Safety and sterilization of mosquito net mesh for humanitarian inguinal hernioplasty

World J Surg. 2011 Sep;35(9):1957-60. doi: 10.1007/s00268-011-1176-6.


Background: Inguinal hernia repair is one of the most commonly performed operations in Africa. Prosthetic repair with commercially available mesh is generally considered too expensive in low-income countries. Elective groin hernia surgery with mosquito net mesh has recently been described. However, can mesh sterility in resource-poor countries be guaranteed to ensure both effectiveness and safety?

Methods: Copolymer and polyester mosquito net mesh were steam-sterilized at varying temperatures. PubMed and EMBASE were searched using key words, MeSH, and subject headings (mosquito net mesh, mesh sterilization, inguinal hernia repair).

Results: Copolymer mosquito net mesh manufactured in India can be safely sterilized at lower (less "strict") temperatures (121°C) than those usually demanded by advanced health care systems (134°C). The literature search revealed a number of case series but all with limited follow-up. Available data, however, support the use of this type mosquito net mesh in the elective repair of hernias.

Conclusions: Hernia repair with mosquito net mesh is a plausible, safe, cost-effective alternative in low-income countries. Sterilization in steam autoclaves that have accurate temperature control is required.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Altruism
  • Bedding and Linens*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Developing Countries
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hernia, Inguinal / diagnosis
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mosquito Nets*
  • Poverty
  • Risk Assessment
  • Safety Management
  • Sterilization / methods*
  • Surgical Mesh*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome