According to the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), hernia mesh repairs usually last five years. However, each case varies depending on the type of mesh used and other medical complications.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that each year, there are well over one million hernia repairs performed across the country. As much as 80% are inguinal hernias–hernias in the groin. In addition, by 2000, inguinal hernia repairs that did not use hernia mesh represented less than 10% of all surgeries.
Types of Hernia Mesh Products
Non-absorbable, absorbable, and other options are available for hernia repair. After a hernia mesh repair, the non-absorbable product is supposed to remain in the body indefinitely.
Absorbable mesh implants are specifically made from a degradable material that dissipates over time. This encourages new tissue to reinforce the weak tissue where the hernia developed.
Non-absorbable hernia mesh devices are usually made from woven or non-woven synthetic mesh material similar to a window screen. The popular varieties of non-absorbable, synthetic mesh are made from a plastic called polypropylene.
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Potential Complications of Hernia Mesh Devices
Hernia repair surgeries using mesh have a high success rate of keeping the hernia from recurring. However, there are many reports of complications from defective hernia mesh products.
These common complications are:
- Adhesions: Internal organs become attached to the hernia repair site.
- Bowel obstruction: When an internal organ, such as the intestines, attaches to the hernia mesh, an obstruction can occur. This keeps gas and food from passing naturally.
- Seromas: A pocket of a clear liquid can develop around the mesh that could become infected.
- Fistulas: An abnormal connection can develop between two organs, such as the rectum and the skin.
- Perforations: Hernia mesh could potentially puncture internal organs.
- Migration: hernia mesh can become detached and gradually relocate to another place in the body cavity.
- Contraction: The hernia mesh device can shrink.
- Recurrence: The hernia mesh repair can fail, allowing the hernia to reopen.
Complications with failed or defective mesh products could lead to serious, life-threatening health conditions. The body can also be reject the mesh, which could lead to:
- Belly distention
- Flu-like symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and high fever
If you have noticed any of these symptoms occurring any time after your hernia surgery, call your doctor immediately.
Hernia Mesh Recalls Reported By the FDA
A study published by BMJ found that over 170,000 people had been affected by hernia mesh complications by 2018. FDA reports that over 211,000 hernia mesh devices were recalled from 2005 to 2018. The companies that have had products recalled are:
- Atrium Medical: Due to improper packing
- Bard Davol: Due to the potential of the ring on the device breaking and leading to complications
- Ethicon: Due to high failure rates, the potential of losing the laminate coating, and a packaging defect
One product in particular from Atrium Medical, the C-QUR mesh, has many cases of causing serious problems after being used in hernia repair surgery.
If you experience any of these complications or related symptoms of hernia mesh failure or defect, contact your physician immediately—as serious health conditions could occur. In addition, even if you are not yet experiencing symptoms, call your doctor to inquire whether your mesh implant is part of an active recall.
The FDA offers an online resource to inform more about recalled mesh devices.
Compensation for Patients with Defective Hernia Mesh Products
If you have experienced complications or have had a defective hernia mesh product implanted, you may be able to receive compensation for losses, such as:
- Medical expenses: Doctor’s appointments, emergency room visits, additional surgeries, ambulance transportation
- Out-of-pocket expenses: Any cost related to the injury from a defective product
- Lost wages: Income not received due to missed work
- A decrease in earning ability: If you have been injured to the point of temporary, partial, or permanent disability
- Pain and suffering: Physical pain and emotional suffering from the injury and loss of quality of life
Your defect or medical malpractice lawyer could recover damages for your hernia mesh complications (or if a recalled hernia mesh implant was used in your surgery).
Wrongful Death Damages
If you lost a loved one due to medical complications after a hernia mesh repair, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit. No amount of compensation can replace your family member. However, a settlement or verdict can help you deal with the financial fallout of their passing.
A wrongful death lawsuit may yield awards for:
- Funeral arrangements
- Your loved one’s medical expenses
- Loss of income your loved one would have provided
- Your loved one’s pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium for the companionship your loved one provided
Our legal team can determine who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Usually, a spouse, child, or parent of the deceased can take legal action.
Our dedicated team of lawyers have handled defective product cases and we are proud of the results we achieve for our clients. Our attorneys have the experience needed if you have suffered an injury. We are committed to working for clients that defective products have harmed.
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Berger and Green Can Help with Your Hernia Mesh Case
If you or a family member have suffered life-altering consequences from using a defective product, such as hernia mesh, contact Berger and Green at (412) 661-1400. We can provide a free, no-risk consultation to discuss your claim.