Hernia is one of the most common health problems that many people are facing these days. Around 2 million people in India alone are undergoing hernia surgeries every year. A hernia is defined as the protrusion of inside body parts through the weak muscles and connective tissues.
In severe cases, hernia surgery is necessary, which involves pushing the inside parts back into place and sealing the place with stitches. In some cases, the muscle wall might be too weak, which increases the risk of hernia recurrence. So the surgeon reinforces the area by placing a mesh, which provides extra strength.
In medical terms, a mesh is defined as a flat sheet made from prosthetic material used to patch a hernia. This medical device, also known as a surgical mesh, supports weak muscles or tissues. According to many studies, a surgical mesh can reduce the risk of hernia recurrence.
Hernia Mesh Infection
Complications after a major surgery are common, and the hernia mesh infection is one of the rare but serious complications. The infection develops in the area where a surgical mesh has been implanted to repair a hernia. Bacteria or other microorganisms that enter the surgical site can cause infection.
Mesh infections are completely different from wound infections, which are often seen at the surgical site. Infections around the mesh implants may not develop instantly; they are observed within months or years following the hernia surgery. Hernia mesh is made of different alloys, and poorly designed mesh is one of the main reasons for the development of this medical condition.
According to the statistics, hernia mesh infection affects less than 8% of people who have undergone hernia repair surgery with mesh.
Signs of hernia mesh infection include:
- High Fever
- Inflammation at the site of the implantation
- Depending on the severity of the infection, the skin may turn red or pinkish and also become tender to the touch
- Persistent burning sensation at the site of incision
- Mild to severe pain is a common sign of infection
- Flu-like symptoms (body pains, chills, nausea, fever, and vomiting)
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Pus or drainage from the incision site
- Bone infection (rare)
- Foul odor from the wound
- Delayed wound healing
Many factors contribute to hernia mesh infections, which include contamination of the surgical site, improper wound care, or health problems. The severity of infections varies, from superficial skin infections to deeper tissue or systemic infections.
People who are at risk of mesh-related infection
Hernia patients with certain underlying health conditions such as Diabetes, Immunosuppression, COPD, Being a smoker, and Obesity are at greater risk of developing an infection.
Treatment for a hernia mesh infection:
If the patient is diagnosed with a mesh-related infection, both medical and surgical treatments can be used to treat the infection. One study found that the majority of mesh-related infections are caused by bacteria, especially Staphylococcus spp., a type of bacteria found in the skin, and Enterobacteriaceae bacteria that cause respiratory infections.
Methicillin-resistant bacteria (MRSA) is another kind of bacteria responsible for mesh-related infections, which is challenging to treat
Depending on the extent of the infection and its type, doctors suggest different kinds of antibiotics to treat the infection.
Proper wound care is highly important, such as cleaning the infected area and maintaining proper hygiene.
However, in more severe cases, surgical removal of the mesh may be required to treat the infection.
So hernia mesh infections can be prevented in the first place by using quality mesh in surgery, safe surgical methods, sterilized conditions in the operating room, and proper wound care after the procedure. If you are looking for a hernia surgeon or if you have undergone a hernia mesh surgery and are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, consult Dr. Venugopal Pareek, one of the best hernia surgeons in Hyderabad. He is experienced in diagnosing and treating hernia mesh-related infections effectively.