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 ¤  Abstract
 ¤ Introduction
 ¤ Case Report
 ¤ Discussion
 ¤ Conclusion
 ¤ Supplementary File
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 411-414

Mesh migration into the sigmoid colon after total extraperitoneal hernioplasty – Report of a case and review of the literature

Department of Surgery, P. D. Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission23-May-2019
Date of Acceptance03-Oct-2019
Date of Web Publication17-Sep-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Maitreyi Patel
Department of Surgery, P. D. Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Veer Savarkar Marg, Mahim, Mumbai - 400 016, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmas.JMAS_122_19

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 ¤ Abstract 

Over the past three decades, the practice laparoscopic inguinal hernioplasty has gained momentum. Mesh migration after laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair is an uncommon mesh-related delayed complication which is more common after transabdominal preperitoneal repair as compared to total extraperitoneal (TEP) repair. We report the first case of mesh migration into the sigmoid colon after TEP presenting 10 years after surgery. A 72-year-old male presented with left iliac fossa pain and diffuse lump. His computed tomogram scan showed sigmoid colon adherent to internal oblique at the site of hernia repair with a collection containing air specks and calcification. A colonoscopy revealed mesh within the sigmoid colon. He had to undergo a sigmoidectomy with Hartmann's surgery for the same. Here, we discuss the implicated pathophysiology, management and prevention of mesh migration after laparoscopic inguinal hernioplasty with literature review.

Keywords: Laparoscopic hernia repair, mesh migration, sigmoid colon, sigmoidectomy

How to cite this article:
Patel M, Shenoy C, Nagarajan G, Chandiramani V. Mesh migration into the sigmoid colon after total extraperitoneal hernioplasty – Report of a case and review of the literature. J Min Access Surg 2020;16:411-4

How to cite this URL:
Patel M, Shenoy C, Nagarajan G, Chandiramani V. Mesh migration into the sigmoid colon after total extraperitoneal hernioplasty – Report of a case and review of the literature. J Min Access Surg [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 27];16:411-4. Available from:

 ¤ Introduction Top

Tension-free repair of inguinal hernia with the use of mesh for posterior wall reinforcement is an important step of both open and laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair since it decreases the chance of recurrence. Mesh-related complications occurring many years after a laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair have recently started, being reported in the literature. The more serious late mesh-related complications including contraction, erosion and migration into the adjacent organs are rare. There are rare isolated reports of complications for migrated mesh eroding into the colon. Here, we report a patient with migration of mesh into the sigmoid colon 10 years after a total extraperitoneal (TEP) repair for left inguinal hernia. Only two reports of mesh migration into the sigmoid colon after TEP have been reported previously; this is the first reported case of mesh migration into the sigmoid colon presenting 10 years after TEP.

 ¤ Case Report Top

A 72-year-old male patient presented to us with complaints of dull aching pain in the left iliac fossa and constipation for 3 months. He had undergone a TEP for a left inguinal hernia 10 years ago, using a microporous polypropylene mesh and non-absorbable tackers. His comorbidities included hypertension and ischemic heart disease. On examination, he was haemodynamically stable and had a palpable diffusely tender lump in the left iliac fossa measuring around 4 cm × 3 cm. The rest of the abdomen was soft, and per rectal examination was unremarkable. Haematological and biochemical investigations were normal. A contrast-enhanced computed tomogram revealed an ill-defined hypodense collection in the left iliac fossa, abutting the left rectus abdominis and left internal oblique muscles with the loss of fat planes [Figure 1]a. There was a suspicion of communication with distal descending colon and areas of calcification [Figure 1]a, and air specks were seen within the collection near the site of communication. Colonoscopy revealed a piece of mesh protruding within the lumen of the sigmoid colon occupying three-fourth of its lumen [Figure 1]b. There were isolated diverticula within the sigmoid.
Figure 1: (a) Computed tomogram image showing sigmoid adhesion to the left internal oblique (down arrow) and calcification (right arrow). (b) Colonoscopic image showing mesh protruding within the sigmoid lumen

