Hernia Surgery Complications
Any operation, including for hernias, has inherent risks and complications. Surgery should not be taken lightly. This is not “minor” surgery. That said, most outpatient hernia repairs are considered low-risk. We see a lot of complicated, high-risk patients and so their hernia or hernia-related operations are usually not low-risk.
Each patient has their own specific risk profile for hernia or hernia-related surgical complications. We try to reduce your risk factors prior to surgery as much as possible.
Common hernia surgery complications include:
Recurrent hernia. This risk is dependent on your own personal risk factors and varies based on patient and also surgical technique.
- Mesh-related complication. These include mesh infection, mesh folding, and mesh-related pain or reaction. Mesh infection is usually low risk, as most hernia repairs are performed in a clean field.We have a lot of experience handling these situations, as we do see the extremes of hernia-related complications. Mesh folding may cause pain. These are called meshomas. They can also lead to recurrence. True mesh reaction is very rare. We see this infrequently and they are hard to diagnose. Once the patient is considered to be reacting to implanted mesh, mesh removal is considered.
- We have a lot of experience with mesh removal due to mesh infection, meshoma or mesh reaction and have published our research experience with this problem. This procedure is performed open, laparoscopically, or robotically-assisted, depending on each patient’s needs. Mesh removal should not be taken lightly. It is a risky operation with many potentials for complications. It should be performed by surgeons with experience.
- Chronic pain. This is a complex problem with many facets. Some pain is neuropathic, due to nerve injury or nerve entrapment. Some are due to meshoma or mesh reaction.Others are simply due to hernia recurrence.
- We have a lot of experience treating patients with post-hernia repair chronic pain and are at the forefront of this specialty worldwide. They may require mesh removal, neurectomy, hernia re-repair, or a combination procedure. We perform these open, laparoscopically, or robotically-assisted, depending on each patient’s specific situation.