What Are Common Surgical Mesh Complications?

Infection, pain, hernia recurrence, bowel obstruction and perforation are among the common complications associated with surgical mesh, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Other complications arising from the use of surgical mesh involve mesh shrinkage and the migration of the mesh within the body.

Hernias are usually caused by an opening or weak area in muscle or connective tissue, combined with pressure forcing an organ or other tissue through the rift or weak spot, explains the FDA. This weakness is sometimes present at birth but typically develops later in life as a result of increased abdominal pressure caused by obesity, heavy lifting, persistent coughing or overexertion. Hernias usually involve tissues in the abdominal wall, groin or upper thigh.

Surgical mesh is frequently used to repair and provide support to the weakened or damaged area and is typically made from synthetic materials or animal tissue, reports the FDA. Complications associated with surgical mesh include adverse reactions to the mesh; perforations of neighboring tissues or organs; intestinal loops adhering to the mesh; and injury to surrounding organs, nerves or blood vessels. Most complications from hernia surgery involving surgical mesh are associated with mesh products that have been recalled and are no longer in use.