Hernia mesh devices are designed to provide support to damaged or weakened tissue. Made from synthetic material or animal tissue, non-absorbable surgical meshes are permanent implants and are used to reinforce a repaired hernia.
But the FDA has stated that hernia mesh surgery can lead to complications, including infection, pain, recurrence of hernia, intestinal blockage, scar-like tissue that bonds together, bleeding, fluid build-up and holes in neighboring organs or tissues.
Mesh migration and shrinkage are two other complications that can have adverse effects on the patient.
Several mesh devices have already been recalled, and lawsuits have been filed by victims who were damaged by faulty hernia mesh devices.Complications of Hernia Mesh Medical Devices
One of the most common side effects of hernia mesh devices is infection, which can be difficult to treat. In many cases, the infection cannot be cured with antibiotics and the mesh must be removed in what's called mesh revision surgery.
Mesh revision surgery can be extremely painful, and can also lead to an extended stay in the hospital. Depending on the severity of the infection, large amounts of tissue may need to be removed.
Patients with mesh infections may experience:Inflammation
Hernia mesh is made from polypropylene, which actually causes inflammation. The inflammation is what promotes tissue growth around the mesh to create a stronger bond.
For some people, the inflammation disappears over time. For others, the inflammation remains and causes tenderness or pain in the abdominal area.Flu-Like Symptoms
Along with inflammation, patients may also experience flu-like symptoms, including:
Some hernia mesh devices have a coating of omega-3 fatty acids, which triggers an immune system response. When the immune system kicks into overdrive, the body displays flu-like symptoms.Chronic Pain
One of the most common complications of hernia mesh implants is pain. In fact, about 50% of patients experience pain. In some cases, the pain is so severe that it disrupts the patient's everyday life.
Pain can be caused by scar tissue or nerve damage.Legal Recourse for Victims of Hernia Mesh Complications
Victims of hernia mesh complications are filing lawsuits and seeking compensation for their pain and suffering.
One woman from Louisiana filed a lawsuit alleging that the Physiomesh device was responsible for her injuries and for the additional medical expenses she incurred for mesh revision surgery. Days later, a woman from Florida filed a lawsuit for the same reasons.
A Texas man filed a lawsuit after undergoing hernia surgery and having the Ethicon Physiomesh implanted. He's now battling with chronic pain, which has impacted his daily life.
The Physiomesh device is allegedly the cause of three deaths.
There are more than 2,000 pending lawsuits involving hernia mesh devices. Injuries range from infection to autoimmune problems, bowel obstructions and wrongful death. Patients often have to undergo additional surgeries to have the mesh removed after complications arise.
Many patients say they were never told of the possible complications and side effects the mesh may cause. Pending lawsuits allege several counts of negligence, including:
- Failure to warn the public of the risks
- Manufacturing a defective product
- Intentional concealing information about a defective product
- Intentional misrepresentation of the safety and quality of the mesh
Plaintiffs also allege that the manufacturers of hernia mesh devices failed to adequately test their products. Through the 510(k) clearance program, these medical devices are allowed to be put on the market without pre-market research, clinical trials or studies.
For victims of hernia mesh injuries, legal help is out there. Attorneys specializing in defective drug and medical device litigation can help victims recover damages for their medical bills, pain and suffering.