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Mosquito Mesh an Option for Hernia Repair in Poor Countries

Researchers say this affordable innovation might improve access to the surgery


THURSDAY, Jan. 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Groin hernia repair with mosquito netting may be a viable alternative in countries where commercial mesh is too expensive, according to research published in the Jan. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Jenny Löfgren, M.D., Ph.D., of the department of surgical and perioperative sciences at Umeå University in Sweden, and colleagues randomly assigned 302 Ugandan men with primary, unilateral, reducible groin hernias to surgery using sterilized mosquito netting or commercial mesh.

In the year after surgery, one patient who received mosquito netting had a hernia recur, compared with none who received commercial mesh. The recurrence rate of 0.7 percent with low-cost mesh is similar to recurrence rates reported with commercial mesh in high-income countries, according to the researchers. Complications after surgery occurred at similar rates in both groups (30.8 and 29.7 percent for low-cost mesh and commercial mesh, respectively).

Löfgren's team concluded that use of sterile mosquito mesh in groin hernia surgery is an affordable innovation. "There is a great need for a variety of such innovations in order to improve surgical quality to underserved populations around the world," she told HealthDay.

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