Hernia Mesh Removal

While hernia mesh has been clearly shown to be necessary in most hernia operations, there are some patients who have suffered complications related to the mesh itself.

The incidence of mesh-related complications is extraordinarily low compared to the number of patients who benefit from mesh placement.

For those who suffer from mesh-related discomfort or pain – there is hope. 

Mesh can be removed safely by those hernia specialists who have gained expertise in these techniques.

Mesh removal can be performed with open or robotic techniques depending on the location of the mesh and other individual patient factors.
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What is Mesh Removal?

Hernia mesh removal may be necessary for chronic pain or discomfort and sometimes for recurrence of a hernia when previous mesh was implanted. Rarely does hernia mesh get infected and in the unlikely event that this occurs, removal is indicated.

The surgical technique and the patient's experience of mesh removal varies according to the location of the mesh and the type of mesh material previously placed.

When mesh is implanted through an open conventional incision, typically that mesh would be removed through the same incision previously used. With delicate and meticulous technique and magnification the mesh is slowly separated from the patient's native tissue and removed. This requires patience and experience in order to avoid injury to surrounding tissue.

When mesh is placed laparoscopically or robotically and needs to be removed, it will require removal with robotic technique. The high resolution and ability to have the camera close to the area of concern allows for better results than laparoscopic techniques. The mesh is delicately and meticulously separated from the patient's native tissue and removed. It requires experience and patience to accomplish this safely.

Reasons for Hernia Mesh Removal

Although hernia mesh is considered to be a safe and permanent solution to hernia repair, some patients have encountered complications and side effects that require the removal of the mesh implant.

Possible Reasons for Mesh Removal

  • Infection around the hernia repair site
  • Implant erosion or adhesion into organs
  • Displacement, or migration, of the mesh
  • Nerve entrapment
  • Chronic discomfort or pain in the area of mesh placemen

Important Issues in Removal of Hernia Mesh

Removal of hernia mesh can be beneficial for those suffering from mesh-related complications. Still, it’s important to note that mesh removal may also come with risks.

Your hernia specialist needs to consider and discuss the following when considering mesh removal:

  • Removing mesh in its entirety
  • Avoiding damage or removal of adjacent muscle, fascia, or bowel.
  • Reconstructing the residual hernia after removing mesh that was used for the initial repair. 

Risks of Hernia Mesh Removal

The following are possible risks associated with removing hernia mesh:

  • Recurrent hernia
  • Adhesions
  • Numbness
  • Injury to major organs and blood vessels


Robotic technology is a new tool that can enhance the safety of mesh removal. The improvement in visualization and precision of instrumentation has allowed for a higher degree of safety in mesh removal.

Adhesions to hernia mesh
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What to Expect When Your Mesh is Removed

For most people that are suffering from mesh-related pain or other complications, removal of the mesh is a life-changing experience.

Despite expected pain or discomfort from the surgery, typically the sense of the previous mesh being removed is experienced within the first 72 hours.

While there are risks associated with these procedures, most patients benefit and appreciate "the beginning of the rest of their life".

Most mesh removal operations can be performed in an outpatient setting and some may require hospitalization.

Hernia Mesh Removal Techniques

Open Mesh Removal

This technique is usually beneficial when the previous hernia repair was performed with a surgical incision with the mesh placed outside of the muscular abdominal wall. The mesh can be removed with a surgical incision over the area of the previous mesh placement. Technical precision is enhanced with loupe magnification and enhanced lighting. Extensive surgical experience is necessary for safe mesh removal in order to avoid any injury to the surrounding tissue.

Robotic Mesh Removal

When hernia repair was previously performed with laparoscopic or robotic techniques the mesh is usually behind the muscular wall. If mesh removal becomes necessary after this type of mesh placement, robotic surgery is likely the most precise and safest technique available for removal. This technology utilizes small incisions and 3D Ultra high definition vision and delicate articulated instrumentation.

Despite the complexity of mesh removal, patients undergoing mesh removal can often be discharged within hours of the operation. Often the patient will experience relief of symptoms within hours or days of the surgery. This can be a life changing operation for many.

Contact us today to discuss your options for hernia mesh removal.

About Recovery from Mesh Removal Surgery

As with any surgical procedure, it’s important for you to take time to rest and give your body time to heal.

We’ll send you and your caretaker home with post-surgical expectations, but expect recovery to take about 4 to 6 weeks. You will usually be able to carry on with light activities a couple of weeks after surgery and more normal or heavy activities after 6 weeks.

Why Choose Our Hernia Mesh Removal Specialist in Sarasota

Dr. Jonathan Yunis is one of the most experienced surgeons in the world in the field of hernia and hernia mesh removal.

The staff and Dr. Yunis at Center for Hernia Repair understand the frustration of what patients have been through.  We are here to help you with understanding and expertise.


Don't put your hernia problems off any longer.  Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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FAQs

Is it difficult to remove hernia mesh?

Removing hernia mesh can be a complex procedure and may require additional surgery. The difficulty of removal depends on factors such as the type of mesh used, the location of the mesh, and the extent of tissue growth around it.

Is mesh removal surgery painful?

Mesh removal surgery may cause discomfort and pain after the procedure. Pain can be managed with medications and the use of pain control techniques. Despite the pain from the surgery, patients that require mesh removal are often extremely happy because they are feeling so much better from the mesh removal itself.

How long does it take to recover from mesh removal surgery?

The recovery time from mesh removal surgery varies depending on the patient and the extent of the procedure. Most patients can return to normal activities within two weeks.

What happens when hernia mesh is removed?

When hernia mesh is removed, the repaired area may need to be reconstructed with sutures or another surgical technique. The exact process will depend on the individual case.

How successful is hernia mesh removal?

The success of mesh removal depends on the reason for removal, the patient's overall health, and the extent of the procedure. In some cases, mesh removal can provide relief from complications, while in others, a new repair may be necessary.

Is a hernia mesh metal?

Hernia mesh products are made from synthetic plastic materials that can be woven or nonwoven. They dont contain metal.

Can a CT scan detect hernia mesh problems?

A CT is usually necessary for the evaluation of a patient that needs removal of a hernia mesh from a prior surgery.

The CT reveals the anatomic location of the mesh as well as a potential recurrent hernia. The CT does not always show a mesh even when it is present.

Does muscle grow into hernia mesh?

Hernia mesh is designed to attract human tissue ingrowth after implantation for hernia repair. The ingrowth of collagen strengthens the repair. Muscle does not grow int the mesh.

How common is mesh removal ?

Mesh removal is very uncommon. Historically, it was thought that mesh removal is a dangerous and sometimes impossible endeavor . Hernia repair mesh is designed to reduce the risk of hernia recurrence. It functions this way by allowing human tissue integration through the “pores” of the mesh and strengthens the area to prevent hernia recurrence.

While strengthening the area, mesh becomes so much part of the native human tissue that removing it requires delicate and meticulous technique to avoid injury to the native tissue. With experience and newer technology such as the Intuitive DaVinci robot, mesh removal has become possible and usually safe.

Contact Center for Hernia Repair

Hernia mesh removal is extremely uncommon, however, it some instances, it may very well be necessary. Do you still have questions surrounding the hernia mesh removal procedure? Get in touch with Dr. Jonathan Yunis for more information regarding your mesh removal procedure.
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Sarasota, Florida 34239
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