Various surgical meshes

Surgical mesh has revolutionized the repair of hernias. Mesh dramatically reduces the rate of recurrence and allows the repair of some hernias that simply cannot be repaired otherwise. This is especially true in undeveloped countries where patients often come with giant hernias that have been growing for years. The hernias are so large, they can't work.  Often, these patients present with strangulated hernias and die. Many of these hernias have been repaired, but recur since no mesh was available.

Giant groin hernia

Mesh is fantastic stuff! Common meshes are a weave of polypropylene, which is inert in the body and is great for patching holes. Unfortunately, mesh is expensive. Common brands can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per repair. This is unaffordable in undeveloped countries, such as Nigeria, where our patients may only be making $100/month. 

We have a solution. We have found that mesh can be used after soaking in our antiseptic solution, without any risk of infection. Yes-I know this is radical, but in clean hernia  repairs, we have found infections to be exceedingly rare, even in our environment that is only semi-sterile. You  work with what you have! We purchased bulk mesh that we cut to size,  reducing the cost of a piece of mesh for a groin hernia to about $10. 

Giant groin hernia
Hopefully, one day, patients won't die from something as easily repaired as a hernia.