Every medical device runs at least some risk of failure or of causing undesirable side effects, but in the case of hernia meshes, there have been far too many negative incidents. Many brands and models of hernia mesh have proven themselves to be dangerous products.
It is also possible that a manufacturing error could result in a defective hernia mesh or that medical malpractice could occur during the implantation process. But the major basis of hernia mesh lawsuits is that they are inherently dangerous products or that consumers were not adequately warned concerning the dangers involved.
There are many ongoing mass tort actions against manufacturers of various hernia meshes, and if you have been harmed by one, you could receive substantial compensation by joining one. We at Consumer Alert Now are here to help you become fully informed about hernia mesh complications and to facilitate connecting you to the best possible hernia mesh litigation lawyer in your area.
We are a nationwide company and we are available 24/7/365 to take your call! Contact us today by calling 800-511-0747 to talk to a representative.
What Exactly Is A “Hernia?”
There are many different kinds of hernias, and all of them are painful. They occur when an organ or fatty tissue bulges into a hole or weak point in the surrounding tissue. Most often, the protrusion is into the abdominal wall, and in some cases, the bulge is visible even from the outside.
When abdominal pressures increase, some muscle tissue may become weak as a result. Or, you might be born with a weak spot. Either way, this sets the stage for a hernia developing. It can develop slowly, and you likely won’t notice a problem until you begin to feel the pain. About a million people in the US undergo some form of treatment for hernias.
Non-surgical solutions to hernias exist, and doctors will wait and observe a hernia to see if it will heal itself over time. If not, however, a surgical solution may finally be necessary. Some forms of surgical correction of hernias can be done without using a hernia mesh, but hernias have a high rate of recurrence. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a hernia mesh to be recommended by your doctor to fix a hernia that seemingly just won’t go away.
How Do Hernia Meshes Work?
Hernia meshes have become the most common way to repair hernias in recent years. Use of a mesh can reduce the time it takes to do the hernia surgery and the time it takes to recover from it. They can also reduce the recurrence rate for hernias following surgery as compared to just using stitches.
A surgical hernia mesh gives added support to the tissue that may be weak. This can prevent the hernia and relieve the patient of the pain. The mesh may be made out of either synthetic or organic (animal) materials and may be in a “knitted” or “non-knitted” form. Animal-sourced meshes may be made of skin or intestinal tissues, but it will have been fully disinfected and processed. The mesh will be attached to your body tissues at key points so as to relieve the pressure that is causing the hernia.
Note that a hernia mesh can be “absorbable” or “non-absorbable.” The former will be absorbed into your body over time and naturally disappear, while the latter will not. Thus, one solution is temporary and the other permanent. A merely temporary mesh may be all that is needed, and it will avoid the need to ever conduct a second surgery to remove the mesh. But permanent reinforcement may be necessary in some cases, hence the non-absorbable option.
Hernia Surgery Complications
There are many possible complications following hernia mesh surgery. One of them is the failure of the mesh itself or other symptoms connected with the mesh. But there can be pain, infection, scar tissue, obstruction of the intestines, internal bleeding, a buildup of body fluids, organic perforations, or hernia recurrence with or without a hernia mesh.
As to surgical complications of hernia meshes, the most common problems are chronic or acute pain, infections, device failure or failure of the device to stop the hernia, adhesion to tissue or an organ, and bowel obstructions. It is also common for unbearable itching to ensue in the area around the mesh, for the mesh to shrink, or for the mesh to migrate out of its proper position.
The FDA has acknowledged that it is usually hernia meshes that have been recalled that end up causing the most severe side effects. And these meshes themselves are clearly to blame for many of the post-op problems that occur. Some old meshes no longer exist on the market, but there are many still on the market that the FDA has not recalled yet.
It is worth noting that many hernia mesh surgeries work out just fine. That is why doctors typically recommend a hernia mesh be implanted to repair severe hernias. It is generally considered safe, but when something goes wrong, the result is extremely painful and may require additional surgery to correct. In some cases, hernia mesh failure can even be life-threatening.
Signs Of Hernia Mesh Failure
Sometimes, there may be immediate problems following hernia mesh surgery that pop up within only days’ time. Other times, it can take weeks, months, or years for mesh failure to become apparent. When this occurs, the patient’s condition may end up worse than it would have been if they had never gotten a hernia mesh, to begin with.
How do you even know whether or not your hernia mesh device has failed? First of all, the mere fact of postoperative pain is not enough to prove it. It is normal for some level of pain to occur after hernia surgery, but if the pain increases and doesn’t go away weeks following surgery, you may have a mesh problem.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of mesh failure: abdominal pains, inflamed incision point, vomiting and nausea, chills or fever, and formation of an abnormal tunnel (fistula) between organs or between an organ and the skin surface. Other symptoms include: being bloated, not being able to fluctuate or pass stool, teeth that are weak, easily chip, or are ready to fall out, warmth on the skin at the incision site, accumulation of body fluid at the incision site (this is called “seromas”), a bulge at the hernia area, and lack of healing at the surgery site after an extended period of time.
