The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a hernia as a hole or weak spot that develops in the muscle or connective tissue, allowing an organ, intestine, or fatty tissue to squeeze through. While hernias are internal injuries, they can sometimes be visible from the outside as a slight bulge against the skin, particularly when under strain such as while bending or lifting. Hernia mesh pain resulting from complications is the subject of numerous lawsuits.
The most common types of hernias are:
- Inguinal (inner groin)
- Femoral (upper thigh/outer groin)
- Incisional (incision/scar in abdomen)
- Ventral (abdominal/ventral wall)
- Umbilical (belly button)
- Hiatal (inside abdomen along upper stomach/diaphragm)
Hernia repair surgery is one of the most common surgeries in the United States—with more than 1 million hernia repairs performed annually, the majority of which are inguinal.
Treatment for hernias can only be done surgically and these procedures often rely on a medcial device known as hernia mesh. Unfortunately, complications rise in 12 to 30 percent of patients, according to the BBC, and one of the most common hernia mesh side effects is mesh pain.
If you underwent hernia surgery only to experience hernia mesh pain, you may be eligible to file a civil suit or join a class action lawsuit against the mesh manufacturers.
What Does Hernia Mesh Look Like?
Hernia mesh devices are used to reinforce the weakened or damaged area through which organs have protruded. The mesh is intended to reduce the risk of hernia recurrence by spreading the tension of the repair across the abdominal wall, which then allows for normal movement after surgery.
A study published in the medical journal Membranes reports that there are more than 70 types of hernia mesh.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), surgical hernia mesh comes in two types: synthetic and animal-derived, but synthetic mesh makes up the majority on the market. Part of the reason for this is that synthetic mesh is substantially cheaper than biological mesh.
Synthetic hernia mesh is either knitted mesh or non-knitted sheets of absorbable or non-absorbable materials. Non-absorbable mesh stays in the body and is considered an implant. Non-absorbable mesh provides long-term reinforcement while absorbable mesh degrades as new tissue forms.
Animal-derived mesh is absorbable and is usually derived from cows or pigs before being processed and disinfected for use.
Is Hernia Mesh Safe?
In the majority of cases, hernia mesh is safe. According to Stony Brook Medicine (SBM), before hernia mesh was developed, up to half of all hernias treated through surgery returned. By using hernia mesh to reinforce weakened muscle, doctors have been able to reduce the likelihood of recurrence.
The chance of a hernia recurrence after surgery using mesh has now been dropped into the single digits, according to SBM. However, hernia mesh pain is not uncommon, and there are other complications as well.
Potential Hernia Mesh Issues
While the majority of hernia mesh surgeries are safe and effective, complications may occur. According to a hernia mesh study, complications usually arise due to the “chemical and structural nature of the mesh itself.”
According to the FDA, the most common side effects of any hernia surgery are pain, hernia recurrence, infection, scar tissue adhesion (sticking together), small or large intestine obstruction, bleeding, fistulas (abnormal connections between organs or other tissues), seromas (fluid build-up near the surgery site), and perforation of the surrounding tissue. This is true whether the surgery involved hernia mesh or not.
For surgeries involving hernia mesh, additional complications may include mesh migration and shrinkage or mesh rejection. Any of these can cause severe hernia mesh pain and may require further surgeries to repair. Some mesh also includes specialized coating which can cause allergic reactions or other adverse effects also requiring further surgeries.
Unfortunately, undergoing additional surgeries to repair or replace hernia mesh may come with its own complications. Often, these secondary surgeries are more complex than the initial insertion of the mesh, due to mesh migration, breakage, or adherence to other internal organs. It may take several additional surgeries to remove all of the fractured or adhered pieces of mesh, in addition to fixing any damage or perforations caused by the defective implant. For some patients, it may be impossible to fully remove all the pieces of mesh. Additional surgery can also introduce a further risk of infection.
Even after removal or replacement surgeries, many patients have reported that they continue to experience negative side effects. One man said that following his hernia mesh repair surgery, he continues to suffer intense hernia mesh pain and often takes morphine in order to cope. Other patients have reported being unable to work or engage in previous hobbies or activities due to a loss of energy or mobility they attribute to the mesh implant.
Patients have also reported being unable to lose or gain weight due to pain at the site of the mesh when the shape of their stomach changes. Some people claim that their quality of life has decreased socially as well, due to embarrassment about their physical limitations, or the development of side effects such as incontinence.
What Causes Hernia Mesh Pain?
Hernia mesh pain can be caused by a wide variety of complications. Patients may experience hernia mesh pain in the form of a burning sensation near the site, swelling or pain during sex, nerve damage, or an adverse reaction to the mesh itself. This pain may lessen over time, but it’s important to let your doctor know if you are experiencing discomfort after a hernia surgery.
Generally, hernia mesh pain is caused when the mesh itself causes an injury to the skin, muscles, or nerves. Hernia mesh has been known to erode surrounding tissues, and migration, shrinkage, and adverse reactions to the mesh can all cause hernia mesh pain. Inflammation and irritation can lead to pain, as well.
Hernia mesh may also perforate or puncture internal organs. When the mesh degrades or breaks, sharp edges may cause damage to surrounding organs, resulting in internal bleeding or chronic pain.
Finally, nerve entrapment can be caused by hernia repair and can lead to serious pain and discomfort. Nerve entrapment can cause painful ejaculation as well as pain with intercourse.
How to Find Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Lawyers
A growing number of people are coming forward with allegations of hernia mesh complications.
If you’ve experienced hernia mesh pain after surgery, you may be eligible to join a hernia mesh lawsuit against the mesh manufacturers. Of course, filing a lawsuit cannot take away the pain and suffering caused by hernia mesh complications, but it can at least help to alleviate the financial burden incurred by medical expenses, lost wages, and more. The first thing you should do if you’re experiencing pain is contact your doctor. If you decide to take legal action due to your hernia mesh pain, an attorney can help you get compensation. To find out if you qualify, you can consult with a hernia mesh pain attorney.
Filing a lawsuit can be a daunting prospect, especially while dealing with health complications, so Top Class actions has laid the groundwork by connecting you with an experienced attorney. Consulting an attorney can help you determine if you have a claim, navigate the complexities of litigation, and maximize your potential compensation.
Join a Free Hernia Mesh Class Action Lawsuit Investigation
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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