Many patients must undergo hernia mesh surgeries to repair hernias, however there are potentially serious side effects associated with hernia mesh.
Hernia mesh products were developed as far back as the 1940s, but didn’t come into popularity until the 1980s for help in the repair of hernias in hernia mesh surgeries. By the year 2000, more than 90 percent of hernia surgeries performed in the United States used a hernia mesh device.
According to the FDA, a hernia mesh device is a “medical device that is used to provide additional support to weakened or damaged tissue.” Most hernia mesh devices that are currently in use are made from polypropylene.
They are screen-like devices that can be in the form of a patch, a plug or a sheet. Other types of hernia mesh devices include absorbable and non-absorbable as well as non-synthetic varieties. Non-absorbable hernia mesh will remain inside the body as a permanent implant, while tissue begins to grow around it.
Hernia mesh devices are used to strengthen the area around a hernia. A hernia is a break or tear in a muscular wall, often the abdominal wall, and organs, fatty tissue or intestine pushes out through the hole.
It is painful and can be dangerous if left untreated. There are many types of hernias including hiatal (occurring inside the abdomen at the upper stomach or diaphragm), umbilical (at the belly button), ventral (in the general abdominal wall), incisional (through an incision or scar), femoral (upper thigh or outer groin) and inguinal (occurring in the inner groin).
Because of the commonality of hernias, many patients have to undergo hernia mesh surgeries. The FDA reports that more than 1 million hernia surgeries are done in the U.S. each year. Most of these hernia surgeries are performed using hernia mesh.
Hernia mesh surgeries are often preferable because the rate of hernia recurrence is reduced. However, many patients report severe complications associated with hernia mesh surgeries and many have to undergo additional hernia mesh surgeries to address complications.
In fact, some hernia mesh products have even been recalled due to the high incidence of complications from hernia mesh surgeries.
Side effects from all types of hernia surgeries include “pain, infection, hernia recurrence, scar-like tissue that sticks tissues together (adhesion), blockage of the large or small intestine (obstruction), bleeding, abnormal connection between organs, vessels, or intestines (fistula), fluid build-up at the surgical site (seroma), and a hole in neighboring tissues or organs (perforation),” according to the FDA.
However, with hernia mesh surgeries, additional complications such as bowel obstruction, bowel perforation, adhesion, hernia mesh rejection, migration and chronic infections have been reported. Each of these complications are considered serious.
A 2016 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at 3,000 hernia mesh patients. The study found that they had a lower rate of hernia recurrence, however, one third of those patients required additional hernia mesh surgeries to address hernia mesh pain and inflammation problems. Adhesions, bowel obstruction, bowel perforation and bleeding occurred in many of these patients.
The product liability attorneys at McDonald Worley offer free case consultations to potential plaintiffs seeking compensation to cover medical expenses as well as pain and suffering related to the serious side effects of hernia mesh surgeries. Learn more by filling out the form on this page.