Inguinal hernias are some of the most common surgical procedures, but in low resource areas the meshes that are manufactured specifically for this indication can be too expensive. A team of researchers, including those from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Uganda’s Makerere University, wanted to see whether readily available mosquito nets could be used instead. They recruited about 300 patients in eastern Uganda who had unilateral, reducible indirect inguinal hernias, some of which received the standard mesh and the rest getting meshes made of sterilized mosquito nets.
The results showed that the post-op outcomes didn’t differ significantly whether a made-for-purpose or the ad-hoc mosquito net mesh was used.
Some details from the study in the New England Journal of Medicine:
A total of 302 patients were included in the study. The follow-up rate was 97.3% after 2 weeks and 95.6% after 1 year. Hernia recurred in 1 patient (0.7%) assigned to the low-cost mesh and in no patients assigned to the commercial mesh (absolute risk difference, 0.7 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], −1.2 to 2.6; P=1.0). Postoperative complications occurred in 44 patients (30.8%) assigned to the low-cost mesh and in 44 patients (29.7%) assigned to the commercial mesh (absolute risk difference, 1.0 percentage point; 95% CI, −9.5 to 11.6; P=1.0).
Rates of hernia recurrence and postoperative complications did not differ significantly between men undergoing hernia repair with low-cost mesh and those undergoing hernia repair with commercial mesh.
Study in NEJM: A Randomized Trial of Low-Cost Mesh in Groin Hernia Repair…
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