If you or your loved one is preparing to undergo a hernia repair surgery, then you are most likely well educated on the matter. For all those who are less familiar with what types of hernia exist and what are the available treatments, this article will guide you in the right direction.


Let’s start with defining what a hernia is and what types of hernia exist.

Simply put, a hernia is a condition when an organ or tissue moves from its normal position. Sometimes all it takes is to lift something heavy to cause the occurrence of a hernia. The most common types of hernias are:

  • Inguinal: occurs in the inner groin
  • Femoral: occurs in the upper thigh/outer groin
  • Incisional: occurs through an incision or scar in the abdomen
  • Ventral: occurs in the general abdominal/ventral wall
  • Umbilical: occurs at the belly button
  • Hiatal: occurs inside the abdomen, along the upper stomach/diaphragm

Hernias can be treated non-surgically – watchful waiting for those who do not have complications or symptoms with their hernias; and surgically – Laparoscopic and open repair.

There has been many advancements in laparoscopic hernia repair procedures. According to The World Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, the concept of minimally invasive surgery has been present for millennia and 4 to 5 million laparotomies are performed each year in the United States. The invention of prosthetics has revolutionized hernia repair.

Surgical Mesh Hernia Repair

Surgical mesh is a medical device used to provide additional support to weakened or damaged tissue. The majority that is currently available for use is made from synthetic materials or animal tissue.

Surgical mesh made of synthetic materials can be found in knitted mesh or non-knitted sheet forms. Surgical mesh is made of animal tissue, such as intestine or skin, that has been processed and disinfected.

Absorbable and nonabsorbable mesh

Non-absorbable mesh will remain in the body indefinitely and is considered a permanent implant. It is used to provide permanent reinforcement to the repaired hernia.

Absorbable mesh will degrade and lose strength over time. It is not intended to provide long-term reinforcement to the repair site. As the material degrades, new tissue growth is intended to provide strength to the repair.

Hernia surgery complications

Surgery complications happen. It’s a fact of life. The most common adverse complications that follow hernia repair with mesh are pain, infection, hernia recurrence, adhesion, and bowel obstruction. Some other potential adverse events that can occur following hernia repair with mesh are mesh migration and mesh shrinkage (contraction).

There are cases when complications occur that could have been avoided by using mesh products that are no longer on the market, for example. In such cases it’s necessary to find credible surgical mesh lawyers who will ensure this type of mistake doesn’t go unnoticed and that you receive a fair compensation by bringing a malpractice lawsuit against the medical personnel that led to the complications.


Future directions

Mesh technology continues to develop. Long-term absorbable meshes, self-gripping meshes, and titanium reinforced meshes will become available.

The use of robotics could increases the ability to place mesh, which may eliminate the need for different mesh materials. The use of robotics may also decrease the learning curve for surgeons, enabling a laparoscopic surgeon to replicate the tenets of open repair.

Also, non-standard laparoscopic techniques are being increasingly utilized to repair hernias that aren’t as complex.

A better postoperative evaluation is necessary to efficiently weigh the results of innovations and continue to form solutions to hernia repairs.