The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported several hernia mesh recalls since 2005 from Atrium Medical, Bard Davol, and Ethicon. You are encouraged to contact your doctor as soon as possible to inquire about the hernia mesh implant used in your hernia repair surgery, to learn if your hernia mesh was recalled.
From 2005 to 2018, the number of hernia mesh implants to be recalled is estimated to be around 211,000. Regardless of the implant itself, the use of hernia mesh implants has also been reported to cause other complications and long-lasting side effects.
The FDA offers an online resource to learn more about recalled hernia mesh products. Continue reading to learn more about the potential for complications related to the defective mesh.
Reported Recalls and Related Reasons
The FDA has released information on three companies that have known recalls; Atrium Medical, Bard Davol, and Ethicon. The reasons for those recalls are:
- Improper packing
- Potential for the ring breakage and causing complications
- High failure rates
- Packaging defect
- Potential to lose the laminate coating
Many occurrences of complications were reported by doctors and patients, leading to the recall of the defective products.
Typical Hernia Mesh Devices Used in Surgery
The most common types of implants used in surgery to fix hernias are:
- Synthetic Mesh Material: this woven or non-woven mesh is derived from polypropylene which is a synthetic plastic. These mesh sheets are absorbable, non-absorbable, or a combination material.
- Animal-Derived Mesh: these mesh implants are derived from cow or pig. The absorbable mesh devices have been processed to serve the purpose of a surgical tool safely.
A non-absorbable device means that it will be a more permanent solution to the hernia repair because the mesh is supposed to remain intact to the hernia location. Absorbable mesh material is meant to degrade in the body, breaking down over time and allowing the body to form scar tissue to prevent recurrence of the hernia naturally.
Complications From Recalled Hernia Mesh Implants
Surgery of any type, especially hernia repair, is not 100% risk-free. Reports have shown many complications can develop from recalled hernia mesh. They include:
The hernia injury can reopen from the device failing to properly provide the necessary support.
The hernia mesh will shrink or contract and lose the proper support function to the surgery site.
The hernia mesh device will detach from the surgical site and gradually move inside the abdominal cavity.
Blockages can occur in the small or large intestines and prevent the proper flow of the bowels.
Scar tissue that problematically forms between bodily organs and the walls of the abdomen.
As defined by a study published in the Journal of Breast Cancer, seroma is a pocket of fluid that could develop around the surgical site. A visible bump may be visible, painful to the touch, and become infected.
These complications and the associated symptoms can happen regardless of a hernia mesh implant failure, but the chances exponentially increase when recalled devices are involved.
Reported Symptoms of Recalled Hernia Mesh
The symptoms that can accompany these conditions are:
- Mild to severe pain at or around the surgical site
- Abdominal discomfort
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in the urine
- Other flu-like symptoms
- Inflammation, heat, and redness, at or near the surgical site
- Bloating or distended belly
Serious, life-threatening medical conditions have developed due to the use of recalled hernia mesh implants. The complications and symptoms related to these devices have proven costly to the victims and their families.
Compensation for Hernia Mesh Victims
If you or a family member has experienced loss from a defective hernia mesh product, you may be able to recover your losses. Common damages recovered are:
- Past and future medical treatment
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries
- Past and future lost wages
- Diminished earning ability from being weakened by the injury
- Pain and suffering
Economic damages include medical expenses and lost wages. Pain and suffering and mental anguish are non-economic damages that are awarded by a jury based on the extent of the victim’s losses.
If a family member has been lost as a result of health conditions caused by a defective hernia mesh, you may be entitled to compensation to cover the burden of funeral and burial expenses. In addition, you could recover damages for lost support, protection, and companionship.
Berger and Green Can Help if Your Hernia Mesh Was Recalled
At Berger and Green, our dedicated attorneys are available to help you understand your rights when you or a family member have been affected by a recalled hernia mesh. You may be able to recover compensation for your losses. Call (412) 661-1400 for a free consultation to discuss your options for filing a claim.