Study Says Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Complications Caused by Shrinkage

Hernia mesh has been used for more than 100 years; however, scientists and researchers have discovered that some mesh products are prone to shrinkage and alteration, making patients more likely to experience problems.

Researchers, doctors, and patients are becoming increasingly alarmed by evidence that polypropylene hernia mesh is not compatible with the human body. This commonly used mesh product has been linked with many medical complications including:

  • Infections
  • Fibrosis
  • Adhesions
  • Mesh rejection
  • Reoccurrence of hernias

“Most surgical meshes used currently are chemically and physically inert, nontoxic, stable and non-immunogenic. However, none of them are biologically inert, a property related to the mesh physiology and its role into the hernia repair process,” notes a recent study published in Membranes, a medical journal. “Implantation of any prosthetic material is quickly followed by an extraordinarily complex series of events that mark the initiation of the healing process.”

However, some polypropylene hernia mesh products have been shown to shrink by up to 70 percent, according to a study conducted in 2011. The study noted that the more polypropylene contained in the hernia mesh increased the rate of shrinkage.

Shrinkage of polypropylene hernia mesh can cause a number of serious complications for patients, including infection, adhesion, and bowel obstruction.

According to recent litigation over polypropylene hernia mesh, the manufacturers of the mesh were aware that the material was incompatible with the human body, but failed to warn the public. Most litigation surrounding the polypropylene hernia mesh concerns products developed of Ethicon and Atrium C-Qur; however, other manufacturers are being implicated in hernia mesh lawsuits as well.

Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Complications

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Urology notes that polypropylene is not inert as previously assumed when implanted into the human body. 

“Many substances added to polypropylene for various purposes during manufacture behave as toxic substances that are released during the degradation process,” states the article. “The material may also absorb various substances. These alterations in the chemical structure of polypropylene are responsible for visibly demonstrable fiber changes, resulting in the loss of structural integrity through material embrittlement.”

Additionally, recent litigation has revealed that medical device manufacturers have used plastic that was discovered to be unfit for use in humans in their polypropylene hernia mesh products.

Polypropylene hernia mesh has been associated with a number of side effects that are related to the chemical and structural nature of the mesh itself. According to researchers, implantation of hernia mesh will have one of three outcomes – integration, encapsulation, or degradation of the mesh.

“In order to have a minimal inflammatory response to better integrate it to the body, it is highly important to improve biocompatibility,” state the researchers.

If you or a loved one have suffered side effects after being implanted with polypropylene hernia mesh, contact the experienced attorneys at McDonald Worley today.. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses as well as for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced.


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