Hernia mesh is a permanent implant that is commonly used to repair inguinal hernias. It is a synthetic device made out of polypropylene.
What seems like a routine and simple procedure can become a long-term nightmare as hernia mesh complications can arise within weeks or years after hernia repair surgery.
Patients need to be on the lookout for symptoms of hernia mesh failure because they can be life-threatening.
If you or a loved one have been injured by defective hernia mesh, you should contact an attorney for a free case review to see if you are eligible for financial compensation. Our law firm is actively prosecuting hernia mesh lawsuits.
Hernia Mesh Is Inserted Through Laparoscopic Surgery
A hernia occurs when the stomach or intestine bulges through an abnormal hole that should not be there. An umbilical hernia occurs when the intestine bulges through an abdominal hole near the belly button.
In any case, the doctor would need to repair the hole to put the bulge back into place.
In order to do this, the doctor often uses a piece of plastic called hernia mesh. The surgeon will sew the mesh into the surrounding tissue.
The resulting scar tissue from this medical device will provide support for the abdominal wall and the muscles to help them keep the bulge in place.
Hernia mesh is a synthetic material that is meant to remain in the body indefinitely. It is used to repair hernias and support weakened tissue.
It will support weak muscles until new tissue growth can make them stronger. When it functions properly, hernia mesh provides permanent reinforcement to the abdominal muscles.
Hernia Mesh Rejection Can Happen
Hernia mesh surgery does not always go as planned. When there are complications from the surgery, it is usually because of problems with the hernia surgical mesh implants.
This can happen months of years after the mesh repair. Remember that there is a piece of polypropylene permanently implanted inside of the body. Your body may simply not tolerate the foreign substance.
Common Symptoms of Hernia Mesh Rejection
Here are some of the common symptoms of hernia mesh failure and rejection:
- Swelling at the incision site
- Pain at the incision site
- Bowel obstruction
- Flu like symptoms
- Trouble with bowel movements
- Severe pain
- Hernia recurrence
- High fever
If there are hernia mesh complications, you will usually not have just high fever on its own. You will experience some other mesh complications.
Serious Complications Can Result from a Hernia Mesh Implant
One of the most common types of failure is mesh shrinkage. This is when the mesh material becomes worn down over time and becomes smaller.
Mesh shrinkage means that it cannot support the repaired hernia anymore. As a result, there may be hernia recurrence when the mesh shrinks.
Another serious type of rejection is mesh adhesion. This is when connective tissue and internal organs literally become stuck together by the hernia mesh.
Mesh Rejection Can Seem Like Flu Like Symptoms
When you have flu like symptoms after hernia mesh surgery, they are a sign of infection. While hernia mesh manufacturers promise that their product is inert (meaning bacteria could not grow on it), this is often not the reality.
Bacteria can build up on the mesh, and it can cause fatigue and a high fever. Other flu like symptoms include muscle weakness.
Symptoms of Bowel Perforation or Bowel Obstruction
One of the major complications of mesh rejection is obstruction or perforation of the bowels. When the body rejects hernia mesh, it can move out of place.
One of the places where it can go is to the large or small intestine. When a hernia mesh adheres to either the large or small intestine, it can cause bowel obstruction or perforation.
Besides the severe pain, one of the major dangers is the inability to pass stool. This often requires emergency surgery to remove the hernia mesh to relieve the bowel obstruction.
Ripped mesh can also cause these side effects. Pieces of the hernia mesh can poke at internal organs such as the intestines and bowels, causing the same type of problems.
Hernia Bulges Are a Sign of Rejection
Rejection may lead to hernia recurrence. If the body does not tolerate the mesh, the hernia may come back because the abdominal wall is no longer supported by the mesh.
You will likely feel the same symptoms that you experienced before you had the initial surgery. This will include pain or a bulge in the inner groin.
You will likely than need a second procedure to remove the rejected mesh and repair your hernia.
Mesh Migration Is Another Type of Failure
Mesh migration is when the hernia mesh moves away from the site of the hernia surgery. When there is mesh failure, your surgical mesh may not remain in place and could migrate away from the surgical site.
The problem for the patient is where this mesh goes when it moves out of place. It could move towards vital organs or the intestines. This could interfere with critical bodily functions.
Mesh migration could be a medical emergency because untended mesh failure could permanently damage these organs.
You Feel Chronic Pain
Severe pain is a sign that scar like tissue is forming in your body. This scar tissue can cause adhesion, when the mesh sticks together with vital organs or causes two organs to stick together.
When you have ongoing and sustained pain after a surgery that was supposed to fix the problem, it is a sign that something is wrong.
It could be that the hernia has returned or that the site has become infected.
Infection at the Surgical Site
Redness or pain at the surgical site is one of the first signs that there are hernia mesh complications.
This means that the body has not taken the surgical implant well. Infection is a sign that the body views the polypropylene hernia mesh as a foreign substance. It can also mean that bacteria has started to grow on the mesh.
Infection anywhere is the body’s way of telling you that there is trouble. This will be accompanied by a high fever, and it could be life threatening.
You Have Symptoms of Hernia Recurrence
When there is mesh failure, one of the first symptoms is chronic pain. You may see or feel a bulge because the hernia is no longer held in place by the mesh.
You could feel the same exact discomfort that caused you to seek treatment for a hernia in the first place. Patients may also feel bloating and constipation that are common signs of a hernia.
Severe Cases Are a Medical Emergency
When you have a serious infection, or the mesh is interfering with vital bodily organs, the mesh must be removed quickly.
The situation cannot be allowed to continue because it can put your life in danger. Doctors often decide that they cannot wait long to perform surgery to remove the mesh.
If you suspect that you are having mesh complications or mesh failure, you should see a doctor immediately and let them make the decision about the severity of your symptoms.
Surgical Removal is Often a Critical Necessity
Failed mesh must be taken out of the body, since it is often a serious complication. In many cases, the symptoms of hernia mesh failure can be life threatening.
However, surgical mesh is not always easy to remove from the body. When the hernia mesh ripped, small pieces can be scattered throughout the body.
The surgeon may not be able to remove all of them in one procedure. In some cases, the mesh has become intertwined with the surrounding tissue, and doctors cannot easily remove it.
After the mesh has been removed, the patient will usually need another hernia surgery. These hernia repairs can use surgical mesh, animal tissue, or it can be done as a natural hernia repair.
Animal Derived Mesh Has Proven to Be Safer
Mesh made out of animal tissue is far less likely to be rejected by the body. This is a more natural product, and the body is better able to integrate it.
As a result, some surgeons are switching to animal derived mesh. Right now, animal tissue mesh costs far more than synthetic mesh, so the cost would need to come down further for this to be more widely used.
However, synthetic hernia mesh is far from the only treatment for a hernia.
Filing a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
If you have experienced hernia mesh failure symptoms because of defective mesh, you may be eligible for financial compensation.
Manufacturers with recalled mesh products by the Food and Drug Administration have been made to pay in court cases for the defective medical devices that they sold.
Contact the attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers at (888) 424-5757 to schedule your free initial consultation.
Whether you have been injured by recalled mesh products or any other type of hernia mesh, we can help.
Our team of medical device attorneys is well versed with cases involving hernia mesh failure and hernia mesh complications and is ready to assist you.