What were we asked to look at?
We were asked by the Scottish Government to explore a series of questions relating to the use of surgical mesh in the elective repair of abdominal and groin hernias in all adults. The research questions included a series of comparisons: mesh versus suture repair, laparoscopic versus open repair, and synthetic mesh versus biological mesh. We were asked to compare mesh fixation techniques, assess potential gender differences in outcomes, and to explore patient experiences. Primary ventral hernias, incisional ventral hernias, umbilical hernias, and inguinal or femoral hernias, were selected as being representative of the majority of hernias treated in NHSScotland.
Why is this important?
The use of surgical mesh has become an important topic in the last few years following women’s experiences of severe, chronic pain after surgical mesh was used to treat pelvic organ prolapse. Hernia repairs are one of the most common surgical procedures performed globally, with an estimated 20 million hernia repair procedures each year. Following the impact on women of using surgical mesh for prolapse repair, there is a need to be consider similar issues in relation to using surgical mesh to repair hernias in both men and women.
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