Hernias can leave the sufferer with persistent pain, but for some patients, undergoing laparoscopic hernia repair surgery wasn’t the solution they were hoping for.
Surgeons often implant surgical mesh to support the weakened tissue that caused the hernia. Hernia mesh can be absorbable and dissolve in the body over time, or nonabsorbable and remain indefinitely. The device is either made from natural materials like pig or cow tissue, or synthetic materials.
The mesh can migrate or shrink, perforate organs, and cause serious health issues like bowel obstruction, peritonitis, abscess, or sepsis.
Patients who receive hernia mesh are four times as likely to suffer complications than patients who don’t though. The mesh can migrate or shrink, perforate organs, and cause serious health issues like bowel obstruction, peritonitis, abscess, or sepsis. These complications often require additional surgery to remove the mesh.
Patients are filing personal injury lawsuits against hernia mesh manufacturers, including Ethicon, who makes Physiomesh, and Atrium, who makes C-QUR products. Both mesh products are made from polypropylene plastic, which lawsuits allege is not compatible with the human body.
Lawsuits also accuse Ethicon and Atrium of designing an unreasonably dangerous product and failing to warn patients and the medical community of its health risks.
If you suffered complications caused by hernia surgical mesh, contact us today for a free legal consultation to find out if you are eligible for a lawsuit.
HERNIA MESH SIDE EFFECTS
Hernia mesh can cause severe complications that predominately affect the abdominal area, intestines, and bowels. Lawsuits allege the following hernia-related side effects:
- Perforated intestines
- Perforated bowel
- Intestinal fistulae
- Bowel obstruction
- Bowel resection
- Abdominal wall tears
- Lack of ingrowth of mesh
- Puncture of other abdominal organs
- Adhesions of the mesh to material of the bowel
- Hernia recurrence
- Chronic Pain
- Nerve entrapment
- Buildup of scar tissue
In some cases, the body can reject the hernia mesh as a foreign object, resulting in an infection. Infections can appear as quickly as two weeks after surgery, or as long as 39 months post-surgery.
One study published in Clinical Microbiology and Infection found hernia infection rates to be as high as 8% in patients.
Symptoms of a hernia mesh infection can include:
- Increased temperature
- Flushed skin
These infections can cause discharging fistulas (abnormal connections between two organs, blood vessels, or intestines) and intra-abdominal abscess (collections of pus or infected fluid in the abdomen surrounded by inflamed tissue).
Infections can often be treated with antibiotics. But, in some cases, patients will require additional surgery to remove the surgical mesh.
Matthew Huff, the plaintiff for the first Physiomesh lawsuit scheduled for next year, suffered from an infection after being implanted with the mesh for an abdominal wall hernia. Two years later, he required revision surgery. The Physiomesh allegedly caused an infection, two abdominal abscesses, and intestinal fistulas.
HERNIA MESH CAN MIGRATE AND SHRINK
The surgical mesh may shrink, stretch, or even migrate from its original position.
It isn’t just the material of the surgical mesh that can cause medical complications, but also its size and location. Once implanted, the surgical mesh may shrink, stretch, or even migrate from its original position. This movement can perforate and injure the intestines, bowels, and other nearby organs.
But often the area that’s vulnerable when the mesh alters size or position is the hernia itself. If the weakened tissue is left inadequately supported, the hernia can come back.
Hernia recurrence often requires another surgery to repair the hernia. Recurrent hernia repair surgeries though are even more likely to result in complications than the first operation.
Ethicon recalled Physiomesh in July of 2016 because the product had a higher risk of recurrence and revision surgery than other brands.
Bowel Adhesion, Obstruction
Hernia mesh is also associated with bowel complications. In some cases, the mesh can stick to the bowel, causing the intestine to kink. Over time, this kink may result in an obstruction.
In some cases, the mesh can even erode through the bowel. When this happens, it can cause the bowel to leak.
Some models of hernia mesh, like the C-QUR hernia mesh, are coated with an Omega-3 gel coating. This fish oil base is designed to reduce inflammation and prevent surrounding tissue from attaching to it. However, the unique substance can trigger an allergic reaction in some patients.
A 2008 study of hernia mesh-related chronic pain estimated that 11% of patients will suffer chronic pain following hernia repair surgery.
In some cases, the pain may be caused by nerve compression syndrome. This is caused when too much pressure is applied to the nerves.