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June 2016

Surgical Mesh Should Be Made Affordable to Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, California
  • 2Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(6):499-500. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.5456

Surgical innovation uses technology to improve patient outcomes. Two examples of highly prevalent diseases positively affected by applied technology have been inguinal hernias, for which the use of mesh has cut recurrence rates from more than 10% to less than 2%, and cholecystectomy, for which laparoscopy significantly reduced recovery times. Although these advances are now standard of care in high-income countries, they remain unobtainable in most low- and middle- income countries (LMICs) despite recent analyses that show surgical conditions have as great an effect on global health as infectious disease.1

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