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Hundreds of patients have filed product liability lawsuits against the manufacturers of their hernia mesh devices used in hernia mesh surgeries. These plaintiffs claim that the use of hernia mesh has resulted in severe complications. However, despite these complications the hernia mesh market continues to grow.
One news source has reported a growth in the number of lawsuits pending against Johnson & Johnson and its subdivision, Ethicon, regarding their hernia mesh products. As of July 2017, 84 lawsuits were currently pending, which is a 20 percent increase from the month before.
But, as litigation increases regarding hernia mesh products, the hernia mesh market continues to grow.
Data Bridge Market Research reports that in 2015, 11.2 million hernia surgeries were performed worldwide. By 2024, that number is expected to increase to 12.6 million, a rise of 1.7 percent.
What is Hernia Mesh?
Hernia mesh is a flat, screen-like medical device that is used to aid in the healing of hernias during hernia surgery. They come in the form of a patch, plug or sheet. These products have been in use for decades, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that hernia mesh products came into widespread use.
By the year 2000, 90 percent of hernia surgeries performed in the U.S. were done using a hernia mesh device.
A hernia is a tear or break in the muscle wall of the abdomen or groin. When this happens, fatty tissue, organs or intestines may protrude from the tear resulting in pain for the patient. This condition should be treated as it can become dangerous for the patient.
A hernia mesh product is used to strengthen the wall of the abdomen or groin during surgery. Some hernia mesh products are designed to be permanent. The tissue of the abdominal wall grows around the mesh and incorporates it into the abdomen for strength. Additionally, some hernia mesh products are designed to be incorporated and then dissolve over time.
Some hernia mesh products are synthetic, made from polypropelene, and some are biologic.
However, even though hernia mesh devices have been seen to have success with patients and help hernias not to return, there have been many problems associated with the devices. Many patients have to undergo additional surgeries because of severe and life-threatening complications.
The FDA reports that hernia mesh complications include pain, infection, hernia recurrence, scar-like tissue that sticks tissues together (adhesion), blockage of the large or small intestine (obstruction), bleeding, an abnormal connection between organs, vessels, or intestines (fistula), seroma, which is a fluid build up under the skin, and perforation.
The Hernia Mesh Market Grows
Because hernia mesh is so widely used in hernia surgeries and outcomes seem to be generally favorable, surgeons continue to use hernia mesh and the hernia mesh market continues to increase. Of the different types of hernia mesh, the United States leads the world hernia mesh market in consumption of biologic mesh products.
In fact, more than 50 percent of the world’s supply of biologic hernia mesh is used in the U.S. according to Data Bridge Market Research. This may be due to low costs and affordability not being an issue.
If you’ve experienced hernia mesh complications, contact the attorneys at McDonald Worley today for a FREE case evaluation.