Use of Marlex (polyethylene) patch to repair inguinal hernia 
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 Use of Marlex (polyethylene) patch to repair inguinal hernia

I recently developped an inguinal hernia.  After seeing a general
surgeon, I decided to have it repaired.  My surgeon uses a
single incision (as opposed to laparoscopic surgery which
he doesn't do since: he feels that the technique is still evolving
significantly; and general anesthesia is required), and reccommended the
use of a Marlex patch (a ~2"x2" patch of polyethylene mesh) to
reinforce the area.

What are the long-term side-effects of having polypropylene in the
body?  (If silicone {*filter*} implants can cause problems after few years ....)

Based on a medline literature search, this technique has been around
for at most 5 years.  What was done previously?  What were the success
and recurrence rates?

What conditions would indicate the use of a patch?  What conditions
would indicate that a fine repair could be done without a patch?

One article I found, "Expanded  PTFE versus polypropylene mesh for
the repair of contminated defects in the abdominal wall", contains the
following statement:
"Polypropylene (PP) mesh is still the most widely used material for
this purpose (as a prosthetic material), although the propensity to induce
extensive visceral adhesions and erosion of the skin or intestine is a
well-known drawback."
These sound like serious drawbacks.  Are they relevant to hernia
repair cases?

Please respond via e-mail and on


                                                Marc Bensadoun

Fri, 23 Aug 1996 07:49:00 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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