Hernia mesh products manufactured by medical device makers like Ethicon and C.R. Bard have been linked to a possible increased risk of serious complications, possibly resulting in a hernia recurrence and the need for revision surgery. If you have suffered chronic pain, bleeding, infection, hernia recurrence, or another debilitating side effect, and you believe hernia mesh to be the cause, consult a knowledgeable hernia mesh attorney today for legal help.
You may have grounds to file a hernia mesh injury lawsuit against the device manufacturing company, in order to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, and other damages.
Hernia mesh is a special type of medical device used to treat a hernia, which occurs when an organ, intestine or fatty tissue protrudes through a hole or weak spot in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue, typically at the abdominal wall. According to the FDA, the most common types of hernias are inguinal (inner groin), femoral (upper thigh/outer groin), incisional (through an incision or scar in the abdomen), ventral (in the abdominal/ventral wall), umbilical (at the belly button), and hiatal (inside the abdomen, along the upper stomach/diaphragm). Some of the most widely-used hernia mesh products include:
Hernia mesh is designed to provide additional support to weakened or damaged tissue, and many hernia mesh products contain a type of plastic known as polypropylene, which can cause serious complications if it comes in direct contact with the bowels. Rather than replace the polypropylene with another material, which would have to be extensively studied before being approved by the FDA, mesh manufacturers began to apply various types of coatings to their mesh products, known as composite mesh, in order to create a barrier between the polypropylene and the bowels. Unfortunately, research has shown that even composite mesh can cause serious complications, and a growing number of hernia mesh lawsuits are now being filed by patients who were implanted with a hernia mesh device, and have since suffered one or more serious adverse effects.
According to a report issued by the FDA in 2016, the most common side effects of hernia mesh are the following:
• Hernia recurrence
• Scar-like tissue that sticks together (adhesion)
• Mesh migration
• Blockage of the large or small intestine (obstruction)
• Mesh shrinkage
• Abnormal connection between organs, vessels, or intestines (fistula)
• Fluid build-up at the surgical site (seroma)
• A hole in neighboring tissues or organs (perforation)
A number of studies published in recent years have highlighted the potential side effects of hernia mesh, one of the earliest being a study published in 2009, which examined the “problem of mesh shrinkage in laparoscopic incisional hernia repair.” According to the researchers, “The surgeon has to anticipate the significant mesh shrinkage in laparoscopic hernia mesh repair.” Another hernia mesh study was published in the journal Surgical Infections in August 2012, and found that the polypropylene plastic used in many hernia mesh products is “characterized by high tensile strength and vigorous tissue ingrowth, but is unsuitable for intra-abdominal placement because of its tendency to induce bowel adhesions.”
In March 2016, the journal Surgical Endoscopy published research comparing the outcomes of 25 patients implanted with Ethicon’s Physiomesh hernia mesh device and 25 patients implanted with Ventralight hernia mesh by C.R. Bard. According to the study findings, within six months of implantation, 20% of the Physiomesh patients suffered a hernia recurrence, compared to 0% of patients implanted with Ventralight hernia mesh. That same year, a study published in the medical journal Hernia highlighted possible mesh complications in 31% of the 632 patients studied for two years after being implanted with hernia mesh, including necrosis, cellulitis, seroma, hematoma and fistula.
In April 2016, the FDA published an article on hernia mesh, identifying “pain, infection, hernia recurrence, adhesion and bowel obstruction” as the most common adverse events associated with hernia mesh implants, as well as other possible complications, like mesh migration and mesh shrinkage. Just one month later, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary removed its Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh device from the market, due to a high rate of complications reported in connection with the hernia mesh. Now, hernia mesh lawsuits involving Ethicon’s Physiomesh device and other hernia mesh products are beginning to move forward in courts across the country, as patients become aware of the potential for the mesh to cause serious side effects.
Hernia repair is one of the most common types of surgeries performed in the United States, with nearly half a million patients undergoing surgical hernia repair every year. Unfortunately, patients who have been implanted with a hernia mesh device may be at risk for serious mesh complications, like mesh shrinkage, adhesion, hernia recurrence, pain, infection, and bowel obstruction. If you or a loved one underwent surgery to receive a hernia mesh device, and you have since suffered one or more alleged mesh side effects, contact an experienced hernia mesh injury lawyer today to discuss your legal options.