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Eur Surg Res. 2007;39(5):312-7. Epub 2007 Jun 25.

Sterilized mosquito net versus commercial mesh for hernia repair. an experimental study in goats in Mbarara/Uganda.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Klinikum Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.



In industrialized countries alloplastic meshes are routinely used for hernia repair. However, in developing countries they are rarely available or affordable. This study compares textile properties and tissue response of commercial polypropylene mesh (PM) vs. sterilized nylon mosquito net (MN).


Textile properties were examined in vitro. In 12 goats one MN and one PM (5.5 x 8 cm) were implanted onto the posterior layer of the rectus sheath. Wound healing was clinically assessed. Histology was assessed after 4 or 16 weeks.


MN was thinner and lighter, but weaker than PM. All wounds healed without complications. After 16 weeks foreign body granulomas in the MN group contained a higher proportion of inflammatory tissue (32.7 vs. 22.1%) and more giant cells (3.1 vs. 1.7/10 granulomas) with a significantly lower partial volume of foreign body (23.2 vs. 36.9%). Partial volume of fibrotic tissue was similar. MN was 1,000-fold cheaper than PM.


PM was superior concerning strength and extent of inflammatory response. However, the findings indicate that MN might serve as a cheap substitute if an alloplastic mesh is needed but no commercial one is available or affordable. Further studies are justified which should include mosquito nets of different materials and long-term outcome.

Copyright 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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