HERNIA MESH RESEARCH
Over the past decade, countless studies have examined the use of sutures versus mesh in hernia repair, as well as the possible side effects of bare polypropylene versus coated meshes. Here are a few examples:
A study of 632 hernia implant patients from Vanderbilt University published in October, 2016 revealed that 31% suffered complications within two years of their procedure.
That same month, a study from Denmark of over 3,200 patients undergoing hernia repair from 2007 through 2010 found that, although the use of mesh implants may have lower hernia recurrence rates, their use was also four times more likely to cause long-term complications.
A study from Norway published in July 2016 discovered a link between hernia mesh complications and oral infections. Doctors found that, among a group of patients with failed hernia mesh implants, all of them had the gum disease gingivitis and one-in-three had infections that had spread to the gums and teeth.
In May of 2014, a study published in the American Medical Association's Surgical Journal compared results of nearly 1,800 hernia repairs performed with sutures versus mesh implants. Researchers found that, while the mesh implants had a slightly lower risk of hernia recurrence, they also were linked to a higher risk of side effects like infection.
A 2013 study out of India noted that the severe risks of using polypropylene mesh for laparoscopic hernia repair, such as infection, organ adhesion, blockage and perforation, were present whether or not the mesh was a composite type. This, even though the composite variations are generally 15-20 times more expensive.
A study from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston published in 2012 comparing synthetic, composite and biologic mesh implants noted that polypropylene is "unsuitable" for placement in the abdominal cavity due to its "tendency to induce bowel adhesions."
In 2010, surgeons from Belgium first warned of the increased use of composite, or coated hernia mesh products, and the severe side effects, such as need for bowel resection and mesh removal. They particularly noted that there was no long-term data available to support their use, and that 75% of the devices had not been tested on humans prior to being sold.