Scientists develop new 3D hernia implant

Credit: Fotolia
Credit: Fotolia

Krakow scientists have developed a 3D implant, adapted to the anatomy of patients, for the surgical treatment of inguinal hernia.

The new implant, an inguinal laparoscopic anatomical mesh, is a non-absorbable, surgical mesh product, manufactured using the knitting technique of transparent and blue monofilament yarn, which adapts to the body.

Krzysztof Karbowski from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering from the Krakow University of Technology said: “Creating an implant that cooperates with the human body was possible, inter alia, thanks to the use of computed tomography images to develop models of the body's anatomical structures and, on their basis, designing the shape of the implant, and then the moulds for its production.”

The first implantation of the Optomesh 3D ILAM (Inguinal Laparoscopic Anatomical Mesh) in a patient will take place on September 14 at the Matopat Specialist Hospital in Toruń. The surgery will be performed by co-inventor Professor Maciej Śmietański from the Medical University of Gdańsk. 

The event will accompany the Congress of the Association of Polish Surgeons and will be broadcast online.

During the surgery, in order to strengthen the damaged tissues and structures of the abdominal wall, special synthetic meshes are is sewn into the patient. 

Professor Śmietański said: “Their introduction in the second half of the 20th century revolutionized the methods of treating hernias and completely changed the prognosis after such procedures, but did not solve all the problems.

“The inelastic meshes, not taking into account the complicated structure of the abdominal walls and the protuberance of the groin of a particular patient, caused postoperative complications, pain and sensation of a foreign body in the body, as well as the recurrence of hernias.”

He added: “Implants evolved, and the dream of medics was to move towards light implants tailored to a specific patient when treating hernias, instead of strong, dense polypropylene or polyester weaves.”

The new implant and the unique process of its production are the next steps in the development of hernia treatment. 

Śmietański said: “The use of a tomograph that collects anatomical data and processes files for industrial machine tools used to produce an implant based on the concepts of mathematics, physics and durability, is the future of this field of surgery.”

Inguinal hernia is a pathological condition when, due to the weakening of the inner layer of abdominal muscles, the person's internal organs protrude from the abdominal cavity and create a painful and burdensome bulge in the groin area, resembling a soft tumour. It requires surgical treatment. 

According to data from the National Health Fund, in 2019 in Poland almost 70,000 abdominal hernia surgeries with an implant were performed, of which nearly 55,000 concerned the inguinal hernia (PAP)

The new solution was developed by its employees in collaboration with doctors and engineers from the Medical University of Gdańsk and the Łódź company Tricomed.

Author: Beata Kołodziej

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