Hernia mesh placed in the human body is a foreign body which is recognised by our immune system. The reaction of our immune system has undesirable side effects. The most problematic and significant consequence is chronic pain.
The foreign body reaction results in the mesh being enveloped in inflammatory scar tissue. Inflammation is the primary cause of pain. Scar tissue contracts leading to shrinkage and migration of the mesh. The inflammary reaction is aggressive and leads to nearby viscera invasion. In the groin the vas deferens is particulary vulnerable to mesh invasion. This can cause disfunction of the vas and also testicular pain. The function of the vas deferens is to deliver sperm cells from the testicle to the seminal vesicle then to the prostate where other fluids are added to create spermatic fluid.
Mesh invades nearby nerves and also causes sprouting of new nerves.
20% of patients with hernia mesh develop chronic pain. Pain severe enough to interfer with daily activities and quality of life is seen in 5% of patients. The varied pain reaction amoung patients is probably due to which not all patients are vulnerable to. This is observed in other chronic pain conditions such as chronic joint pain and chronic back pain.
For an in depth read about the problems a hernia mesh pain patient faces please read
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