A net or mesh is applied during surgical treatment of an inguinal hernia, making it possible to reduce the risk of relapse to 2%. It is made of biocompatible material that cannot be absorbed by the body, but is colonised by fibroblasts and encapsulated. Cases where encapsulation fails to occur are rare (rejection).
If the herniated tissues are still in good condition, due to the young age of the patent or because the abdomen has been strengthened through specific exercises, it is possible to avoid insertion of a mesh, opting for the Shouldice technique (suturing without a mesh) instead.
Unfortunately, not all surgeons are skilled in this technique, developed by the Canadian physician Shouldice, which has a relapse rate of 3% (if performed by an expert) compared to 2% for the classic technique using a mesh.
Nevertheless, use of a mesh is simpler with more uniform results: even a surgeon with average experience can place a mesh, achieving good results.
As already mentioned, meshes are made from non-reabsorbable materials, whereby their use is contraindicated in young patients and in women of childbearing age, where only reabsorbable materials should be used, even if they are less reliable over time.