Given normal circumstances, and without the presence of certain complications, hernia mesh can be removed safely. However, there are known medical issues with hernia mesh that, if present, can make the process of removal more difficult.
Hernia mesh is a surgical device used to support weak, soft tissue, known as fascia, in the abdomen or groin that has opened and could allow internal organs to push through. It is most commonly secured to the fascia using sutures or staples and, ideally, will allow the body to develop new tissue around the area.
For many years, the use of hernia mesh has become the most recommended way to fix hernias and prevent a recurrence. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than one million cases of hernias happen in the U.S. per year. Today, an estimated 80 percent of all repair surgeries use hernia mesh.
However, as with any surgery, there is a risk of things going wrong. So many factors, from the cleanliness of the operating room to the surgical tools used, could potentially lead to complications.
Common Hernia Mesh Implants
The most common types of hernia mesh implants are:
- Synthetic mesh material
- Animal-derived mesh
- Combination of absorbable and non-absorbable mesh
Synthetic mesh material is most commonly a form of plastic call polypropylene. The device is essentially a patch that resembles a window screen. The non-absorbable forms are intended to be a permanent fix to repair the opening created by a hernia.
The animal-derived mesh is an absorbable mesh implant that will gradually degrade in the body, allowing the body to reinforce the tissue around the surgical site naturally. These mesh implants are derived from cow and pig sources and processed in a manner that is safe for medical use.
Complications and Symptoms of Rejected or Defective Hernia Mesh
Typically, hernia mesh is an effective surgical tool and considered reasonably safe. However, a study published in Membranes found that “infection, adhesion, and bowel obstruction” often occur. Some reported complications of rejected or defective hernia mesh are:
- Recurrence: the hernia mesh can potentially fail and cause the hernia to reopen.
- Migration: the mesh could detach and relocate to an unintended position.
- Contraction: a complication when mesh devices shrink inside the body after implant.
- Adhesion: other body organs can bind to the hernia mesh.
- Perforation: this complication occurs when the mesh punctures the wall of internal organs.
- Seroma: a pocket of clear fluid can develop around the mesh or surgical site and become potentially become infected.
- Fistula: after a hernia repair surgery, two organs can become unnaturally connected by a fistula. A common example is a connection between the rectum and the skin caused by a hernia in the groin.
Common symptoms that can develop when a patient experiences these complications are:
- Inflammation, redness, and heat, around the surgical site
- Nausea and vomiting
- A visible bump
- Distended belly or bloating
- Firmness near the hernia repair
- Mild to severe pain in the vicinity of the hernia
- Notice of blood in the urine
- Other flu-related symptoms
Complications related to hernia mesh could be life-threatening if medical attention is not received. If there is any cause for concern or you are experiencing any of these symptoms after a hernia surgery when mesh was implanted, contact your physician immediately for an evaluation.
Recalled Hernia Mesh
Since 2005, the FDA has reported over 211,000 hernia mesh devices have been recalled. The purpose of the recall on these defective products include:
- Improper packing
- The ring breaking on the device and causing complications
- High failure rates
- Potential for the device to lose the laminate coating
- Packaging defects
There is an online resource provided by the FDA to learn more about defective hernia mesh devices and the companies behind the recalled products.
Recoverable Damages for Patients Affected by Defective Hernia Mesh Products
If you or a family member has been affected by defective products such as hernia mesh, the damages you could recover in a claim are:
- Medical bills
- Future care
- Past and future lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries
It is incredibly painful when a product we trust to keep us safe causes the untimely death of a loved one. If your family member has passed as the result of a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation to cover costly funeral and burial expenses, loss of support, loss of companionship, loss of protection, and a number of other damages.
Berger and Green Can Help With Your Hernia Mesh Defective Product Case
Hernia mesh can be removed safely, but it can also result in adverse reactions when the product is defective or recalled. At Berger and Green, our dedicated lawyers are standing by to provide you with more information about defective product claims. Call us at (412) 661-1400 for a free, no-obligation claim evaluation. A team member is available 24/7 to provide you answers to your important questions regarding defective or recalled hernia mesh implants.