class action lawsuit,product liability,defective devices,medical devices,defective device
There are numerous health complications associated with defective hernia mesh implants that people should watch out for as some of these cause extreme pain and discomfort.
These products were not approved by the FDA through its PMA process. See our write-up about how medical devices get to the market. Instead, they were cleared by FDA through the 510(k) process. This likely means there will not be preemption arguments used to avoid holding the medical device companies accountable. That has been a problem in the Essure litigation and in the BHR hip litigation.
What Is A Hernia?
A hernia is a weakness or tear located near or in the abdominal muscle wall. That tear results in an uncomfortable and painful bulge that could typically be seen in the groin area. That bulge is commonly a loop of intestine that is coming out of the abdominal wall’s tear. It’s hard to avoid a hernia as there are some people who are naturally born with weak muscles.
It is a very serious condition that grows worse the longer it is let to sit. As such, people should immediately seek medical attention upon feeling that bulge. Patients who don’t seek immediate medical attention may eventually experience the following hernia symptoms:
- The bulge no longer moves back when gently pushed
- Other complications such as fever, nausea, and vomiting start to occur
- The bulge turns into a shade of red, purple or dark blue
- The pain becomes too severe
While it is a serious complication, hernias are always easy to cure. One of the most popular treatments for a hernia before is Ethicon’s Physiomesh which is also commonly called a hernia mesh. The mesh device is basically a plug or patch that prevents the intestines from coming out of the abdominal wall. While innovative, people who received the treatment began experiencing hernia mesh pain.
In May 2016, Ethicon voluntarily recalled its Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh after a surprising finding from an unpublished data by two prominent registries. Regardless of whether or not Ethicon pulled the product, the damage has been done. There were patients who began reeling in from hernia mesh problems years later.
Hernia Mesh Complications Symptoms
People who have undergone mesh treatment for a hernia may not immediately experience complications after surgery. Hernia mesh pain after surgery is very common. It could even take years before some of the symptoms appear and there are a few things that people should watch out for if they underwent this controversial treatment. The hernia mesh complications symptoms below have come from patients who are experiencing them.
- Pain in the abdominal area or where the hernia mesh is located
Chills, fever, and nausea as the body combats the complications from within
- In most cases, there is swelling and inflammation around where the incision was made
- People also experience fistula formation, which is an abnormal formation that occurs between two organs. This can cause pain, discomfort, and inflammation.
- Patients also experience chronic pain
Other common hernia mesh side effects were listed by the FDA after recalls of hernia mesh products. The most common side effects linked to the recalls include:
When a hernia repair surgery or the hernia mesh fails and the hernia reappears, this is called a recurrent hernia. This condition is seen as a bulge near the site of the original hernia and can be painful. If the intestines protrude into the hernia there will be serious health issues. These include:
- Loss of blood in the intestines
Hernia Mesh Rejection
Some patients negatively react to hernia mesh. Their immune system recognizes the mesh as a harmful foreign object and attacks it. If the mesh implant isn’t accepted by the body it will have to be removed by a surgeon to avoid serious injuries and complications.
Hernia Mesh Migration
In some cases, the hernia mesh implant may have been poorly placed and secured. This will cause the implant to gradually move away from its original location and towards other body parts. The movement of the mesh can cause serious issues to wherever it migrates. Hernia mesh migration also leaves the original location of where the mesh is supposed to be exposed and vulnerable.
Adhesion is a common surgery complication occurring in patients who have abdominal or pelvic surgery. The condition is characterized by scar-like tissue around the site of the implant that joins together two parts of tissue or organs. Adhesion develops as the body repairs itself. Issues arise when nerves are pulled within an organ tied down. Symptoms of adhesions include:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Nausea & vomiting
This conditions when there is blockage of the large or small intestine. The blockage can be full or partial. Full obstruction may make passing stool or gas impossible while partial obstruction causes diarrhea. Bowel obstruction makes it extremely difficult for food and liquid to pass through the digestive system. If a person’s bowel becomes blocked, he or she will have to visit the hospital for treatment.
