sides of hernias. In addition, surgeons also reinforce other parts of the abdominal wall that are either broken or weakened. When performed by skilled surgeons, the recurrence rate of hernias in patients who've had Desarda procedures is comparable to more traditional types of hernia surgery.
There is no difference in recovery times between mesh-based hernia repairs and no-mesh hernia repairs. The non-mesh procedures are generally free from complications, and people who don't have complications are usually back on their feet within a few days.
Laparoscopic procedures are minimally invasive surgeries in which the surgeon works using small tools and cameras inserted via tubes through small incisions. Unfortunately, laparoscopic procedures require the use of mesh.
The Shouldice technique is another no-mesh hernia repair procedure that uses absorbable sutures to close hernias and strengthen weaknesses in the abdominal wall tissue.
Before mesh was used, hernia surgery was as simple as opening the abdomen, pushing herniated tissues back through the opening, and then stitching the two sides of the opening together. However, this technique created tension on the tissue that could lead to discomfort and complications. Mesh surgeries reduced those possibilities, but created new complications. Although old-style non-mesh procedures that create tension are still used today, people also have access to no-mesh surgeries that don't create tension on opposing sides of tissues. Surgeons nowadays prefer to layer and suture openings, similar to how one might button a jacket.
The data shows that people who have tension repair procedures do face a higher rate of recurrence. While tension repairs for umbilical hernias carry just 11 percent recurrence rates, the chances of recurrences jump to 30 percent or 50 percent for inguinal and ventral hernias, respectively.
Yes, most people who need hernia repairs can find surgeons who are willing to perform non-mesh surgeries. However, most doctors will only do no-mesh procedures for hernias that meet certain criteria. In other words, whether you're eligible for non-mesh procedures from most doctors depends on your condition.