If you’re wondering whether there are alternatives to hernia mesh, the answer is yes. If you need to have a hernia repaired and don’t want to have mesh implanted, you may be able to undergo the procedure without the use of mesh.
While certain types of hernia mesh have been shown to help prevent a recurrence, you may be less inclined to have your surgeon use the medical device given all the complications many patients have experienced after having the mesh implanted.
Alternatives To Using Surgical Mesh to Repair a Hernia
Although hernia mesh is used in a large percentage of hernia repair surgeries today, the medical device wasn’t always relied on to repair a hernia. In fact, the traditional method that was used by surgeons was referred to as herniorrhaphy.
Herniorrhaphy is when a surgeon sews “the edges of healthy muscle tissue together” with sutures (i.e., stitches). However, this method is often used to repair smaller hernias or those surrounded by healthy tissues that can be rejoined “without adding stress on the tissue.”
Now, there are also two types of surgical procedures a physician can use to repair a hernia both with and without the use of mesh. Below is a brief description of each.
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During open hernia repair surgery, the surgeon will make a cut close to where the hernia is located. He/she will then:
- Locate the hernia and separate it from the tissues that are surrounding it
- Remove the hernia sac and push the bulging tissue back into the abdomen
- Stitch the abdominal muscles back together (at this point, if a surgeon were to use hernia mesh, he/she would sew it over the once weakened area to serve as additional reinforcement to keep it from reopening)
- Close the incision
During this procedure, instead of a surgeon making one cut near the hernia, they will make three to five smaller cuts near the lower part of the stomach. The surgeon will then:
- Insert a laparoscope, which is a medical device, into one of the cuts (the device, which is a scope with a lighted camera on it, will allow the surgeon to see inside the stomach so he/she can locate the hernia)
- Use a harmless gas to expand the space in the stomach, according to MedlinePlus (this way, the surgeon has more room to work)
- Insert additional tools through the other incisions that will help him/her repair the hernia
- Stitch up the weakened area and close the incision with stitches
While there are hernia mesh alternatives, the area where the hernia has occurred and a surgeon’s preference often dictates the approach used to repair the weakened area.
Why Hernia Mesh Alternatives Are Being Considered
Although some surgeons may prefer to use hernia mesh to help repair a hernia, a substantial amount of controversy has developed around mesh use as some types have been linked to serious complications.
According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), hernia repairs that involve the use of surgical mesh have been linked to the following adverse effects:
- Scar-like tissue that sticks together (also known as adhesion, which Harvard Health Publishingsays can cause the small bowel to become blocked
- The hernia may recur rather than heal
- Bowel obstruction (when there is a blockage in the intestines that prevents waste from traveling through them and into the digestive tract)
Because there have been so many issues stemming from hernia mesh use, some types have been recalled. FDA says that most of the complaints it received are associated with medical devices that have already been recalled or removed from the market. Those products were closely linked to bowel perforation and obstruction complications, according to FDA.
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Call in the Strong Arm if Your Hernia Mesh Has Led To Complications
Regardless of whether you had your hernia mesh recently implanted or it was years ago, you may have a valid case against the hernia mesh manufacturer that might entitle you to recover compensation. When a medical device such as hernia mesh is recalled, it means there is something wrong with the product and it is not safe for consumer use.
There could be an issue with the design of the product, or it may contain a harmful ingredient consumers were unaware was in it. When a company creates a dangerous product and individuals become harmed as a result of using it for its intended purpose, the company can be held financially liable for their suffering.
If you were harmed by hernia mesh and would like to find out if you are entitled to receive compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and more, contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins at (800) 777-7777.