Defective Products Medical Devices & Implant Personal Injury

The Problems that Hernia Mesh Can Cause to Patients

At our firm we have been litigating hernia mesh cases for consumers nationwide. But most people when they are told that their hernia can only be fixed with mesh implants are not aware that there are other options, or that mesh can often be defective.

What is a Hernia

A hernia occurs when an organ, intestine or fatty tissue squeezes through a hole or weak spot in the surround muscle or connective tissue. They often occur in the abdominal wall. Sometimes hernias can be an external bulge that is visible to the eye.

Causes of Hernias

Most hernias are caused by a combination of pressure and an opening or weakness of muscle. The pressure pushes an organ or tissue through the opening or weak spot. Sometimes the muscle weakness is present at birth but most commonly occurs later in life. There are many ways a hernia could occur. Including obesity, lifting heavy objects, diarrhea, constipation or persisted coughing or sneezing. Poor nutrition, smoking and overexertion can weaken muscles and contribute to getting a hernia.

Types of Hernias

Most Common Types of Hernias:

  • Inguinal: occurs in inner groin

  • Femoral: Occurs in the upper thigh/outer groin

  • Incisional: Occurs through an incision or scar in the abdomen

  • Ventral: Occurs in the general abdominal/ventral wall

  • Umbilical: Occurs at the belly button

  • Hiatal: Occurs inside the abdomen, along the upper stomach/diaphragm

Hernia Treatments

Non-surgical starts with the surgeon watching the hernia. They will make sure that it is not getting larger or causing pain. Although surgery is the only treatment that can repair hernias, many procedures are elective for adult inguinal hernias. Waiting is an option for people who do not have complications from their hernia.

There are two surgical operations. Laparoscopic is when the surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen that allows surgical tools into the openings to repair the hernia. This option can allow the hernia to be repaired with or without mesh. Open repair is when the surgeon makes an incision near the hernia and the weak muscle around it is repaired. This option can also be done with or without mesh.

Hernia Mesh Brand Recall List

Atrium– This mesh was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 2006. It has continued to be associated with problems. There are two versions, one is used for pre-peritoneal repairs and another with placement in the intra-abdominal area. These were designed for small hernia issues.

Bard- Bard has a product called Sepramesh IP composite. This is supposed to incorporate itself into the tissue and is made with polyglycolic acid and polypropylene. This product is used to reconstruct soft tissue loss. It has also been associated with serious side effects that often require surgery to correct.

Covidien- This in one of the most recognizable names because of the numerous claims against its products. Parietex hernia mesh was one product that used polyester material rather than polypropylene. While it tried to fix the problems associated with this product, the safety of the mesh was not tested before being put on to the market.

Ethicon- This Physiomesh was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2010 and the product was launched in October 2010. Nevertheless, Ethicon was taken off the market due to issues with the base layer, which is made of polypropylene. This plastic material is coated with polymeric films which is supposed to cause the material to degrade, but often remains in the body for a long time.

Reasons for Hernia Mesh

Throughout the years, the FDA has announced several manufacture recalls in current years. Some recalls were for minor errors such as packaging but, others were for serious complications. The FDA issued a safety communication on Hernia Mesh in later years. This was not the public about hernia mesh complications. The agency identified the top five of the most common complications from the recalled mesh.

1.     Pain

2.     Infection

3.     Hernia

4.     Adhesion (sticking to the organs)

5.     Bowel Perforation (cutting holes in the intestine)

Some people suffer from pain that interferes with their daily lives. This pain can last from months to years. Symptoms can include, a burning sensation near the surgical area, swelling and pain during intercourse, and nerve damage or a reaction to the mesh. Treatment for the pain could include, nerve damage surgery, painkillers, and mesh removal.

Complications from Hernia Mesh

These hernia mesh products have caused a wide range of complications and side effects. Most include severe pain. Most require surgery to correct the damage. The most common complication from the product is also the most serious. Following the rejection of the mesh can be adhesion bowel obstruction and the risk of major infection. This complication can also be life threatening.

The mesh also migrated to other areas of the body causing issues. One of the most common being bowel obstruction. Common side effects of this could eb, nausea and vomiting and unable to pass stool and gas. The treatment must be immediate, or the person could die. The obstruction will cut off blood flow, which will allow part of the intestine to die and need to be removed.

Other complications may also occur right after the initial surgery. However, it can also be years before a person experiences the complications. Lawsuits have been filed for the hernia mesh complications that resulted from recalled products or those that have been deemed to be defective.