Understanding the Basics of a Hernia Mesh Surgery

A hernia mesh surgery is the correction of a hernia — a bulging of internal organs or tissues through their containing wall — using surgical mesh made from biological materials or plastic to keep the tissue or organs in place. There are two types of hernias, namely herniorrhaphy and hernioplasty. As skilled personal injury lawyers, we see both types come up in our cases.

Hernia mesh surgery has recorded success over the years and reduced the chances of tissues or organs protruding from their walls. It is also the only permanent solution to a hernia and one of the most common surgeries in the United States.

Note that it is possible to have a hernia surgery without the mesh. Still, the latter increases a patient’s outcome by decreasing the time spent in an operating room and recovery. Other factors like the type of mesh also play a role, but we will focus on understanding the basics of hernia mesh surgery for this article.

Types of Hernia Mesh Surgery

There are two main types of surgeries used in implanting a hernia mesh. They are:

  • Laparoscopic Surgery

This surgical method is the first choice for most people as it is minimally invasive, meaning the surgeon does not have to completely open the patient’s body. The surgery requires general anesthesia and small incisions on the body.

Through the incision, the surgeon will use the surgical tool to implant and keep the mesh in place. The procedure reduces the chance of blood loss and increases healing time. However, as a downside, it is more challenging to perform and quite pricey.

Note that surgeons use laparoscopic surgery to fix hernia recurrences to avoid scar tissue. Recovery takes one to two weeks, and patients can return to strenuous exercise after four weeks.

  • Open Surgery

Before laparoscopic surgery became a thing, doctors used open surgery to fix hernia occurrences. Surgeons can use this method with or without a mesh, and they tend to replace general anesthesia with spinal or local anesthesia alongside sedation.

During the surgery, the surgeon makes an incision near the hernia to repair the weak muscle area. The procedure leads to more blood loss because it cuts through muscles. Recovery time for patients is three weeks, and they must not return to strenuous exercise until after six weeks.

How Hernia Mesh Surgical Repair Works

The surgical hernia mesh is a flexible scaffold that reinforces muscle walls and keeps organs intact. Surgeons place the mesh over the open hernia and use either suture, tacks, or glue to keep it in place.

Over time, the patient’s tissue would grow into the mesh’s small pores and strengthen the muscle wall. The growth creates scar tissues, adding more strength to the hernia site. Mesh repairs are usually permanent and last a lifetime.

Depending on the surgeon’s speed and preciseness, it takes about 30 minutes to two hours to carry out a hernia mesh surgery. The technique of the surgeon also plays a role, and the common ones include TAPP (Transabdominal Preperitoneal), TEP (Totally Extraperitoneal), and IPOM (Intraperitoneal Onlay Mesh Technique).

What to Expect Before and After a Hernia Mesh Surgery

A hernia patient should have someone drive them to the hospital and pick them up after the surgery. If the person uses an aspirin or blood thinners, the doctor would advise them to stop a week before the surgery because the medications slow clotting and cause excess bleeding.

A hernia mesh surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning patients do not have to stay in the hospital overnight unless there is a complication. Without the latter, recovery takes several days depending on the patient’s condition, and they will feel some pain before healing completely.

How Much Do Hernia Mesh Surgeries Cost? 

The cost of a hernia mesh surgery varies from state to state. It ranges from $3,900 to $12,500 on average. The factors that influence the price include the hospital’s location where the surgeon practices, the type of surgery the patient undergoes, and their health insurance coverage. In Phoenix, Arizona, patients pay between $5,500 and $12 900.

Common Hernia Mesh Surgery Complication

Like most surgical procedures, complications can arise after hernia mesh surgery. Some of the common ones include:

  • Severe pain.
  • Serious infection around the mesh.
  • Extreme reaction to the mesh.
  • Mesh sticking to internal organs.
  • Bowel obstruction.
  • Recurrence of the hernia.

Asides from the complications, the mesh may fail, and this depends mostly on the type used. When this happens, the patient experiences high fever, nausea, vomiting, pain, bruising, swelling, and difficulty passing stool and urinating.

Get Help if Your Hernia Mesh Surgery Goes the Wrong Way

Surgeons are human beings and can make mistakes even with the most straightforward procedures. When this happens, contact a personal injury lawyer to review your case and get you the compensation you deserve.