Although they’ve been used for nearly four decades in hernia repair procedures, hernia mesh devices are known to cause severe health complications such as infections, migrations, recurrence of the hernia, and the need for additional surgery to remove the device and repair the damage caused.
In fact, some surgical hernia mesh devices have been recalled in recent years for the health complications they have caused including Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Physiomesh and the Atrium C-Qur device.
Have you been diagnosed with a health complication due to hernia mesh placement? Has your loved one suffered multiple surgeries or recurrence after the use of a hernia mesh implant? Allan Berger & Associates is currently accepting cases involving complications due to these medical devices in the New Orleans area and nationwide.
Various Health Complications Linked to Hernia Mesh Placement
Hernia mesh, most notably Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Physiomesh has been used in hundreds of laparoscopic, ventral and inguinal hernia repair surgeries. However, although approved by the FDA in 2010, many health complications have occurred due to the use of the mesh since its approval.
On May 27th, 2016, the product was recalled from the market by the manufacturer due to the large number of problems it caused. The company, Ethicon, pulled its product after studies showed higher revision rates after a type of minimally invasive hernia repair using its Physiomesh flexible composite mesh. Additional hernia mesh products such as the Atrium C-Qur product have also been linked to a number of problems.
A recent study titled “Long-Term Recurrence and Complications Associated with Elective Incisional Hernia Repair” found that mesh repair was associated with a lower risk of reoperation for recurrence compared with non-mesh repair over a 5-year follow-up period. However, these results are offset due to the higher risk of long-term mesh-related complications for both open and laparoscopic mesh repairs.
Studies completed on hernia mesh implants in England show that over 170,000 patients who have been implanted with a hernia mesh device could face potential complications. The complication rate for these operations is said to be between 12% and 30%, which means between 68,000 and 170,000 patients out of the thousands of surgeries conducted could have been adversely affected in the past six years.
What Is a Hernia and How Does It Form?
According to the FDA, a hernia occurs when an organ, intestine or fatty tissue squeezes through a hole or weak spot in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue. They can often occur at the abdominal wall and can sometimes be visible as an eternal bulge particularly when straining or bearing down.
There are several common types of hernias including:
- Inguinal: A hernia that occurs in the inner groin
- Femoral: A hernia that occurs in the upper thigh and outer groin
- Incisional: A hernia that occurs through an incision or scar in the abdomen
- Ventral: A hernia that occurs in the general abdominal or ventral wall
- Umbilical: A hernia that occurs at the belly button
- Hiatal: A hernia that occurs inside the abdomen
What Causes a Hernia?
According to the FDA, most hernias are caused by a combination of pressure and an opening of a muscle or connective tissue. This pressure can push an organ or tissue through this opening. Although a hernia can occur later in life, sometimes this muscle weakness is present at birth. Obesity, lifting heavy objects, constipation, or persistent coughing can all cause herniation and poor nutrition and smoking can weaken muscles, increasing your chance of developing a hernia.
What Are the Treatment Options for Hernias?
Most often, hernias can be treated through careful watching for complications or symptoms. Your physician will watch closely for hernia growth or any other complications. However, true hernias can only be repaired through surgery if symptoms occur or if the hernia is causing discomfort to the patient. Patients should be advised that surgeries are most commonly elective only, leaving some patients without insurance coverage to fix the hernia in its entirety.
When it comes to surgery, there are two options to choose from including laparoscopic surgery and an open repair surgery. In a laparoscopic surgery, a surgeon makes a few small incisions and completes the surgery using surgical tools, with or without surgical mesh. In an open repair, the surgeon must open the area near the weak muscle and repair the hernia with or without mesh.
What Is Surgical Hernia Mesh?
Surgical mesh helps support the weakened muscle causing the hernia. Most often, the mesh is created by synthetic materials or animal tissue to provide strength. These materials can include synthetic polymers such as polypropylene, polyglycolic acid or polycaprolactone. Animal tissue such as acellular collagen sourced from cows and pigs is also used, depending on the need.
Some surgical mesh is absorbable and some are non-absorbable, which will remain in the body permanently. Absorbable mesh will degrade over time and absorb into the body, creating the opportunity for new tissue to grow and provide strength to the area.
What Are the Complications of Hernia Mesh Placement?
Individuals who have had hernia mesh placements should pay close attention to their current health and continue to follow-up with their physicians should any complications occur. According to the FDA, there are many complications that can arise after hernia surgical mesh implants. Some of these complications can include:
- Hernia recurrence
- Scar-like tissue adhesion
- Blockage of the large or small intestine
- Abnormal connection between organs, vessels or intestines
- Fluid build-up at the surgical site
- Hole in neighboring tissues or organs, also known as perforation
- Mesh migration and shrinkage
Many of these complications have been related to products such as the Ethicon Physiomesh and the Atrium C-Qur mesh product, surgical implants that have now been recalled.
Symptoms of Hernia Mesh Complications or Failure
Are you experiencing a complication due to a faulty hernia mesh repair? If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should contact your family physician as soon as possible. For symptoms that are excruciating or severe in nature, you should visit your local hospital or emergency department. Some of the symptoms of hernia mesh complications include:
- Fever and other flu-like symptoms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unusually warm or tender hernia surgical site
- Non-healing wound
- Lump in or around the area of the hernia
Should I File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?
Have you been diagnosed with a hernia mesh failure? Have you suffered severe health complications resulting in surgery or another life-altering event? If so, you are entitled to seek compensation for your pain and suffering. The attorneys at Allan Berger & Associates have fought and won many cases involving hernia mesh complications and failure.
You could be eligible to receive compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and other factors endured. It’s best to speak to an attorney who specializes in hernia mesh lawsuits to discover the compensation you should request in your case.
There have been many successful hernia mesh lawsuits in the past few years. In December of 2017, a woman in New Jersey received $15 million after a jury verdict for her mesh injury, as well as $10 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson.
Another woman was awarded $57 million in damages due to a faulty mesh implant made for urinary incontinence. The case involved Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit, the surgical implant found to be liable for serious injuries such as a mangled urethra, bladder spasms and continual pelvic pain resulting in three revision surgeries.
These cases are only the beginning. In fact, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against these companies for faulty hernia repairs using surgical mesh.
What Can I Expect During a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Your attorney will help you decide if filing a lawsuit for your claim is the correct next step to take. If a lawsuit is the best option, your attorney will help you create a personal injury complaint outlining your injuries, the mesh implant used and more critical information. Once your complaint is filed, your attorney will enter the discovery phase, gathering your health records and any other information important for your case.
This phase can take months or even years, depending on the severity of your injuries and your medical history. After the discovery phase, if no motions are filed for more evidence, your case will go to trial. Your information will be presented to the jury, including your health records, injuries suffered, hernia mesh specifications and more. If the jury or the judge finds you in favor of compensation, you will be awarded.
Reach Out for Your Case Evaluation Today
You don’t have to go through this alone. A hernia mesh complication can completely alter your life. However, the attorneys at Allan Berger & Associates are dedicated to your hernia mesh lawsuit case. If you or a loved one has experienced complications such as recurrence surgeries, pain, mesh migration, bowel perforation or other severe consequences, now is the time to reach out for your case evaluation by calling 504-526-2222 or send us a message.
Get a Case Evaluation Now.
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