Severe Complications from Hernia Mesh? You May Be Eligible for Compensation
Hernias are a very common medical condition affecting men, women, and children. Hernias develop when an organ or tissue squeezes through an opening in the surrounding muscle or tissue that holds it in place. More than one million hernia repair surgeries are performed each year in the United States.
Hernia mesh is a screen-like material used to strengthen hernia repair. The mesh is made from surgical-grade materials designed to be implanted in the body. While it has a beneficial application, serious problems have been associated with its use. Some products have been reported to migrate through the abdomen causing injuries. The device has also been reported to fragment, degrade, or erode.
Many complications have been linked to the use of various brands of hernia mesh products. The most commonly reported problems with mesh devices include:
A research study reported in The American Journal of Surgery concludes that 11% of patients who have mesh-based inguinal hernia surgery experience chronic pain. For more than ¼ of these patients, the pain is moderate to severe. As a result of this level of pain, almost 1/3 of the patients suffer limitations in their day to day leisure activities.
There are numerous mesh-related issues which can cause chronic pain following hernia repair surgery. Some of these complications include:
- Mesh migration and contraction
- Inflammatory response to the mesh
- Excess scar formation (adhesions)
- Nerve entrapment
- Neuroma (pinched nerve) formation
- Seroma formation (buildup of fluid)
- Bowel obstruction
- Perforation of neighboring tissues or organs
- Fistula (abnormal connection between an organ and another structure)
The journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection reports that up to 8% of hernia repair cases have reported post-surgical mesh-related infections. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Redness of the skin
- Higher temperature in the area of the implant
- Feeling of illness
Researchers claim that although there are many types of surgical hernia mesh currently being used, there is no ideal product. Many of the complications with mesh can be linked to its chemical and structural nature.
Seroma (fluid buildup)
Perforation of neighboring tissues or organs
Adhesions (scar tissue that sticks two parts of tissue together)
Recurrence of the hernia necessitating additional surgery
Complaints, Investigations, and Recalls
Mesh failure has led to hundreds of complaints, numerous investigations, and several manufacturer recalls. The following are some of the companies and products represented on reports made by hernia mesh patients, doctors, and manufacturers to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) MAUDE (Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience) database:
- Bard Davol (a subsidiary of C.R. Bard)
- Problems reported with Kugel Hernia Patch, 3D Max Mesh, Ventralex Hernia Patch, Bard Perfix Plug, and Patch Mesh by Marlex
- Ethicon (A subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson)
- Problems reported with Proceed Hernia Mesh, Physiomesh Composite, and Prolene Hernia System
- Atrium Medical Corp. (a subsidiary of Maquet Getinge Group)
- Problems reported with C-QUR line of surgical mesh
- Covidien (a subsidiary of Medtronic)
- Problems reported with Covidien Parietex Progrip, and Parietex Composite Mesh
The complications, pain, and suffering from hernia mesh surgery can best be described in the patients’ own words. The following narratives are patient reports to the FDA:
- “Back to ER 6 hours after discharge for pain in area of mesh implantation near bladder. Never recovered from initial surgery, constant burning severe pain despite pain med. MD felt I was having a reaction or rejection to the mesh; back to operating room; surgeon said abdomen and pelvic area looked “like a bomb went off”… mesh removed…”.
- “…now I have chronic pain, sore at site, stomach extended more than I was nine months pregnant, back issues and small bowel obstruction, and in pain everyday”.
- “Three months following this surgery, symptoms mom developed, nausea, weakness, elevated wbc and was treated at home. She was then hospitalized severe weakness, elevated wbc… while hospitalized for 9 months developed severe rectal bleed, fistulas, had frequent colectomies ended up with ileostomy, elevated wbc up 49,000. Even her surgeon removed the infected hernia mesh. She suffered horribly in pain. The infection attacked her liver and (she) died of sepsis…”.
Your Legal Options
If you or a member of your family suffered severe complications from hernia mesh surgery, you may qualify for compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
Call us at (800) 684-2136 or fill out our contact form to discuss your legal options.
The consultation is free and confidential.