Hernia Mesh Recalls: Recent Study Indicates High Rate of Hernia Mesh Failure
A medical study published in September, 2017 reports that synthetic mesh used to repair infected abdominal hernias may be more likely to lead to failure than biological mesh products. Synthetic hernia mesh devices are commonly made of polypropylene, and many suffering patients and attorneys contend that these mesh products are not compatible with human tissues, cause injury and lead to the formation of infections, abscesses and fistulas.
In this particular study, researchers used five different types of mesh to repair an inflamed incisional hernia. The mesh devices were made of both synthetic and biological materials. They observed the subjects for between one and six months, watching to see how the mesh incorporated into tissue and whether they caused complications. Results showed the biological mesh incorporated better into the body than synthetic mesh, causing fewer adhesions of mesh to body tissues.
The researchers concluded that the use of synthetic mesh to repair a potentially contaminated incisional hernia “is not supported unequivocally, and may lead to a higher failure rate.” They suggest that surgeons consider using a biological mesh instead, further justifying recent hernia mesh recalls.
Device manufacturers like C.R. Bard, Covidien, Ethicon and Atrium who produce and sell synthetic mesh products have been the target of legal action for years because of the health risks associated with their mesh products. Over one million hernia repairs are performed each year in the U.S., many using surgical mesh to support damaged tissue. The majority of surgical mesh devices currently available for use are constructed from synthetic absorbable, non-absorbable or a combination of absorbable and non-absorbable materials.
There are situations where the use of surgical mesh for hernia repair may not be recommended. Global health agencies have reported unacceptable success rates for certain mesh products on the market. Hernia mesh products made by Atrium Medical, Ethicon, C. R. Bard, and Covidien have also been linked with serious side effects like adhesions, infections, pain, hernia recurrence, bowel obstruction and organ damage. Many recipients of hernia mesh devices have had to undergo corrective surgeries due to complications. As such, hernia mesh recalls are warranted in many cases.
Some plaintiffs who have filed hernia mesh lawsuits claim that the design of the mesh prevents it from incorporating into the body. The mesh can have multiple coatings that may prevent fluid drainage, leading to pockets of fluid that encourage the development of bacteria, leading to infections. This can then cause further tissue damage, mesh migration and mesh adhesion.
Based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) analysis of adverse event reports and scientific literature, the most experienced complications for all hernia mesh patients are pain, infection, hernia recurrence, adhesion, abdominal obstruction, bleeding, fistula, seroma, and tissue perforation.
The most serious complication is the development of fistula, a complication of prosthetic mesh repair due to chronic erosion of bowel by mesh placed in direct contact with intestinal loops.
Mesh infection is feared by surgeons because it is difficult to eradicate without removing the mesh. To make matter worse, infection can become clinically apparent many years after implantation. Other common adverse events following mesh hernia repair include the following:
Some complications require mesh removal, and evidence in the medical field suggests that mesh removal may cause infection and permanent injuries. Some estimates note almost one in three patients who have mesh implants removed will suffer from chronic pain.
An adhesion is a band of scar tissue that binds two parts of tissue together. The regularity of hernia mesh operations has led to an increasing number of mesh-related adhesions. Adhesions cause the majority of small bowel obstructions in adults, and are believed to contribute to the development of chronic pelvic pain. Symptoms of adhesion may include:
Attorneys contend that some hernia mesh devices are not properly tested before they are distributed to the public as safe products. Device companies like Ethicon, Bard, Covidien and Atrium have settled hundreds of lawsuits and currently face countless more injury claims.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a defective hernia mesh device, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.