Complications of mesh devices for intraperitoneal umbilical hernia repair: a word of caution


Several mesh devices for the treatment of umbilical and other small ventral hernias have become available in recent years. These meshes have a dual layer consisting of a permanent or temporary barrier against adhesion formation between the viscera and the intraperitoneally exposed part of the mesh. We have seen several patients with serious late complications of these meshes placed intraperitoneally. Some of these patients needed small bowel resection and mesh removal. Others developed a recurrence because of improper deployment of the mesh in the intraperitoneal position. We think that, if preperitoneal deployment of such mesh devices is possible, this should be the preferred position, notwithstanding the fact that these meshes have a dual layer. There is a complete lack of convincing data on these mesh devices in the medical literature. No long-term data have been published, and, for three of the four mesh devices available, no publications on their use in humans were found. We think that surgeons adopting innovative mesh devices should register and follow their patients prospectively, at least until there are enough published studies with sufficiently large patient samples, acceptable follow up times, and favourable outcomes.

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We acknowledge M. Coppens, MD, from the pathology department of our hospital for providing the figures of the explanted meshes.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have no financial interest in this publication and no financial grant was obtained for this study.

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Correspondence to F. E. Muysoms.

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Muysoms, F.E., Bontinck, J. & Pletinckx, P. Complications of mesh devices for intraperitoneal umbilical hernia repair: a word of caution. Hernia 15, 463–468 (2011).

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  • Hernia repair
  • Mesh
  • Complications
  • Umbilical hernia
  • Ventral hernia
  • Epigastric hernia