Surgical mesh is a medical device used in hernia repair to provide additional support in the abdomen and to prevent or delay hernia reoccurrence. Most hernia repairs will include the use of surgical mesh.

There are different types of surgical mesh available for surgeons to use. There are different reasons to use each one.


Synthetic mesh can be absorbable or not, or a combination of both types. Mesh that is not absorbable is permanent and expected to last indefinitely. Non-absorbable mesh will break down over time. It is used when healing tissue will grow to strengthen the area as the mesh degrades.

Polypropylene and polyester are two types of materials used in synthetic mesh. Polypropylene is more widely used and is more resistant to shrinkage than polyester. Polypropylene cannot be used where it will come in contact with abdominal organs such as: the stomach, intestine, liver, pancreas, spleen, or kidneys. There is risk of adhesions which may be difficult to remove causing additional surgeries and risks for the patient.

Animal Based

Animal based mesh is absorbable and will eventually break down. This type of mesh is produced primarily from pigs and cows. It is more expensive, has a lower risk of infection, and is less likely to cause adhesions.

There are many decisions surgeons must make when undertaking a hernia repair. Patients should be involved in some of the decisions about whether a repair is necessary and whether or not to use mesh.  There are no risk-free options with hernia repair but some choices can increase risk significantly.

Contact our experienced law firm to help with claims related to complications with surgical mesh.

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