Relatively common, hernias can run the gamut from large and painful to small and virtually unnoticeable. In fact, I noticed a (thankfully painless) hernia above my belly button after having my daughter via c-section. Not all hernias are painless, however, and people often opt for surgery to correct a painful or complicated hernia.
Usually, surgery fixes the problem, but sometimes hernia repair surgery can lead to more pain, complications, and even additional surgeries. When surgeons opt to use hernia mesh, problems can arise.
What is a Hernia Mesh
- Absorbable hernia mesh: This type of mesh loses strength over time as tissues in the body gain strength and start to take over.
- Non-absorbable hernia mesh: This type of mesh does not absorb, but remains in the body to provide long-term support.
- Synthetic hernia mesh: Synthetic mesh can be absorbable, non-absorbable, or a combination, and is often made of polypropylene, a type of plastic.
- Animal-derived hernia mesh: Animal-derived mesh is usually made from a pig or cow source. It’s typically created from the intestines or skin and is absorbable.
Regardless of the type of mesh your doctor chooses, problems with the mesh can lead to additional surgeries and even life-threatening complications.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams
Why are There Problems with Hernia Mesh?
While hernia surgeries that use mesh typically give longer-lasting results than those that don’t use mesh, there can be complications and risks. According to the FDA, “The most common adverse following hernia repair with mesh are pain, infection, hernia recurrence, adhesion, and bowel obstruction.” If you believe you are experiencing complications due to hernia mesh, it’s important you talk to your doctor immediately, as some complications can be life-threatening.
The following are some of the potential problems with hernia mesh:
- Small parts of the mesh can break apart and migrate to other parts of the body. The breakage also leaves behind sharp edges on the part of the mesh that is left in place.
- In other cases, the entire mesh can migrate to different parts of the body if it isn’t properly secured. This can also happen if the mesh causes excessive inflammation.
- The mesh can shrink, causing it to pull away from tissue. This can lead to torn tissue and/or excessive scar tissue.
- The body can reject the mesh, seeing it as a foreign object thus triggering the immune system to respond.
Additionally, there have been multiple recalls of hernia mesh. Many of the above complications are due to recalled mesh products. According to The New Yorker, this may be due to a lack of adequate clinical testing before the mesh products are made available to hospitals and used by doctors. The FDA also found that the majority of complications involving obstruction and bowel perforation were reported with recalled hernia mesh.
Signs There Is A Problem With Your Hernia Mesh
Once you’ve recovered from your hernia mesh surgery, you should not experience pain, inflammation, or other complications. A successful surgery should leave you feeling better and free from the initial symptoms of your hernia. If you do experience any of the below symptoms, it could be a sign something is wrong:
- Pain, tenderness, or discomfort near the site of your hernia repair
- Signs of infection, including inflammation, fever, and flu-like symptoms
- Bulging at the hernia site
- Constipation or irritable bowel symptoms
- Sexual dysfunction, particularly in men
- Nausea and vomiting
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and believe you have been harmed by hernia mesh, it’s important to talk to your doctor first and foremost. He or she can help determine if the problem is caused by your hernia mesh and develop a plan to solve the problem.
If you or a loved one have been injured by hernia mesh there are lawyers specialized in this field that can help you seek compensation and justice. Additionally, hernia mesh attorneys can help you navigate the legal process after a hernia mesh injury.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuit 2019 and 2020
As of March 2020, over 17,000 people have filed lawsuits due to problems with their hernia mesh. If you believe you have been harmed by Hernia Mesh you may be able to file a hernia mesh lawsuit; and an experienced attorney can help you through the process.
There are currently several multidistrict litigations (MDL) for hernia mesh, and you can join the thousands of others who are seeking justice for their injuries. Current MDLs are pending against Bard Davol, Atrium, and Ethicon—three companies that manufactured dangerous hernia mesh. Individual suits are also being filed against other companies, so regardless of the company that made your hernia mesh, you can seek justice.