The hernia mesh implant could puncture the lining of the colon or small intestine. This could result in colon surgery or serious bowel disease. When the colon is punctured its content will leak and cause harmful infections to other parts of the body. Treatment for bowel perforation is considered a medical emergency and patients must undergo immediate surgery. Symptoms of bowel perforation include:
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Nausea & vomiting
- Fever & fatigue
What Should Patients Do Next?
One of the obvious things a patient should do upon experiencing hernia mesh pain after surgery or years after is to head to a doctor immediately. In most cases, patients are suggested to have surgery to remove the hernia, but there are other treatments as well. Regardless of what treatment is suggested, patients are guaranteed to spend more on hospital bills even after they’ve already spent a lot on the treatment itself.
If left untreated, hernia mesh problems years later could result in other more pressing matters. Some of the possible long-term side effects of the issue include bowel obstruction, tissue damage, mesh infection, mesh adhesion with other organs, severe pain, and more. The matter could even become fatal, especially if the infection reaches critical levels.
Aside from seeking immediate medical attention, patients who are experiencing hernia mesh pain should also seek legal assistance. The number of patients filing for lawsuits against providers of treatment and manufacturers of defective mesh implants is increasing nationwide. Patients have every right to seek just compensation as the mesh issue is a very serious matter.
Is A Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Necessary?
Since this is a patient’s life and well-being at stake, it is very apparent that lawsuits are necessary. Patients can seek compensation for damages. These include:
- The medical bills spent on the surgery itself. Patients can also seek compensation for the medical bills incurred while they are trying to rid themselves of the complication. It is not just the surgery they could be compensated for, they could also seek compensation for the hospitalization and medications.
- Since the pain caused by the hernia mesh is excruciating, patients could be compensated for any damages associated with the physical, mental and emotional toll caused by the condition.
- The pain caused by defective hernia mesh is very impactful on a person’s life. In some cases, they could miss work due to the various serious conditions that come with a failed mesh. That being said, patients could ask for compensation on lost wages that occurred before and after medical attention was given.
However, while filing a lawsuit is easy if a person is able to prove that he or she is affected by a failed mesh, states implement the Statute of Limitations. Under this rule, a patient who experiences complications from a hernia mesh injury five years after a surgery is performed might not be eligible for a lawsuit. The general rule of thumb is that personal injury lawsuits can only be filed if a year hasn’t passed since the incident.
The good thing is that the law is fair and just. If patients have recently discovered that their health issues are the result of a problem with their hernia mesh, then the one-year deadline for the Statute of Limitations is eligible for an extension.
Patients should immediately seek medical and legal help upon experiencing any of the symptoms. The problem will be best resolved if it is handled as soon as possible. The hernia mesh issue is a serious matter that people should never overlook. The damages that failed meshes incurs has drastic effects on the lives of the victims and as such, just compensation if fair.
Contact An Experienced Hernia Mesh Lawyer
The personal injury law firm, KBA Attorneys provides professional legal representation to victims of defective hernia mesh injuries. Our knowledgeable product liability lawyers have direct experience in handling cases involving failed hernia mesh devices. We understand what it takes to hold the manufacturers of these defective medical devices accountable for their products. If you or a loved one has experienced injuries as a result of harmful hernia mesh, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to file for compensation. Call KBA Attorneys today.
- FDA. “Hernia Surgical Mesh Implants“, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/productsandmedicalprocedures/implantsandprosthetics/herniasurgicalmesh/default.htm. Accessed March 29, 2019.
- WebMD. “What Is a Bowel Obstruction?“, WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/what-is-bowel-obstruction#1. Accessed March 29, 2019.
- Lana Burgess. “Causes and treatment of gastrointestinal perforation“, Medical News Today, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322008.php. Accessed March 29, 2019.
- Medline Plus. “Adhesions“, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://medlineplus.gov/adhesions.html. Accessed March 29, 2019.
- Dr. Andrew T. Bates. “FAQs about Mesh in Hernia Repairs — What Patients Need to Know“, Stony Brook Medicine, https://www.stonybrookmedicine.edu/hernia/resources/faqs-about-mesh-in-hernia-repairs. Accessed March 29, 2019.