Symptoms of problems with the mesh used in hernia surgery include pain, infection, bowel obstruction and recurrence of the hernia, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Problems with surgical mesh used in some hernia procedures can also cause urinary problems, discomfort and pain during sexual intercourse.
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 more often occurs later in life by 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 used to repair and provide support to the weakened or damaged area, and is typically made from metal, other synthetic material or from 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 using surgical mesh are associated with mesh products that have been recalled and are no longer in use.