Some of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions, such as having the flu, but enough symptoms coinciding likely points to mesh failure. If you even suspect your hernia mesh may not be working properly, do not hesitate to see your doctor to find out what’s wrong. Waiting too long could make your condition worsen or even risk your life.
Types Of Hernia Mesh Failure
The symptoms mentioned above may give you an indication that your hernia mesh may have failed, but there are a variety of different ways in which hernia mesh failure can occur. Only through a careful diagnosis by a qualified physician and X-rays and other imaging techniques can the exact problem be determined.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to determine in what way, if any, a mesh device has failed. For example, there was one case where a mesh had eroded and a part of it had migrated into the patient’s intestines. The failure occurred years after the mesh surgery and took numerous tests to pinpoint. Thankfully, however, most problems can be properly diagnosed much more quickly.
What do we mean by “hernia mesh failure?” In short, the term simply means that the medical device did not function the way it was supposed to. Thus, mesh failure is a very broad concept. Failure can be caused by many factors, including defective mesh design, wrong mesh material, or medical mistakes during installation.
Specific problems with a hernia mesh include:
- Infection in and around the mesh and incision site. This may require antibiotics and a second surgery to correct.
- Adhesion of the mesh to other nearby tissues and organs. This can prevent it from working properly and interfere with other body functions.
- Inflammation of tissues in contact with the mesh. Chronic pain and itchiness may also accompany the inflammation.
- The mesh has contracted (shrunk.) This will make it the wrong size and prevent it from doing its job.
- The mesh has eroded. The particles and/or parts of the mesh may sit loosely in the body or start to spread to various areas.
- Mesh migration. This refers more to when the entire mesh or large parts of it move out of proper position, as opposed to erosion and migration of tiny particles of the former mesh.
- Perforation or obstruction of the bowels.
- Perforation of obstruction of other organs. Intestinal blockage is particularly common.
- Fibrosis, which is the thickening and scarring of connective tissue.
- Thrombosis, which is the formation of a blood clot. This can be life-threatening.
- Calcification, which is the hardening of tissue and the conversion of it into calcium carbonate or another form of calcium.
- Seromas, which refers to the accumulation of body fluids in a particular location. In this case, it would accumulate at the surgical incision site.
- Formation of a fistula. This means that an abnormal tube connects an organ to the skin surface or to another organ.
- Recurrence of the original hernia. Once the device fails, the hernia will be back in most cases. And other problems, such as those mentioned above, will normally occur as well.
It’s obvious that the pain and other symptoms that flow from the various types of hernia mesh failure will greatly impact your day to day quality of life. But more importantly, they can threaten to end your life if they are not treated promptly. We at Consumer Alert Now do not give out medical advice. We simply inform you of the dangers of such dangerous medical devices as many hernia meshes. We recommend you see your doctor for all medical advice and care without delay.
Who Is At High Risk Of Hernia Mesh Failure?
Aside from which type of mesh you use and which doctor implants it, there are other factors that affect your risk of device failure. Certain patients are at much higher risk than others of mesh failure due to other health conditions or lifestyle habits.
Diabetics, those with heart disease, people who are significantly overweight, smokers of tobacco products, users of steroids, and those with various other medical conditions such as cirrhosis are at increased risk of mesh failure. Such factors could also impact how successful hernia surgery is. If such factors alone caused your device failure, you probably cannot collect any compensation. But if the mesh device itself or medical malpractice of some kind also contributed to device failure, then the existence of such factors does not cancel your right to be compensated.
You can reduce your risk of hernia mesh failure as much as possible by exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water, quitting smoking, not using “vapor” or chewing tobacco, and avoiding all “heavy lifting” that could overstrain your abdominal region. But no matter what you do, if the mesh itself is the problem (as it often is), it is going to fail. You can’t prevent a defective surgical mesh from failing by changing lifestyle habits.
Hernia Mesh Revision Surgery
Once a hernia mesh fails, it will likely have to be surgically removed. Since some meshes are naturally absorbed into the body and are only meant to be temporary, it is possible in some few cases revision surgery may not be necessary. But normally, it is.
Having to go through a second surgery to remove the old mesh, replace it, or to get it back into position if it has migrated is painful and costly. Plus, you don’t want to put in the same type of mesh that already failed, so revision surgery may involve selecting a new mesh. And it is possible that the new mesh could also fail.
