Surgical mesh is commonly used to repair different types of hernias. Using the medical device for hernia repair may reduce the amount of time it takes to perform surgery and minimize a patient’s recovery time, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Just as hernia mesh has its benefits, the medical device can also prove detrimental to mesh implant patients. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in October 2016 focused on the serious – as well as life-threatening – complications that many hernia mesh implant patients have reported to the FDA.
It found that benefits from hernia mesh were partly offset by complications from the medical device.
Symptoms of Hernia Mesh Complications
If you have undergone a hernia repair that used mesh, how will you know if you have developed complications? Here are five common signs of hernia mesh complications:
Severe pain at the incision site or in another area of your abdomen is the most common symptom that something is wrong. Pain can be causes by an infection, bowel perforation, adhesions, or mesh migration.
Mesh migration is a primary cause of many serious hernia mesh complications. Mesh migration occurs when hernia mesh that was initially implanted in one part of the body, detaches from the original implant location and moves to other parts of the body. This can cause severe pain.
Chronic pain can occur when the mesh leaves its original place of implantation and moves to other parts of the body. The mesh may be blocking an organ, which can cause pain to develop.
Chronic pain is a major indicator that the hernia mesh has failed. If your pain continues months after your hernia repair surgery, it is important for you to report this problem to your doctor.
Some pain and discomfort are expected while recovering from hernia surgery. Pain that extends from weeks to months, however, is a sure sign of mesh failure. Some hernia mesh patients have reported having debilitating pain that prevents them from functioning as they did prior to having hernia repair surgery.
If you experience vomiting, abdominal swelling, constipation, and trouble having bowel movements, you may possibly have bowel obstruction. This type of complication can occur when the mesh fails, moves around, and adheres to the small or large intestine.
Bowel blockage of the large or small intestine can lead to life-threatening complications if left untreated. Emergency surgery may be needed to treat the blockage and remove the failed mesh.
Any type of surgery carries a risk of infection. When it comes to hernia repair surgery that uses mesh, infection can set in months—and even years—after surgery. This can result in flu-like symptoms.
If you start developing fever, chills, and nausea, you may think that you are coming down with a cold or flu. These flu-like symptoms can also be a sign of an infected mesh. In addition to these signs, you may develop chronic pain or inflammation around the hernia repair site.
Patients who experienced hernia mesh infection reported to the FDA that they had to undergo surgery to have the medical device removed.
A common complication of hernia repair surgery is hernia recurrence. Studies have found that using surgical mesh in hernia repair reduces the rate of hernia recurrence compared to hernia repair surgeries that do not use mesh. Mesh failure, however, can also cause a hernia to return.
In some instances, hernia implant patients may have to undergo another surgery to repair the hernia and remove the failed mesh. Additional surgeries can create more complications for hernia implant patients.
The FDA and Hernia Mesh
In response to reports of complications patients experienced with hernia mesh, the FDA reviewed adverse events reports and found recalled mesh products were the main cause of such complications as bowel perforation, bowel obstruction, chronic pain, infection, and hernia recurrence.
While some recalled mesh products are off the market, patients continue to file reports over complications from hernia mesh still on the market.
Having Complications With Hernia Mesh? Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC
If you were injured by hernia mesh, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, costs of revision surgery, pain and suffering, and other damages.
We represent hernia mesh implant patients or their loved ones who suffered complications from failed hernia mesh products. To discuss your complications with hernia mesh, call OEB Law, PLLC today at 865-546-1111 for a free, no-obligation consultation.