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At exploratory laparotomy, a segment of sigmoid colon was found adherent to the abdominal wall and the area of the left internal ring [Figure 2]a. On adhesiolysis, a piece of polypropylene mesh along with metallic tacker was found exposed and penetrated into the sigmoid colon lumen from the preperitoneal space with a purulent collection of approximately 10cc around the area. The adherent segment of the sigmoid colon was resected and a Hartmann's procedure was performed. The mesh and tacks eroding into the sigmoid colon [Figure 2]b were removed, but no attempt was made to disturb medial part of the mesh incorporated in the extraperitoneal space. A lavage was given and a drain was placed in the area. The culture of the pus grew Escherichia coli sensitive to carbapenems, which was administered for 5 days. The patient made an uneventful recovery and was discharged on the 6th post-operative day. The histopathology of the specimen showed diverticular disease with perforation of the colon.
Figure 2: (a) Intraoperative image showing sigmoid colon adherent to the mesh (down arrow). (b) Sigmoidectomy specimen with mesh and tacker (up arrow) visible at the site of perforation

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 ¤ Discussion Top

Over the past three decades, the practice of laparoscopic inguinal hernioplasty has gained momentum. Mesh migration after laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair is an uncommon mesh-related delayed complication. Late complications of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair have recently started being reported in the literature. In a review of literature from 1992 to 2018 by Gossetti et al., the most common site of mesh migration after laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair was the sigmoid colon followed by the urinary bladder.[1]

Mesh infections occurring many years after inguinal hernia surgery have not been well-documented in the literature, and the pathogenesis and risk factors contributing to their development are not well understood. Direct contact between the mesh and viscera is implicated to be the cause of mesh-related visceral complications. This can occur when an inadequately fixed mesh migrates along the path of least resistance or when it is displaced by external forces (primary mesh migration). Another mechanism is when inflammatory granulation tissue at the site of the implanted mesh gradually involves the surrounding viscera through transanatomic spaces (secondary mesh migration).[2] This response can vary from person to person. In addition, sharp edges of the prosthetic mesh or tackers used for mesh fixation can cause serosal injury to viscera, initiating intra-abdominal inflammatory response and adhesions to viscera.[3] The coexistence of diverticular disease of the sigmoid may act as a trigger for the development of erosion or fistula formation.[4]

Thin devascularised peritoneal flaps can affect peritoneal closure, which may result in incomplete colonisation of mesh by mesothelial cells. This results in physical contact between the mesh and viscera, leading to chronic local inflammation.[5] This might explain why mesh migration is more common in transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) hernia repair as compared to TEP.

In our patient, the possible causes of mesh migration into the sigmoid colon could have been a missed breach in the peritoneum which resulted in contact between the sigmoid colon and mesh. Another cause could be serosal injury to the colon by tacker, eventually leading to localised inflammatory response. Sigmoid diverticulitis causing inflammation, abscess and erosion could be a possible cause of mesh migration in our patient.

The most common presentation of patients with mesh migration into the sigmoid colon is rectal bleeding, colonic obstruction and sigmoiditis [Table 1] [Supplementary File] [Additional file 1]. Our patient presented with a tender lump in the abdomen, which is an uncommon presentation. Acute inflammation and sigmoid wall thickening is a common colonoscopic finding.[6] Colonoscopy in our patient revealed mesh eroding into the sigmoid lumen.
Table 1: Mesh migration into the sigmoid colon after laparoscopic repair - Reports from literature (January 1992-May 2018)

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A definitive diagnosis of mesh migration may be difficult due to varied presentations and time to event, which can take several years after the surgery.

Surgical excision of infected mesh with resection or suture repair of involved viscera is required for the management of mesh migration. Sigmoidectomy was the most common surgery performed for mesh-related complications involving the sigmoid colon [Table 1] [Supplementary File].

It is important to avoid any contact between the mesh and peritoneum to avoid mesh migration. In TAPP repair, complete suturing of well-vascularised flap and repair of any peritoneal breech in TEPP should be ensured. The European hernia society guidelines suggest mesh fixation to be unnecessary in laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair.[7] The correct choice of mesh is important as well. Macroporous, monofilament, semiabsorbable mesh should be used instead of microporous mesh.[1]

 ¤ Conclusion Top

Mesh migration into the sigmoid colon is an uncommon late sequel of laparoscopic inguinal hernioplasty. The definitive diagnosis of this condition may be difficult due to diverse clinical presentations and time to event, which can take up to several years. It is important for the surgeon to be aware of the detailed surgical history of the patient. The management of these cases is multidisciplinary, involving surgeon, gastroenterologist, endoscopist and radiologist. It is important to have a high index of suspicion when interpreting clinical and radiological findings. Proper surgical technique and mesh selection can help to avoid such grave mesh-related complications of inguinal hernia repair.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient has given his consent for his images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patient understands that his name and initial will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal his identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


