Hernia mesh is a medical device that is inserted into the body of a patient who has a hernia, or a weakened area of muscle or tissue that allows organs to penetrate rather than stay in place. The hernia mesh is designed to provide support to this weakened area.
Are There Different Types of Hernias?
According to WebMD, there are several types of hernias but some are more common than others. The different kinds of hernias are inguinal, incisional, femoral, umbilical, and hiatal. Because of an inherent weakness in the inguinal canal region of the groin in men, it is not unusual for a man to experience a protrusion of the bowel or bladder into this canal at some point during their life.
An incisional hernia is a weakness in the muscle or connective tissue wall often brought on by abdominal surgery. It is more likely to occur in patients that are obese, senior citizens, or for any reason in those that inadequately move their bodies during recovery.
A femoral hernia affects the canal where the femoral artery and nerves run into the upper thigh. In this type of hernia, the intestine pokes through into the canal. It is more common in females that are overweight or pregnant.
An umbilical hernia is where the small intestine breaches the abdominal wall near the umbilicus or belly button. It is frequently an issue with newborn babies and women who have either given birth to several children or are obese.
Finally, a hiatal hernia is when part of the stomach projects up through the opening in the diaphragmatic wall. This opening is normally large enough for the esophagus, but when part of the stomach pops through as well, the sufferer is likely to experience a great deal of acid reflux symptoms.
Are Hernia Mesh Devices Supposed to Be Permanent?
For repairs, some hernia mesh devices are designed to be permanent, providing long-term support to an area affected by a hernia; other hernia mesh devices are designed to degrade over time, usually, after the affected area heals and after additional structural support is no longer needed.
Hernia mesh can be made from a range of materials, according to Stony Brook University Hospital. Most commonly they are made from plastics coated in a protective substance that allows them to be placed near organs without damaging them. These devices are designed to be permanent and to not degrade over time.
Other hernia mesh devices are absorbable and are made from biologic components. The FDA notes that some of these biologic meshes are made from animal tissues that have been processed and disinfected. These mesh devices are not permanent and can degrade and be absorbed by the body. The biologic agents, however, sometimes cause side effects.
Are Hernia Mesh Devices Safe?
Using a mesh device to repair a hernia is considered the standard of care, and their efficacy is backed up by well-designed clinical trials, says Stony Brook. However, some hernia mesh devices may be defective and may not work as intended.
These defects can cause serious complications and can require surgery to remove hernia mesh for the patient’s safety.
These defects reportedly can cause a range of difficulties, including pain and swelling. Additionally, the hernia mesh can migrate from its implanted site or it can obstruct a part of the body. Hernia mesh implantation complications also include the risk of infection.
In other cases, hernia mesh that is designed to be permanent may degrade, possibly causing the hernia not to have enough structural support or causing parts of the hernia mesh to break off and attach to other parts of the body.
Can You Remove Hernia Mesh Safely?
If a hernia mesh complication occurs, it may be necessary to remove the hernia mesh for the patient’s safety and comfort, even if the mesh was designed to be permanent.
Hernia removal surgery comes with a risk of complications including infection, as do all surgeries. Additionally, if the hernia mesh has improperly adhered to the body, it can be difficult to remove during surgery.
Some surgical mesh implants have been found to be defective and have been recalled by the FDA. The FDA says that recalled mesh products were the main cause of bowel perforation and obstruction.
Patients who have been implanted with a hernia mesh that was found to be defective may suffer complications as a result and may have to have the device removed. Your doctor or a lawyer can help you determine if a recalled hernia mesh was used in your surgery and if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Do YOU have a legal claim? Fill out the form on this page now for a free, immediate, and confidential case evaluation. The hernia mesh attorneys who work with Top Class Actions will contact you if you qualify to let you know if an individual lawsuit or class action lawsuit is best for you. [In general, hernia mesh lawsuits are filed individually by each plaintiff and are not class actions.] Hurry — statutes of limitations may apply.
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