What Are Some Common Long-Term Problems After Mesh Inguinal Hernia Repair Surgery?

Common long-term problems following inguinal hernia surgical repair with mesh implant include pain, infection, hernia recurrence and seroma. Mesh shrinkage and organ injury are also possible, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Mesh products recalled in January 2007 or before are associated with many mesh hernia repair complications.

Chronic pain in the leg or groin lasting three months or longer is reported by 7.5 percent of inguinal hernia surgical patients. The pain subsides over time, reports the American College of Surgeons. Seroma, a collection of clear or yellow fluid formed around the hernia site, effects 8 percent of mesh implant patients and usually resolves on its own. Infection of the surgical wound follows 0.02 percent of hernia surgeries, and hernia recurrence occurs in 1.85 percent of mesh implants.

Shrinkage of the mesh causes pain and reduced mobility in 8 percent of patients, as noted by PubMed.gov. Pain and mobility in these patients reaches normal patient levels after 12 months. Injury to internal organs is reported in only 0.01 percent of cases, states the American College of Surgeons. Testicular pain, tingling and numbness may also be experienced.

Some recalled Bard® Composix® Kugel® mesh patches led to bowel perforations and chronic intestinal fistulae, or abnormal breaches between intestines and other organs. The “memory ring” that expands the mesh following surgical insertion can break from stress and cause internal injury, according to FDA medical device recall notices.