You have a right to compensation to cover the costs of hernia mesh revision surgery. You also can collect compensation for the pain and suffering the whole ordeal has put your through. Do not hesitate to contact Consumer Alert Now to hook up with an active mass tort lawsuit that your situation qualifies you to join.
Hernia Mesh FDA Recalls
The FDA has not banned hernia meshes, nor is that likely to ever happen. Doctors often resort to this form of hernia repair because it avoids surgical sutures, reduces the risk of hernia recurrence, reduces muscle tension and crowding, and reduces recovery time. When all goes well, hernia mesh devices make it faster and easier to recover from a hernia and get back into your daily routine.
However, there have been numerous brands of hernia mesh that have been subject to FDA recalls over the years. Patient complaints and reviews in medical journals often influence these decisions. Plus, even brands that have not had a recall often end up failing and causing patients harm.
Recalls can occur due to devices being defectively manufactured or simply inherently dangerous to use. Here are some of the major hernia mesh manufacturers that have had at least some of their devices recalled by the FDA in recent years:
- Atrium Medical’s C-Qur product was recalled by both the company and the FDA for “improper packaging.”
- Bard Davol’s Composix Kugel was recalled by the FDA due to the high risk of ring breakage, which would lead to fistula formation or perforation of the bowels.
- Ethicon’s Proceed hernia mesh was called back due to a high risk of loss of the laminated mesh coating. This would likely lead to tissue or organ damage, adhesion, erosion, and formation of a fistula to the bowels.
- Ethicon’s Physiomesh mesh was recalled by FDA authorities simply due to excessively high device failure rates.
Hernia Mesh Failure Lawsuits
Given the above-given information about how hernia meshes often fail their users, it is not surprising that numerous hernia mesh lawsuits are currently underway across the nation. As many people suffer the same or similar problems due to the exact same device failing for the exact same reason, these lawsuits are often grouped together as mass tort cases.
Here are some of the most notable hernia mesh device failure suits that have taken place in recent years or are still taking place today:
- The suit against Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon) for three separate mesh devices: Proceed, Prolene, and Physiomesh.
- A suit against Atrium for their C-Qur mesh products.
- The lawsuit against Covidien for 8 different failing mesh products, including Parietex, PerFix, 3D Max Mesh, and Sepramesh IP.
These are only a few of the many other mesh manufacturers that are taking the heat in court for marketing unsafe products. If the company can be shown to have known the hernia mesh was unsafe or to have failed to properly warn consumers of the danger, then there are further grounds for the lawsuits.
Both personal injury and product liability lawsuits can be filed against hernia mesh makers and distributors. And these case may be heard in either state or federal courts.
The usual grounds for hernia mesh lawsuits, however, is either a manufacturing error (defective product) or a poor design (dangerous product). These types of errors often lead to patients experiencing problems soon after surgery is complete, but in other cases, it can take years before the problem becomes apparent.
Do not just accept the claim that you are the one responsible for the mesh failure. While it is possible that a patient’s habits or a person’s preexisting medical condition could cause device failure, the fault is normally attributable to the manufacturer. And let it be said one more time that even if defective or dangerous product production by the manufacturer is not the sole cause for the ensuing failure, you can still file a successful suit if it is even a contributing cause.
You can seek fair and full reimbursement for all related medical expenses, including hospital stays, prescription drugs, therapy, and revision surgery. You also are entitled to collect money for wages lost due to the injury and for decreased ability to earn a living in the future. Finally, there may also be compensation for non-economic damages (pain and suffering) and punitive damages that seek to discourage other companies from following in the footsteps of the offending company.
The Statute Of Limitations
Most states have a time limit, called a statute of limitations, on when you can file a personal injury or product liability lawsuit. Often, this limit is 2 years, but it could be 1 year, 3 years, or something else. It all depends on the law of the state you live in. You cannot normally file once this deadline has been passed.
The statute of limitations begins at the date of injury in most cases. But with hernia mesh failure cases, it will more likely begin at the date of the discovery of the injury. After all, you wouldn’t know of the injury immediately. For this reason, don’t assume that you can’t file because you had your hernia mesh surgery done several years ago. That doesn’t mean the time limit is up since the clock starts ticking when you know or should have known of the injury and its cause.
Find A Good Hernia Mesh Lawyer Near Me
Looking for the best possible mass tort attorney near you who handles hernia mesh failure cases? You’ve come to the right website!
Contact Consumer Alert Now now by calling 800-511-0747 to speak with a representative. We can answer questions you may have about hernia mesh failure and then connect you with a good lawyer and a mass tort action. The lawyer will need to evaluate your case to ensure you qualify to join the mass tort. Feel free to contact us anytime 24/7 and from anywhere across the USA!