Inguinal hernia is a common condition and its repair (herniorrhaphy) is one of the most commonly performed procedures in general surgery. The Lichtenstein herniorrhaphy technique is a widely used and effective surgery that uses mesh to reinforce the area of weakness. Although a wide range of mesh sizes are available for use in hernia repair, in low-resource health care settings the provision of multiple products may not be supportable and it may be necessary for the provision and use of a single mesh size. This study aimed to determine whether the recommended 7.0 cm x 15.0 cm size is an appropriate single mesh size.
In order to determine the optimal mesh size according to recommended surgical practices, in vivo measurements of key dimensions of the inguinal floor were taken in patients undergoing herniorrhaphy.
Measurements were taken in 43 patients: 40 men and 3 women, mean age 43 years (SD 13.6); 39 with indirect hernias, 4 with direct. Allowing for recommended mesh overlaps, the optimal mesh size for provision to be appropriate for the majority of patients was determined to be 8.5 cm x 14.0 cm, 21% wider than the mesh size currently recommended for use in Lichtenstein herniorrhaphy.
An appropriate size for routine provision in low-resource settings, or other settings where the provision of several mesh sizes is not supportable, may be 8.5 cm x 14.0 cm.