Hernia meshes have been used to help repair hernias for over 60 years. In the past 25 years hernia mesh has been used in the vast majority of hernia repair surgeries. After numerous advances, there are many different types of hernia meshes that are relied upon in surgeries. However, some of these hernia meshes have led to serious side effects for those who have had them implanted. Some of these complications can be life threatening. As a result, there have been scores of hernia mesh lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of these meshes. If you have received a hernia mesh implant and have experienced serious side effects, you should immediately contact a hernia mesh law firm or lawyer to discuss your case. A hernia mesh lawsuit may be the only way to get justice and compensation as a result of defective and dangerous surgical mesh.
What Is Hernia Repair?
A Hernia usually involve an organ that protrudes through a cavity. In order to fix the hernia, the abdominal wall must be reinforced and strengthened. In the past, this involved an open incision and sewing the affected area, This required full anesthetic and a hospital stay. Hernia repair has become less complicated in many instances due to the use of hernia mesh, which means that the surgeon does not have to do as much repair.
What Is Hernia Mesh?
Hernia meshes are not necessarily one uniform implant. There are literally dozens of types of meshes that are in use. There is no one single material that is used in all procedures. While there is some use of natural mesh that is made from animal tissue (biologiocal mesh), most meshes that are used derive from synthetic materials.
One of the more common types of meshes is made from polypropylene. This is a synthetic material that is a polymer that is in the plastics family. It is advertised to be inert, meaning that once it is implanted, there will be no chemical reactions occurring with the mesh. Also, if mesh is inert, it is not supposed to degrade or change over time. Since the implant is a part of the body, it must remain inert in order to remain effective and not cause side effects. The mesh is sewn, affixed or placed into the abdomen or another area where the hernia is protruding in order to strengthen the weakened area.
Complications From Hernia Mesh
The main complication from hernia meshes is that the mesh is not always actually inert as advertised. This can have several different ramifications. The first is if there is a chemical reaction that occurs involving the mesh, the patient can experience an infection at the site of the mesh. In some instances, the infection can be life-threatening. In those cases, the mesh has to be removed so that the infection does not grow worse and the patient will need several surgical procedures. Infections are the most severe side effects that can occur from hernia meshes.
Hernia meshes can also shift position or degrade over time. When the hernia mesh migrates, it can come into contact with other organs and can adversely effect them. If the complications are severe enough, the patient will need surgery to remove the mesh to prevent damage to surrounding organs. Similarly, if the mesh shrinks, it will no longer be in the proper position to sustain the hernia repair and follow-up surgery will be necessary to either fix the hernia or change the mesh.
Hernia mesh recall
Some hernia mesh products have been the subject of FDA recalls. There have been at least six hernia meshes that have been recalled starting in 2005. As recently as 2018, there were recalls of meshes. For example, last year some ProLite Mesh patches were recalled because of hernia recurrence. One of the most significant examples of hernia mesh failure was the removal from the market of Johnson & Johnson’s Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh due to an emergency safety alert. Hernia meshes continue to be in widespread use in the marketplace, although there is at least some usage of meshes that are made of biological materials that are truly inert. However, meshes made of animal tissue are still very expensive, preventing them from gaining widespread acceptance.
The complications that have resulted from the use of hernia meshes has led to years of lawsuits against the manufacturers. Since there are many different types of hernia meshes, there is no one single overarching lawsuit or multidistrict litigation for hernia meshes in general as there is for other medical devices. There are multidistrict litigations as it relates to some manufacturer. For example, C.R. Bard has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to settle a multi district litigation hernia mesh lawsuit related to Composix Kugel mesh. Mesh manufacturers are facing thousands of thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits from those who have experienced side effects from the surgical mesh.
Lawsuits Relating to Hernia Mesh
One of the major lawsuits that is currently pending is that relating to Physiomesh. The complaints generally alleged that Johnson & Johnson manipulated the testing data to make it through the FDA’s 510(k) process which is a streamlined approval mechanism. Johnson & Johnson is alleged to have provided false information regarding the safety of the product. The company purportedly consciously cut short the amount of testing of the product that it performed. Further, the design of the hernia mesh made it susceptible to degradation. In addition, allegedly the “Secure Strap” used for fixation of the device exacerbated the risks of the mesh. Beyond the allegation of defective design, plaintiffs also allege that the manufacturer failed to warn them of the risks associated with the product. Most of the mesh lawsuits addressing Physiomesh are now pending as part of multidistrict litigation in the Northern District of Georgia.
Contact a hernia mesh Lawyer Today | Hernia mesh lawsuit
If you have suffered any sort of injury as a result of a hernia repair that used mesh, it is vital that you contact a lawyer immediately. Given that Physiomesh was pulled from the market in 2016, the statute of limitations may soon run out on a potential claim so time is of the essence. The attorney will provide you with a free consultation where they can assess the facts of your case and provide you with a road map of the process that must be followed for recovery.