No increased risk of carcinogenesis with mesh-based hernia repairs

Journal The American Journal of Surgery
Authors Chughtai B, Sedrakyan A, Thomas D, Mao J, Eilber KS, Clemens JQ, Anger JT
Year Published 2018
Link to publication



The use of synthetic mesh has been placed under considerable scrutiny. We sought to evaluate whether there is a link between placement of synthetic polypropylene mesh for hernia repair and a subsequent cancer diagnosis.


Adult men undergoing mesh-based hernia repair from January 2008-December 2009 in New York State were identified and followed through December 2014. Control cohorts of men undergoing cholecystectomy and total knee replacement were control cohorts.


1894 patients undergoing hernia repair, 912 patients in the cholecystectomy control cohort, and 1099 in the TKA control cohort with a cancer diagnosis. In the matched analyses of mesh-based hernia repair and cholecystectomy patients 6.5% vs. 7.1% developed cancer. In the matched analysis of hernia patients and TKA patients, 9.3% vs. 9.1% developed cancer. No association between mesh-based hernia surgery and increased risk of cancer was found.


Mesh-based hernia repair was not associated with an increased risk of subsequent development of cancer in men.