Luckily, there are two primary options for hernia repair: with or without a mesh. Many patients wonder which is the better option and want to learn more about each. In this article, we’ll break down the pros and cons of hernia mesh vs. no mesh repair.
Hernias are quite common, affecting roughly 5 % of the population. They occur when an organ or tissue protrudes through a hole or weakened area in the muscle. If left untreated, hernias only get worse and can lead to complications such as bowel obstruction, extreme pain, and even death.
Hernia Mesh Repair:
Hernia mesh repair is the most common treatment method for hernias in the United States. It involves placing a surgical mesh in the area of the hernia. The goal is that the mesh will help to reinforce the weakened area and prevent the hernia from recurring. While the procedure has been used for decades and is generally considered safe and effective. There are some disadvantages to keep in mind.
The first is that there are risks associated with any surgery, including mesh repair. Infection, bleeding, and nerve damage are all potential complications that can occur.
The second thing to consider is that, although rare, complications related to hernia mesh can occur. Some of the potential problems from mesh include infections, adhesions, bowel obstructions, and even mesh rejection.
No Mesh Repair:
No mesh repair is exactly what it sounds like: repairing a hernia without using a mesh. The traditional method is by sewing or suturing the muscle together, essentially making the hole stronger and less likely for a hernia to occur again. The suture repair can be performed as either tissue-to-tissue or mesh-free laparoscopic repair.
The good news is that there are zero risks associated with using a foreign object like the mesh. Secondly, a no-mesh repair makes sense for small hernias where there’s ample amounts of healthy surrounding tissue available for suturing. However, the main drawback of no mesh repair is that it has a higher recurrence rate.
Costs can vary depending on where you live, whether you have insurance, and the type of hernia repair you choose. The downside of mesh repair is that it’s more expensive than no mesh repair. But, there can be additional costs associated with the laparoscopic no-mesh approach. The upside to going mesh-free is that the cost of treatment is lower, and the costs of follow-up care and possible recurrence are likely to be lower.
Recovery time varies between mesh and non-mesh repair. Patients who receive a hernia mesh repair typically report less pain and faster recovery time. This is due to the general reinforcement that the mesh provides to the weakened area. However, with no-mesh repair, it can take longer for the hernia to heal. Patients may feel sore and have a longer recovery time.
Deciding between hernia mesh vs. no mesh repair ultimately comes down to a conversation with your doctor, considering individual circumstances like the size and type of hernia, current health concerns, and cost, whether you need a surgical or nonsurgical approach and what’s best for you. In general, hernia mesh repair is the most common option because the results are predictable, recurrence rate is low, and it has less recovery time compared to non-mesh repair, making mesh repair the most viable option. However, nonsurgical repair also has its benefits such as avoiding possible complications. Consultation with Texas Hernia & Surgical Specialists is very important when making the decision. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do your research to determine your best course of action. Visit www.TexasHerniaSpecialists.com for more information or to schedule a consultation.