All You Need to Know about Hernia Mesh Failure

Mesh used for hernia repair surgery has a high failure rate, and that failure can cause injuries to patients. If you have been injured by a mesh implant, you may be able to file a claim for compensation.

Shouse Law Group is accepting clients who have suffered harm due to hernia mesh failure. Contact us if you have questions after reviewing this or any other hernia mesh page.

Hernia mesh operating room
Mesh used for hernia repair surgery has a high failure rate, and that failure can cause injuries to patients.

1. Why is hernia mesh used?

Hernias do not repair on their own. In some cases, no surgery will be required, but in most cases, it will be. Either sutures or mesh can be used to repair the surgery. Doctors tend to prefer mesh for two reasons: (1) hernia recurrence is more likely with sutures; and (2) the use of mesh reduces muscle tension that results from use of sutures that force the muscle together.

When repair surgery is performed, either through open or laparoscopic surgery, the use of mesh can help decrease the recovery time. If the mesh does not fail, patients are often able to return to their daily routines faster than if sutures had been used to repair their hernia.

2. What does mesh failure mean?

Hernia mesh failure means that the mesh used in your hernia repair surgery failed to perform as it should have. Sometimes this is due to a defective mesh product, whether its defective mesh design or improper mesh material. Other times this is due to the surgeon's errors.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirms that failure is the cause of complications and injuries. 1 These complications may include

  • Pain, mild to severe
  • Infection
  • Hernia recurrence
  • Adhesion
  • Inflammation
  • Fibrosis
  • Thrombosis
  • Calcification
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Seromas
  • Organ perforation
  • Mesh migration
  • Mesh shrinkage. 2

All of these complications can have an impact of your quality of life, but some can be life-threatening if untreated.

3. What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of hernia mesh failure can arise within two weeks of surgery or up to 39 months after surgery. Because hernia mesh failure rates are high and because indications that the mesh has failed may not become apparent until months or years later, it is imperative to know the symptoms. That said, for the above-listed complications, there are specific symptoms and signs attributed to each, and you can learn more about those symptoms on their respective pages.

Generally speaking, you should consider hernia mesh failure if you experience any of the following at any time after your surgery -- whether months or years later.

  • Bloating and/or an inability to pass stools or gas
  • Fever when its cause is unknown
  • Flu-like symptoms, including chills, nausea, and/or vomiting
  • Weakened teeth -- chipped or falling out
  • Warm or hot skin where the incision occurred
  • The wound from surgery is not healing in due time
  • Fluid buildup at the site of the surgery, known as seromas
  • Bulging in the area of the hernia
  • Mild to severe pain
  • Chronic pain.

If you experience any of these symptoms after having hernia mesh repair, you should contact your doctor at your earliest convenience. If it is related to the surgery and/or mesh, then additional surgeries may be required to remove the defective mesh and repair the hernia again.

4.Are there any risk factors that make a patient more likely to experience mesh failure?

Some patients, due to their health or other conditions, should be mindful that those certain risk factors could increase chances of complications after hernia repair surgery. Risk factors include but are not limited to

  • Diabetes
  • Chronic pulmonary obstructive disease
  • Benign prostate hyperplasia
  • Obesity
  • Cirrhosis
  • Smoking
  • Chronic steroid use. 3

Though these risk factors could have an impact on how well the hernia repair surgery goes and if you experience any complications or not, these risk factors are distinct from the use of a defective mesh product.

In other words, though these risk factors can have an impact on the success of your operation, they are not responsible for mesh failure due to a defective implant. If any of these risk factors are or were present and you suffer harm from a defective mesh, these risk factors will not negate your right to file a claim or reduce the compensation owed to you.

5. Can you reduce risk of mesh failure?

Hernia repair surgery with mesh comes with unique risks. You can reduce the risk of the mesh failing if you

  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet with lots of fiber and water.
  • Exercise on a regular basis, including aerobic exercise.
  • Refrain from smoking or using other nicotine products, like vapors.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or activities that strain the abdomen area.

If the mesh used in your hernia repair surgery was defective, none of the above suggestions are likely to prevent the mesh from failing.

6. What mesh brands have resulted in most failures experienced by patients?

There are a number of hernia mesh brands that have failed patients, some of these are subject to lawsuits today and some of these have been recalled by the FDA as defective medical devices. Below are lists of products currently or recently subject to lawsuits and all products that have been recalled either by the company or the FDA.

6.1 Hernia Mesh Products Lawsuits

Manufacturers Products
Ethicon / Johnson & Johnson
  • Physiomesh Flexible Composite
  • Proceed Surgical
  • Prolene
Atrium / Maquet, Getinge Group C-QUR, including meshes and v-patches
Covidien / Medtronic Parietex surgical, Composite, or ProGrip Mesh
 
  • PerFix Mesh
  • Kugel Hernia Mesh
  • 3DMax Mesh
  • Vetralex ST Hernia Mesh
  • Ventralex Patch
  • Sepramesh IP Composie mesh
  • Composix E/X Mesh

6.2 Recalled Hernia Mesh Products

Brand/Manufacturer Product Reason
Atrium Medical C-Qur Improper Packaging -- in addition to company real, FDA recalled the device in
Bard Davol Composix Kugel Chance of ring breaking and subsequently causing bowel perforation or fistula
Ethicon Proceed Chance of losing laminate coating and exposing mesh to organs and/or causing adhesion or bowel fistulization; packaging defect
Ethicon Physiomesh documented high failure rates

 

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7. What to do if you were injured when your hernia mesh failed?

You are not responsible for hernia mesh failure, especially if it was due to a defect. The manufacturer of defective mesh products are typically the responsible parties. Through your personal injury attorney, you can file a claim or lawsuit to obtain compensation for any and all damages you suffered. To date, millions have been recovered. It is time you recover what is owed to you, too.

Contact Shouse Law Group today. We have local offices throughout California, but we represent clients throughout the U.S. who have been injured by hernia mesh products.

References

  1. Food & Drug Administration. Hernia Surgical Mesh Implants.
  2. Falagas, M.E. and Kasiakou, S.K. Mesh-related infections after hernia repair surgery. Clinical Microbiology and Infection. November 29, 2004.
  3. Radu, P., Bratucu, M., Garofil, D., Pasnicu, C., Popa, F., Strambu, V. Molecular Factors of failure in Incisional Hernia Surgery. Chirurgia. 2013.

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