In regard to how long mesh hernia repair lasts, the non-absorbable product is supposed to remain in the body indefinitely. Absorbable mesh implants are specifically made from a degradable material that will dissipate over time.
Hernia mesh devices that are non-absorbable are usually made from a woven or non-woven synthetic mesh material very similar to a window screen. The popular varieties of non-absorbable, synthetic mesh are made from a plastic called polypropylene. There are non-absorbable, absorbable, and a combination of options available for hernia repair.
Many of the absorbable types of hernia mesh are made from biological sources like cow and pig. These devices are intended to degrade in the body over time, encouraging new tissue to reinforce the weak tissue where the hernia developed.
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 the year 2000, inguinal hernia repairs that did not use hernia mesh represented less than 10% of all surgeries.
Potential Complications of Hernia Mesh Devices
While hernia repair surgeries using mesh have a high success rate of keeping the hernia from reoccurring, 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 which keeps gas and food from passing naturally
- Seromas: a pocket of a clear liquid that can develop around the mesh that could become infected
- Fistulas: an abnormal connection that develops between two organs such as the rectum and the skin
- Perforations: hernia mesh could potentially puncture, or perforate internal organs
- Migration: when hernia mesh becomes detached and gradually relocates to another place in the body cavity
- Contraction: the shrinking of the hernia mesh device
- Recurrence: when the hernia mesh repair fails and allows the hernia to reopen
Complications with failed or defective mesh products could lead to serious, life-threatening health conditions. The mesh can also be rejected by the body, which could lead to inflammation, infections, belly distention, and 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 Have Been 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 have been 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 are experiencing any of these complications or related symptoms, 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.
There is an online resource offered by the FDA to learn more about recalled mesh devices.
Compensation for Patients with Defective Hernia Mesh Products
If you have experienced complications or have been implanted with a defective hernia mesh product, 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
Millions of dollars have already been paid to patients that suffered from these defective medical products. You may be able to recover damages that resulted from hernia mesh complications or if a recalled hernia mesh implant was used in your surgery.
Berger and Green Can Help with Your Hernia Mesh Complications Case
If you or a family member have suffered life-altering consequences from the use of a defective product, such as hernia mesh, contact an attorney at Berger and Green at (412) 661-1400 for a free, no-risk consultation to discuss your claim.
Our dedicated team of lawyers has handled defective product cases just like yours, and we are proud of the results we achieve for our clients. Attorney Laurence Green has over 40 years of experience handling personal injury cases for clients. We know how long mesh hernia repair lasts and are committed to working for clients that have been harmed by defective products.