Tension-Free Mesh – Is It Safe?


 This is why…

There have been reports of problems, mainly originating in the USA, with the use of mesh in certain types of surgery.

We will not comment here on those reports other than to say that they related to operations concerning female internal problems such as prolapses and matters connected with internal organs such as the bladder, vagina, urinary incontinence and so forth.

Subsequent publicity extended to the use of mesh in all other kinds of surgery, including hernia.

We need to make it perfectly clear that the mesh we use and the open techniques we employ are in no way implicated or involved in these matters.

There are several reasons for this, not least due to the anatomical differences between a hernia and, for example, a vaginal prolapse. Primarily, it needs to be understood that in hernia repair (using our technique) the mesh should not come into contact with anything significant other than the muscle and tendon tissue that has herniated within the abdominal wall structure.

The internal organs, contained within the peritoneal cavity, are not even touched in the normal course of this procedure. This applies to both genders. There is not normally any need or risk of penetrating the peritoneum (the membranous sac that contains the internal organs).

It is important to distinguish between (a) the two very different types of surgery and (b) to recognise that the claimed problems associated with the above publicity do not apply at all with the highly specialised hernia repair we perform in the country’s leading specialist hernia centre. We stress that the above only applies to our technique of repair and that not all operators employing mesh use it in the way we approve or describe.

The British Hernia Centre bases its opinion on our experience of many tens of thousands of cases over 3 decades and not a single case suffering these complications. That we, the biggest and most experienced users of surgical mesh in hernia repair have not suffered these problems suggests that what is causing the described problems is not the use of mesh itself at all.

Perhaps the way some others are using it is a factor, we can only speculate in the absence of any clinical evidence.  Our unrivalled specialised experience of this hernia repair shows there is no finer, less problematic or safer way to repair abdominal wall hernias than the approaches we describe.

Next: Comparison of Methods