THE CLINICAL use of Marlex mesh in inguinal hernia repair was first described by Usher in 1959.1 Prior to this, the material had been extensively tested in laboratory animals and its properties documented.2 This present report reviews the author's experience using Marlex mesh in 70 repairs of inguinal hernia over a seven-year period, 1959 to 1965, inclusive.
Marlex is a high density polyethylene fiber which is loosely woven to form a pliable mesh which is well tolerated by the tissues even in the presence of infection. (The Marlex mesh currently available is made of knitted polypropylene fibers, giving a mesh which is somewhat more pliable than the original polyethylene mesh. It has the added advantage of a higher melting point [335 F] permitting resterilization by autoclaving. The original Marlex mesh had to be boiled in water, cold-sterilized, or gassterilized for reuse [melting point 270F].) It stimulates fibroblastic proliferation