The Reason Why Doctors Use Mesh to Repair a Hernia

The Reason Why Doctors Use Mesh to Repair a Hernia | Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

There are five types of abdominal and groin hernias. An abdominal hernia happens when part of an organ or tissue swells up and puts pressure on the body’s abdominal wall. The abdominal wall can only take so much pressure before it gives in and tears open.

There are two types of groin hernias. Men more commonly experience inguinal hernias, which affect the pathway between the abdomen and the scrotum. Women more commonly experience femoral hernias, which form in the thigh blood vessels.

Hernias are common—about 600,000 hernia repairs are done every year in the U.S. While some hernias are caused by genetically weaker muscles and tissue, most hernias develop over time as the abdominal wall gets weaker or damaged with age.


The standard treatment for any type of hernia is surgery—either laparoscopic or open-repair—to insert mesh and stitches. A hernia mesh acts as a plug to stop the swelling and the pain of the hernia, and the stitches solidify the attachment of the mesh to the body’s tissues.

In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes several small incisions in the body and inserts a thin tube with a small camera on the end to insert the mesh. Laparoscopic surgery is popular because it’s minimally invasive, so there’s less post-operative pain and a faster return to normal routines.

What we consider a “normal” surgery is termed open-repair surgery. It’s when the surgeon makes a single, long incision, pushes the hernia back into its place and inserts the mesh. Because of the invasive nature of this surgery, recovery time is longer and more painful than that of laparoscopic surgery.


There are three main types of mesh:

  1. Biologic tissues come from human or animal tissue (typically cow or pig).
  2. Synthetic meshes are made from plastic, most commonly polypropylene.
  3. Composite mesh is a mix of synthetic and biologic materials.

Before settling on a specific mesh, a patient’s doctor analyzes the size of the hernia, the patient’s age and weight, and other underlying factors, like diseases that run in the family.


Hernia mesh complaints are on the rise. Many patients experience device failure, bowel perforation, infection, severe pain, or restrictive movement. Lawsuits ensue because of these complications.

Despite the reported problems, hernia mesh remains a popular fix for a hernia because it theoretically reduces the chance of hernia recurrence.

The hernia mesh market is expected to grow despite the increase in hernia mesh lawsuits because mesh seems to be the best line of defense against the same hernia developing again.

Over 30 years of experience has taught the attorneys at Pintas and Mullins Law Firm how to fight for justice in hernia mesh injury cases. When you have our firm on your side, you can be confident that you have a dedicated team ready to fight for you from start to finish. Call or e-mail our team for your free legal consultation today.