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University Hospital Continues to Use Hernia Mesh

A prestigious medical institution continues to recommend hernia repair mesh despite certain types being pulled from the market

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - Hernia repair is a common medical procedure but a serious one nonetheless. There are over one million hernia repair operations performed every year in the United States alone and maybe ten times that many globally. The majority of hernia repair surgeries attempt to repair hernias in the groin or other abdominal areas such as at the site of a recent abdominal surgical procedure or at the umbilical cord (belly button) that can occur due to weight gain. Tenderness at the site of a hernia is a common indication of a hernia accompanied with an unsightly bulge at the opening can allow the intestines to push through. While small hernias are not considered a medical emergency, they will tend to grow and will not repair themselves. If a patient with a hernia is physically active, the organs can twist and cause strangulation cutting off the normal flow of digested materials and require emergency surgery.

In spite of hernia mesh leader Ethicon Inc, a medical unit of Johnson & Johnson voluntarily pulling the medical device from the market due to complaints that created patient safety concerns, some prestigious medical institutions continue to advocate the use of hernia mesh in what they consider to be the proper situations. According to the website of the Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook University, (RSM) "Not only are there different kinds of hernias, but different methods and surgical approaches are also currently used to repair them. Today, a "mesh" product is commonly used in hernia repairs. Hernia mesh has been around for over 50 years, and earlier versions of it have long been regarded as the "gold standard" to use in repairs." In a recent hernia mesh institute, the RSM stated that hernias usually require hernia mesh however admitted that certain types of hernias can be repaired without it. In addition, belly button hernias can usually be repaired with sutures alone but that most others require hernia mesh to be successful. The RSM reiterated the statistic that hernia revisions surgery rates have dropped dramatically since surgeons began using a prosthetic hernia repair mesh to support the abdominal wall. "Decades ago, hernia repairs were performed by simply suturing the hernia closed. For some types of hernias, this repair resulted in 25-50% of hernias later returning. Mesh changed that. By using mesh, the chance of hernia recurrence dropped to the low single-digits." Hernia mesh attorneys warn consumers that the Ethicon Physiomesh for henia repair has been pulled from global markets permanently due to high failure rates of the device.

The RSM admitted the complications that can occur due to the fact that hernia mesh is a foreign object that can be rejected by the body's natural auto-immune response mechanism and that the device can become infected during surgery or afterward as it degrades, and that such a degradation requires revision surgery. They noted that scar tissue, adhesions can occur and lead to bowel obstruction.

The Stony Brook Comprehensive Hernia Center advocates the continued use of hernia repair mesh and cites the latest major scientific studies. "In most hernias, the mesh is the standard of care. This is what the science clearly indicates, and it is backed up by well-designed clinical trials as well as retrospective studies."

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