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May 1961

Knitted Marlex Mesh: An Improved Marlex Prosthesis for Repairing Hernias and Other Tissue Defects

Author Affiliations

From the Cora and Webb Madding Department of Surgery and Baylor University College of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1961;82(5):771-773. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300110133017

Recently the use of woven Marlex mesh1-4 in the repair of tissue defects in experimental animals and man was reported on. It was found that a taffeta weave of Marlex monofilament served as an excellent replacement prosthesis for chest wall and abdominal wall defects since it possesses several advantages over the metallic meshes and other synthetic fabrics currently used. It was found to have good flexibility and to be more resistant to fragmentation than the metallic meshes, to be inert in the presence of infection, and to incite a moderate degree of fibroplasia.

There were, however, several disadvantages inherent in the taffeta weave. The woven material lacked "give," or elasticity, a desirable feature in an abdominal wall prosthesis, and the cut edges would ravel unless heat-sealed. Sutures tended to displace the fibers of the mesh if placed under tension and would pull out unless the edges were folded.