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Had ventral incisional hernia repair using mesh. Feeling abdominal pain and bloated. Mesh failure?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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Hello. In 2007, I had a ventral incisional hernia repair using mesh. I recovered well and never had any problems. Last year, I had to have an emergency hysterectomy with a ventral incision. The mesh was opened and patched by an OB surgeon and plastic surgeon and then closed with in multiple sutured layers. I again had a great recovery and no difficulty. 2 weeks ago, I noticed abdominal pain and bloating. Yesterday, I felt really bloated and uncomfortable. I have very strong abdominal muscles and when tensed they are very firm. Now I can tighten the muscles, but everything feels squishy and I am unable to attain that firmness in my abdomen. I am having normal BM's, no fever and this pain is maybe a 3-4/10 with a continual sensation of bloating. There is mild tenderness throughout abdomen that I can palpate, but no specific area. Could this be indicative of mesh failure? I hate to go in to the doctor for these mild symptoms, but it is very strange. Thank you. Regards, XXXXXXX
Wed, 30 Jan 2013 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 1 hour later

Thank you for the query.

There are several things which may cause your symptoms. You need to know that after so many abdominal surgeries, your intestines are covered with intra-abdominal adhesions. This adhesions in some cases do impede proper intestines function and result with partial or total obstructions. Depending of the localization of such adhesions, it can make intestine narrow and result with symptoms like yours.
The other thing is edometriosis. I assume that your ovaries were left alone. If so, you have normal hormonal functions and if any endometrium cells were left inside the abdomen, it can still be stimulated by ovaries and give such symptoms as well. Moreover, every endometriosis gives more adhesions and leads to obstructions.
With all of this, mesh failure is the last thing which can cause your sufferings. Such mesh after a years gets stuck with the tissues, become ingrown and it would be very very hard to move it or remove it.
I suggest you to visit your doctor and have abdominal CT with oral contrast (enteroclysis) to see if there are any problems with intestines.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
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