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 Table of Contents     
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 139-142

Mesh erosion into urinary bladder following laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair

1 Department of Urology, Army Hospital Research and Referral, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Surgery, Command Hospital Air Force, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission27-May-2016
Date of Acceptance15-Aug-2016
Date of Web Publication9-Mar-2017

Correspondence Address:
Ameet Kumar
Department of Surgery, Command Hospital Air Force, Bangalore - 560 007, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9941.195579

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 ¤ Abstract 

Along with advantages, evolving surgical techniques bring unique complications. A young male developed urinary symptoms a few months after undergoing laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. On evaluation, mesh erosion into the urinary bladder was found. Removal of mesh with repair of bladder was done. A vesico-cutaneous fistula resulted which was managed with repeat surgery. We review all such cases reported in literature; discuss the etiopathogenesis, presentation, management and possible preventive measures. To the best of our knowledge, this is only the 12th case being reported.

Keywords: Complications, laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair, mesh erosion, urinary bladder, vesico-cutaneous fistula

How to cite this article:
Sandhu AS, Kumar A, Kumar BN. Mesh erosion into urinary bladder following laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. J Min Access Surg 2017;13:139-42

How to cite this URL:
Sandhu AS, Kumar A, Kumar BN. Mesh erosion into urinary bladder following laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. J Min Access Surg [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Sep 17];13:139-42. Available from:

 ¤ Introduction Top

Along with advantages, evolving surgical techniques bring unique complications. The posterior approach to inguinal hernia (IH) repair, especially the laparoscopic approach has its own set of complications, one of them being mesh erosion into viscera. While mesh erosion into bowel has been reported, erosion of mesh into the urinary bladder (UB) has only infrequently been reported.[1] We report a case of a young male who underwent totally extraperitoneal (TEP) mesh repair for IH and ended up with a delayed complication of mesh erosion into the UB.

 ¤ Case Report Top

A 32-year-old male underwent TEP for left IH at another centre. Six months later, he reported to that centre with urinary retention for which he was catheterised. A cystopanendoscopy (CPE) was done, findings of which were not available. Thereafter, he was put on alpha-blockers and discharged after he was voiding well. A year later, he again reported to that centre with terminal haematuria and dysuria on and off. CPE was done with findings of a passable stricture of bulbomembranous urethra and irregular thickening in the left anterolateral wall of UB. He was managed as a case of urinary tract infection (UTI) and discharged. A few months later, he reported back with same complaints and was investigated. Urine microscopy/culture, renal function tests, ultrasound kidney UB (KUB), retrograde cystourethrogram and micturating cystourethrogram were normal. A computed tomography (CT) urography demonstrated mesh migration into the left anterolateral wall of UB [Figure 1]. CPE confirmed the findings of CT urography. Removal of mesh with repair of the bladder in two layers was done via an extraperitoneal approach. A suprapubic catheter (SPC) was done in addition to per urethral catheter (PUC) and a drain placed. The drain and SPC were removed on POD-5 and PUC on POD-10. Following this, he developed a urinary leak from the wound. A CPE found a rent in the dome of UB. The rent was closed in two layers over SPC. Post-operative, the patient again developed urinary leak from the wound.
Figure 1: Computed tomography urography revealing mesh erosion into the left anterolateral wall of urinary bladder

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Then, he reported to our centre with complaints of a persistent urinary leak from the wound and minimal urinary output per urethra. He had a 10 cm × 4 cm wound with a vesico-cutaneous fistula [Figure 2]. He was initially managed conservatively with the placement of SPC and PUC, culture-specific antibiotics and daily dressings. The wound healed gradually, and the SPC was removed. He had a tiny fistulous opening in the lower midline scar. CT fistulogram revealed a vesico-cutaneous fistula arising from the left anterolateral wall of UB [Figure 3]. He finally underwent excision of the veisco-cutaneous fistula and repair of the bladder, 3½ years after the initial surgery (TEP). Post-operative recovery was uneventful. Histopathology of the fistula revealed chronic inflammation with foreign body type giant cell reaction. Six months following discharge, he is doing well [Figure 4].
Figure 2: At presentation to our centre; vesico-cutaneous fistula following the surgery for mesh removal

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Figure 3: Computed tomography fistulogram showing the vesico-cutaneous fistula

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Figure 4: Follow-up photograph at 6 months showing a healthy scar

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 ¤ Discussion Top

Mesh-related complications inherent to a laparoscopic IH repair wherein the mesh is placed in a preperitoneal space are mesh migration and mesh erosion into viscera with consequent fistulisation. The only cases of such complication reported with anterior repairs are those in which a mesh plug was inserted and had migrated.[2] Mesh migration may occur consequent to non-fixation/improper fixation of mesh and have been noticed more frequently with the transabdominal preperitoneal approach than TEP.[1] The hypotheses put forwards to explain mesh erosion are (a) mesh infection with subsequent fistulisation, (b) partial injury to the adjacent visceral wall and (c) direct erosion of the mesh into the viscera due to its proximity.[3] Our case had undergone TEP and tacks were used that could be seen in the CT scan.

