Hernia mesh is a medical device used to repair damaged connective tissue around the hernia. It is implanted during surgery and attached with sutures.
The pores in the mesh allow the damaged tissue to grow into the device, which supports the primary repair of muscle tissue.
However, many side effects are associated with surgical mesh, including infection, erosion through the skin or organ walls, and pain.
These complications can lead to serious health issues such as nerve damage, chronic pain syndrome, or death.
If you suffered a hernia mesh injury? Are you seeking financial compensation? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury lawyers are legal advocates for injured patients seeking justice and financial compensation for damages.
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Preventing a Hernia
Most people with hernias can avoid hernia surgery if they strengthen their abdominal muscles through exercise or physical therapy.
Losing weight, quitting smoking, and avoiding heavy lifting can also help to reduce the risk of hernia recurrence.
Over the last few decades, medical device manufacturers have developed hernia surgical mesh implants that have worked effectively for hernia repairs.
The patient undergoes elective incisional hernia repair in many cases using synthetic materials and animal-tissue products.
Hernia repairs fix the damaged tissue and organs using non-absorbable mesh at the site. Surgeons use surgical tools and laparoscopic techniques to implant a composite mesh to avoid long-term recurrence.
Many new inguinal hernia repair surgery procedures and materials improve patient outcomes and promote new tissue growth at the permanent implant site.
Unfortunately, complications related to the non-absorbable mesh repair of abdominal hernias have created legal issues for doctors, hospitals, outpatient centers, and hernia mesh manufacturers.
Hernia Mesh Use Statistics
According to estimates, about 200,000 patients undergo surgery every year to implant hernia mesh.
Of those surgeries, more than 1 out of 3 could result in the implantation of hernia mesh.
When used properly, there is no doubt that medical devices like hernia mesh can successfully treat a wide range of health problems.
However, these products are only as safe as how they are used. Given how common it is for medical devices to be misused, this is a staggering number that could create adverse health effects and even cause serious injuries among those affected.
According to reports, nearly 100,000 people have filed lawsuits against hernia mesh manufacturers over complications associated with these devices within the past few years.
The majority of these cases allege that the manufacturers were negligent in their design and failed to warn patients about potential risks associated with their products.
Types of Hernias
Typically, a combination of pressure and muscle/connective tissue weakness or opening leads to a hernia. The pressure of the open area pushes against damaged tissue or organs, creating a weak spot or opening.
Any additional pressure can cause the abdominal area to increase, opening the hernia further.
Common types of hernias associated with lifting heavy objects, obesity, constipation, diarrhea, sneezing, or persistent cough include:
- Femoral: This type of hernia develops through an abdominal scar or an incision in the upper thigh area.
- Inguinal: This hernia is located in the groin and is the most common type. Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair help promote new tissue growth and permanent reinforcement to the area.
- Umbilical: This type of hernia is located around the navel.
- Hiatal: This type of hernia is located in the upper stomach area, near the diaphragm.
- Spigelian: This type of hernia is located between the rectus abdominis muscle and the spine.
- Ventral: This type of hernia occurs near the groin and results from abdominal muscles being too weak to support the abdomen.
- Epigastric: This type of hernia occurs near the stomach and results from abdominal muscles being too weak to support the abdomen.
Hiatal Hernia Treatment
Hiatal hernias are often treated with medication, lifestyle changes, and/or surgery. If you have a hiatal hernia, you may find relief by avoiding certain foods that cause digestive issues.
- Sodas or carbonated beverages
- Spicy foods
- Tomatoes and tomato-based products
- Dairy products
If medications or lifestyle changes don’t help, you may benefit from surgery.
To learn more about your hiatal hernia treatment options and whether or not you might be a candidate for surgery, talk to your doctor.
Inguinal Hernia Treatment
The most common type of hernia, inguinal hernias, is usually treated with anti-inflammatory medications.
Lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking and losing weight, may also help to reduce the risk of hernia recurrence.
If bleeding is severe, the doctor may need to stitch (suture) the tear or tissue (closing).
Laparoscopic Incisional Hernia Repair
During this type of hernia repair, the surgeon makes three small incisions in the abdomen and inserts a camera and special surgical instruments to repair the hernia. This surgery is often done using general anesthesia.
Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair
This hernia repair is done through a tiny incision in the belly button. The surgeon inserts a camera and special surgical instruments to repair the hernia. It is often done with general anesthesia.
Open Incisional Hernia Repair
This procedure involves making a large incision in the middle of the abdomen. Then, the surgeon places internal stitches to repair the hernia. Open procedures are done with either local anesthesia or general anesthesia.
Spigelian Hernia Treatment
Spigelian hernias are often treated with laparoscopic surgery that involves making a small incision near the hip bone.
The surgery usually takes about 1 to 2 hours under general anesthesia. During this surgery, the surgeon will place stitches (sutures) around the hernia opening to keep it from coming back.
- Non-absorbable mesh use for hernias mesh use in the treatment of hernias was first reported in 1885 when Cooper tried to repair rectal prolapse using dried pig intestine.
- Bulking agents are substances introduced into the hernial sac to provide bulk.
- Stress-shielding is the introduction of a foreign material around the hernia defect to protect the surrounding tissue and organs from the pressure of the contents of the hernial sac.
- Incisional hernia repair is the surgical hernia repair with mesh is often the only treatment recommended for an open repair.
- The use of metal and animal tissue mesh to repair hernias was first described in 1888 by Rudolph Matas, an American surgeon.
- In 1892, Hern described a surgical repair using silver wire mesh for inguinal hernia repair.
- Mesh for hernia repair closure of mesh in hernia surgery is effective but unreliable.
What Are Hernia Mesh Complications Related to Issues at the Repair Site?
The Food and Drug Administration reports that the most common complications associated with hernia mesh implants include:
- Mesh migration: Typically, Non-absorbable mesh migration occurs when the device begins to move from its original location after being implanted. A compromised hernia repair with Surgical mesh material can cause many problems, including pain, inflammation, and organ damage.
- Mesh contraction: Surgical mesh contraction is another common complication associated with hernia mesh implants. Surgical mesh that contracts at the previous hernia repair site can cause severe pain and other complications, failing to provide permanent reinforcement.
- Infection: Infections are a serious risk associated with hernia mesh implants. When this occurs, the body’s immune system will attempt to fight off the infection and lead to further complications, including organ damage.
- Organ perforation, including bowel perforation: The risk of organ damage increases because hernia mesh implants are inserted through an incision in the abdomen or groin area.
Consequently, a misplaced or poorly sized permanent implant may lead to the hernia mesh being pushed through the tissues lining the abdomen and potentially puncturing organs such as the intestine, bladder, colon, urethra, or other structures.
- Hernia recurrence: A hernia mesh implant may also lead to a hernia recurrence. In some cases, the surgical mesh can become embedded in damage to tissue and can be difficult to remove.
- Scarring: The tissue surrounding the hernia mesh implant can become scarred. Scar tissue can also lead to recurrences of the hernia.
In some cases, a blood clot can also occur due to surgery that involves implants. In addition to potentially causing pain and further complications, blood clots can also lead to fatal conditions such as stroke and heart attack.
Meshes have been used for decades under the assumption that everything was safe. But in recent years, mounting evidence suggests otherwise.
Thousands upon thousands of U.S. Citizens have reported being injured during or after mesh-surgery operations of their permanent implant, and some of them claim that their hernia surgery mesh implants were the cause.
Many lawsuits have been filed against surgical mesh manufacturers.
However, many companies are still selling their dangerous products to United States citizens nationwide despite being aware of the dangers of the medical device to repair hernias.
Who is at Risk for Hernia Mesh Complications?
While any individual who undergoes surgery to implant hernia mesh is at risk for developing complications, those who are considered to be at a higher risk include:
- Individuals who are obese or have a history of obesity
- Individuals who smoke or have a history of smoking
- Individuals who have had previous surgery on their abdomen
- Individuals who have a family history of hernias
Surgical mesh implantation is also not recommended for pregnant women or those currently breastfeeding.
Hernia mesh complications are rare but can be serious.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to hernia mesh, our lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are available to help.
We have assisted many patients just like you obtain compensation after suffering from surgical mistakes or defective medical devices.
Call us today for a free consultation at (888)-424-5757 or fill out our online contact form. We will get back to you as soon as possible, 24 hours a day.
