Migrating mesh mimicking colonic malignancy

Am Surg. 2006 Dec;72(12):1210-1.


The use of prosthetic mesh is the current acceptable standard for the repair of hernias. Recurrence rate has been greatly reduced since Lichtensen in 1986 first described mesh repair of inguinal hernias. The most common complication arising from inguinal hernia repair even with mesh is recurrence. There are isolated reports of migrated mesh in the three decades of mesh use in hernia repair. We present a case report of a migrated mesh plug presenting with features highly suggestive of an intra-abdominal neoplasm in a 63-year-old man who presented with weight loss, anorexia, fatigue, and a palpable right lower quadrant mass. Work up had revealed a large inflammatory mass involving the cecum and not amenable to percutaneous or colonoscopic biopsy, thus requiring diagnostic laparoscopy. He had a right inguinal hernia repair with mesh 8 years earlier. At diagnostic laparoscopy, an extensive right lower quadrant mass involving the cecum, bladder, and transverse colon and extending to the midline was found, necessitating conversion to open laparotomy and a right hemicolectomy. A mesh plug was found intimately involved with the specimen. Plugs used in inguinal hernia repair rarely migrate. It is rarer still for them to present as a possible colonic mass. This is the first known case report of mesh plug migration presenting as a suspected colonic malignancy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Colectomy
  • Colitis / diagnosis
  • Colon, Transverse / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Cystitis / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Foreign-Body Migration / diagnosis*
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / diagnosis
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surgical Mesh / adverse effects*
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed
  • Typhlitis / diagnosis