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25.05.2019 | Original Article

Use of commercial mesh for hernia repair in a low resource setting: experience after 500 cases

E. A. Agbakwuru, O. Olasehinde, C. I. Onyeze, A. C. Etonyeaku, A. O. Mosanya, F. O. Wuraola, A. A. Akinkuolie, A. A. Aderounmu, A. O. Adisa



The use of mesh has revolutionized the management of hernias in many parts of the world. There is, however, limited experience on its use in sub-Saharan Africa. This study describes a single hospital experience after 500 cases of mesh hernia repairs in a sub-Saharan African country.


We reviewed the records of the first 500 cases of abdominal wall hernia operations performed using commercial mesh since year 2007. Socio-demographic characteristics, hernia type, method of repair and outcome data were analyzed and presented as descriptive statistics.


The first 500 cases of mesh hernia repairs were performed between 2007 and 2017 during which a total of 1,175 hernia operations were carried out, mesh repair accounting for 42.5% of the total. There was a progressive rise in the uptake of mesh repairs over time, with mesh repairs overtaking tissue based repairs in the last few years of the review. Inguinal hernia was by far the commonest indication for mesh use (80.4%), followed by incisional hernia (9%). Polypropylene mesh was the most common type of mesh used in about 96.2% of cases. Overall, there were seven recurrences (1.4%) at a mean follow-up period of 15.3 months (1–108 months)


In spite of resource limitations, the use of mesh for hernia repairs continues to rise and has overtaken tissue-based repairs in a sub-Saharan African setting. Results show good outcomes justifying continued use.

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