Infected mesh repair and management

Treating post-hernia surgery infection

HCA UK’s experts explain how they can help if the mesh used to repair your hernia becomes infected

What is a mesh infection after a hernia repair?

Hernia repair surgery is straightforward but sometimes there are complications, such as mesh infections.

Mesh is a special material used to strengthen the abdominal wall. Occasionally bacteria can infect where the mesh is located causing irritation and inflammation.

This can be treated surgically by removing the mesh to control the spread of the infection.

Need to know

  • What happens during surgery? icon plus

    If you have a mesh infection, your symptoms may include:
    • tenderness, pain or a burning feeling in the area
    • swelling or fluid retention
    • persistent fever
    • difficulty urinating (peeing) or passing stools (poo)
    • nausea and vomiting Infected mesh repair can be a complex procedure.

    Once mesh becomes infected, it’s important to completely remove it to prevent further infection.

    It requires great care and attention to avoid damage to the surrounding soft tissues. Your consultant will also assess if the infection has affected your bowel or spread to any other underlying soft tissues.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will carefully examine you to make sure the treatment is suited to your needs.

    An ultrasound scan me be carried out or a CT scan to verify the mesh has become infected.

    If you have a mesh infection, the mesh will need to be completely removed and replaced to prevent the spread of infection.

    The surgery can be performed by open or keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery.

    You will be given a general anaesthetic which means you’ll be asleep during the procedure.

    Your consultant will advise you on whether you can eat or drink before the procedure.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You may feel quite drowsy when you wake up and it’s common to feel some pain or discomfort. Our specialist nurses will be on hand to help with your recovery, offering pain relief or medication if needed.

    If you had keyhole surgery the cuts are smaller, so your recovery is likely to be quicker than with open surgery. Open surgery is a more complex operation and your recovery period is likely to be longer.

    Your consultant will be able to advise you on when you can resume your normal daily activities and return back to work.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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