Mesh erosion into UB can present as recurrent UTI, haematuria, vesico-cutaneous fistula or mimic an intravesical stone. It is prudent to have a high degree of suspicion in patients with previous laparoscopic IH surgery who present with these symptoms. This is more relevant when the patient is young as was our case. The initial CPE findings of UB wall thickening was ignored leading to increased morbidity to the patient. Agrawal and Avill reported one such case wherein similar findings were present, and repeated cystoscopy clinched the diagnosis.[4]

Initial investigations for such cases would be a urine microscopy/culture which would show evidence of UTI and the offending organism; X-ray KUB may show a focal opacity in the region of UB depending on the extent of calcareous deposit on the eroded mesh. Vital to clinching a diagnosis would be a CT urography and cystoscopy, both of which are complementary to each other. CT scan would reveal a fistula and thickening of the bladder wall whereas the cystoscopy would directly visualise the eroded mesh, often buried under calcareous deposits.[5]

The optimal management of such cases would be mesh explantation through an extraperitoneal approach, identification of the rent in UB, trimming it to healthy margins and repair in two layers with the placement of both SPC and PUC along with drainage of the space of Retzius. This case was managed on similar lines at the previous centre. Why the repair failed is a matter of speculation. The possible causes may have been tension at the suture line or infection. Furthermore, has been reported a case of successful cystoscopic removal of the mesh.[4] However, in our opinion, this approach could be hazardous for two reasons. One, dense adhesions may prevent the retrieval of mesh and in the process, the rent could be worsened and two, the rent is not addressed and could lead to a persistent fistula.

We did an extensive literature search and identified 11 reported cases of mesh erosion into UB following laparoscopic IH repair. The details of these cases are given in [Table 1]. Thus, ours is only the 12th case to be reported since the first report that was published in 1994.
Table 1: Summary of cases of mesh erosion into the urinary bladder following laparoscopic repair of inguinal hernia reported in literature

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The mesh erosion can possibly be prevented by meticulous dissection with avoidance of bleeding. This would help in good vision and prevention of injury to viscera. Furthermore, creating optimal space so that the mesh can be properly spread out, avoiding wrinkling (small space) or migration (larger than necessary space). At this time, it would be incorrect to advocate mesh fixation as a preventive method as the worldwide; surgeons are moving away from using tackers due to its complications like inguinodynia. Further, these tackers themselves may cause direct injury to viscera when placed inappropriately. A safe method to fix may be using fibrin glue.

 ¤ Conclusion Top

Mesh erosion into UB is increasingly being reported. A high index of suspicion is warranted when patients with a history of laparoscopic IH repair report with urinary complaints. An early intervention may reduce the morbidity. And as is often said, prevention is better than cure.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest. [13]

 ¤ References Top

Hamouda A, Kennedy J, Grant N, Nigam A, Karanjia N. Mesh erosion into the urinary bladder following laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair; is this the tip of the iceberg? Hernia 2010;14:317-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
Chen MJ, Tian YF. Intraperitoneal migration of a mesh plug with a small intestinal perforation: Report of a case. Surg Today 2010;40:566-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
Han HJ, Kim CY, Choi SB, Kwak JM, Lee SI. Sigmoid colon fistula following totally extraperitoneal hernioplasty: An improper treatment for mesh infection or iatrogenic injury? Hernia 2010;14:655-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
Agrawal A, Avill R. Mesh migration following repair of inguinal hernia: A case report and review of literature. Hernia 2006;10:79-82.  Back to cited text no. 4
Hume RH, Bour J. Mesh migration following laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. J Laparoendosc Surg 1996;6:g333-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
Gray MR, Curtis JM, Elkington JS. Colovesical fistula after laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. Br J Surg 1994;81:1213-4.  Back to cited text no. 6
Rieger N, Brundell S. Colovesical fistula secondary to laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal polypropylene (TAPP) mesh hernioplasty. Surg Endosc 2002;16:218-9.  Back to cited text no. 7
Bodenbach M, Bschleipfer T, Stoschek M, Beckert R, Sparwasser C. Intravesical migration of a polypropylene mesh implant 3 years after laparoscopic transperitoneal hernioplasty. Urologe A 2002;41:366-8.  Back to cited text no. 8
Jensen JB, Jønler M, Lund L. Recurrent urinary tract infection due to hernia mesh erosion into the bladder. Scand J Urol Nephrol 2004;38:438-9.  Back to cited text no. 9
Ngo T. Surgical mesh used for an inguinal herniorrhaphy acting as a nidus for a bladder calculus. Int J Urol 2006;13:1249-50.  Back to cited text no. 10
Chowbey PK, Bagchi N, Goel A, Sharma A, Khullar R, Soni V, et al. Mesh migration into the bladder after TEP repair: A rare case report. Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech 2006;16:52-3.  Back to cited text no. 11
Kurukahvecioglu O, Ege B, Yazicioglu O, Tezel E, Ersoy E. Polytetrafluoroethylene prosthesis migration into the bladder after laparoscopic hernia repair: A case report. Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech 2007;17:474-6.  Back to cited text no. 12
Kocot A, Gerharz EW, Riedmiller H. Urological complications of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair: A case series. Hernia 2011;15:583-6.  Back to cited text no. 13


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]

  [Table 1]


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