According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than one million hernia repair procedures are performed in the United States each year.
What is a Hernia?
Most hernias are caused by a combination of pressure (or straining) and an opening (or weakness) of muscle or connective tissue. That pressure can push the organ or tissue through the opening.
Common causes of a hernia include obesity, lifting heavy objects, diarrhea or constipation, and persistent coughing or sneezing. Sometimes, muscle weakness is present from birth, but it usually becomes more of an issue as we age. Additional risk factors include poor nutrition, smoking, and overexertion.
How do You Treat a Hernia?
Occasionally, a surgeon will elect to monitor a hernia instead of performing surgery if it isn’t causing pain or any other problems for the patient. If surgery is required, it can be done in two ways:
- Laparoscopic: Several small incisions are made in the abdomen that allows surgical tools into the opening to repair the hernia.
- Open Repair: The incision is made near the hernia and the weak muscle area is repaired.
When is Surgical Mesh Used?
Both methods can be done with or without surgical mesh. The mesh is designed to strengthen the repair and reduce the risk of reoccurrence since hernias have a tendency to come back.
Most mesh devices used today are made from animal tissue or synthetic material. Mesh from animal tissue (biologic mesh) will gradually be absorbed by the body, while the synthetic mesh is considered a permanent implant.
Are You Having an Adverse Reaction to Surgical Mesh?
According to one study in England, surgeons believe the complication rate for hernia procedures with surgical mesh is between 12 and 30 percent.
Symptoms of complications with a hernia repair using mesh include pain, infection, hernia recurrence, adhesion, and bowel obstruction. Many products that have already been recalled by the FDA caused bowel perforation and obstruction complications.
Mesh infections have been found to lead to typical symptoms of infection – lack of healing, warmth at the incision site, fever, chills, and nausea. However, there are also unique symptoms that have been reported, such as dental problems like weak and chipped teeth. Nerve damage and scar tissue have also led patients to complain about chronic pain, especially when standing or trying to bend over.
Given the high rate of complications, the FDA has recalled several surgical mesh devices over the past several years. Despite that, people are still ending up in worse shape due to complications from surgical mesh that was used in their hernia procedure.
What Options Does Someone Suffering from Surgical Mesh Issues Have?
Given the unstable nature of the product, several questions need to be answered. You must know what kind of mesh was used, how it was applied, and if mesh should have been used in the first place.
It’s difficult to tell without deeper investigation if the pain was part of the accepted risk of surgery or if a defective product was used. To help you with these concerns, we invite you to contact the attorneys of Stewart & Stewart for a free initial consultation.
Stewart & Stewart has some of the most experienced attorneys handling defective product cases in the state of Indiana. We would be honored to help you get what you deserve for having to suffer from the negligence of a manufacturer. Please call us at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website today so we can start to get to work.