Prolonged Side Effects of Hernia Mesh Surgery

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Researcher: Ariana Arce​

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Journalist: Aaron Vivanco

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Editor: Daniela Polo

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Prolonged Side Effects of Hernia Mesh Surgery

Hernia mesh repair surgery has been associated with several potential complications and adverse events, including chronic pain, adhesions, bowel obstruction, infection, mesh migration, and hernia recurrence. Symptoms can manifest immediately or in the long term potentially due to defective materials or medical errors.

A surgeon is holding a piece of Hernia Mesh before insertion.

Manufacturers of mesh products acknowledge the potential harm that their products may cause. Hernia mesh victims can suffer long-term complications from defective devices, resulting in pain and suffering. Our personal injury attorneys provide information on the risks and guidance for getting help. A hernia mesh lawsuit may be a possibility.

What is considered a long-term complication related to hernia mesh?

Complications following a hernia mesh surgery can manifest months or years postoperation, leading to persistent negative symptoms over an extended period.

Individuals who have undergone hernia surgery and develop symptoms years later may pursue legal action for personal injury related to different types of hernias.

The postoperative symptoms and complications can vary significantly. Complications may manifest symptoms for several months or even years following the implantation surgery. Patients may exhibit a range of symptoms, some of which may be easily recognizable, while others may be more challenging to identify. Some people may also experience multiple symptoms at the same time in certain situations.

What is the type of hernia mesh that can result in more complications?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that hernia mesh devices are available in two varieties: synthetic meshes or animal-based meshes.

Furthermore, hernia mesh is available in knitted or non-knitted sheets. It can be absorbable, non-absorbable, or a combination of the two. Non-absorbable mesh is coated with a protective substance to remain in the patient’s body permanently. Synthetic hernia mesh, whether absorbable or non-absorbable, has been associated with hernia mesh problems that arise years after surgery.

On the opposite side, a hernia mesh made from animal-derived tissue is commonly obtained from a pig or cow’s intestines or skin. In this type of hernia mesh, the material is processed and disinfected before being used in repair procedures. The FDA states that animal-based (animal tissue) hernia mesh options utilize absorbable materials.

Most common side effects of a hernia mesh implant

The long-term or delayed complications of hernia mesh repair can vary from person to person. The most common complication is chronic pain that develops weeks to months postoperation. Other possible long-term complications include a potential infection, fluid buildup, adhesion formation, and weakening of an area near the surgical site, which can lead to a recurrent hernia.

  • Chronic pain

According to the medical definition, chronic or severe pain is characterized by the presence of discomfort, irritation, hypersensitivity, or pain that did not exist prior to surgery and persists for a minimum of 3 months postoperatively. Although pain is normally experienced at the surgical site immediately and in the initial stages after a hernia mesh surgery, the pain of any intensity that persists for an extended duration is considered abnormal. This could mean a hernia mesh failure.

Chronic pain may have an impact on daily activities, such as work, urination, or defecation. It is frequently caused by a defective device due to a manufacturer or a doctor’s negligence.

  • Perforation

Polypropylene mesh fibers in some devices have been known to cause tissue and organ erosion and perforation, which can result in organ and bowel perforation.

Defective meshes have the potential to cause organ perforation, leading to infection, chronic pain, and necessitating emergency surgery.

  • Migration

Mesh migration is a medical condition that can result in complications, such as pain, bleeding, inflammation, blockage, nerve damage, and fistula formation. Fistulas are abnormal digestive tract openings that can cause fluid leakage from the stomach and intestines. These complications may require medical attention, including hospitalization, surgical mesh repair, and removal of the surrounding tissues.

A mesh can be difficult to fix if it moves, which can occur if not placed correctly against the abdominal wall.

  • Hernia recurrence

After surgery, a hernia can recur, which means it comes back. This can happen due to the device failure years later. The device can have issues, such as migration, rejection, shrinking, or being defective. The recurrence rate can be high for certain patients and may require surgical revision.

A personal injury lawsuit may provide compensation for injuries sustained in the case of a recurrent hernia, assuming the device and surgery were performed correctly.

  • Bowel obstruction

Bowel obstruction is one of the most severe side effects. Blocked bowel movements can result from mesh sticking to the intestinal walls. The FDA found that recalled mesh products caused most bowel perforations in the USA.

Bowel obstruction can cause cramping, bloating, vomiting, and difficulty passing gas and may also lead to septic shock, a serious condition resulting from inadequate blood flow in the intestines.

Additionally, it should be noted that your overall recovery time may be extended due to any one of these long-term complications. If you have any experiences of discomfort or pain several weeks after your surgery, then seek medical attention immediately as they may be able to provide treatment for these symptoms.

Treatment options for delayed complications involving hernia mesh

The appropriate treatment for an issue depends on the specific problem, and sometimes, additional surgeries are necessary. Both open and laparoscopic surgeries can be costly and painful, resulting in additional medical bills, missed work, and discomfort.

Different treatments are available for patients, which may include anti-rejection medication, antibiotics, nerve ablation, platelet-rich plasma injections, and painkillers. Many drugs can help relieve pain, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, antidepressants, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

What can I do if my mesh was defective?

Taking care of your physical health is crucial. If you suspect a complication from failed hernia mesh, get medical attention and follow their advice. If your doctor does not take your concerns seriously, get a second opinion. Do not delay, as untreated complications can be fatal.

Individuals who believe that their symptoms may be attributed to a faulty device or medical malpractice may have the opportunity to pursue financial compensation from major device manufacturers, including Bard or Ethicon, with multi-billion-dollar revenues, such as physiomesh.

A personal injury attorney can assist you in pursuing a hernia mesh lawsuit to hold the responsible parties accountable for your expenses and suffering. Significant sums have been obtained in compensation for individuals impacted by faulty medical devices.

Do I qualify for a hernia mesh claim?

Hernia mesh cases may involve plaintiffs from multiple states and can be tried at the state level. Multi-county litigation may occur in cases from different counties within a particular state.

Mesh manufacturers are typically named defendants in cases in the USA. Seeking the guidance of an experienced hernia mesh attorney can provide up-to-date information on the law and help determine suitable legal options based on individual circumstances.You may check out our information page about Hernia Mesh Claims and how you can start taking legal action. If you are already sure about your case, contact our legal team and we will give you proper assistance.