How is a Hernia Mesh Used?

Surgical mesh is a medical device attached to the weakened tissue, or hernia, to provide support and prevent the organ from continuing to push through the wall.

Three different types of mesh may be used for hernia repair:

  1. Synthetic, which is generally made of polyester and polypropylene.
  2. Biologic, which is made of biological material such as human or pig skin, pig intestines, or cow heart.
  3. Composite, which is a combination of the two types of materials listed above.

Surgical mesh can be inserted into the body through two different types of procedures: open repair and laparoscopic repair. An open repair surgery takes place when a surgeon opens up the body to implant the mesh device. On the other hand, a laparoscopic repair is completed by poking holes into the area surrounding the hernia, using cameras to guide the surgeon in implanting the mesh and repairing the hernia. In both cases, the mesh is designed to prevent the intestine or other organ from continuing to push through the weakened tissue while simultaneously integrating itself into the damaged wall.