 ¤ Supplementary File Top

  1. Gray MR, Curtis JM, Elkington JS. Colovesical fistula after laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair. Br J Surg 1994;81:1213-4.
  2. McDonald D, Chung D. Large bowel obstruction: A postoperative complication after laparoscopic bilateral inguinal hernia repair. J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A 1997;7:187-9.
  3. Panzironi G, De Vargas Macciucca M, Ricci F, Angelini P, De Cristofaro F. A rare complication caused by prosthetic mesh in inguinal hernioplasty. A case report. Radiol Med 2000;100:506-8.
  4. t. Surg Endosc 2002;16:218-9.
  5. Bonner C, Prohm P. Clinical appearance of a colonic tumor following mesh migration after hernia repair. Coloproctology 2003;25:314-6.
  6. Lange B, Langer C, Markus PM, Becker H. Mesh penetration of the sigmoid colon following a transabdominal preperitoneal hernia repair. Surg Endosc 2003;17:157.
  7. Benes Z, Herdegen P, Puskárová G, Antos Z. Complications of laparoscopic procedures of inguinal hernias, diagnosed on colonoscopy. Rozhl Chir 2007;86:420-2.
  8. Tamam M, Yavuz HS, Hacimahmutoǧlu S, Mülazimoǧlu M, Kacar T, Ozpacaci T, et al. Direct radionuclide cystography imaging in colovesical fistula due to inguinal hernia operation complication. Ann Nucl Med 2009;23:693-6.
  9. 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.
  10. Karls KA, Lillemoe KD, DeWitt JM. Mesh erosion after inguinal hernia repair: A rare cause of acute lower GI bleeding (with video). Gastrointest Endosc 2011;73:1062-4.
  11. Degheili JA, Aboul Hosn M, El Lakis M, Hallal AH. Sigmoid to scrotal fistula secondary to mesh erosion: A rare complication of inguinal hernia repair in a patient on anticoagulation. BMC Surg 2015;15:94.
  12. A case of sigmoid-cutaneous fistula caused by a rolled-up mesh and sigmoid colon perforation after bilateral TAPP inguinal hernia repair. Wiad Lek 2015;68:108-10.
  13. Ramakrishnan P, Bansal S, Deuri B, Subbiah R, Palanisamy S, Palanivelu PR, et al. Asingle-centre experience of relaparoscopy in complications of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair-feasibility and outcomes. Surg Endosc 2016;30:2308-14.
  14. Na Y, Sun YH, Sun ZC, Xu HM. Mesh erosion into sigmoid colon after inguinal hernia repair. Chin Med J (Engl) 2017;130:1133-4.
  15. Ramanathan S, Krishnamoorty V, Ratnakar K, Thangavel P, Sundarraj R. Colovesical fistula secondary to hernia mesh migration: An unusual incident. J Coloproctol 2017;37:144-6.

 ¤ References Top

Gossetti F, D'Amore L, Annesi E, Bruzzone P, Bambi L, Grimaldi MR, et al. Mesh-related visceral complications following inguinal hernia repair: An emerging topic. Hernia 2019;23:699-708.  Back to cited text no. 1
Yamamoto S, Kubota T, Abe T. A rare case of mechanical bowel obstruction caused by mesh plug migration. Hernia 2015;19:983-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
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. 3
D'Amore L, Gossetti F, Manto O, Negro P. Mesh plug repair: Can we reduce the risk of plug erosion into the sigmoid colon? Hernia 2012;16:495-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
Hamy A, Paineau J, Savigny JL, Vasse N, Visset J. Sigmoid perforation, an exceptional late complication of peritoneal prosthesis for treatment of inguinal hernia. Int Surg 1997;82:307-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
Ratajczak A, Kościński T, Banasiewicz T, Lange-Ratajczak M, Hermann J, Bobkiewicz A, et al. Migration of biomaterials used in gastroenterological surgery. Pol Przegl Chir 2013;85:377-80.  Back to cited text no. 6
Simons MP, Aufenacker T, Bay-Nielsen M, Bouillot JL, Campanelli G, Conze J, et al. European hernia society guidelines on the treatment of inguinal hernia in adult patients. Hernia 2009;13:343-403.  Back to cited text no. 7


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1]


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