Hernia mesh is a medical device that is used during hernia repair surgery to help strengthen a weakened muscle or tissue so that the hernia is less likely to recur again. A hernia occurs when internal organs push through weak spots, generally in the abdomen. It sometimes causes an individual to experience pain or a bulge where the damage has occurred. The journal Membranes reports that in a majority of hernia repair surgeries that are performed, surgeons often choose to use hernia mesh as a reinforcement.
Types of Materials That are Used to Create Hernia Mesh
The surgical mesh covering the area where a hernia occurs ranges in size and shape and can contain different materials. There are currently two types of hernia mesh that are used during hernia repair surgery. These include animal-derived mesh and synthetic mesh. To help you understand the difference between the two, below is a brief description of each.
Animal-Derived Hernia Mesh
According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), an animal-derived mesh is made up of animal tissue, which generally comes from a pig or cows’ intestine or skin. According to FDA guidelines, the tissue has been processed and disinfected so that it can be used as a medical device. Because the animal-derived mesh is absorbable by the body, it won’t last forever and will eventually degrade.
While some of the synthetic mesh that is used in hernia repair surgeries is absorbable by the body, others are not. This means they will remain in the body forever. The FDA says these are considered permanent implants. Hernia mesh that does degrade allows for new tissue growth meant to help support and strengthen the weakened area, so the hernia is less likely to occur again.
A synthetic mesh that the body cannot absorb can be compared to what a knitted piece of mesh would look like and can be made up of different materials. Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery states that these can include polypropylene, polyester, or expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE).
If you’re still unclear as to what hernia mesh is or would like to know more about how safe it is to have it implanted, you should consult with your physician.
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Types of Hernia Mesh Repairs
There are several different types of hernias you can suffer, all of which can be treated with or without mesh. According to FDA, these are the most common types of hernias:
- This is when the hernia occurs in the inner groin.
- This type of hernia occurs in the upper thigh or the outer groin.
- Incisional. These types of hernias occur through an incision or scar located in the abdomen.
- Ventral. A ventral hernia is one that occurs in the general abdomen or ventral wall.
- These occur at the belly button.
- A hiatal hernia occurs inside the abdomen but along the upper stomach or diaphragm.
Although hernia mesh is supposed to help reduce the chances of a hernia recurring and may “also improve patient outcomes through decreased operative time and minimized recovery time,” according to FDA, they have been known to lead to complications.
Complications Associated With Hernia Mesh
FDA has received a substantial amount of complaints related to hernia mesh. Although FDA says many types of mesh associated with these complications have been removed from the market, there is still some uncertainty as to whether they are safe to use.
Some of the complications that have been linked to the recalled hernia mesh include:
FDA also lists the following mesh-related complications:
- Hernia recurrence
- Bowel obstruction
- Mesh migration
- Mesh shrinkage
Many brands of hernia mesh have been recalled, some because they were found to be counterfeit. As a result, many individuals have come forward with lawsuits against certain hernia makers for the complications and adverse effects it caused.
If you suffered a complication after having your mesh implanted or had to undergo a second procedure to repair the damage your hernia mesh caused, you too might have a valid reason for filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer who made your mesh.
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When to File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
If any of the health issues you are experiencing are linked to your hernia mesh, you are encouraged to contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins at (800) 777-7777. Our office can assess your case and determine if you have the grounds to sue the medical device manufacturer who supplied your mesh.
If you had to undergo a second procedure because your mesh moved, was causing you pain, or led to the development of serious health conditions, we encourage you to contact our office as well. If you have a viable case against a medical device manufacturer, you can call in the Strong Arm to protect your rights and fight for a fair outcome.