According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, more than one million hernia repair surgeries happen every year in the U.S., 90 percent of hernia repair surgeries use hernia mesh.
Hernia mesh is a medical device used in hernia repair surgeries. Surgeons implant the screen-like material around the hernia repair site to strengthen and support damaged tissue surrounding the hernia while it heals. The surgeon sets the mesh across the hernia area and attaches it with staples, glue, or stitches. Because the fabric contains many holes, tissue can grow into it.
The idea behind using hernia mesh is to cut down on surgery time, facilitate and speed patient’s recovery, and reduce risks of the hernia coming back. Although some studies point to success in this regard, others have revealed that complications from mesh are commonplace.
Hernia Mesh Complications
The FDA tracks adverse events associated with medical devices through its adverse events database. People who have been treated with drugs or medical devices and suffer complications as a result can report their problems using a form on the FDA website. This is how the agency stays abreast of mounting issues that might require consumer notices and/or recalls.
Problems with medical devices like hernia mesh appear on the FDA Medical Device Recall website.
According to the FDA, potential adverse events following hernia mesh repair include:
- Hernia Recurrence
- Bowel obstruction
- Mesh migration
- Mesh shrinkage or contraction
Recalled Hernia Mesh Devices
Some hernia mesh products generated so many reports of complications to the FDA that the devices were eventually recalled. The FDA’s analysis of its medical device adverse event reports shows the most common complications arising from recalled hernia mesh devices include:
- Hernia resistance
- Bowel obstruction
In fact, recalled hernia mesh products represent the single most common cause of obstruction and bowel perforation complications, the FDA reports.
If you received a hernia mesh implant during your hernia repair surgery, and you want to check whether your mesh was recalled, visit the Medical & Radiation Emitting Device Database.
In 2019, a U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a report detailing the number and type of hernia mesh devices that were subjects of pending lawsuits. The report showed the following:
- 2,478 C.R. Bard Davol 3D Max
- 2,167 Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Physiomesh
- 1,403 Atrium C-Qur
These numbers have increased multi-fold over the last 18 months.
A recurring complaint from plaintiffs in these lawsuits has been that nobody informed them of the strong risk of mesh-related complications. Specifically, patients complained that before receiving the mesh implants, they were told of a five percent risk of pain from the device. Only after receiving the implant were they informed that the risk of pain was between 12 and 30 percent.
If you suffer any of the complications following your hernia mesh repair surgery, a lawyer can help protect your right to receive compensation. Statutes of limitations apply to this type of lawsuit, meaning you have only a limited amount of time to take legal action.