Hernia Mesh Side Effects
In addition to the complications associated with hernia surgical mesh implants, other side effects can be associated with their use.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that some of these side effects may include:
- Excessive bleeding: Internal bleeding where the hernia mesh was implanted is often the result of the doctor’s use of an electrocauterization or laser during implantation. It can lead to excessive blood loss, requiring hospitalization for transfusions.
- Open wound: If the doctor uses a cauterizing tool on the patient’s tissue during surgical procedures of the medical device using animal-based or synthetic materials, there is also a risk of the implant site becoming infected. The result may be an opening in the skin that will require intensive treatment.
- Allergic reaction: In some cases, patients may suffer from an allergic reaction due to implantation. It can show itself as swelling, hives, and difficulty breathing.
- Hernia recurrence: Even after the surgical mesh repair material has been implanted, there is still a risk of hernia recurrence or the development of a new hernia. It is often due to the surgical mesh becoming displaced or, in some cases, eroding through the tissues.
- Adverse reaction to the surgical mesh material: The body might reject the surgical mesh material, resulting in severe pain and discomfort.
- Infection: When there is an open wound, the risk of infection is much higher than normal. The combination of a foreign body and an open would cause serious complications.
- Surgical mesh shrinkage: Some hernia meshes are made from absorbable materials that eventually shrink and dissolve. When the mesh no longer provides support, this can lead to more complications.
- Failure of the hernia repair device: The hernia mesh may not handle its demands. An error usually causes it during hernia repair surgery or a defect in the product itself.
- Erosion into blood vessels or organs: Surgical mesh made from absorbable materials can actually erode through tissues and enter the bloodstream, resulting in further complications. Surgical mesh can also result in the erosion of internal organs.
- Injury to surrounding tissues: In some cases, the surgical mesh is not properly anchored and begins to work its way through the soft tissue around it. It can lead to bowel obstruction, bowel perforation, or injury around other internal organs.
- Numbness or tingling around the implant site can result in numbness or tingling in the groin area when nerve damage occurs.
- Death: While this is relatively rare, individuals with implantation complications have died due to excessive internal bleeding and organ perforation.
Hernia mesh use statistics show that a high percentage of patients experience some after effect after going under a surgical hernia repair.
A Surgical Mesh Hernia Repair Procedure
According to the American College of Surgeons (ACS), an estimated 90,000 Americans will undergo repaired hernia procedures every year.
During the operation, a surgical mesh patch fabricated with synthetic materials or animal-based products is sewn around the weak point in the abdominal wall to provide support and prevent it from rupturing again.
Hernias account for approximately 10% of all emergency room visits each year, with most patients treated and released without undergoing hernia repair surgery.
When surgical repair is necessary, a surgical medical device (mesh patch) is often the best option to repair a hernia. A synthetic material or animal-based mesh is sewn in place to provide support and prevent the hernia from recurring.
The use of surgical mesh has dramatically reduced the hernia recurrence rate from 50% to as low as 5%.many doctors recommend hernia surgery for bowel obstruction to repair hernias and promote tissue growth.
Prepping For Hernia Repair Surgery
Preparing for the surgical mesh for hernia mesh repair procedure requires:
- Talking to the doctor about any history of allergies, especially reactions to metal devices such as nickel or components that are used in plastic surgery
- Informing the medical practitioner of all prescription and over-the-counter medications being taken before the surgical procedure
The patient will be taken into a private room and asked to remove their clothing and put on a hospital gown. The repaired hernia area will be shaved and cleaned with an antiseptic.
A local anesthetic will be injected into the skin around the hernia and damaged tissue.
Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the surgeon will make a small incision in the abdomen and repair the hernia using the mesh patch. The mesh is then sewn in place with sutures.
The surgical procedure typically takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete.
After the Surgical Procedure
After the hernia surgery, the patient will be monitored in the post-operative area for some time before being discharged home. Pain medication may be prescribed to help manage any discomfort that is experienced.
It is essential to follow the doctor’s instructions for post-operative care to ensure a quick and uneventful recovery. Most patients can return to their normal activities within two weeks of the hernia repair surgery.
It is normal to experience some pain, swelling, and bruising after having the surgical mesh for a hernia repair surgery. However, it can take several weeks before patients start feeling like themselves again.
