Over 30 percent of patients experience chronic pain after mesh is used to repair hernias, states The Wall Street Journal. For some patients, the pain is severe and limits activities. In fact, the most common side effects of the surgery are pain, infection, hernia recurrence and adhesion, explains the FDA
Pain sometimes continues after surgery because of damage to nerves and muscles caused by the hernia, according to The Wall Street Journal. In addition, the strong synthetic mesh used to reinforce abdominal walls sometimes irritates nerves.
Patients who have laparoscopic surgery to repair hernias tend to experience lower levels of pain, The Wall Street Journal observes. However, general anesthesia is required. In open surgery, only local anesthesia and sedation are needed, but injury to nerves and pain are more likely.