Author(s): Gundre NP, Iyer SP, Subramaniyan P
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Abstract Most patients who come to a general hospital in a developing country are poor. The most important prohibiting factor for use of polypropylene mesh in hernia repair is its exorbitant cost. Hence, research workers have been on the lookout for an equally effective but economically affordable mesh. Worldwide, surgical repair of inguinal hernia is the most common general surgery procedure performed at the present. Lifetime risk of groin hernia is 15\% in males and 5\% in females. Most of the patients who visit a general hospital are from either lower middle class or poor socioeconomic strata. The most important prohibiting factor for use of polypropylene mesh in hernia repair for the common man is its exorbitant cost. The aim of this study is to document the feasibility, safety and cost-effectiveness of the use of polyethylene mesh. A single blind, prospective, randomized controlled study, comparing 35 patients of two groups was conducted in a tertiary teaching hospital over a period of 5 years. The patients in both groups underwent inguinal hernioplasty, and were administered similar antibiotics and analgesics. The postoperative course with regard to pain, seroma formation, infection, hospital stay, recurrence and scar quality was evaluated and compared. Statistical analysis was performed with Chi square test. The properties of both meshes were the same with respect to ease of handling, pain score, seroma formation, infection rate, resumption of daily activities, scar quality and mesh rejection. Recurrence rate was zero for both groups. Polyethylene mesh was 2,808 times cheaper than the commercially available polypropylene mesh. This study proved the safety, simplicity, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of polyethylene mesh for inguinal hernia meshplasty, insuring economical, accessible health care for the financially weak section of the population.
This article was published in Updates Surg
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