Any person who has been diagnosed with a hernia or has persistent pain should speak with their doctor. The surgical mesh for hernia repair procedures has dramatically reduced recurrence rates, but it is not the best option for every person.
Types of Mesh Used in Hernia Repair
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved using two different types of surgical mesh used in hernia repair: animal tissue and synthetic materials.
Synthetic mesh is made from various materials, including plastic, carbon fiber, or polyester.
Synthetic materials are generally preferred during hernia surgery due to their strength, durability, and minimal complications related to laparoscopic surgery.
Animal-based mesh is made from the intestines of pigs or sheep. This type of mesh is biocompatible, meaning that it is less likely to cause an adverse reaction in the body.
However, an animal-based mesh is more susceptible to infection and degradation over time.
How Long a Hernia Repair Should Last
A JAMA Surgery Hernia Repair study in 2014 revealed that using a hernia mesh implant during surgery may not improve the long-term outcome of the operation.
The study found that patients who received a hernia mesh implant during surgery were almost twice as likely to require additional surgery within five years than those who did not receive a mesh implant.
During surgery, hernia surgery meshes implant procedures are often used to repair hernias in patients with a weakened or compromised wall in the abdominal region that does not close properly.
When the abdomen walls are stretched out, they can tear and create a small hole through which organs can bulge. It creates a hernia.
Hernia meshes are often created from synthetic materials like polypropylene or polyester.
Hernia Mesh Manufacturer Recalls
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) monitors all hernia mesh recalls.
However, many companies have made a “market withdrawal” of their products over the years, removing them from the medical marketplace without an official “recall.”
The major dual mesh recalls over the last two decades include:
- Atrium medical (2013) recalled mesh products, including nearly 150,000 C-QUR units
- Covidien (2014) recalled mesh products, including two of its hernia mesh products
- Ethicon (2018) recalled more than 30,000 of its Physiomesh products
- Bard Davol (2013) recalled all of its Ventralex units
In the early 2000s, Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy division recalled nearly 100,000 ASR units.
While the number of reported adverse events is relatively small compared to the total number of devices implanted, there have been a significant number of reports involving serious injury and death.
Hernia Mesh Alternatives
Many surgeons provide hernia mesh alternatives in numerous surgical procedures.
Many of these alternatives involve stitched repair of all damaged tissue through various hernia repairs, including:
- Should ice hernia repairs
- Tension-Free hernia repairs
- Guarnieri hernia repairs
- Bassini Surgical hernia repairs
Many surgeons recommend that the patient undergo “watchful waiting” to avoid any surgical procedure. In these cases, the doctor will likely monitor their patient’s health condition and the extent of injuries until surgery is the only option.
In many cases, watchful waiting is beneficial to individuals with no symptoms or signs associated with painful hernias.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
Have you or someone you love experienced any side effects listed above? Have you filed a hernia mesh lawsuit, or are you considering filing one?
If so, you should secure the services of an experienced hernia mesh lawyer. A skilled attorney will be able to review your case and determine whether you are eligible for compensation.
Many hernia mesh lawsuits are pending in court due to failed suture repair. Many more are expected to be filed in the coming months and years.
Mesh manufacturers face hundreds of lawsuits from people who have experienced severe complications after being implanted with their hernia mesh device.
Many lawsuits allege that the company knew about the risks associated with their hernia surgical mesh implants but continued to put the devices on the market anyway.
Hernia Recurrence: Taking the Next Legal Step with Defective Hernia Repair with Mesh
Every injured patient seeking financial compensation has the legal right to file a civil claim against the mesh manufacturer, distributor, and medical professional involved in their surgical procedure.
In addition, the injured party must undergo revision surgery to remove or replace a defective mesh device in many cases.
If you have suffered injuries due to a defective hernia mesh implant, you should seek legal assistance immediately. An experienced hernia mesh lawyer can help you file a claim and obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
Hiring a Personal Injury Law Firm to Resolve a Compensation Claim
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our medical malpractice attorneys represent injured patients harmed through negligence. In addition, we handle product liability cases, including those involving mesh manufacturers.
Were you injured? Contact our law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.
We accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis.
This promise ensures you will pay nothing until your defective mesh attorney resolves your claim through a negotiated settlement or jury award.