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01.12.2015 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Surgery 1/2015

Sigmoid to scrotal fistula secondary to mesh erosion: a rare complication of inguinal hernia repair in a patient on anticoagulation

BMC Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2015
Jad A. Degheili, Maen Aboul Hosn, Mustapha El Lakis, Ali H. Hallal
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

All authors declare no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

JD carried out the literature review, wrote the manuscript’s initial draft, and all changes made afterward, to achieve the final manuscript’s version. AH is the senior surgeon who performed all operations assisted by the authors JD, MA, and ML. He proofread the different drafts, and approved the final version. MA carried out literature review and assisted in writing the initial draft. ML assisted in the literature review. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Few reports from the medical literature have presented severe mesh-related complications following laparoscopic repair of inguinal hernia. One of these complications is being mesh erosion into bowel, resulting in fistulous tract with subsequent abscess formation.

Case presentation

A 75-year-old patient, status post laparoscopic bilateral inguinal hernia repair, and on anticoagulation for dual prosthetic heart valves, presented with a unique case of sigmoid to scrotal fistula, post mesh erosion, resulting in sepsis. The patient presented in septic shock, necessitating an individualized surgical approach. Given the septic picture of our patient, the surgical approach was truncated. Initially the sepsis from the scrotum was drained and debrided. A watermelon seed was noted in the scrotum. After stabilization, the second stage approach was performed, were a laparotomy was performed, followed by division of the sigmoid to internal ring fistula, and reperitonealization of the mesh. Mesh removal was delayed as the risk of bleeding into the peritoneum was high, once anticoagulation needed to be resumed. Because of a persistent wound sinus tract, several months later, the mesh was removed, in a third stage, from an inguinal incision. Albeit meticulous dissection and homeostasis, a postoperative extraperitoneal inguinal hematoma developed, as expected, on day 2, once anticoagulation was resumed.


Sigmoid to inguinoscrotal fistula is a rare, yet serious, complication of mesh infection and erosion. This can be obviated by preventing serosal tear, and proper peritonealization of the mesh. Fistulectomy alone with primary repair turned out to be a valid approach in our patient. Retaining the mesh could be an alternative for avoiding bleeding in patients on anticoagulation; despite that a persistent indolent infection and sinus tract will necessitate mesh removal afterwards.
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