Updated: May 22, 2019
With more than a million hernia repair surgeries taking place each year, most of which make use of hernia mesh implants, it is not surprising that some of these patients develop hernia mesh problems. In fact, an FDA analysis of peer-reviewed, scientific literature and medical device adverse event reports points to several possible complications from these surgeries.1
Hernia mesh failure symptoms are widely varied, depending on whether the patient suffers from hernia mesh rejection, tearing, migration, or infection. While some poor outcomes may be unavoidable, poor implant design and improper surgical applications can lead to a wide variety of complications. As a result, patients are fighting back by filing hernia mesh lawsuits across the nation.
Surgical mesh implants can fail in numerous ways, and each failure can have its own set of symptoms. Many hernia mesh rejection symptoms and side effects can be vague, so it’s important that patients recovering from hernia surgeries check in with their doctors any time there is lasting hernia mesh pain, discomfort, or sustained illness after hernia repair surgery following an inguinal hernia or other injury.
If you are wondering how to tell if hernia mesh has failed, the warning signs of serious complications can include:
Like most implanted medical devices, mesh products can break down and cause lasting damage to the body. Polypropylene mesh in particular has been known to tear or disintegrate and adhere to organs causing serious damage. The body’s immune system may reject the foreign material, causing chronic pain and infection, and requiring revision surgery.
Let’s look into the ways that hernia mesh surgery can fail and the serious and life-threatening conditions that can develop as a result.
In cases of rejection, the patient’s immune response recognizes the mesh as foreign and the body rejects the substance, causing signs of hernia mesh rejection including pain and illness. Rejection happens soon after surgery and is often associated with deep chronic infections which are difficult to treat. Intravenous antibiotics are often required, and surgery may be needed to remove the mesh. Chronic bacterial or viral infections occur in as many as 8% of patients.4
In a migration, the implant begins to physically erode in the body, allowing pieces to break away and move (or migrate) to other areas, including major organs. Migration can occur long after implantation, due to gradual erosion of the mesh. Even if your surgery was years ago, mesh migration can cause abscesses, fistulas, and adhesions.
Symptoms of torn hernia mesh may include pain in areas away from the repair site, and the body’s reaction to the wandering pieces of mesh may include the formation of scar tissue that can cause bowel obstruction or bowel perforation, both of which are medical emergencies.
Adhesions are scar tissue that link unrelated tissues together. When the body reacts to the implanted mesh, it attempts to heal the area, with unintended connections between internal organs, muscles, and the skin. Severe and chronic pain might be the only symptom of developing adhesions and is one of the most challenging hernia mesh failure symptoms to diagnose.
Possibly due to restricted blood flow, many men who have hernia mesh problems may have difficulty becoming aroused, or experience loss of sensitivity and changes in testicular size.5 These side effects may be signs of hernia mesh rejection or failure, and also affect quality of life and relationships.
Mesh implants tend to have lower recurrence rates than other types of hernia treatments, but recurrence of hernias is still a common complication. A new injury can cause a hernia to recur, but it may also come back because of mesh migration, fistula formation, or muscle wall perforation as part of hernia mesh failure.
If you have experienced multiple surgeries to correct conditions caused by hernia mesh, this is also a sign of hernia mesh rejection or failure. Each of these surgeries may result in more painful recovery time, lost income, medical expenses, and additional risk for the patient.
The surgical mesh used in hernia repair surgeries is no stranger to legal woes. In fact, numerous recalls dating back to the early 2000s have been issued for a variety of hernia mesh products, and more than 3,000 related lawsuits have appeared in federal court systems.
The companies that manufacture surgical mesh say they try to produce the safest, most effective products. Over the last two decades, however, hazardous hernia meshes have been called into question several times.
With more than 3,000 product liability suits filed on behalf of victims of hernia mesh failure, the courts have necessarily consolidated many of the cases into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). The cases are still considered separate (unlike a class action suit) but will be handled as a group by the same court. This streamlines things for the legal system and allows victims to seek justice independently and receive individual settlements for their cases.
If you’ve been a victim of complications caused by unsafe surgical mesh, you have the right to be compensated for your injuries. At Saunders & Walker P.A., we specialize in helping victims hold irresponsible medical manufacturers accountable for their negligence.
We have the resources and experience to handle your case against product manufacturers and medical professionals with a track record of thousands of successful cases. We’ll help you determine whether you have a case, explain your rights and obligations, and guide you step-by-step through the process of your lawsuit.
Hernia mesh pain may mean more dangerous complications are developing. If you have hernia mesh failure symptoms, seek medical attention right away, and then sound legal advice. To schedule a free initial consultation with our trusted team, contact us online or call (727) 579-4500.